- About the history of creation
- About production
- About armor
- About the power unit
- About transmission
- About the chassis
- About weapons
- On the combat use of the installation
It is not for nothing that the Great Patriotic War is called the “war of motors”. The outcome of the largest military operations depended on tanks and self-propelled guns. The Germans one of the most popular combat transport units became self-propelled artillery installation "Ferdinand", the USSR - SAU-152.
It is noteworthy that these machines were not mass produced: the Wehrmacht industry produced 91 installations, and the Soviet Union - 670. Information on the history of creation, design, tactical and technical characteristics and combat use of the SAU-152 is presented in this article.
The ACS-152 is a Soviet heavy self-propelled artillery installation from the time of the Great Patriotic War. Developed from June to October 1943. Due to the fact that the base for the creation of this combat unit was the IS tank, in the technical documentation the machine is listed as ACS ISU-152. In service with the Red Army from November 1943. Arms designers Wehrmacht was created line of tanks, which posed a serious threat to the Soviet armored vehicles. German combat units could be destroyed by armor-piercing caliber shells fired at a minimum distance. The situation improved with the appearance on the battlefield of the tank SAU-152. According to experts, he became a real killer of German armored vehicles, namely the "Tigers" and "Panther". For this reason, the new Soviet combat unit is also called ACS ISU-152 "St. John's Wort".
With an armor-piercing projectile, he smashed any fascist medium tank. When the armor-piercing ended, the crew fired concrete-concrete and even high-explosive fragmentation with very high energy. In the battle with the SAU-152 “Tutsan”, German tanks, if not completely destroyed, were deprived of sights, guns and other equipment. Due to the high energy of the projectile, even the tower could have been disrupted from the shoulder strap of an enemy combat unit.
About the history of creation
The design work on the SAU-152 was begun in Chelyabinsk by the designers of the experimental plant No. 100. By this time, it was finally decided to replace the heavy tank KV-1C with a new and promising IS-1. In view of the fact that the workers 'and peasants' Red Army needed a heavy SU-152 assault gun, the base for which was the KV-1C, which was less in demand, the military command decided to adapt the gun for a new combat vehicle. Thus, based on IS-1, an analogue of ISU-152 was created. Design work led Kotin J. Ya., Under the leadership of which in the Soviet Union was created line of heavy tanks. Chief Designer - G. Moskvin. At first, the project was listed as the IS-152. Soon the first experimental prototype "Object number 241" was ready. After successfully passing the factory and state tests, the State Defense Committee issued a decree number 4504, according to which the new combat unit was finally named ISU-152.
The SAU-152 (photo of the tank is presented in the article) began to be mass-produced in November 1943 at the Kirovsky plant in Chelyabinsk (Chelyabinsk Forrest Plant). In December, in addition to the new combat unit, the old installations were also made in view of the special needs of the front. However, in 1944 - exclusively SAU-152 "St. John's Wort".
According to experts, in the production process in order to reduce costs and improve combat and operational qualities in the design of the machine made minor changes. For example, in 1944 for the manufacture of the bow of the installation used rolled armored plates, and not one solid piece. The thickness of the armored car was increased by 4 cm and was 10 cm. In addition, the installation began to be completed with a 12.7-mm anti-aircraft heavy machine gun. The 10P radio station was replaced with an improved version of 10РК. Designers also increased the capacity of external and internal tanks. For the reason that ChKZ was too busy with work, armored hulls for self-propelled units were supplied from the Ural Heavy Machine Building Plant.
The same layout was provided for ISU-152 as for other Soviet self-propelled artillery installations. The only exception was the SU-76 “Hypericum” with a fully armored body, consisting of two parts. Armored cabin became the location of the crew, guns and ammunition. Thus, the combat and managerial offices were placed in the wheelhouse. Transmission and engine designers installed aft. The workplace of the driver, gunner and loader - the left half of the cabin from the gun. Mechanic and gunner in front, and charging behind them.
In the right half there is a place for a round landing hatch. The crew could also leave the cabin through a rectangular hatch between the roof and rear sheets of the armored jacket. In the left half there is also a third round-shaped hatch. However, it is not intended for the landing-landing crew of the tank. Through it, the extension of the panoramic sight is displayed. Emergency was the fourth hatch in the bottom of the tank. Also, the combat vehicle was equipped with several additional hatches, which were used when loading ammunition, during the repair of the openings in the fuel tanks, assemblies and other units.
For the manufacture of hull used rolled armored plates, the thickness of which was 2.3, 6, 9 and 7.5 cm. The first batch of tanks were produced with molded frontal parts. In the subsequent series, more resistant rolled armor was used - the frontal parts in the hulls were already welded. Unlike the previous model (SU-152), in the new self-propelled artillery installation, the corps turned out to be higher and the armored cabin was larger. The reason for this reduced inclined corners of side armored plates. Since such a constructive solution would significantly reduce the security of the crew, the developers had to compensate for this, by thickening the armor in these places.
