Jump to content


Interesting read about SU / ISU-152


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

Bora_BOOM #1 Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:47 AM

    Major

  • Player
  • 21404 battles
  • 2,702
  • [WJDE] WJDE
  • Member since:
    08-23-2014

When I have read the article I thought why not sharing it with you here. Its not exactly a gameplay related thing, but we all know how threads here can fail with that buy a large margin.

 

The original text is from Serbian web site, dunno the reference it came from or whether its an authors thing. Still, I find it interesting and a good work imo. Kudos to Miloš and "Klan RUR". If anyone can add something you are welcome.

 

Some google translate (lots of work to do it manually) and some fixing the translation got me this wall of text. There are 9 great images too, but in order to simplify and shorten the post I will give you the original link so you can check it there if you want -  http://www.b92.net/esports/wot.php?yyyy=2017&mm=08&dd=15&nav_id=1293186

 

Cheers.

 

WoT - Stories from Kubinka: SU / ISU-152 "Zveroboi" („Зверобой“ )

 

The Soviets, seeing how the opponent used StuG III tanks in early 1943, developed a vehicle based on a 152 mm caliber howitzer that was supposed to serve to destroy established ground positions. However, it is quite by chance that this gun become very effective in destroying enemy tanks, even so that the vehicles in this series receive the nickname "Zveroboi" - the killer of the beast, primarily referring to Tigers, Panthers and Elephants in the ranks of Wehrmacht.

 

SU-152

 

It is interesting to note that at the beginning of the war, the Soviets had an armored vehicle with a 152 mm howitzer - the legendary KV-2 tank! However, it was a pretty large target, very slow and not so well armored and very heavy which created problems when crossing bridges. In October 1941, the factory that produced these tanks had to be evacuated from the Leningrad area far to the east of the Chelyabinsk. This practically marked the end of mass production of this vehicle. The Soviets therefore decided to turn to the concept of a self-propelled gun, similar to SU-85 and SU-100, but based on a larger chassis, on the KV-1S tank. The design itself gets the name KV-14 and is successfully tested in February 1943. In combination with a ML-20 howitzer which has already proved to be a destructive tool in the standard traction cannon. An additional advantage was that the vehicle was using already existing solutions and was very easy and cheap for mass production, but its mark was changed to the IS-152.

 

It is interesting to note that the ML-20 gun caliber 152mm never even had an anti-tank role - it was made as a howitzer for action against "soft" targets and bunkers. Anti-tank guns had a totally different doctrine: small missiles of strong material that would fly through the barrel at high speed and in that way penetrate the direct opponent's armor. What is specific to the ML-20 gun is that the grenade consists of two parts and is extremely large - the total weight of the ordinary HE grenade was 40kg, while the concrete piercing grenade weighed up to 56 kg. For example, the missile output velocity on the ML-20 cannon was about 600 m / s, while the D-10S gun carrying the SU-100 was 1,000 m / s, almost twice as much. For this reason, the SU-152 was not even designed for AP missiles, nor were any tanks tested in general. However at the time of the introduction of this vehicle into service, at the beginning of 1943, the Soviets captured the first Tiger and the results of the first tests were devastating - no Soviet gun can break through them at a satisfactory distance. That's why they begin to experiment with different vehicles, including the SU-152, and something very interesting happens: the explosion created by the 152mm caliber missile was enough to completely knock of the turret from the Tiger, at any distance! In practice, at that moment, the only vehicle in the Soviet arsenal is capable of such a thing! This incidental discovery further sparked interest in the SU-152 and formed the first heavy anti-tank battalion.

