107 mm divisional gun M1940 (M-60) (107-мм дивизионная пушка образца 1940 года (М-60)) was a Soviet artillery piece, developed in late 1930s in order to provide Soviet divisional artillery with powerful field and anti-tank gun. The weapon entered production in 1940, but soon after the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War the production ceased; only a limited number of pieces were built. These guns saw service in the Red Army during the war.
The UZTM project, U-4, used the same carriage as the 122 mm howitzer U-2; the development was never completed. At the No. 92 Plant, the team headed by V. G. Grabin developed a gun designated F-28, based on the carriage of the 122 mm howitzer F-25. The first prototype was ready in December 1938, even before the project was officially approved by GAU on 23 March 1939. The F-28 reached ground trials on 12 February 1940. However, in the spring of 1940 all work on the 95 mm pieces was canceled due to a decision to adopt even larger calibers for divisional artillery.
GAU decided to start working on 107 mm divisional guns in the autumn of 1938. The reason typically cited for this decision was the reluctance to introduce a new caliber, such as 95 mm. The 107 mm caliber was used by both the Russian Imperial Army and the Red Army; Soviet industry manufactured 107 mm guns (107 mm gun M1910/30) and ammunition, so the transition from 76 mm guns would be simpler and cheaper. One problem of using such a large caliber was the significant increase in weight. However, it was deemed possible to develop a powerful 107 mm gun in the same weight category as the 4-ton 152 mm howitzer M1938 (M-10), which, when adopted in 1939, was considered sufficiently mobile for a divisional piece.
In 1940 GAU already had another incentive in the form of intelligence reports (in fact incorrect) about the Wehrmacht adopting new tanks with thicker armor. The head of GAU, Grigory Kulik, questioned the ability of the existing 45 mm anti-tank and 76 mm divisional artillery to fight these new vehicles. This concern eventually led to the adoption of much more powerful 57 mm anti-tank and 107 mm divisional pieces by the Red Army. These new guns were not designed to fully replace the 45 mm and 76 mm ones, but to complement them.
On 14 October 1938 the No. 172 Plant received a technical requirement for a 107 mm piece. The gun was developed in three variants, designated M-25, M-45 and M-60. The former two utilized the carriage of the M-10 howitzer; the prototypes successfully passed trials, but in the end the new M-60 was preferred. Initially, the M-60 was also being developed in two variants, which differed in the arrangement for transportation - in one variant, the barrel was pulled back, while in the other the upper carriage was rotated 180 degrees. Of these, the former was selected. On 13 December 1939 the prototypes reached ground trials, which continued until 23 April 1940. After some improvements, the gun successfully passed army trials between 11 and 25 October 1940 and was adopted as the 107 mm universal high power divisional gun M1940.
After the cancellation of the F-28 project, the design bureau of the No. 92 Plant also worked on a 107 mm gun. Late in 1940 the plant produced a ZiS-24 prototype, featuring a very long 73.5 caliber barrel placed on the carriage of 152 mm howitzer-gun M1937 (ML-20). While very powerful, the gun was also very heavy and expensive, and the project was abandoned. Later the same design bureau worked on another 107 mm gun, which combined the carriage of M-60 and a barrel with identical ballistics to the ZiS-6 anti-tank gun. After the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War the project was canceled.
There was also an attempt to develop a casemate gun based on the M-60. The technical requirements were approved on 27 July 1940. The design bureau of the No. 352 Plant worked on the project from 22 September. This project, too, was canceled due to the outbreak of the war.
Soon after the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, production ceased for the following reasons:
In traveling position, the barrel was pulled back. Short-range transportation with the barrel in the original position was permitted, as long as the speed did not exceed 6-7 km/h.
In 1943 rifle corps were reintroduced. Corps artillery regiments received most of the surviving 107 mm guns, along with 122 mm guns and 152 mm howitzers; in total, each regiment had 16-20 pieces.
Since the M-60 was a limited production weapon, reports about its actual use in combat are rare. Some saw action in the Battle of Kursk, by the Central Front forces. Six M-60 guns were used during the liberation of Sevastopol in 1944.
A few pieces were captured by Wehrmacht; the guns were designated 10.7 cm K 353(r) by the Germans.
A surviving piece can be seen in the Artillery Museum in Saint Petersburg.
The M-60 was the last 107 mm piece adopted by the Red Army. Although in 1943 another 107 mm gun, the 9S-1, was developed, it never reached production. Until the end of the war, the divisional artillery continued to rely on 76 mm guns (in conjunction with 122 mm howitzers), while larger formations employed heavier, more powerful weapons such as the 122 mm A-19. When a need for very powerful anti-tank gun resurfaced later in the war, the 100 mm BS-3 was developed. Unlike the M-60, the BS-3 used fixed ammunition, resulting in better rate of fire; the BS-3 was also lighter (3.6 tons) and had a shorter deploymeny time because its barrel was not pulled back for transportation. However, the use of fixed rounds - and a limited assortment of 100 mm ammunition - made it less useful as a field gun. In 1945 another weapon intended for similar role was adopted, in the form of the 85 mm gun D-44.
For the sake of comparison, the standard German 105 mm gun, the 10.5 cm sK 18, had similar characteristics. It somewhat surpassed the M-60 in range (19 km, or 21 km for a modernized K 18/40), but was much heavier at about six tons. The German gun also fired slightly lighter (15 kg) shell.
The explosion of the OF-420 shell, with the fuse set to the fragmentation action, resulted in a damage to 90% of targets in the 14 to 6 meters area and to 50% of targets in 42 to 20 meters area. When the fuse was set to high explosive action, the shell created a crater 1-1.5 m in diameter and 40-60 cm deep in an average soil.
The shrapnel shell contained more than 600 bullets, and covered area about 800 m long and 45-50 m wide.
|Type||Model||Weight, kg||HE weight, kg||Muzzle velocity, m/s||Range, m|
|High explosive and fragmentation projectiles|
|HE-frag, long range, steel||OF-420||17.2||2.15||737||18,300|
|Shrapnel with 45 sec tube||Sh-422||16.54-17.25||0.44|
|Shrapnel with T-6 tube||Sh-422T||16.44||0.44|
|Incendiary, with T-6 / T-7 tube||Z-420||17.2||0.035/1.6||737||11,400|
|Incendiary, with T-6 / T-7 tube||Z-420||16,37||0,035/1,6|
|Chemical with "NOV"||HN-422||16.4|
|Chemical with "SOV"||HS-422||16.4||0.35/1.7|
|Armor penetration table|
|APCBC projectile B-420|
|Distance, m||Meet angle 60°, mm||Meet angle 90°, mm|
|This data was obtained by Soviet methodics of armour penetration measurement (penetration probability 75%). It is not directly comparable with western data of similar type.|