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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/16/2018 11:14:45 PM   
asl3d


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DS-39 was a Soviet medium machine gun, designed by Vasily Degtyaryov, that was used during the Second World War. Degtjarev made the first prototype in year 1930 and the test-series manufactured in year 1934 was tested several years. Degtjarev improved the design with help of test results and while these improvements later proved lacking the Soviets seemingly did not spot them at that time. So they decided to replace Maxim machinegun in production with DS-39 machinegun in 22nd of October 1939.
Indeed, DS-39 was lighter and it was structurally simpler than Maxim machinegun, but it also had serious reliability problems. The basic reason behind the problems was the rimmed 7.62 mm x 54R cartridge, which demands more complicated feeding system in belt-fed weapons than its non-rimmed competitors. Also fabric ammunition belts (the same ones that the Soviets used in their Maxim machineguns) that the Soviets still used with DS-39 probably didn't exactly help in reliability either. The weapon came with new light tripod, which Degtjarev had designed especially for this machinegun. This tripod was otherwise good, but proved problematic when it was set to its highest setting. With its this setting the machinegun placed on it balanced poorly and proved to have excessive muzzle-climb. So do to these factors using the machinegun for anti-aircraft use was difficult.
Tech-wise DS-39 was full-automatic only gas-action weapon with adjustable gas-regulator. It was air-cooled and looked bit like smaller version of 12.7-mm DShK heavy machinegun. By adding spring-loaded buffer to the mechanism the weapons rate-of-fire could be doubled (to 1,200 shots / minute) for antiaircraft use, but this doesn't seem to have been popular - almost certainly because with it the already existing reliability problems got a whole new magnitude. Structurally (especially when it came to its bolt) this machinegun was based also to DP light machinegun, which Degtjarev had designed earlier. Eventually the Soviets noticed the problems and tried fixing them, but in June of 1941 Germany invaded Soviet Union and they run out of time for improvements. In that situation the Soviets decided to stop manufacturing of DS-39 and to return old, heavy and complicated but reliable Maxim machinegun back to production.
Tula Arsenal was the only manufacturer of DS-39 machinegun, it manufactured 10,345 of them between June of 1940 and June of 1941. From those 10,345 machineguns it made 6,628 in year 1940 and 3,717 in year 1941. Some changes were made during the production. Maybe the most notable of these were changes made to barrel attachment system. In the old version the barrel was locked with screw and screwdriver was needed for replacing barrel. In the new version the barrel was locked with a switch and no tools were required for replacing barrel. Another part going through changes during manufacturing was safety-switch. Due to weapons shortage following German attack in 1941 the Soviets issued also DS-39 machineguns to 2nd line troops of their Red Army. Year 1942 Degtjarev still came up with improved version prototype of DS-39, but in testing the Soviets organized in May of 1943 the SG-43 prototype proved more reliable and durable than the improved DS-39.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/17/2018 7:08:24 PM   
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The ROKS-2 and ROKS-3 were man-portable flamethrowers used by the USSR in the Second World War. The ROKS-2 Flamethrower was used by Soviet forces from 1935-1945 and it used in many different battles along the Eastern Front. There is controversy about whether the rifle and backpack camouflage actually worked very well, but even so, the ROKS Flamethrower was used by Soviet and Finnish troops.
The ROKS-2 was designed not to draw attention so the fuel and gas tanks were concealed under a sheet-metal outer casting that resembled knapsack; the flame projector was designed to resemble a standard Mosin–Nagant rifle. The purpose of this was to prevent the operator from being specifically targeted by the enemy. The flame shots were ignited by firing specially modified 7.62×25mm Tokarev cartridges.
The ROKS-2 was used, amongst other engagements, during the close-range fighting during the first days of the Battle of Kursk in 1943. The weight of the ROKS-2 is about 25 kg full and it was capable of storing about 10 liters of fuel. The ROKS-2 could keep firing burning fuel for about 6–8 seconds at a time and the range was around 30–35 meters. The main components of the ROKS-2 were the fuel hose, the fuel tank, and a pressurized nitrogen tank. The nitrogen tank was placed right under the disguised fuel tank. The flamethrower was activated when the user pulled the trigger of the flamethrower. They were operated by two-man teams of combat engineers.
The only variant produced of the ROKS-2 flamethrower was the ROKS-3, which was introduced as a far more simplistic models to save on production time and costs. Other than the minor stripping down of the weapon, it still retained many of the original features of the ROKS-2 and looked very similar. The ROKS-3 was a simplified model that designed to be easier to manufacture, it did away with the disguise for the backpack, though it retained the flame projector designed to resemble a rifle. Both models carried around 9 liters of fuel. The fuel was propelled by nitrogen gas pressurized at 115 bars and, under ideal circumstances, had a maximum range of around 45 meters.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/18/2018 6:42:16 PM   
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The name "Molotov cocktail" was coined by the Finns during the Winter War. The name was an insulting reference to Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov, who was one of the architects of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact signed in late August 1939.
A Molotov cocktail is a breakable glass bottle containing a flammable substance such as gasoline, alcohol or a napalm-like mixture, with some motor oil added, and usually a source of ignition such as a burning cloth wick held in place by the bottle's stopper. The wick is usually soaked in alcohol or kerosene, rather than petrol.
Incendiary bottles are one of the simplest and most reliable means for destroying tanks, armored cars, transport trucks, warehouses, landed airplanes, and enemies in cover. In the hands of a brave soldier, they are a fearsome weapon. Skilled and sudden use can not only strike the enemy, but cause panic and compromise enemy organization.
The bottles work as follows: when they hit a solid object, the bottle breaks, and the liquid inside of it ignites, either with a match attached to the bottle, a special metallic igniter, or a capsule inside the bottle.
In action, the wick is lit and the bottle hurled at a target such as a vehicle or fortification. When the bottle smashes on impact, the ensuing cloud of fuel droplets and vapor is ignited by the attached wick, causing an immediate fireball followed by spreading flames as the remainder of the fuel is consumed.
Other flammable liquids such as diesel fuel, methanol, turpentine, jet fuel, and isopropyl alcohol have been used in place of, or combined with petrol. Thickening agents such as solvents, foam polystyrene, baking soda, petroleum jelly, tar, strips of tire tubing, nitrocellulose, XPS foam, motor oil, rubber cement, detergent and dish soap have been added to help the burning liquid adhere to the target and create clouds of thick, choking smoke.
The Red Army used bottles with self-igniting "KS" fluid and flammable mixtures # 1 and # 3. To destroy the enemy tanks with bottles, each soldier carried 3 bottles, one with liquid KS and two with liquid # 1 and # 3. The soldier had to position himself in a trench, crevice, crater of shells, behind a fence, in a hole, a ditch or any other concealment, camouflage and hide from bullets and shrapnel. The soldier had to watch the movements of the tanks. When they approached, the soldier had prepared their bottles to throw them. If his bottles had used matches, he rips off the paper covers.
When the tank or cart is 15-20 meters away, the soldier takes a KS bottle, holds the cylindrical part and throws it into the tank, followed by one or two bottles # 1 and # 3. If the bottles have matches, turn them on before throwing them. Bottles # 1 and # 3 can be held by the neck, if it is more comfortable. Pull bottles with metal lighters or capsules in the same way as bottles with matches, after the KS bottle.
The soldiers had to throw the bottles while they were standing or crouching, aiming at their target. They pointed to the engine (a tank has it in the back, an armored car in the front), observation ports, poorly sealed hatches; 2-3 well-placed bottles can ignite the tank or cart.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/19/2018 6:55:26 PM   
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The PM M1910 was a heavy machine gun used by the Imperial Russian Army during World War I and the Red Army during Russian Civil War and World War II. The Russian M1910 Maxim Sokolov variant represents a thought process from a very different age. Invented by the American-born British inventor Sir Hiram Maxim in 1889, the machinegun that bears his name was the worldwide standard for automatic weapons by 1900. The militaries of Germany, Great Britain, as well as the US Navy among others had it in regular service. When the Russians adopted it, they greatly simplified the design to make it as soldier proof as possible. With the adoption of the short-wheeled mount and a steel plate shield to protect the gunner, the gun became known as the Pulemyot Maxima Sokolov Model of 1910, or simply PM 1910. It was adopted in 1910 and was derived from Hiram Maxim's Maxim gun, chambered for the standard Russian 7.62×54mmR rifle cartridge. The M1910 was mounted on a wheeled mount with a gun shield and was replaced in Soviet service by the SG-43 Goryunov, which retained the wheeled and shielded carriage, starting in 1943. However, production of the Maxim did not end until 1945.
The gun used distinctive and easily recognized short recoil and toggle locked mechanisms that gave users the feeling of holding onto a steam locomotive when fired. Rear spade grips served as handles while a solenoid button between the grips, pushed by the thumbs, fired the gun. Capable of rattling off ten rounds of ammunition per second, the gun would overheat quickly. To keep it cool enough to fire continuously, a 4-liter water jacket was fitted around the 28.4-inch barrel. To keep this jacket from boiling empty from the red-hot barrel inside it, a water can, condenser collector, and tubes were supplied and an oversized cap on the jacket, about four inches in diameter, could be opened to pack the insides with snow in the winter. In a pinch the whole gun, wheels and all, could be attached to skis and pulled over the steppes when the snow got too deep.
The weapon has a low profile to the ground, less than two feet, which leads to simplicity when firing from a prone position. Gun crews were also issued simple stands to elevate the guns if needed.
Simplicity and durability were a rule in these guns. It must be remembered that conscripted Russian peasants fresh from the farms and with no mechanical background had to be trained to use and maintain these guns. The two spade grips concealed reservoirs that held lubricant and solvent. To apply these, you just unscrewed the top caps of the grips, to which were attached applicators inside the reservoirs. To clean the solid milled steel breechblock, an operator just opened the lid and lifted it up and out.
