Definitions

usv

76 mm divisional gun M1939 (USV)

76-mm divisional gun M1939 (F-22 USV or USV) (Russian: 76-мм дивизионная пушка обр. 1939 г. (Ф-22 УСВ or УСВ)) was Soviet 76.2-mm divisional gun, adopted for the Red Army service in 1939 and utilized in Great Patriotic War. The gun was intermediate model between semi-universal divisional gun F-22 and improved and numerous ZiS-3 which eventually replaced it in production and service.

Description

USV had split-trail carriage with suspension; metal wheels with rubber tires were borrowed from the ZiS-5 truck. The gun featured semi-automatic vertical sliding breech block and Bofors-type cradle; recoil mechanism consisted of hydraulic recoil buffer and hydropneumatic recuperator. Sights and elevation controls were located on different sides of the barrel. The chamber fitted the standard model 1900 cartridge, which meant that the gun could use ammunition manufactured for older 76.2 mm divisional and regimental guns.

Development history

In 1937, unsatisfied with both the obsolete 76-mm divisional gun M1902/30 and the new, but flawed 76-mm divisional gun model 1936 (F-22), the RKKA command initiated development of a new gun. The requirements, issued in March that year, specified elevation of 45° and combat weight of no more than 1,500 kg. The gun was supposed to have the same ballistics as the M1902/30 and use the same ammunition.

Three design bureaus joined the program - Kirovskiy Plant bureau under I. A. Makhanov, No. 92 Plant bureau under V. G. Grabin, and AKB-43 (KB AU) under M. N. Kondakov. The L-12 of Kirovskiy Plant was the first to reach ground tests (in April-May 1938), was returned for revision, tested again in August and given to the RKKA for further trials. Grabin's gun went through ground tests in March-April 1939 and was also given to the army. Although its designation - F-22 USV or simply USV - suggested that the gun was only an upgrade of the F-22, in fact it was a completely new design. The third competing project, OKB-43's NDP, failed ground tests in April 1939. RKKA tested the remaining designs from 5 June to 3 July 1939 and was generally satisfied with both of them. The USV was found to have less "childhood diseases" and was therefore recommended for production.

The USV entered production in 1939; 140 pieces were built until the end of the year and 1,010 more in 1940. In 1941 the production was stopped as the plan for divisional guns was already fulfilled. Moreover, RKKA considered transition to larger caliber divisional guns, such as the 107-mm gun model 1940 (M-60). With the beginning of Great Patriotic War the production was reopened at No. 92 and Barrikady plant in Stalingrad; it amounted for 2,616 pieces in 1941 and 6,046 in 1942. From late summer of 1941 the gun was being gradually replaced in production by yet another Grabin's design - ZiS-3 - and by the end of 1942 the process was completed.

Organization and service

RKKA

According to the organization of 1939, each rifle division had two artillery regiments - light regiment (a battalion of 76 mm guns in three batteries of four guns; two mixed battalions with one battery of 76-mm guns and two batteries of 122 mm howitzers) and howitzer regiment, totaling 20 75 mm guns per division. In June 1940 a battalion of 76-mm guns was removed, only 8 guns remained. In March 1942 a third mixed battalion (a battery of 76 mm and a battery of 122 mm) was added, which brought the number of 76 mm guns to 12.

guard rifle divisions from December 1942 had three artillery battalions (two batteries of 76 mm guns and one battery of 122 mm howitzers each), totaling 24 76-mm guns. From December 1944 they were reorganized to have an artillery brigade of three regiments, including light regiment with 20 76-mm guns. From June 1945 rifle divisions were reorganized identically.

Motorized divisions had two mixed battalions (battery of 76 mm guns, two batteries of 122 mm howitzers), totaling 8 76-mm guns. Cavalry divisions until August 1941 also had 8 76-mm guns, then their divisional artillery was removed and in summer of 1942 restored again.

Rifle brigades from 1939 had 8 76-mm divisional guns, motorized and mechanized brigades - 12.

Cavalry corps from late 1942 had artillery battalion of 12 pieces. Tank and artillery corps in late 1944 received light artillery regiment with 76-mm guns (24 pieces).

The USV was also used by artillery units of Reserve of the Main Command, namely: anti-tank artillery brigades (24 pieces, from 1942 - tank destroyer brigades with 16 pieces), by light artillery brigades (60-72 pieces) and by breakthrough artillery divisions (light brigade with 72 pieces, from 1944 - with 48 pieces).

By 1 June 1941 RKKA possessed 1,070 USVs. Many were lost in combat, but some remained in service until the end of Great Patriotic War. It's not clear whether the gun saw combat in the earlier Winter War.

Other operators

In 1941-42 Wehrmacht captured hundreds of USVs and adopted them as field guns, designated 7.62 cm F.K.297(r). By March 1944 359 pieces were in service, including 295 in the West, 40 in Denmark and 24 in the East.

Some USVs in German service were converted to anti-tank guns, designated 7.62 cm PaK 39(r). The modification included rechambering for bigger cartridge, muzzle brake, elevation controls were moved to the left side of the barrel where the sights resided. All those guns were of pre-war production bunch, as guns produced during the war had weaker breech part. The exact number of converted pieces is unknown, according to some sources there were up to 300. Anti-tank performance is also hard to determine. During trials held in 1943 a projectile from a captured gun penetrated the front armor of the KV tank (75 mm at 60°) from 600 m.

The Finns captured 9 units, but never took them into active service. Known as 76 K 39.

