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The T-34 + 57mm ZiS-4 (sniper that delivers a deadly punch) thread


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DougHole #1 Posted 17 April 2011 - 10:17 PM

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I thought fans of the T34-57 might appreciate if I shared a little background I have gathered on this great tank and its wonderful 57mm gun, World of Tanks best kept secret:
until you're on the recieving end of it!


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T34-57 Production
source http://www.militaryphotos.net http://www.modeldads.co.uk
On June 13, 1940, president of the Security Council S.Timoshenko referred to Central Committee of the Communist Party and SNK USSR the report "...about insufficient power of the armament of existing KV and T-34 tanks, and about other prospective tank projects". On June 27, the special session of the SNK was devoted to that question. Session acknowledged the insufficient power of the 45 mm tank guns and considered them as having no perspective. To replace them, new 55-60 mm guns should be developed.

At that time, Grabin's design bureau was working already on 57 mm antitank gun (ZIS-2), that's why it was ordered to develop a tank variant of that 57 mm gun, but first drafts of such gun was already developed by Grabin's initiative.

The manufacture of the first prototype of 57 mm tank gun had launched in September 1940, but until December manufactoring preparations were slow because improvement and mass production of the 76.2 mm F-34 tank gun overloaded factory. Nevertheless, in the beginning of December 1940, the very first prototype of 57 mm tank gun was manufactured. Till the end of March 1941, being mounted on gun-carriage, it was on factory trials. In April 1941, gun was mounted on production T-34 and sent to ANIOP for trials on the proving ground. Those trials have revealed an extremely short life of its barrel (overheated after 100-150 shots) and low accuracy.

In July 1941, an improved gun, being named ZIS-4, was installed in T-34 and tested again on Sofrino proving ground. Trials were successful and gun was recommended for service in spite of its cost price. ZIS-4 was too expensive mostly because of very long barrel. Nevertheless its price, gun was accepted for service because of high demand of powerful antitank guns. ZIS-4 was intended to rearm some production T-34 to convert them into "tank-hunters" (T-34-75). Following the order of NKV, ZIS-4 was set up for mass production on factory #92.

Mass production of those guns started in August 1941. In September 1941 it was temporary delayed and on December 1, 1941, it was cancelled. That was because of shortage of 57 mm ammunition and productional expenses. According to report of Ministry of Ammunition (Narkomat Boepripasov), in 1941 the Factory # 92 has manufactured 133 ZIS-4 guns.

Until evacuation, KhPZ had received 21 guns for reaming some production T-34s. STZ had received 20 guns. From October 1, 1941, T-34-57 must been manufactured on "Krasnoye Sormovo" Factory, but despite best my effort, I was unable to find any records in factory's statistic reports.

The project of 57 mm gun was resumed in 1943, when it become clear that all existing guns could not combat with German heavies. In May 1943, the "T-34 tank-hunter" and "KV tank-hunter" were accepted for service again. They were armed with modernised ZIS-4M tank gun that distinguished from its base model by following:

- the gun received a new breech-block that was unified with F-34, ZIS-2, ZIS-3 and ZIS-5;
- the semi-automatic mechanism of the breech-block was simplified;
- the muff's fastening was improved.

The ZIS-4 wasn't provided with panoramic sight, T-34-57 was one of the first tank, that received the MK-4 periscope. Tank didn't have commander's cupola. Specially for successful combat with German heavy tanks, "tank-hunters" had "the armour piercing round of the extra power" that achieved the muzzle velocity of 1010 m/s. However, usage of that ammunition decreased significantly the barrel's life. So, after manufacturing of small party of these rounds (less than 2800 rounds total), this ammunition was removed from mass production and withdrawn from the Red Army.