 

Of course, the first real battle results came on the summer of 1943 during the Battle of Kursk, where only one division of 12 vehicles arrived in May, and the total force of 21 vehicles in the battalion was achieved only during the battle itself. Although this was the only vehicle that could effectively destroy the Tiger Tank at a greater distance, it also had many shortcomings - the front armor could have been penned by Tiger or Ferdinand from a long distance, by Pz IV or StuG III with 7.5 cm guns from medium and short distance, and practically by any vehicle on the side or rear. On the other hand, high, even though 152 mm howitzer had a higher range than the German 8.8 cm, it was very imprecise on a long, even the mid-range, so that the SU-152 was extremely compromised by a much more precise return fire in case it did not hit the first shot. However, in ambushes when it was waiting for large German tank formation where his ability to destroy his opponent with one shot was unprecedented.

 

The mere fact that the Tiger could be destroyed by a single shell was more than impressive in 1943. However, against Ferdinands shells were not as effective as the vehicle had a more compact armored structure. The SU-152 could still disable Ferdinand, and most likely to kill the whole crew, with one shot, but failed to damage the internal systems. There is evidence that at least seven tanks were back in the battle the next day after being "destroyed" by a 152mm cannon, of course with other crews. The Soviets tried with the AP missiles but the results were not very satisfactory - precision was not better, the possibility of destroying the enemy due to lower speeds, and on the other hand HE missiles could be used in several situations, so most of the vehicles used just HE ammunition.

 

Finally, when the Soviets began to advance, first of all, in the summer of 1944, Operation Bagration, the SU-152 gained significance in an offensive role as a self-propelled gun that destroys enemy fortifications. In the meantime, it has received some improvements, such as a machine gun and a commander hatch. However, it was understood that it needed better armor protection (and the KV tank was already dropped out of production at the end of 1943), so by the end of the war, the number of these vehicles decreased, but they have participated in all important operations. A total of between 670 and 700 of these vehicles was produced.

 

ISU-152

 

Since the KV tank chassis was abandoned, it is decided that the gun platform can be transferred to a more modern and better armored IS chassis, using the same weaponry that has already proved to be so effective. More armor is added for better protection as well as many other improvements to the SU-152, such as the commanding hatch and machine gun. Interestingly, there are two versions of why the ISU has an “I” prefix - one is cause of the SU vehicles on the IS chassis, and as a combination of those words. The second one is that the ISU marks the “истребителя самоходнa установка”, which in a free translation would mean a “hunter-self-propelled gun”, which could be explained by a dual role for which SU-152 had and already been defined after initial testing. More likely, however, is the first assumption, but there are no evidence to support either ow the two. The ISU-152 had an 80 mm front armor and was much better protected than its predecessor, making it safe from German 7.5 cm caliber guns and allowing it to advance in front of the infantry without the care of most of the enemy's weapons. However, although it could easily destroy the German "beast", the ISU-152 had a very low rate of fire, precisely because of very heavy missiles, which made it inferior in comparison with the, for example, SU-100. But the possibility to act in several roles made it more dangerous for the opponent's.

 

During the production itself, the vehicle was sporadically improved, so at one point it passed onto the IS-2 tank hull (or IS model in 1944, as it is still known). It was also experimented with a long-range BL-8 cannon to destroy tanks, and at one point even with the BL-10 caliber of 152mm (this is the gun we know in the game), which is given the ISU-152-2 tag, but It did not show well and the war has ended so it has never entered operational use.

In total, 4,635 pieces were produced in various versions of the ISU-152.

 

ISU-122

 

Another vehicle created on this concept was the ISU-122, completely identical chassis but with a mounted 122mm A-19S caliber used exclusively for anti-tank purpose. This vehicle was used exclusively against enemy armor which could be penned with a high probability, but the performance of HE shells was very poor compared to the ISU-152. However, a large 122mm caliber cannon stock and a lack of those 152mm made the production of this model based on the already proven recipe. Later, the ISU-122S variant was made with five crew members, with two loaders instead of the original one, and had a much higher rate of fire. By the end of 1945, a total of 1,735 ISU-122 and 675 ISU-122S were produced.

 

Further development

 

Since only the ISU-152 has met the needs of the Soviet army for a multi-purpose and dangerous armored vehicle of this kind, its development continued even after the end of the war, which produced several variants.