Variants

  • USV - pre-war variant.
  • ZiS-22-USV - war-time variant. Breech parts identical with F-34 tank gun were used. There were changes in barrel construction and suspension, new ZiS-13 sights, more cast details. in production from 15 July 1941.
  • USV-BR - variant produced by "Barrikady" plant. Differed in barrel construction and suspension.

Summary

USV was an improvement over its predecessor, the F-22. However it was still too big and heavy and had the same inconvenient placement of sights and elevation controls on different sides of the barrel, making the gun less effective in anti-tank role. Those shortcomings led to its replacement by lighter and easier to produce ZiS-3.

Ammunition

Available ammunition
Type Model Weight, kg HE weight, g Muzzle velocity, m/s Range, m
Armor-piercing shells
APHE-T BR-350A 6,3 155 662 4,000
APHE-T BR-350B 6,5 119 655 4,000
AP-T BR-350BSP 6,5 - 655 4,000
Subcaliber (from April 1943) BR-354P 3,02 - 950 500
HEAT, steely iron (from May 1943) BP-350A 5,28 623 355 500
High explosive and fragmentation shells
HE-Fragmentation, steel OF-350 6,2 710 680 13,290
Fragmentation, steely iron O-350A 6,21 540 680 10,000
HE-Fragmentation OF-350V 6,2
HE-Fragmentation, limited production OF-363 7,1
HE, steel, old Russian F-354 6,41 785 640 9,170
HE, steel, old Russian F-354M 6,1 815
HE, steel, old french F-354F 6,41 785 640 9,170
Shrapnel shells
Shrapnel with 22 sec / D tube Sh-354 6,5 85 (260 bullets) 624 6,000
Shrapnel with T-6 tube Sh-354T 6,66 85 (250 bullets) 618 8,600
Shrapnel Sh-354G 66,58 85
Shrapnel Sh-361 6,61 - 666 8,400
Canister shots
Canister shot Sh-350 549 bullets 200
Smoke shells
Smoke, steel D-350 6,45 80 TNT + 505 yellow phosphorus
Smoke, steely iron D-350A 6,45 66 TNT + 380 yellow phosphorus
Incendiary shells
Incendiary, steel Z-350 6,24 240 679 9,400
Incendiary Z-354 (project 3890) 6,5 (6,66) 240 624 6,200
Incendiary Z-354 4,65 240 680 5,600
Other shells
Fragmentation-chemical OH-350 6,25 680 13,000

 
:

Armour penetration table
AP Projectile BR-350A
Distance, m Meet angle 60°, mm Meet angle 90°, mm
100 65 80
300 60 75
500 55 70
1000 50 60
1500 45 50
Subcaliber projectile BR-354P
Distance, m Meet angle 60°, mm Meet angle 90°, mm
100 95 120
300 85 105
500 75 90
These data was obtained by Soviet methodics of armour penetration measurement (penetration probability equals 75%).
They are not directly comparable with western data of similar type

References and external links

  • Shirokorad A. B. - Encyclopedia of the Soviet Artillery - Mn. Harvest, 2000 (А.Б.Широкорад. Энциклопедия отечественной артиллерии. - Мн.: Харвест, 2000., ISBN 985-433-703-0)
  • Shirokorad A. B. - The genius of the Soviet Artillery: The triumph and the tragedy of V. Grabin, M. AST, 2002 (А.Б.Широкорад. Гений советской артиллерии: триумф и трагедия В.Грабина. - М.,ООО Издательство АСТ, 2002., ISBN 5-17-013066-X)
  • Shirokorad A. B. - The God of War of the Third Reich - M. AST, 2002 (Широкорад А. Б. Бог войны Третьего рейха. — М.,ООО Издательство АСТ, 2002., ISBN 5-17-015302-3)
  • Shunkov V. N. - The Weapons of the Red Army- Mn. Harvest, 1999 (Шунков В. Н. - Оружие Красной Армии. — Мн.: Харвест, 1999., ISBN 985-433-469-4)
  • Ivanov A. - Artillery of the USSR in Second World War - SPb Neva, 2003 (Иванов А. Артиллерия СССР во Второй Мировой войне. — СПб., Издательский дом «Нева», 2003., ISBN 5-7654-2731-6)
  • Artillery - M. Voenizdat MoD USSR, 1953 (Артиллерия под общ. ред. маршала артиллерии Чистякова М. Н.- М.:Воениздат МО СССР, 1953.)
  • Yefimov M.G. - A Course of Artillery Shells - M.-L. Oborongiz PCoD USSR, 1939 (Ефимов М. Г. Курс артиллерийских снарядов. - М.-Л.: Оборонгиз НКО СССР, 1939)
  • Kozlovskiy D.E. - Artillery Equipment - M. Oborongiz PCoD USSR, 1939 (Козловский Д. Е. Материальная часть артиллерии. - М.: Оборонгиз НКО СССР, 1939)
  • Collection of the Artillery Museum Materials, No. IV - P.-L. AIM, 1959 (Сборник исследований и материалов Артиллерийского исторического музея. Выпуск IV. под ред. полк. Ермошина И. П.-Л.: АИМ, 1959)
  • Nikolaev A. B. - Battalion Artillery - M. Oborongiz PCoD USSR, 1937 (Николаев А. Б. Батальонная артиллерия. - М..: Оборонгиз НКО СССР, 1937)
  • 76-mm gun model 1942 Service Manual (Руководство службы 76-мм пушки обр. 1942 г.)

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