Watertight 22-pound ribbed green metal cans held 250-round canvas belts of 7.62x54R ammunition. Even when many armies switched to metal links, the Russians retained these canvas belts because, when properly waxed, they were almost impervious to freezing and could be reused in the field without a linker. Another metal can held three modular cans of water, solvent, and lubricant. This kept the Maxim pumping out rounds non-stop at methodical rate of about 600-rounds per minute as long as the ammo held up.
None of these heavy steel parts, thick ballistic shields, canvas belts, birch wheels, and other required accessories were very light. All told a fully equipped PM1910 could tip the scales at 170-pounds including ammunition, water, and solvents/lubricants. Weight is indeed a sign of reliability, at least in a water-cooled machine gun, but you can see why these were set on wheels.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/20/2018 6:17:53 PM   
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The Soviet RGD-33 is an anti-personnel fragmentation stick grenade developed in 1933. It was designed to replace the ageing Model 1914 grenade and was used during World War II. The grenade was complicated to use and manufacture. After the German invasion of the USSR, the simple and crude RG-42 was developed to slowly replace it.
The grenade was unusual but not unique, in that it had an optional "jacket" – a thick metal fragmentation sleeve weighing an average of 270 grams. When fitted over the grenade the sleeve improves the kill radius by producing a number of diamond-shaped, heavier fragments. With the jacket installed the grenade was said to be in "defensive" mode.
The grenade was composed of three separate pieces that were stored in different crates until use: the warhead and sleeve, spring-loaded handle, and fuse tube. They were assembled and issued only before combat. The operator arms the fuse by flipping the switch to the left, exposing the red dot. The operator then throws the grenade; a good throw could send the grenade 30 to 40 meters. The forward momentum of the head and the spring-loaded handle cause the fuse clip to drop back and then move forward, striking the fuse and beginning the time delay.
Upon detonation the shell fragments in rectangular, thin fragments, which, along with the casing and detonator fragments, decelerate rapidly in air. Due to the fragments' rapid loss of velocity, the kill radius is small, making this grenade an "offensive" type. The fragmentation kill radius was approximately 15 meters with the sleeve and 10 meters without. As with most grenades of this era, there is potential for large fragment projection a great distance further than the throw.
The Soviet RG-42 was a fragmentation grenade designed by S.G. Korshunov. It was originally introduced during World War II from 1942 onwards as an emergency measure to replace the complex RGD-33 grenade. It continued in use with the USSR and its Warsaw Pact allies in the post-war period until replaced in 1954 by the RGD-5 grenade. Stockpiles were held for emergency or reserve issue, military aid, or foreign sales. They were eventually destroyed in the 1980s due to the TNT filling degrading and becoming unsafe.
Unlike the RGD-33, the RG-42's components were simple to produce and assemble. Only the fuse required specialized manufacture and the parts could be easily assembled by hand by cottage labor. Partisans often made copies of the simple design when out of contact.
It contained about 200 grams of explosive charge (TNT) in a cylindrical stamped-metal can. It used the 3.2 to 4 second UZRGM fuse, also used in the RGD-5, RG-41, and F1 grenades. The grenade could be thrown about 35–40 meters and has an effective blast radius of around 10 meters. The total weight of the grenade with the fuse was about 500 grams.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/21/2018 5:43:35 PM   
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The RPG-1 (hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher) was a Soviet lightweight anti-tank rocket equipped with a shaped charge warhead. The design was inspired by similar weapons being introduced by the US and Germany in the late-World War II period. Work on the design began in 1944 and continued until 1948, but it was not put into production, as the RPG-2 was selected for this role instead. The RPG-1 introduced the basic physical and mechanical layout that was also used on the RPG-2 and the much more famous and ubiquitous RPG-7.
In 1944 the Soviets extensively tested new anti-tank weapons, including the German Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck as well as the US bazooka. They decided to produce their own design combining the best features of all of these, and started development under G.P. Lominskiy at the Main Artillery Directorate's Small Arms and Mortar Research Range.
Initially known as the LPG-44, named after the program's start date, the weapon was intended to be smaller and lighter than the Panzerfaust, but easily reloadable like the bazooka. Its PG-70 warhead was a HEAT round, named for its size, 70 millimeters wide at its widest point. Development was largely completed by the end of 1944 and the system was renamed the RPG-1 and the round became the PG-1.
The RPG-1 launcher consisted mainly of a 1-metre long, 30 millimeters diameter soft steel tube. The rear 3⁄4 was covered by a thin wooden sheath to protect the operator from the heat of firing. Immediately in front of the sheath was the pistol grip firing trigger, and in front of that a cocking lever. A leaf sight flipped forward and up from the top of the tube above the trigger. Sighting was taken by comparing range markings on the leaf sight against the outermost portion of the round, a solution also used on the Panzerfaust. The empty launcher weighed only 2 kilograms.
The PG-70 was inserted into the muzzle of the launcher and fired using a simple percussion cap firing a 30 millimeters cartridge. Three ring-shaped stabilizing fins were mounted on a tube that extended down the outside of barrel of the launcher, avoiding the need for flip-out fins or other solutions that would fit inside the barrel. The round was 425 millimeters long and weighed 1.6 kilograms. It fired at a muzzle velocity of 40 meters per second and had a maximum effective range of about 75 meters. A trained two-man crew could fire 4 to 6 rounds per minute.
However, continued testing ran into a series of problems. A major issue was problems in the firing cap, and that the propellant tended to have inconsistent performance based on temperature changes. The design itself proved to have considerably less armor penetration than the Panzerfaust, around 140 millimeters of RHA equivalent, which was too small for modern tanks like the Panther. It did, however, retain the Panzerfaust's low velocity, making it accurate only over perhaps 50 meters, with a maximum range of only 75 meters.
Work continued to try to address these issues, but in 1947 a totally new design started that would emerge as the RPG-2. This design was clearly superior, and work on the RPG-1 ended in 1948.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/22/2018 5:31:16 PM   
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The RPG-40 was an anti-tank hand grenade developed by the Soviet Union in 1940.
Its anti-tank capability came from blast effect produced by the detonation upon contact of 760 grams of explosive contained in it. This effect enabled about 20 mm of armor to be penetrated, and secondary damage, such as spelling, by contact with thicker armor. This made the grenade very effective against earlier German tanks, but ineffective against later models, such as the Panzer IV and the Panzer V, leading to the RPG-43 replacing it in 1943.
The RPG-43 ("hand-held anti-tank grenade") was a high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) hand grenade that entered service in 1943, replacing the earlier model RPG-40. The RPG-43 used a shaped charge HEAT warhead, whereas the RPG-40 used the simpler HE (high explosive) warhead. The RPG-43 had a penetration of around 75 mm of rolled homogeneous armor at a 90 degree angle. Later in the war, it was improved and became the RPG-6.
During the early days of Operation Barbarossa, the USSR's only infantry anti-armor weapons were anti-tank rifles, anti-tank guns, and the RPG-40. These were adequate against early German tanks such as the Panzer I and Panzer II but, as the war progressed, they were found to be nearly useless against the heavier Panthers and Tigers. The RPG-43 was developed as a result, and it was produced in large numbers until the end of the war. After the war, it was passed on extensively to Soviet client states, and was used in the numerous Arab–Israeli conflicts. Despite being thoroughly outdated, it can still be encountered in many third world nations, mainly due to its reliability and low cost.
The RPG-43 externally was shaped like an oversized stick grenade with a 95 mm HEAT warhead on the end. It weighed 1.247 kg of which 612 g was high explosive. When thrown, a cylindrical metal cone was released from the rear of the grenade and held by fabric strips to stabilize flight and increase the likelihood of a 90 degree hit. Its range was limited by how far the user could throw it, and was obviously shorter than the contemporary rocket-propelled US Bazooka and recoilless German Panzerfaust, so that the user had to get closer and was in more danger of being seen. However, it was much smaller than rocket weapons and produced no sound, smoke, or light when launched, and therefore did not betray the thrower's position. Despite its limitations, it was cheap and quick to manufacture, allowing it to become the main Soviet infantry anti-tank weapon of World War II.
Overall the RPG-43 was an awkward and difficult weapon to use effectively. To use it, the user had to get within throwing range of an enemy tank, which was often dangerous. Despite having a powerful warhead, it took a skilled user to make the most of it as, like all shaped-charge weapons, it was effective only if the striking angle was close to 90 degrees. It also had to hit hard enough to detonate the impact fuse, or it would bounce harmlessly off the tank.
The RPG-6 was designed as a replacement for the RPG-43. The RPG-43 had a large warhead, but was designed to detonate in contact with a tank's armor; it was later found that optimal performance was gained from a HEAT warhead if it exploded a short distance from the armor, roughly the same distance as the weapon's diameter. In the RPG-6 this was achieved by adding a hollow pointed nose section with the impact fuse in it, so that when the weapon detonated the warhead was at the optimum distance from the armor. The weapon was a success and went into mass production.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/23/2018 6:13:04 PM   
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HaL Soviet availability of Support Weapons:




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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/24/2018 6:25:53 PM   
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The Soviet Navy purchased a number of Bofors 25 mm Model 1933 guns in 1935, trials of the weapon were successful and it was decided to develop a 45 mm version of the weapon designated the 49-K. The development under the guidance of leading Soviet designers M. N. Loginov, I. A. Lyamin and L. V. Lyuliev was successful, but the army thought that the 45 mm caliber was a little too large for an automatic field weapon. In January 1938 the Artillery Factory Number 8 in Sverdlovsk was ordered to develop a 37 mm weapon based on the same design. The task was fulfilled by the chief designer of the factory, Mikhail Loginov, and his assistant Lev Loktev. Firing trials of the new 61-K were conducted in October 1938. Competitive firing trials were conducted in 1940 between the 61-K and the Bofors 40 mm/56. There were no substantial differences found between them.