The T-34-57 in Action
"Tank-hunters" of the first party have participated the Battle for Moscow in 1941-1942. In particular, there were 10 T-34-57 in the 21st Tank Brigade, that was formed in Vladimir. On October 14, the brigade has been deployed at Demidov rail station and a day later it was ordered to advance on Turchinovo-Pushkino-Troyanovo and make a flank strike on German troops deployed near Kalinin. Starshiy politruk (Soviet rank) E.Gmurya drove his tank along the Volokolamsk highway had met with big column of German trucks.
His tank has destroyed the whole column of 3-km length. After that, tank rushed in German aerodrome and has destroyed a heavy bomber. After that, tank was knocked out by German artillery, two crewmembers were killed. Politruk Gmyrya and sergeant Ishenko escaped and rejoined Red Army. After 4 days, 21st Tank Brigade destroyed 3 German staffs, about 1,000 soldiers, 34 tanks, 210 trucks and 31 guns. Brigade has lost its commander - Hero of the Soviet Union, major Lukin and commander of the 1st battalion Hero of the Soviet Union captain Agibalov. By November 25, all "tank-hunters" of the 21st Tank Brigade were lost.

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source: www.worldaffairsboard.com

The new T-34-57 "tank-hunters" had appeared on the frontline in August 1943.They've been attached to "special tank company 100". That company had three T-34-57s in its first platoon from August 15 to September 5, 1943. Unfortunately, "tank-hunters" were unlucky. During all those weeks, the company would meet German tanks only once, but in that time the 1st platoon was in reserve and didn't engage the battle. So, "tank-hunters" were unable to prove their efficiency against German armours. Nevertheless, commander of that company captain Volosatov and delegate of the GABTU colonel Zaitzev, have praised T-34-57 very high after shot practice on knocked out German tanks and captured pillboxes and bunkers.

Posted Image
source: photobucket.com

The main drawback of the ZIS-4 and the ZIS-4M tank gun was very low quality of HE projectiles: they either exploded partially or didn't explode at all. During 1943, the Factory #92 had manufactured 172 ZIS-4M guns, then it mass production was cancelled in favour of 85 mm guns. Although, according to factory's report on 1944, it had manufactured additional 19 ZIS-4Ms, perhaps to repair some existing "tank-hunters". The Soviet 57mm anti-tank gun was an incredibly useful tank hunting tool.

T34 Variants
The T-34 (German designation: T-34/76) was the original tank with a 76.2 mm gun.
Model 1940 (T-34/76A): Early production run with interim L-11 76.2 mm tank gun in a two-man turret.
Model 1941 (T-34/76B): Main production with heavier armour and the superior F-34 76.2 mm gun.
Model 1942 (T-34/76C): Many minor manufacturing improvements.
Model 1943 (T-34/76D, E, and F): New cast hexagonal turret, nicknamed "Mickey Mouse" by the Germans because of its appearance with the twin, round turret-roof hatches open. Main production had a new commander's cupola.
T-34/57: Fewer than 324 T-34s in 1941 and 1943–44 were fitted with the ZiS-4 or the ZIS-4M high-velocity 57 mm gun to be used as tank hunters. Some of them took part in the Battle of Moscow.
The T-34-85 (T-34/85) was a major improvement with a three-man turret and long 85 mm gun.
Model 1943: Short production run of February–March 1944 with D-5T 85 mm gun
Model 1944: Main production, with simpler ZiS-S-53 85 mm gun, radio moved from the hull into a turret with improved layout and new gunner's sight
source: Wikipedia.org

http://ww2drawings.j.../1-Vehicles(bis)/USSR/5-TankDestroyers/T-34.57/p1.jpg
http://ww2drawings.j.../1-Vehicles(bis)/USSR/5-TankDestroyers/T-34.57/p1.jpg
http://ww2drawings.j.../1-Vehicles(bis)/USSR/5-TankDestroyers/T-34.57/p3.jpg
source: ww2drawings.jexiste

Jamezdin #2 Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:16 AM

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nice!

Pr0_E #3 Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:36 AM

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Great reading, thanks mate! :) And this gun is so much fun in game, grinding to T34-85 variant takes some time, but I don't mind. :P I used to be sceptical, but when people praised the gun on forums I gave it a go and don't regret a minute of it.

Eegie7411 #4 Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:43 AM

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Its a machine gun on tracks with good penetration if you have 100% crew and rammer. Puts a smile on your face a mile wide.   :)

Kaihlan #5 Posted 18 April 2011 - 02:17 PM

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I will get it tonight. and can't wait for it. Heard so much good things about it.