About the power unit
The tank is equipped with a four-stroke V-shaped 12-cylinder diesel engine V-2 IC, whose power is 520 horsepower. To start it, compressed air is provided, which is contained in special tanks of the fighting compartment, an inertial starter having manual and electric drives. As the latter, an auxiliary electric motor of 0.88 kW is used. The diesel unit contains a fuel pump NK-1, for which there is an all-mode regulator RNK-1 and fuel supply corrector. The air coming from the tanks into the engine is cleaned by the “Multi-cyclone” filter. So that in the cold season, with the launch of the power unit, there were no problems, the engine compartment was equipped with heating devices. They also fueled the fighting compartment. "Hypericum" with three fuel tanks. The location of the two was the fighting compartment, the third - the engine-transmission. In addition, self-propelled guns have four additional additional fuel tanks that are not connected to the common fuel system.
The “Hypericum” installation has a mechanical transmission, which consists of the following components:
- Multi-disc main friction clutch dry friction.
- Four-speed gearbox (8 front and 2 rear).
- Two onboard two-level planetary rotary mechanisms for which multidisk blocking friction and tape brakes are provided.
- Two side gearboxes.
Control of all transmission drives is mechanical. Unlike the previous version, turning mechanisms appeared in the "Hypericum".
About the chassis
The self-propelled gun "St. John's wort" with an individual torsion bar suspension, presented from each side by six solid cast gable rollers of small diameter. A travel stop is welded in front of each roller. The drive wheels are located at the rear. The caterpillar of the tank is represented by single-sided tracks, 86 in number, 65 cm wide. The upper part of the caterpillar on each side, as in the SU-152, was supported by three small solid rollers. The tension of the tracks in the "St. John's wort" was carried out by a screw-type mechanism.
As the main tool in ISU-152 was used howitzer-gun ML-20S 152 mm caliber sample 1937-1943. Armament was installed on the armor plate in the frontal part of the cabin.
In the vertical plane, the aiming of the gun was carried out at angles from -3 to +20 degrees, in the horizontal - 10 degrees. ML-20 ensured the destruction of the target at a height of 3 m with a direct shot from a distance of 900 m. The highest combat range was 6200 m. The fire was conducted mechanically using manual or electric descent. In addition to the main gun 152 mm. Since 1945, the ACS has been equipped with a large-caliber anti-aircraft machine-gun DShK of 12.7 mm caliber.
The weapon could have an open or anti-aircraft sight K-8T. The turret unit was attached to the rifle unit. The location of the machine gun was the right round commander hatch. In addition to large-caliber guns, the artillery installation crew had two machine guns. Mostly it was a PPS or PPSh submachine gun. There were also F-1 grenades in the amount of 20 pieces.
From the main gun it was possible to carry out 21 shots. Compared with the ammunition for the ML-20, the range of shells towed for the ML-20C is more diverse. Shooting from SAU "Zveroboy" was conducted:
- Armor-piercing tracer ostrogolovym Sardyad 53-BR-540. He weighed almost 49 kg. He had an initial speed of 600 m / s.
- High-explosive cannon shell 53-BR-540. Weight 43, 56 kg. In a second, the projectile covered a distance of 655 m.
Also, instead of a spinal armor-piercing tracer, a blunt-headed 53-BR-54OB containing a ballistic tip could be used. Reinforced concrete pillboxes were destroyed by means of a concrete-cannon projectile 53-G-545. Ammunition of the DShK anti-aircraft machine gun is represented by 250 cartridges. For self-defense, the crew of an artillery installation was attached with disks for PPS and PPSh in the amount of 21 pcs.
Self-propelled artillery installation has the following parameters:
- Weighs 45.5 tons
- The length of the ACS is 675 cm, width - 325 cm, height - 245 cm.
- In the crew of 5 people.
- A combat vehicle with a power reserve of 165 km on a flat surface moves at a speed of 43 km / h, on a cross-country road - 20 km / h.
- The indicator of the specific pressure on the soil was 0.82 kg / cm sq.
- The ACS can overcome meter walls, trenches - up to 2.5 m.
On the combat use of the installation
According to experts, the St. John's Wort SAU-152 mm was successfully used as a heavy assault gun, self-propelled howitzer and enemy armored fighter, namely tanks. In addition, with the involvement of the installation in 1956, the Hungarian uprising was suppressed.
In this armed conflict, the ACS was mainly used as the most powerful anti-sniper rifle - the shells of the rebels who were seated in the building were fired with shells fired from the 'Hypericum'. Therefore, seeing a nearby self-propelled artillery installation, civilians themselves forced the shooters out of their homes. The ACS was used in the Arab-Israeli war as a firing point for firing along the Suez Canal. With the help of self-propelled guns cleared debris and shot concrete structures, when eliminated the consequences of the accident in Chernobyl.