The 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K) was a Soviet 37 mm caliber anti-aircraft gun developed during the late 1930s and used during World War II. Guns of this type were successfully used throughout the Eastern Front against dive bombers and other low- and medium-altitude targets. It also had some usefulness against lightly armored ground targets. Crews of the 37 mm AD guns shot down 14,657 Axis planes. The mean quantity of 37 mm ammunition to shoot down one enemy plane was 905 rounds
The weapon was initially installed as a single-barrel weapon on a four-wheeled ZU-7 carriage, and was soon ready for service. In the firing position the wheels are raised off the ground and it is supported by four screw jacks, one at the front, one at the rear of the carriage and one either side on outriggers. When travelling, the barrel is pointed to the rear and is held in position by a lock hinged at the rear of the carriage. Basically a shield is mounted to each side front of the gun bt most countries have removed the shield. The M1939 37 mm anti-aircraft gun is towed most of the time by a military truck or light tactical vehicle as the GAZ-63.
An initial order for 900 units was placed. The gun was operated by a crew of eight men. A total of 200 rounds of ammunition were carried which were fed into the gun in five-round clips. Total Soviet production was around 20,000 units, ending in 1945.
Armor penetration of the armor-piercing (AP) rounds is reported as 37 millimeters of rolled homogeneous armor (RHA) at 60°at 500 meters range and 28 millimeters of RHA at 90° at 1500 meters range. The M-1939 can fired FRAG-T, AP-T, HVAP or HE ammunitions. The 37 mm M1939 anti-aircraft gun has an effective slant range of 2,499 m. Effective altitude limit with an elevation of +45º is 1,768 m and with an elevation of +65º is 2,865 m. Self-destruct range is 4,389 m.
The naval mounting was produced as the 70K, and had entered service before the German invasion of the Soviet Union replacing the semi-automatic 45 mm/46 21-K on many ships. It was fitted in large numbers to Soviet ships during the Second World War, including the T301 class minesweeper. One drawback was that the 70K required a barrel change after every 100 rounds fired.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/25/2018 5:32:55 PM   
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The 76 mm air defense gun M1938 was 76.2 mm Soviet air defense gun, created by Soviet artillery designer M.N.Loginov, was small series issued in 1938-1940 at the plant number 8 in Podlipki. This gun was a modernized version of the 76 mm air defense gun M1931, with a slightly modernized barrel and a completely new two-axle carriage ZU-8.
For Soviets these guns were 76 mm model 1931 and model 1938. The model 1931 has been credited as design of G. P. Tagunov and was based to German 75-mm antiaircraft-gun made by Rheinmetall mainly for export. On the other hand the Soviets also received assistance from Rheinmetall and in addition they had acquired also one of the heavy Bofors anti-aircraft guns, so also Bofors designs might have impacted the development. The gun was approved to Red Army use in year 1931 and the Soviets issued first guns in 1932. Already in 1938 they introduced improved version called model 1938. The main difference between the two models was introduction of new driving device named ZU-8, but smaller improvements were made also to the actual gun. While transport equipment of model 1931 was the usual one axle with 2 wheels type new ZU-8 had two axles with four wheels, which made transporting these guns considerably easier. Likely this two-axle ZU-8 driving device was based to Bofors design introduced with Swedish 75-mm anti-aircraft gun m/37 (7,5 cm luftvärnskanon m/37). These guns were manufactured in Red Putilov factory (previous Putilov artillery factory) in Leningrad. The maximum towing for m/1931 gun was only 20 km/h. During World War 2 both of these guns saw lot of use with Soviet military. This carriage was also used for the more powerful 85 mm 52-K air defense gun, developed in 1939.
The Germans also captured these guns in large numbers and armed large number of their anti-aircraft gun units in air-defence of home front with them. German names for these guns were 7.62 cm Flak M 31 (r) and 7.62 cm Flak M 38 (r), after running out of captured ammunition Germans modified the guns to 88-mm caliber. In that new calibre these guns were known as 7.62/8.8 cm Flak M 31 (r) and 7.62/8.8 cm Flak M 31 (r). They used two methods for this modification process: Relining the barrel or replacing it with barrel from German 8,8 cm Flak 18. In either case the process was relatively simple as besides barrel the largest change required was replacing recuperator spring with stronger version, which could take the increased recoil.
The cannon 1931 had a good ballistics, but the military did not suit big transition time from traveling to combat and back (up to 5 minutes). Therefore, it was redesigned flitches - instead of the two-wheeled carts chetyrehkolёsnaya new memory-8 was developed, which was imposed and swinging of the gun mod. 1931 G. It is possible to reduce the specified time of 1 minute 20 seconds. Is also increased speed carriage on Highway 35 50 km / h.
In 1939, the Red Army was adopted based on it created a more powerful 85-mm anti-aircraft gun 52-K, which has replaced in the production of 76-mm anti-aircraft gun, the 1938 sample. 76.2-mm anti-aircraft guns were used in the first stage of the Great Patriotic War, but later were replaced by 52-K in order to avoid difficulties with the calculation instruction and the supply of ammunition for the multi-type of materiel.
The 85 mm gun was chosen for mass production by the Soviet authorities and tooling was switched from the 76.2 mm AD guns, to the 85 mm gun. As a result of this decision, the total number of M1938 AD guns, delivered to the Red Army, was relatively small. These guns were used in the first stages of the German-Soviet War and were gradually replaced by the more powerful 52-Ks.
The external appearance of the 76 mm and 85 mm AD guns is very close; the two types can be differentiated by their muzzle brake, the larger gun possessing the larger muzzle brake.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/26/2018 6:55:50 PM   
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Throughout the 1930s, aircraft development was evolving by leaps and bounds across the world. As such, air defense forces of the world needed a similar evolution to keep pace with many of the current ground-based offerings having become outmoded by faster and higher flying aircraft. The Soviet Union was one such military force that had a vast amount airspace to concern itself with should she ever be invaded. As opposed to developing an entirely new system from scratch for the Red Army, Soviet authorities elected to utilize the existing -and successful - 76.2mm Model 1938 gun as the basis for a new, more potent and capable weapon. Design and development work soon yielded the 85mm Model 1939 air defense gun. Similar in scope and operation to her predecessor, the Model 1939 was essentially nothing more than an enlarged and upgunned version of the original 76.2mm system. A key differentiating feature was a multi-baffled muzzle brake fitted to the business end of the barrel, a physical feature that the Model 1938 clearly lacked. Like the fabled "88" anti-aircraft guns of the German Army, the Red Army also saw double value in their M1939 and attention in design was also given to utilizing it as an anti-tank defense weapon should the need arise.
The 85 mm air defense gun M1939 (52-K) was an 85-mm Soviet air defense gun, developed under guidance of leading Soviet designers M. N. Loginov and G. D. Dorokhin. This gun was successfully used throughout the German-Soviet War against level bombers and other high- and medium-altitude targets. In emergencies they were utilized as powerful anti-tank weapons. The barrel of the 52-K was the basis for the family of 85-mm Soviet tank guns. Adopted in 1939, the 85-mm M1939, like its counterpart the 88-mm gun, was meant for air defense. Like many anti-aircraft (AA) guns of the era it was provided with antitank ammunition in the event a tank should appear. Later during the war, an improved M1944 version of the gun was pressed into service, which fired a more powerful round and had a longer gun barrel.
85-mm M1939 guns were organized into heavy anti-aircraft regiments of 16 guns. The regiments were organized into divisions of the field anti-aircraft forces. The 85mm gun mount sat on a four-wheeled traveling carriage for maximum portability. The carriage could be transported into position by any number of towing vehicles then in service with the Red Army, from trucks and jeeps to light tanks. The seven man crew could also pushed the gun into a precise position once at a target area. The gun system itself was fully positional apart from the carriage and could attain an upwards attack angle to target incoming enemy aircraft or a leveled attack angle to counter oncoming enemy vehicles or infantry. Elevation limits were stated at +82 and -2 degrees while traverse was a full 360- degrees. When in transport, the gun was leveled and locked into place with an inverted "vee" type bracket. Along with the standard flak in-air exploding shrapnel rounds, M1939 crews were also issued with a supply of anti-tank projectiles.
By the time the M1939 was entering production, the facilities at Kaliningrad outside of Moscow came under direct threat from the surprise German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. As such, the Soviets took to moving the manufacturing equipment out of the area and relocating them to the safety of the Ural mountains to the East. Within time, the facilities were set in place and production of the new M1939 soon got underway.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/27/2018 5:13:28 PM   
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37 mm anti-tank gun model 1930 (1-K) was a Soviet light anti-tank gun used in the first stage of the Second World War. 1-K was a Soviet anti-tank gun initially developed by the German company Rheinmetall. The gun was closely related to the German PaK 35/36. It lacked some improvements eventually introduced in PaK 35/36, but it was basically the same design; each gun could use ammunition of the other. 1-K had split trail carriage with unsprung wooden wheels (while PaK 35/36 received suspension and new wheels). It was equipped with horizontal sliding block breechblock, hydraulic recoil buffer and spring recuperator. It also became the base for a series of Soviet 45 mm anti-tank guns.
1-K was the first dedicated anti-tank gun of the Red Army (RKKA) and as such was actively used for training of anti-tank units. On 1 January 1936 RKKA possessed 506 guns of the type, of them 422 operational. When RKKA received large numbers of more powerful 45 mm guns, many 1-Ks were apparently relegated to training facilities and depots. The exact number of 1-Ks in service in June 1941 has not been determined. It is known that the gun was present in some units, e.g. 8th Mechanized Corps and it is likely that pieces stored in army depots were also rushed into active service.