Object 704 is an ISU-152 version developed in 1945 on a combination of IS-2 and IS-3 tanks with better front shield and ML-20SM gun without a gun muzzle at the end. The front armor was also enhanced by a larger slope that allowed better protection against anti-tank munitions of that time. This version did not go into production.

Object 268 was created in 1956 as an idea to use the T-10 (IS-8) tank and 152 mm M-64 howitzer, which was an adaptation of the towed D-20 (that is the M-20 evolution with ISU-152). The vehicle also had a stereoscopic sight (that's the weak spot we know in WoT) that made it easier to calculate the distance of the opponent. It is interesting to note that the Yugoslav hood M84 NORA originates from the same D-20 cannon, of course, with numerous improvements. Object 268 was manufactured only as a prototype and never entered into operational use.

 

The ISU-152K is the modernization of the original ISU-152 by inserting an engine af a T-54 tank. A new fuel tank was also added, giving it about 920 km of autonomy, almost 500km more than the initial model. Some drive wheel elements were borrowed from the T-10 tank and a further armor was added.

The ISU-152M is the final modernization of this vehicle that was made on tanks that were already in use and was made together with the modernization of the IS-2 tank on the IS-2M variant in 1959. Better optics for night vison and the new commanding hatch were added as well as all the other features of the ISU-152K.

 

A key gun at a key place at a crucial moment

 

The mere fact that a 152 mm cannon could destroy the German Tiger in the middle of 1943 was completely revolutionary in the battlefield, and it is no wonder that SU / ISU-152 got the nickname “Zveroboi” because this beast had to be scared. Even the super heavy fighters like Ferdinand and even Jagdtiger had a reason to be concerned about the ISU-152. At the same time, this weapon was fully effective against all other targets which it was designed for in the first place, which made it one of the most useful tanks on the battlefield. No wonder that the Soviets produced it very much by the end of the war and after the war it was used until the 1970s in a large number of countries. All in all we can say that this vehicle was one of the symbols of the reversal on the Eastern Front and later the strength of the Soviet tank units.

 

EDIT: some translation / typos / copy-paste fixing...


Edited by Bora_BOOM, 15 August 2017 - 10:31 AM.


jack_timber #2 Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:06 AM

    Lieutenant

  • Player
  • 32373 battles
  • 1,877
  • Member since:
    07-26-2014
Interesting to see the development of a tank line, thanks for the post. +1 to you:)

Bora_BOOM #3 Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:11 AM

    Major

  • Player
  • 21404 battles
  • 2,702
  • [WJDE] WJDE
  • Member since:
    08-23-2014

View Postjack_timber, on 15 August 2017 - 09:06 AM, said:

Interesting to see the development of a tank line, thanks for the post. +1 to you:)

 

You’re welcome.

Edited by Bora_BOOM, 15 August 2017 - 10:12 AM.


Bora_BOOM #4 Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:23 AM

    Major

  • Player
  • 21404 battles
  • 2,702
  • [WJDE] WJDE
  • Member since:
    08-23-2014
Apparently, there are two-three other articles prior to this one, so I might add those too if you want.

jack_timber #5 Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:42 AM

    Lieutenant

  • Player
  • 32373 battles
  • 1,877
  • Member since:
    07-26-2014

View PostBora_BOOM, on 15 August 2017 - 09:23 AM, said:

Apparently, there are two-three other articles prior to this one, so I might add those too if you want.

Yes please:)



Xx_Nemixis_xX #6 Posted 15 August 2017 - 11:50 AM

    Sergeant

  • Player
  • 8248 battles
  • 241
  • [DHPB] DHPB
  • Member since:
    05-14-2015
this is actually interesting. they shoulda just put 152mm long barrels on them though. more accuracy and higher velocity of projectile solves all their problems. they should have known in hindsight anyway, they eventually figured it out if you look at the experiments with the AK-47 and SKS rifles (both in 7.62x39 cal), and which one is used at long range?




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users