Tuesday 28 July 2020

David vs Goliath

"Results of trials of the 45 mm gun and anti-tank rifles and the effectiveness of anti-tank grenades on the Tiger tank

On November 13th and 14th, 1944, trials of 45 mm armour piercing shells and subcaliber shot, anti-tank rifles, and anti-tank grenades against the tracks of a Tiger tank were held.

The following were provided by the 285th Rifle Division:
  1. 45 mm gun and crew: 1
  2. Anti-tank rifles and crews: 2
  3. Subcaliber shot for the 45 mm gun: 20
  4. Armour piercing shells for the 45 mm gun: 30
  5. Anti-tank rifle cartridge: 40
  6. Anti-tank grenade: 15
  7. Hand grenade: 15
The 45 mm gun and anti-tank rifles were fired at a range of 30-300 m at angles of 90 and 45 degrees.
The results were as follows:

45 mm gun:

At 30-200 m the subcaliber and armour piercing projectiles easily penetrate the track, both the link and the track pin. The pin breaks in one or two places, the head of the link cracks off. One shot destroys a quarter of the track. If the shell hits the center of the track link only a hole equal in diameter to the caliber or greater is made.

When firing at a 45 degree angle the penetration is oblong and usually 1-2 links are destroyed with a single shot.

There were two unintentional hits of the drive sprocket with the subcaliber shot as a result of which the spindle was destroyed completely and the sprocket could no longer be used.

Conclusion: 45 mm AP shell and subcaliber shot are effective against the tracks, wheels, and drive sprocket of the heavy German Tiger (T-6) tank.

Anti-tank rifle:

The anti-tank rifle also penetrates the track links at a range of 200-300 m at an angle of 45 and 90 degrees. The effect is less than with the 45 mm gun. The hole formed is small, equal to the caliber of the anti-tank rifle. In order to defeat the track 4-5 hits to the same pin have to be made.

Conclusion: it is senseless to fire anti-tank rifles at the tracks.

Anti-tank grenades:

Anti-tank grenades were thrown under the tracks individually or in bundles of two. One grenade destroys half of the track if it hits directly, the tank is immobilized and cannot move. Two grenades destroy the track completely. The grenades and bundles were also thrown under the tank and on the turret roof. One grenade deformed the floor and two grenades penetrated it. Grenade bundles were thrown from a slit trench at a range of 10 meters.

Inspector of Inventions, Department of Military Training, of the 3rd Belorussian Front Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Korolkov

Approved: Assistant Chief of Staff of Artillery of the 55nd Guards Rifle Division, Guards Senior Lieutenant Ponomarev"

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