It was a light and compact gun which could be easily moved by its crew. The drawbacks were a lack of suspension, weak fragmentation shell (because of small caliber) and poor manufacturing quality. RKKA wanted a larger-caliber gun that could be used as a battalion gun as well as in an anti-tank role, so the 1-K was quickly replaced in production by its 45 mm descendants.
By 1941 the gun was adequate only against lightly armored vehicles. Modern tanks could only be penetrated from their side and only at short (less than 300 meters) range. The situation was aggravated by low ammunition quality, which explains smaller penetration figures compared to the PaK 35/36. This was due primarily to the use of gunpowder with a nitrocelluose primer as propellant in all Soviet small arms, artillery and anti-tank artillery up until well into 1942, when British convoy shipments of Cordite and more advanced propellant technology became available.
The APHE shell itself was of the 1890s Hotchkiss naval type consisting of a hard-nosed forged-steel projectile with a base-mounted inertial deceleration shock-delay fuse with a stable explosive filler, most likely Picric Acid. Also, the APHE shells are more effective against battlefield sandbag, earthwork or log improvised fortifications and domestic buildings than equivalent-caliber impact detonating HE or fragmentation shells. APHE can be regarded as a useful dual-purpose round in many respects. Soviet Army made a continued use of obsolete APHE technology ammunition, which most nations had long abandoned for considerably improved penetration performance of solid shot AP, APC and APCBC ammunition technology.
German Rheinmetall-Borstig evaluation tests on a captured 1-K, during 1941, gave a maximum penetration of up to 42 mm of perpendicular rolled homogenous armor plate at 100 meters with APHE and up to 61 mm of perpendicular hardened carbon steel armor plate at 100 meters with APHE. (Note that all tank-building nations had abandoned the use of carburized hardened carbon steel in favor of the increased protection offered by rolled nickel-chromium homogeneous steel armor plate, cast nickel-chromium steel and cast ferro-nickel based armored alloys by the mid-1920s onwards).
By comparison the German 37 mm PaK 35/36 could penetrate up to 44 mm of perpendicular rolled homogenous armor plate at 100 meters with PzGr.18. APHE, up to 64 mm of perpendicular hardened carbon steel at 100 meters with PzGr.18. APHE, up to 65 mm of perpendicular rolled homogenous armor plate at 100 meters with PzGr.39. APCBC and up to 79 mm of perpendicular rolled homogenous armor plate at 100 meters with PzGr.40. APCR. The PaK 35/36 used Binatol as a propellant.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/28/2018 6:08:29 PM   
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When the Russians decided to upgrade their 45 mm anti-tank guns from the early Model 1932 gun – which was the standard tank gun as well – they made minor improvements to the gun. They improved the design of the breech block, which resulted in a higher rate of fire. The 45 mm anti-tank gun model 1937 (factory designation 53-K) was a light quick-firing anti-tank gun used in the first stage of the German-Soviet War. It was created by Soviet artillery designer M.N. Loginov after the arrest and execution of former designer V. von Behring. Due to insufficient armor penetration it was replaced in service by the long-barreled 45 mm anti-tank gun M1942 (M-42).
The gun 53-K was an improved version of 45 mm anti-tank gun M1932 (19-K) using modern ammunition. Other improvements comprised semi-automatic breech, sight, firing button, suspension, reliable shield mount, movable part re-balancing. The sum of evolutionary improvements have resulted in significantly different design to justify the new factory code (53-K). They continued their use of the Rheinmetall carriage, which was used by the Germans with their own 3.7cm PaK 36 guns.
The design was finalized 7 November 1936 and resulting light semi-automatic anti-tank gun was adopted for Red Army service in early 1937, and thus known as "45 mm anti-tank gun M1937." The guns also saw service in first stage of the German-Soviet War, but their anti-armor capabilities allowed them to fight successfully only with German light tanks and armored personnel carriers. Early models of the Panzer III and Panzer IV could also be knocked out at close range, but this put Soviet artillerymen in greater danger. Due to these circumstances, model 1937 guns were replaced with the all-new design, the more powerful model 1942. The mass production of outdated model 1937 guns was stopped in 1943. The total number of guns produced was 37,354.
Two such guns were employed as an anti-tank platoons, organic to each rifle battalion. Additionally a dozen (12 guns) was in anti-tank battalions at a level of a rifle division. It was also used by separate anti-tank regiments (4-5 batteries of 4 guns each).
The 45 mm anti-tank gun model 1937 had reasonably good performance, but even in 1941 the Soviets found to their dismay that the obr 1937 could not adequately handle the Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. As a result, a new barrel and sub-caliber ammunition were quickly created, which improved its penetration capabilities greatly. This weapon went into service as the Model 1942. The 45mm obr 1942 was effective against most German armor at normal Ranges, but ineffective against heavily armored vehicles.
The 45 mm obr 1942 anti-tank guns are extremely mobile in the hands of their Soviet crews, but they have to be, as the Soviets are rarely afforded the bourgeois luxury of motorized tow vehicles. They are also Small Guns allowing them to be Concealed and Gone to Ground if they are entrenched and have not moved or shot. M-42 was a 45-mm Soviet light semi-automatic anti-tank gun. Its full official name is 45-mm anti-tank gun model 1942 (M-42). These guns were used from 1942 until the end of World War II.
The M-42 was developed by the No. 172 Plant in Motovilikha as an upgrade of the 45 mm anti-tank gun M1937 (53-K). The gun received a longer barrel (L66, 20 calibers more than the previous one, so it was a 45 mm/L66), shells with more powerful cartridges, and a thicker shield (7 mm instead of 4.5 mm), but of hinged construction as a need for reduced profile, requiring crews to kneel while serving the weapon. Some minor changes were also introduced in order to speed up production.
In 1943, due to its insufficient anti-armor capabilities against new German tanks such as Tiger, Panther and Panzer IV Ausf H, the M-42 was partially replaced in mass production by more powerful 57 mm ZiS-2 anti-tank gun. The M-42 remained in production however, as it was quite effective against lighter vehicles and could pierce the side armor of Panther and Panzer IV Ausf H. Fragmentation shell and canister shot gave the gun some anti-personnel capability. Mass production of M-42 ceased in mid-1945. The total number of guns produced is 10,843.







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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/1/2018 6:52:06 PM   
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The ZiS-2 was a Soviet 57-mm anti-tank gun used during World War II. ZiS stands for Zavod imeni Stalina ("Factory named after Stalin"), the official title of Artillery Factory No. 92, which produced the gun first.
In the beginning of 1940 the design office of V. G. Grabin received from the Artillery Department the task to develop a powerful anti-tank gun. The head of this department Marshal Kulik and its subordinates estimated that the use of heavily armored tanks by the USSR in the Winter War didn't go unnoticed in Nazi Germany and would lead to development of similar fighting machines there. Therefore, Grabin and its office were guided by the characteristics of the domestic heavy tank KV-1 with 40–75 mm armor. In the opinion of developers, the optimal calibre in this case was 57 mm. The velocity and mass of the armor-piercing 57 mm projectile allowed it to attain sufficient kinetic energy to penetrate up to 90 mm of RHA while keeping the gun sufficiently light, mobile and easy to conceal. However the decision also had a downside: this caliber was new to the Red Army, so the manufacturing of the projectiles had to be started from scratch.
Development started in May 1940 and in the beginning of 1941 the gun was adopted as 57-mm anti-tank gun model 1941 (ZiS-2). Production began on June 1, 1941, but on December 1, 1941, it was stopped by marshals N. N. Voronov and G. L. Govorov, their explanation being that ZiS-2 shells go right through weakly armored German tanks without doing much harm inside. Other possible reasons for the decision were high cost of the gun and problems with shell production. By then, 371 pieces were built.
The production lines were switched to manufacturing of the ZiS-3 76.2 mm divisional gun, while Soviet anti-tank artillery received cheaper 45 mm guns. Some anti-tank regiments also received the ZiS-3, which was able to defeat any German vehicle until late 1942.
Appearance of the heavy Tiger I and then the Panther changed the balance in favor of the Germans. 45 mm guns model 1942 could only pierce the side armor of the Panther, while the ZiS-3 managed to penetrate the sides from a longer distance. Against the Tiger, the ZiS-3 was effective only from the side at close range (up to 300 m), and 45 mm pieces were nearly helpless. A more powerful gun was needed and on June 15, 1943, the ZiS-2 once again entered service as 57-mm anti-tank gun model 1943. Until 1945 9,645 units were produced.
It is a semi-automatic gun with vertical block breech. When firing the block opens and closes automatically, the loader only has to put a round into the receiver. Due to this feature the rate of fire can reach 25 rounds per minute. The split-trail carriage with gunshield was shared with the ZiS-3 divisional gun.
ZiS-2s were employed by anti-tank artillery platoons of infantry units and by anti-tank artillery units of the Reserve of High Command, the most numerous of these being anti-tank artillery regiments.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/2/2018 4:58:03 PM   
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Soviet Union started to develop anti-tank guns in late 1920s. These attempts failed to advance beyond early stages as Soviet engineers lacked experience with this type of weapon. To solve this problem the USSR received assistance from Germany. The Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany to have anti-tank artillery, but Rheinmetall secretly continued to work on anti-tank guns and in 1926 built a pre-production sample of a new 3.7 cm gun model 26. For their part the Germans were interested in any opportunity to proceed with development of this and other types of weapons. In 1929, Rheinmetall created a dummy company Butast for contacts with USSR. In accordance with the Sovnarkom decision from 8 August 1930, on 28 August in Berlin a secret agreement was signed. Germans obliged to help USSR with production of six artillery systems, including the 37 mm anti-tank gun, 76 mm anti-aircraft gun, 152 mm mortar, 152 mm howitzer, 20 mm anti-aircraft auto cannon, and the 37 mm anti-aircraft auto cannon, for $1,125 mil.