Denii #6 Posted 18 April 2011 - 03:09 PM

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It's a nice gun but better in the t28 where it really shines compared to the 85mm.

tvih #7 Posted 18 April 2011 - 11:39 PM

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Yep, the real-life T-34/57 was an interesting idea, too bad it was a bit short-lived. There's this image below of the blown -57 that I've planned for years to make a 1:35 scale model diorama of :P

Posted Image

Too bad I can't really use the model '40 turret in-game like I'd prefer... +130m view range and +50HP is just too good to pass up :huh:

theta0123 #8 Posted 18 April 2011 - 11:43 PM

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The T34-57 did its job very good. Sure the HE performance was much and much less, but you cant just deny the Anti tank performance wich was double that of the 76.2mm

Russian tank losses where the highest in those days. losses could have been significantly lower if they had a tank like this. The british proved that such an concept works. The churchill tanks in Italy and normandy had 50% 75mm and 50% 6PDR. This tactic worked very good and churchill tanks made deciding contribution in italy and Normandy.

But the british where not so smart either. The churchill needed an armor upgrade, wich there crews got in the Massivly armoured Churchill MKVII. BUT all guns became 75mm. to "Ease logistics between US and british munitions"

theking497 #9 Posted 21 April 2011 - 12:12 AM

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yes the ZiS-4 is good indeed . if anyone is intrested there was an prototype of T-34 with 85mm LB-1 and not the T34-85 but an T34/76 with 85mm LB-1 in the Mod.1942 turret it was found battle worthy but t34-85 was used insteed due to 1942 turret being realy cramped with 85mm gun in it  would be fun is implemented if not i just got to hope for it to get in the T34M :P

bojan #10 Posted 21 April 2011 - 01:17 AM

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T-34/57 model 1943 on trials:
http://www.aviarmor....57/t34_57_1.jpg

T-34 with 122mm U-11:
http://www.aviarmor....-122_uztm_1.jpg

http://www.aviarmor....4-122_d11_2.jpg

goliat33 #11 Posted 21 April 2011 - 03:38 AM

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Ahh T-34 with ZiS4 I have alot of fun with him and I decide that i am going 2 keep this litle bastard in future.....

DougHole #12 Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:06 PM

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View Postgoliat33, on 21 April 2011 - 03:38 AM, said:

Ahh T-34 with ZiS4 I have alot of fun with him and I decide that i am going 2 keep this litle bastard in future.....

Nice pics, shame we don't have that 122 howitzer option in the game :)

bojan #13 Posted 23 April 2011 - 01:08 PM

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View PostDougHole, on 22 April 2011 - 04:06 PM, said:

Nice pics, shame we don't have that 122 howitzer option in the game :)

There is one for T-34/85. Would have been a bit too much on t5 medium.

sego #14 Posted 27 April 2011 - 12:42 PM

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T-34 with 57mm in Kalna nad Hronom, where 2nd Ukrainen front started in March 1945 big offensive.

On turret is owner of "sego" account, my 6 years old son, with more than 200 destroyed vehicles  :Smile-playing:

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sego #15 Posted 27 April 2011 - 12:45 PM

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now I am confused if it is not T-34-85 :)

Semaca #16 Posted 27 April 2011 - 01:01 PM

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it's not the 57mm on that one, see from better angle here:

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DougHole #17 Posted 27 April 2011 - 01:49 PM

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I would LOVE this tank on my front lawn

sego #18 Posted 27 April 2011 - 01:52 PM

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View Postupgradeincombatisinsane, on 27 April 2011 - 01:01 PM, said:

it's not the 57mm on that one, see from better angle here:


correct.

You are from Slovakia?

Semaca #19 Posted 28 April 2011 - 09:40 AM

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no, Romania.
I just googled that tank :)

WinG_HU #20 Posted 01 May 2011 - 05:56 PM

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weeeeeee, i love this tank. The 57 mm gun is a pure win. Its high RoF compansates its low damage, its accuracy is awesome, penetration is superb and it's also one of the lightest guns in its tier. To be honest, I didn't like A-20, but the T-34 is a mini T-54 in its class, it's hard to crack and dangerous to everyone.