The anti-tank gun 76.2 mm obr. 02/30 was an updated model of the original 00/02P gun. The modification actually resulted in two "new" guns with different barrel lengths. It was in widespread use in 1941 and the Germans captured many, which they subsequently used throughout Europe. The 76.2 mm obr. 36, also known as the 76-36, was a standard Soviet field gun with very potent anti-tank capabilities. Introduced in 1939, it first saw action in the Winter War against Finland, and some captured by the Finns were subsequently used against their former owners. It seems the Germans captured practically all the remaining guns of this type, and were so impressed by them that they rebuilt and issued many as the 7.62 cm PaK 36r.
The 76.2 mm obr. 39, also called the 76-39, was a Soviet field gun also had a designed antitank capability. It was intended as a replacement for the 76-36 since it was lighter and thus easier to manhandle. Also exists a later obr. 42 (76-42), which had a new carriage and a muzzle brake. These two models became the standard Soviet light artillery/medium AT guns for the duration of the war, with four constituting a battery. The high velocity 76 mm gun was called the "crash-boom" by the Germans, due to its supersonic shell exploding on the target before the defenders could hear the sound of the gun firing. Any gun whose shell traveled faster than the speed of sound could actually be called a crash-boom, but this nickname was applied primarily to the 76 mm types since they were so commonly encountered.
The mainstay of the Red Army artillery arm was the 76.2 mm ZIS-3 gun. Officially accepted into service in early 1942, the ZIS-3 replaced the previous 76.2 mm gun - the M.1936. The M.1936 was an excellent weapon, but too heavy, complex and expensive for Soviet needs.
The ZIS-3 was created by mating the gun from the M.1939 with the carriage of the 57mm ZIS-2 anti-tank gun. The ZIS-2 carriage couldn’t stand the power of the recoil from the 76.2 mm gun so a muzzle brake was fitted. The ZIS-3 became the first Soviet field gun to be equipped with a muzzle brake.
The ZIS-3 was very well designed and simple to produce. It took 2034 hours to construct an M.1936 gun, 1300 hours to construct an M.1939 gun, but only 909 hours to make a ZIS-3. Over 48,000 ZIS-3 guns were produced during the war, and it was a mainstay of many countries artillery forces for a long time afterward.
The ZIS-3 was a very lightweight gun for its size, and was used in a direct fire role about as often as it was used for indirect fire. The weapon served as a dual-purpose gun - capable of being used in an anti-infantry or anti-tank role. Soviet doctrine required all artillery pieces to be used as anti-tank weapons when the situation required; even if the guns had no armor-piercing ammunition they were expected to engage German panzers with high-explosive.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/3/2018 6:58:52 PM   
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The 100 mm field gun M1944 (BS-3) was a Soviet 100 mm anti-tank and field gun. The gun was successfully employed in the late stages of World War II, and remained in service into the 1950s.
Beginning in 1932 with the 45mm M1932 and the 45mm M1937, the Soviet Union followed the same path of caliber escalation. Adopted in 1942, the 45mm M42 was essentially a larger-bore copy of the German 37mm antitank gun. The M42 was quickly superseded in 1943 by the more potent caliber 57mm ZIS-2. The excellent ZIS-2 was, in turn, superseded in 1944 by the semiautomatic 100mm Field Gun M1944 (BS-3). The development team was led by V. G. Grabin.
Originally based on a naval design and mounted on a dual-tire split trail carriage, the M1944 fired a 35-pound high-explosive shell to a maximum range of 22,966 yards and an antitank projectile to an effective range of 1,093 yards. With a crew of six, the M1944 was capable of firing up to 10 rounds per minute.
In the Second World War the BS-3 was successfully used as a powerful anti-tank gun. It was capable of defeating any contemporary tank at long range, excluding the Tiger Ausf B. To destroy that heavy tank the gun needed to shoot at less than 1600 m from the target. The gun was also used as a field gun. Though in this role it was less powerful than the 122 mm A-19, as it fired a smaller round, the BS-3 was more mobile and had a higher rate of fire. The gun was employed by light artillery brigades of tank armies (20 pieces along with 48 ZiS-3) and by corps artillery.
The BS-3 entered production in 1944, and then only 341 were built that year: 66 at Zavod Number 7, 275 at Zavod Number 232. In 1945, including the last half of the year when the war was effectively over, another 1140 were built: 720 at Zavod 7, and 420 at Zavod 232.
The first artillery units with the 100mm gun were not actually antitank units. According to a General Staff order GOKO-6270ss dated 29 July 1944, 5 Corps Artillery Brigades were to be formed to shtat 8/613 and 8/917 with 2 regiments, one of 20 152mm howitzers and one with 20 100mm BS-3 cannon. (Most of the Corps Brigades so formed never went to the front, but instead were reformed as Howitzer Brigades in late 1944, probably so that the 100mm cannon could be diverted to antitank units)
Initially, one battery in each antitank regiment was going to be equipped with 100mm guns, but this order was rescinded in December 1944, when a new NKO Order, number 0050 dated 25 December 1944, ordered that one regiment in each of 12 antitank artillery brigades was to be re-equipped with 100mm guns (16 per regiment) by 15 January 1945. When the 9th Guards Army was formed in early 1945, it received a 13th antitank brigade with a 100mm gun regiment, and also three new Corps Artillery Brigades (61st, 62nd, 63rd Guards) each equipped with a regiment of 100mm guns.
Therefore, by the end of the war in Europe, the Red Army had 13 antitank brigades and 3 Corps Artillery Brigades each with one regiment of 100mm guns, for a total of 268 BS-3 100mm cannon in service with the units.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/4/2018 7:55:28 PM   
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The DShK 1938 ("Degtyaryov-Shpagin Large-Calibre") is a Soviet heavy machine gun firing the 12.7×108mm cartridge. It took its name from the weapons designers Vasily Degtyaryov, who designed the original weapon, and Georgi Shpagin, who improved the cartridge feed mechanism. It is sometimes nicknamed Dashka (familiar form of female name Daria) in Russian-speaking countries, from the abbreviation. Like many Soviet-made weapons, the DShK has proven tough, powerful, and blessed with longevity. However, its critics deride it as cumbersome, antiquated, and unreliable in rugged conditions.
The requirement for a heavy machine gun appeared in 1929. The first such gun, the Degtyaryov, Krupnokalibernyi (DK, Degtyaryov, large caliber), was built in 1930, and this gun was produced in small quantities from 1933 to 1935. About the DShK, it is often mentioned that how it took several years for the Russian gunsmith and inventor Vasily Degtyarev to perfect his heavy machine gun. What is often unmentioned is when the Soviet Union’s ambitious Five-Year Plans got underway in the late 1920s there was a huge effort to advance the domestic arms industry. Although Degtyarev was one of the most talented small arms, designers in the Soviet Union the prototype he finished in 1930 had a glaring flaw. Appears the machine gun’s first iterations were problematic because of a poorly designed belt-fed loading mechanism. The machinegun had the nasty habit of jamming and tearing up its 12.7x108mm round’s cartridge belt when ejecting its shells. The Red Army found this unacceptable and by 1938 a new rotary feed cylinder created by Georgy Shpagin was incorporated into the machine gun. Thus was born the Degtyarev Shpagin Heavy Caliber—the DShK’s name in English.
The gun was fed from a drum magazine of thirty rounds, and had a poor rate of fire. Shpagin developed a belt feed mechanism to fit to the DK giving rise, in 1938, to the adoption of the gun as the DShK 1938. This became the standard Soviet heavy machine gun in World War II. The gas operated and fully automatic DShK 38 arrived right on time for the apocalyptic World War II. At first, the machine gun came with a 50-round belt in a square magazine and was transported using a detachable trolley that included a quaint shield. An ingenious aspect of the DShK’s trolley, which was allegedly designed by the inventor I.N. Kalesnikov, is it can be taken apart and reconfigured as a tripod that allowed for greater gun elevation when targeting aircraft.
The DShK 1938, as an infantry heavy support weapon it used frequently deployed with a two-wheeled mounting and a single-sheet armor-plate shield. It was also mounted in vehicle turrets, for example, in the T-40 light amphibious tank.
In terms of firepower, the DShK outperformed the American M2 machine gun and other 12.7-mm heavy machine guns. It has more muzzle energy due to its longer cartridge. At a range of 500 m the DShK penetrates up to 15 mm of rolled homogenous armor.
The DShK was used throughout the Red Army but it wasn’t as common as the 7.62 mm Degtyarev or the Maxim. Thanks to its excellent range and design, it found a niche aboard armored trains, submarines, boats, aircraft, and most importantly the Joseph Stalin-series heavy tank and the monstrous ISU-152 tank destroyer.






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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/5/2018 6:21:18 PM   
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With World War I switching into a trench warfare phase late in 1914, a need for a highly mobile artillery system to be used against enemy machine gun emplacements and other strongpoints became apparent. In 1915 colonel M. F. Rosenberg, a member of the Artillery Committee, developed such a weapon.
The 37mm trench gun M1915 was a Russian battalion gun employed in World War II. This diminutive sup-port piece entered service with Imperial Russian Army in 1915 and in 1941 was still in limited use, probably with second-line units. Was designed to destroy enemy machine gun nests or other light targets.
The gun was compact enough to fit into machine gun emplacements. It weighed only about 180 kg and could be dismantled into three pieces - barrel (about 74 kg), carriage (82 kg) and wheels (25 kg), making it easy to move around. To protect the crew from enemy fire, the gun was equipped with a shield 6 or 8 mm thick. The weapon was sufficiently accurate at ranges of up to roughly 1 mile or about 1.6 km—this was earlier set out as 1,000-1,200 paces, and a pace is normally the height of the person walking, so this is not a uniform measure
Beginning in early 1917 each infantry regiment was to have a permanent Flamethrower-Trench Gun Detachment, armed with 12 portable flamethrowers and four Rosenberg guns. The plan was never implemented.
The flamethrower detachments were trained by February of 1917, but before they could be deployed to the front the March Revolution forced the Tsar to abdicate and the armed forces were thrown into chaos. The flamethrower detachments never made it to the infantry regiments. Instead, the 14 Chemical Detachments (each army at the front had its own Chemical Detachment) would temporarily attach flame-chemical sappers armed with flamethrowers to individual divisions or brigades within its army.
Apparently most infantry regiments never received their batteries of four trench guns, either.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/6/2018 6:20:47 PM   
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The Red Army placed much greater emphasis on using the artillery in a direct fire role (as opposed to shelling an out of sight target indirectly) than other armies of the time. Soviet doctrine encouraged gunners to drag their weapons forward and blast the enemy over open sights. There were a number of reasons for this. Direct fire was less wasteful of ammunition than indirect shelling which was considered an inefficient way of destroying the enemy. The Soviet Union experienced severe ammunition shortages for its artillery early in the war. This was because the ammunition factories were mostly positioned further west than the gun factories. In 1941 the invading German army quickly overran the ammunition production facilities, while many of the artillery factories were evacuated to safety. As a consequence, there was a massive imbalance between the number of guns produced and the amount of ammunition produced. By the end of 1942 the Soviets had increased gun production three times faster than they increased ammunition production. Ammunition shortages encouraged the use of direct fire. Also, the Red Army was always short of radios and this made it difficulty to arrange artillery fire at short notice. The Red Army mainly relied on field telephones to communicate, and telephone lines were cumbersome to lay and vulnerable to being severed by enemy fire.
The soviet artillery industry developed an improved version from the 76 LK 13 gun. There were two infantry gun models. The main difference between the types, were the wheels. The weight of the gun with metal wheels and rubber tires was 902 - 920 kg. The gun was intended for destruction of light field fortifications and openly placed personnel by direct fire. HEAT shell gave it limited anti-tank capabilities.
The 76 mm regimental gun M1927 was a Soviet infantry support gun. The gun was developed in 1927 by the design bureau of Orudiyno-Arsenalny Trest (OAT) and entered production in 1928. A total of 16,482 pieces were built. On June 22, 1941, the Red Army had 4,708 of these guns. In 1943 the gun was replaced in production by the 76 mm regimental gun M1943, but remained in service until the end of the war.
The M1927 was issued to rifle and cavalry regiments of the Red Army. Artillery battalion of rifle brigade included one battery of M1927. Some guns were used by anti-tank artillery battalions. Each Soviet infantry regiment had 6 guns of this type. A total of 54 guns were captured during the Winter War by the Finns, as several soviet regiments were annihilated.
The 76-mm regimental gun M1943 was a Soviet infantry support gun developed in 1943 by M. Yu. Tsiryulnikov at the ordnance plant in Motovilikha. The gun used a modernized barrel from the 76 mm regimental gun M1927 and the carriage from the 45 mm anti-tank gun M1942 (M-42). The gun was intended for destruction of light field fortifications and openly placed personnel by direct fire. HEAT shells gave it limited anti-armor capabilities. 76.2-mm regimental guns M1943 completely replaced M1927 guns in production that year and were built until the end of the German-Soviet War. Soon after the end of the war the production ceased due to insufficient range and muzzle velocity.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/7/2018 7:38:22 PM   
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The Red Army of the USSR divided mortars into company (RM) battalion (BM) and regimental (HM) mortars. Development of a light 50mm company mortar started in 1937. The RM-38 was approved for use in 1938 and entered production in 1939. In the space of just over a year RM-39, RM-40 and RM-41 replaced each other in succession. RM-41 remained in production until 1943, when the USSR decided to cease making 50mm mortars. Only RM-41 was new design the others being incremental improvements of the original RM-38.
The 50 mm Model 38 was the result of a long series of Russian experiments to produce a light infantry mortar. The RM-38 was a Soviet 50 mm light infantry mortar, developed as a variant of the M1938 120 mm mortar. For its task it turned out to be rather more complicated and expensive than the production requirements demanded and it was produced in small numbers only before being replaced by the Model 1939. The RM-38 or 50-RM 38 (50-mm company mortar model 1938) was based on the Stokes mortar. It was further developed as the RM-39 and RM-40. Despite the small number produced, some fell into German hands in 1941, who introduced them as the 5 cm Granatwerfer 205/1(r).
The problem of having only two fixed elevations and thus needing to adjust the range with the complex adjustment of gas escape made for inaccurate ranging and was dangerous to the mortar-man as well. The minimum shooting range of 200m was felt to be impractical in Red Army use as well.
The mortar RM-39 added a protective shield which directed the escaping hot gases away from the operator.
The 50 mm Model 1940 was produced in large numbers and it was a popular and effective weapon that could be easily and cheaply produced as its base plate and bipod were simple steel stampings. The barrel reverted to the two fixed elevation angles as on the Model 1938 and again range variation was brought about by gas vents. The bipod was further simplified by incorporating a novel and simple method of cross-levelling for laying which was so successful it was used on later and heavier mortars.
Trials were carried out using three barrels on one Model 1940 base plate and bipod which were intended to be fired together but the experiment was not a success.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/8/2018 6:29:26 PM   
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The family of Soviet of 82mm mortars is often called the M37 as this was the most produced version of this mortar. The M37 is an improved version of the M36 with the main difference being the round base plate. The M37M is the newest version of the M37 family. It was developed after the M41 and M43 designs proved to be disappointing. The bipod and base-plate have been lightened. It can be identified by the muzzle safety device.
The M37 mortar is a conventional 82mm mortar of Russian design. It was developed just before World War 2 in which it proved itself as the standard Soviet mortar. Alternative names are the PM-37 and M1937. The M37 is one of the most produced mortars in the world. The M36, M37 and M37M are fitted with a conventional bipod system with manual elevation and traverse. The M-37 or 82-BM-37 is a Soviet 82 millimeter caliber mortar designed by B.I. Szayrin and accepted into service in 1937. The design of the M-37 is based on the earlier French Brandt 27/31 mortar with Russian modifications. The main difference between the 82-PM-37 and the earlier 82-PM-36 was the adoption of a round base-plate, revised traverse/elevation controls, simplified sights and spring-loaded shock absorbers on the bipod to reduce the amount of relaying needed between shots. The M-37M is an improved version with lighter base plate and a device to prevent double loading. The M37 is a very rugged and easy to use weapon system. It is able to fire 15 to 25 round per minute out to a range of 3 km. Judged by today’s standards the M37 is fairly heavy and has a limited range. For most purposes, the M37 will still do and those that are still in service remain a very potent weapon system.
Due to the initial need to rectify design issues 1937 Model mortars continued to be used during World War II and produced alongside Models 1941 and 1943. As many Model 1937 Mortars were lost early in the war, this mortar served in the Battle for Moscow, Battle of Stalingrad, Battle of Kursk, and other campaigns, operations and engagements of the first three years of the war. The M37 is normally transported in a light vehicle and can be carried in several pieces over short distances.
The 82-pm-41 (82mm mortar Model 1941) was a Soviet 82-millimeter caliber mortar developed during the Second World War as an infantry battalion mortar, and which begun production in 1941. The M41 is a modified version of the M37 mortar. The bipod has been replaced by a T-shaped bipod with each bipod leg acting as an axle to which road wheels can be attached. The idea was to improve the mobility of the M37, but the bipod proved to be unstable. It differed from the Model 1937 by the presence of a removable wheelbase, by the arched construction base plate (as in 107-mm and 120-mm mortars), and a different two-legged construction. Wheels were slipped over the semi-axis of the bipod feet and removed during firing. Design improvements were made to reduce weight and production cost, and improve maneuverability. The ballistic data of the Model 1941 mortar were analogous to the Model 1937. The 82-mm mortar Model 1941 was more convenient to transport than the Model 1937, but was less steady during firing and had a worse center of gravity.
To correct shortcomings of the 82-mm mortar Model 1941 it was modernized during initial production; the construction of the bipod, wheel and fastening of the sight was changed. The modernized mortar was called the 82-mm mortar Model 1943. The M43 is another attempt to increase the mobility of the M37. It differs from the M41 in that the bipod has dedicated feet and the wheel are permanently fixed above those feet. Just as with the M41 the M43 was discontinued in favor of the improved M37 mortar.
The M41 and M43 have an integrated two-wheel carriage, but the improved mobility did not outweigh the reduced performance. The M41 and M43 have a bipod that acts as a carriage as well while being fitted with two wheels.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/9/2018 9:37:32 PM   
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The Red Army has a long tradition of favoring the artillery arm. Soviet commanders called the artillery the "God of War" and believed it to be a decisive, battle-winning arm. The Soviet Union began a program of modernizing its artillery arm during the 1930s, and so entered World War 2 with a range of very modern and effective guns and howitzers. The surprise German invasion in 1941 threw the Red Army into chaos and a huge amount of men and equipment was lost. It took time to rebuild the artillery arm up to full strength and potency, but by the late war period, the Soviet army was renowned for the strength and power of its artillery.
The artillery fired indirectly to prepare the way for an assault, to bring down defensive walls of fire in front of Soviet troops under attack, as well firing in counter-battery roles to destroy enemy artillery.
The Soviet 107mm M1938 mortar was a scaled-down version of the 120mm M1938 mortar intended for use by mountain troops and light enough to be towed by animals on a trolley. In World War II, the 107mm mortar was saw service with Soviet mountain infantry as a divisional artillery weapon, although not exclusively.
The mortar fired a lighter high explosive round (OF-841) and a heavier HE round (OF-841A). The lighter HE round actually carried a larger bursting charge than the heavier round. Both rounds used GVMZ-series point detonation fuzes. The original 107mm heavy mortar round fired by “107-GVPM-38” heavy mortar was a streamlined HE-type (High Explosive) anti-personnel fragmentation mortar round, with a finned tail (10 fins) unit, which carries the out-shooting cartridge. Mortar round’s body was casted of mild steel followed by machine processing. Bursting charge of T.N.T. inside, screw-threaded fuse hole in the head. Mortar’s fin tail unit was designed to receive an out-shooting cartridge charge.
The steel fragmentation high-explosive shell (light), OF-841, is fired from the 107mm mountain-pack regimental mortar M1938. The OF-841 is supplied with propellant increments and ignition cartridges which are for use in the 107mm mountain-pack regimental mortar M1938 only; however, the OF-841A, OF-841T and D-841 are supplied with propellant increments and ignition cartridges designed for use with 120mm mortar rounds in the 120mm regimental mortar, as well as with the propellant increments and ignition cartridges for the 107mm mountain-pack regimental mortar. Firing tables indicate that the OF-841 can be fired only with 107mm Charges 1 and 3.
The GVMZ and GVMZ-1 fuses are used in this shell. This cast iron fragmentation high-explosive shell, OF-841A, is fired from the 107mm mountain-pack regimental mortar M1938. It can be distinguished from the steel fragmentation high-explosive mortar shell, OF-841T, by the "A" at the end of the code number, and by a half-inch-wide black band just forward of the fin assembly. The location of the black band also distinguishes this shell from the smoke shell, D-841. In other respects, this round is similar to the OF-841T and the D-841. Dimensions are approximately the same, and the same propellant increments, ignition cartridges, and fuses (GVMZ and GVMZ-1) are used.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/10/2018 7:23:34 PM   
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The 120-PM-38 or M1938 was a 120 mm Soviet mortar that was used in large numbers by the Red Army during World War II. Although a conventional design its combination of light weight, mobility, heavy firepower and range saw its features widely copied by successive generations of mortars.
The origins of the M1938 lay in the French Mortier Brandt de 120mm Model 1935 and the Brandt 27/31 which the Soviet Union produced under license as the 82-PM-36. The Soviet 120 mm was the first modern 120mm mortar developed by any country, entering production in 1939. The Red Army made significant use of its heavy caliber by treating it as an artillery piece in World War II. In 1937 the Soviets produced a modified version of the 82-PM-36 known as the 82-PM-37 and this mortar served as the pattern for the 120-PM-38. The main difference between the 82-PM-37 and the earlier 82-PM-36 was the adoption of a round base-plate, revised traverse/elevation controls, simplified sights and spring-loaded shock absorbers on the bipod to reduce the amount of relaying needed between shots. The 120-PM-38 is essentially a scaled up 82-PM-37 which uses the same two-wheeled limber as the 107 mm PBHM-38. The limber works in much the same way as a hand truck. The limber is wheeled vertically into place, hooks on the base-plate hook onto the limber, the barrel is clamped down and then everything is lowered into towing position. The limber can either be towed directly or attached to a 20-round caisson for towing by a vehicle or horse team. This mortar weights 285 kg, it can be separated into 3 parts. The longest range of this mortar is 5700m.
The 120-PM-38 was typically deployed to support infantry units and is the heaviest weapon that can still be broken down and transported by soldiers on foot. At first the 120-PM-38 was employed at the regimental level for indirect fire support in place of artillery, but as World War II continued it was issued down to the battalion level to supplement lighter mortars.
Getting the 120-PM-38 into and out of action was relatively rapid, so batteries were often moved to avoid counter-battery fire. Due to its rate of fire and large shell a battery of four mortars could lay down a heavy amount of fire in a short period of time, which was useful for hit and run tactics. Another useful feature was the circular base-plate which allowed for changes in traverse without the need to dig out the base-plate and realign the barrel. Later 120-PM-43 mortars had a larger single shock absorber on the bipod to counteract the tendency of the base-plate to dig in on soft ground.
During the early phases of Operation Barbarossa the Germans captured large quantities of Soviet hardware including the 120-PM-38 which they designated the 12 cm Granatwerfer 378(r). After being on the receiving end of the 120-PM-38's firepower they adopted it to supplement their own mortars and eventually produced a modified version called the 12 cm Granatwerfer 42.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/11/2018 9:34:54 PM   
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Due to communications problems Soviet artillery doctrine emphasized making detailed plans covering hours or even days of firing before and during an attack. The level of pre-planning was necessary because the army was not as capable of doing the sort of flexible, impromptu fire called in by observers that the Americans and British excelled at.
The enemy positions were to be smashed by this intense preparatory bombardment to allow the attacking infantry to easily breakthrough, the masses of armor would pour through the gap created in the enemy lines. As the war progressed the Red Army fielded heavier and heavier concentrations of artillery. Artillery density often reached 320-480 pieces per mile of front in late war battles. German defenders reported that the Soviet bombardments were crushingly heavy but not always that precise or accurate. Skilled German commanders, such as Colonel General Heinrici learnt to evacuate their forward defensive line just before the Soviet bombardment was scheduled to begin.
The Soviet 160 mm Mortar M1943 was a smoothbore breech loading heavy mortar which fired a 160 mm bomb. The M1943 (also called the MT-13) was one of the heaviest mortar used by Soviet troops in World War II. The M43 is towed by its barrel behind a light truck. It is too heavy to be moved by infantry.
Originally a simple scaling-up of the 120 mm M1938 mortar, it soon became apparent that drop-loading a 40 kg bomb into a 3 meter high tube would be too difficult for any man to do. It was redesigned into a breech loading weapon, and contains a substantial recoil system to soak up the massive shock of firing a 160 mm bomb and prevent the baseplate from burying itself too deeply. The barrel sits in a cradle which is attached to a baseplate and tripod. To load the weapon, the barrel is hinged forward which exposes the rear end of the tube. The bomb is then loaded, retained in place by a catch, and the barrel is swung back into the cradle, which in effect closes the breech.
The M43 has a maximum range of 5.2 km. The longer barreled M160 has a range of 8 km. The rate of fire is 3 rounds per minute. Around 535 of these weapons were fielded with Soviet forces during the war.
The Soviet Army deployed the 160-mm mortar in brigades of 32 mortars each. The brigades were composed of four battalions of eight mortars each. Such brigades were part of the artillery divisions formed from 1944 onward.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/12/2018 8:25:23 PM   
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The SG-43 Goryunov (Stankovyy pulemet sistemi Goryunova, meaning "Mounted machinegun, Goryunov design") was a Soviet medium machine gun that was introduced during the Second World War. It was chambered for the 7.62×54mmR cartridge, and was introduced in 1943 as a replacement for the older M1910 Maxim machine guns. It was mounted on wheeled mounts, tripods and armored vehicles.
The DS-39 adopted in 1939, were quite unsatisfactory, so in 1942 an official request was issued for new heavy machine gun of standard rifle caliber. Development of the new MG was started in the may of 1942, and it was developed by the team lead by the P.M.Goryunov at the Kovrov Machinegun plant. Less than one year later new machine gun had been sent for army trials to the front, and in the may of 1943 this weapon was adopted as a "7.62mm mounted machine gun system Gorjunov", or SG-43 in short.
The SG-43 used a tilting breechblock, moving sideways and locking into the side of the receiver. The feed is not straightforward, as the gun fires the 7.62×54mmR round, and this has to be withdrawn rearwards from the belt before ramming into the breech. The reciprocating motion is achieved by using two claws to pull the round from the belt, and then an arm pushes the round into the cartridge guide ready for the bolt to carry it to the breech. Despite this complication, the SG-43 was remarkably reliable and feed jams were apparently few.
The barrel is air-cooled and massively dense, contributing to a fairly high overall weight. The bore is chromium-plated and able to withstand continuous fire for long periods. The barrel can also be easily changed by releasing a simple lock, and the carrying handle allows a hot barrel to be lifted clear without difficulty. The World War II version of the gun had a smooth outline to the barrel, and the cocking handle was under the receiver, with no dust covers to the feed and ejection ports.
The SG-43 could be mounted on the universal wheeled mount, designed by the Degtyarev. This mount allowed for both ground and anti-aircraft roles. Early mounts were equipped by the steel shield, but it was latter omitted due to marginal protection and heavy weight. After the end of World War II, the SG-43 was improved and renamed SGM ("M" for modernized).





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/13/2018 9:42:17 PM   
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Soviet artillery crew. Family photo




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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/14/2018 7:15:10 PM   
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Soviet availability of Artillery and Teams




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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/15/2018 8:13:34 PM   
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The BA-3 (Russian: Broneavtomobil 3) was a heavy armored car developed in the Soviet Union in 1933, followed by a slightly changed model BA-6 in 1936. Both were based mostly on BA-I, the most important development being the new turret, same as in the T-26 m 1933 and BT-5 tanks, and also equipped with the 45 mm main gun. Around 180 BA-3 cars were built at the Izhorskij and Vyksunskij factories, until production ended in 1935. BA-6 followed with 386 cars produced between 1936 and 1938 in Izhorskij factory. Most of BA-3 production was based on the Ford-Timken chassis, a 6×4 modification of the US Ford AA 4×2 truck, but the last batch was built on Russian version of the same chassis - GAZ-AAA, continued to be used in BA-6. The biggest limitation of the BA-3 was the mobility, limited to roads or very hard ground, the result of unnecessarily large weight. The innovation that slightly improved mobility were the auxiliary ("Overall") tracks that could be fitted onto the rear tandem wheels, converting the car to half-track.
The BA-3 is externally very similar to the BA-6; the BA-3 retained door in the rear of the hull that was not present in the BA-6. More important improvement of BA-6 were the new GK tires, filled with sponge (porous rubber), and thus much less vulnerable to small-caliber fire. On the downside, the tires reduced both the speed and range of the vehicle, despite it had a somewhat thinned armor. BA-3/6 cars were superseded by BA-10 model. All cars of this series were very heavily armed for the era; they could knock out other vehicles with ease, including tanks. However, their thin armor made them vulnerable to heavy machine gun fire and small caliber cannon fire. A prototype railway BA-3ZD variant was created in 1936, but was not accepted for production. The BA-6ZD was produced in limited numbers.
The BA-3/6 were used in combat in the Spanish Civil War, against the Japanese in the Battle of Khalkhyn Gol, in the Finnish Winter War, and against the Germans in the early stages of the Eastern Front. Ironically, the German Army used a few Spanish-built six-wheeled armored cars that were close copies of the BA-3/6 series. Later in the war, the BA-3/6/10 were replaced in the Red Army's heavy scout vehicle role by light tanks, such as the T-60 and T-70.
A few captured BA-3 cars were used by Finnish army under designation BAF A (sometimes also BA-32-1), and captured BA-6 cars under designation BAF B.
The BA-10 (Russian: Broneavtomobil 10) was an armored car developed in the Soviet Union in 1938 and produced till 1941. It was the most produced Soviet pre-1941 heavy armored car – 3311 were built in three versions. These versions were the BA-10, the BA-10M (improved version with new radio), and the BA-10ZhD (equipped for dual railway/road use). The basic BA-10 design was developed from the BA-3 and BA-6 heavy armored cars. It had an improved GAZ-AAA chassis and improved armor (up to 15mm at front and turret). It was intended that the BA-10 would be replaced in 1941 by the BA-11 with diesel engine and more sophisticated armor design, but the outbreak of war prevented BA-11 production. The BA-10 was in Red Army service until 1945. Significant numbers of captured BA-10s were used by Finland (at least 24), Germany and other Axis powers in Europe.
During the late 1930s, Soviet armoured fighting vehicle designers incorporated sloped armor into all their new designs, and redesigned some existing vehicles to take advantage of it. The BA-10 used a slightly smaller, better-sloped armor layout than that of the BA-6, thus improving protection while saving weight. The greater engine power (50 hp, compared to 40 hp on the BA-6) made the vehicle more reliable.
Like its predecessors, the BA-10 could be converted to a half-track by fitting auxiliary tracks to the rear pair of dual tandem wheels. On early BA-10s, these tracks were stowed strapped on top of the fenders. Later vehicles had an enclosed stowage box for the tracks in the same location. The tracks were often fitted when the vehicle needed to move across snow or soft ground.
The BA-10 first saw action against the Japanese in Manchuria at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in 1939.
During World War II the BA-10 was used against the Germans on the Eastern Front, but was rarely seen after the winter of 1941–42. Later in the war, the heavy scouting role was taken over by light tanks such as the T-60 and T-70. A few BA-10s were seen as late as 1943 on the Leningrad front.
Large numbers of captured BA-10s were used by Axis powers in Europe. In May 1945 a few BA-10s of ROA fought alongside the defenders of the Prague uprising.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/16/2018 6:52:18 PM   
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In 1936, the successor of the FAI-M, the BA-20 does its apparition. This light armored car was based on the chassis of the GAZ-M1 equally but had a thicker armor and an angled turret plates. The BA-20 was an armored car developed in the Soviet Union in 1934. It was intended to replace the FAI and its field trials were completed in 1935. The BA-20 was then used in the early stages of World War II. The BA-20 (Bronieavtomobi: Armored Automobile), was a modernization of the older BA-27 and BA-27M armored cars. It consisted of an armored body topped by a MG turret, all on a modified 4x2 Ford Model A chassis with an updated Model A engine. It was used for security and reconnaissance missions. Approximately 4,800 armored cars (of all types) were in Soviet service in June 1941.
The command version was equipped of an antenna-frame that was replaced by an antenna whip on the improved version, the BA-20M. A version on rail was equally realized, the BA-20ZhD and produced in small quantities. The production of the BA-20 was assured by the factory Vykunskiy. In 1939, this factory developed a 3-axles version of the BA-20 on the basis of the 6x4 GAZ-21, the BA-21. Nevertheless this project as the one of the factory n°38, the LB-23 (GAZ-22 chassis) finally was abandoned.
The crew was composed from 2 to 3 men. The armament consisted in a machine gun DT of 7.62 mm supplied with 1386 bullets. Armor was composed from armor plates of 4 to 6 mm of thickness. The BA-20 measured in length 4.11 m, in width 2.13 m, in height 1.78 m and weighed 2.340 to 2.560 kg. The BA-20 was propelled by an engine GAZ-M1 developing 50 hp, could attain 90 km/h on road and traverse 350 km with its own fuel.
The principal use of the BA-20 was as a scout vehicle. The BA-20's tires were designed to be resistant to bullets and shrapnel by the simple expedient of filling them with spongey rubber. A variant, the BA-20ZhD, could travel on railway lines by replacing the normal wheels with flanged metal rail-type wheels.
The vehicle was exported to the Spanish Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, although the vast majority of BA-20s built served with the Soviet Red Army. They first saw combat in the conflict with Japan in 1939 on the Khalkin Gol river in Mongolia (see Battle of Khalkin Gol). The BA-20 was used by the Red Army in the Soviet invasion of Poland later in 1939 and the Winter War against Finland between 1939-40 in which Finland captured 18 designating them as PA-6, as well as the early stages of Operation Barbarossa in 1941. Production was ended that same year, with some 4,800 BA-20s having been constructed by that time. Some had flamethrowers instead of the DP-28.
In common with most armored cars derived from cars, the BA-20 was largely roadbound. The lack of all-wheel drive, high ground pressure, and low power prevented it from moving cross-country except on very firm ground. The armor was too thin to stop anything other than fragments or small-arms fire, and the 7.62 mm machinegun was not adequate to penetrate other scout vehicles. The Red Army produced very few wheeled armored fighting vehicles in the war, but replaced the BA-20 with the BA-64B.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/17/2018 7:43:47 PM   
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The BA-64 (Bronirovaniy Avtomobil: "armored car") was a Soviet four-wheeled armored scout car. The BA-64 was developed between July and November 1941 to replace the BA-20 then in service with armored car units of the Red Army. Cheap and exceptionally reliable, it would later become the most common Soviet wheeled armored fighting vehicle to enter service during World War II, with over 9,000 being manufactured before production ended.
The BA-64 represented an important watershed in Soviet armored car technology, as its multi-faceted hull gave its crew superior protection from small arms fire and shell fragments than the BA-20. BA-64s also possessed a much higher power-to-weight ratio and the placement of their wheels at the extreme corners of the chassis resulted in exceptional maneuverability.
In 1940, the Main Directorate of Soviet Armored Forces, issued a requirement for new armored car designs which could operate effectively on open terrain and possessed an all-wheel drive chassis. The GAZ-64 jeep was chosen as the base for the Izdeliye 64-125. This chassis was considered ideal due to its short wheel base, excellent ground clearance, and the fact that its mechanical parts were already in serial production. The original Izdeliye 64-125 bore almost no similarities with what would later become the BA-64; it resembled little more than a shorter BA-20.
The Red Army was impressed by the highly faceted armour plate on the SdKfz 221, which was angled for maximum ricochet, and he ordered that a similar hull be incorporated into the Izdeliye 64-125. In late November, GAZ assembled the first three prototypes carrying the new hull. Field trials with the Red Army commenced on January 9, 1942. The Izdeliye 64-125 was accepted for service as the BA-64 on March 14, 1942.
The BA-64 consisted of the chassis of a GAZ-64 or GAZ-67 jeep modified to accept an armored hull. The jeep chassis required some alterations to accept the hull; for example, the cooling, fuel, and electrical systems had to be relocated while the rear suspension was braced to accommodate the additional weight. Suspension consists of semi-elliptical springs front and rear, and steering is restricted to the front wheels. A BA-64's gearbox initially had one reverse and three forward gears on a two-speed transfer case, although a few models appear to have one reverse and four forward gears and no transfer case.
All BA-64 hulls were of all-welded steel construction and varied in armor thickness from 15mm on the hull front to 6mm on the hull sides. To provide maximum ballistic protection, most armor plates were angled at approximately 30°. Both the driving and engine compartments were located at the front of the hull. The crew members are seated in tandem, with the turret gunner seated behind and above the driver. The driving compartment is fitted with a one-piece hatch cover opening upwards. When the hatch is closed during combat, the driver continues to navigate via a triplex auxiliary sight. The sight was developed from a similar device on the T-60 light tank.
An open-topped turret was fitted as standard to the BA-64 series, with a single 7.62mm Degtyaryov machine gun mounted on a pintle to the right. The machine gun mount was designed for maximum elevation so it could engage low-flying aircraft or infantry in the upper floors of a building during urban combat.
Only fifty armored cars of this type were manufactured in 1942 and mass production was not undertaken until the first six months of 1943, when over a thousand were manufactured. Even after 1943, production figures never gained consistency and could fluctuate greatly from year to year due to more pressing priorities at GAZ and a few technical shortcomings of the GAZ-64 chassis which had to be resolved.
BA-64s remained unique in that they were the only new Soviet armored car design to be produced during World War II. They had better armor, speed, range, and off-road capability than any other wheeled fighting vehicles in Soviet service, although due to the limitations of the chassis they could only carry a single light machine gun. It was widely used for transporting officers, liaison purposes, reconnaissance, and other secondary battlefield tasks.





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