CAPTURED TANKS IN THE RED ARMY

CAPTURED TANKS IN RED ARMYUse in the red Army captured German tanks (as, indeed, in the Wehrmacht Soviet) began with the first days of the great Patriotic war. So, on June 27 1941, at the beginning of tank battles in the Rivne — Lutsk — Brody, a movable group of the 8th mechanized corps was captured 13 of serviceable tanks Pz.Kpfw.III and Pz.Kpfw.IV. They decided to use with maximum efficiency — under cover of night to strike at concentrated for morning attack by German units. Penetration into the German tank column was quite successful, as the captured German machines were carrying German markings. Further can be seen in the story of the participant of these fights Hero of the Soviet Union G. Panico: “…I commanded: “Close to the last tank!” We almost rested in his gun. Shot in the tower, and the second time to the tower. He stopped the tank.

None of this tank popped up and it didn’t. It makes me happy. We still dark behind where shooting, getting stronger, very light-‘ lo. My partner, coming from behind, passes me and shoots too. He was not lucky. The tank in which he was shot, broke out a bright spark, besides the crew managed to jump out, and to destroy it, had to open machine-gun fire. Now light is not only back, but here, around us. The Germans have realized that someone shoots. The head of the column began movement in the direction of the panic.”

 
This battle scene is very characteristic. And subsequently captured tanks were used in the first place so for the sabotage raids into the territory occupied by the enemy. Pretty widely known, for example, a good RAID tank unit, which consisted of the German Pz.Kpfw.III, under the command of Sergeant I. Barysheva on the Volkhov front in April 1942.
 
However, the captured machine was used to conduct direct combat operations, although, again, not without a subversive hue.
 
In January 1943, on the outskirts of the city of Kamensk in the Donbass 169th tank brigade destroyed 22 and captured five perfectly healthy enemy tanks. Intelligence chief of the brigade decided to form them into a team, whose commander was appointed Lieutenant Irikov. The group entered in Kamensk. The enemy took over their tanks and did not open fire. Tankers Irikova managed to bring down eight guns, 15 tanks and destroyed up to 200 Nazis. Using the success Irikova, the 169th tank brigade rushed into the city without casualties and completed its task.
As a rule, no permanent units of the captured military equipment is not formed. Create temporary detachments, companies and battalions to accomplish specific missions. Captured tanks were operated as long as enough fuel, ammunition, spare parts. In the same range was used and a single captured machine.
 
Peak use of captured armored vehicles accounts for 1941 — 1943 years. At this time a number of companies were focused on its repair and restoration. Only in Moscow such enterprises have been at least two: the factory “Lift” and the all-Union Institute of mechanization (VIM). Second, this work continued until 1943. According to the memoirs of veterans, in the workshops of the Institute was repaired German, Czech and even French tanks. On some machines instead of the failed regular established automotive or tractor engines of Soviet manufacture. The guns of foreign brands has varied in Soviet DT. Last mounted on French tanks is even 37-mm guns.
 
In February 1942, in VIM arrived three KI command tank.Pz.Bfwg on the chassis of the Pz.Kpfw.I Аusf. V. Pretty long their repair was not of interest for the plant, as the tanks had no guns, and radio equipment was practically inapplicable in the red Army. But the front required well-armed machine, and the factory announced a tender for equipping their artillery guns of domestic production. There was little choice, because the factory had only four dozen 20-mm cannon tnsh aviation and motor-gun ShVAK, and five 45-mm tank guns of 1938.
 
One of the winners of the contest was I. Belikov (or whites). He offered to withdraw from KI.Pz.Bfwg (called the documents a “German machine-gun radiating without the tower”) all the radio equipment, and instead of a gun, set in a larger ball mount 20-mm automatic cannon ShVAK, which allowed to use a tank to combat German armored vehicle. One tank was converted in March 1942. Its frontal armor is enlarged slotted recess, in which the eight bolts inserted cast gun mask. The mask was “pear-shaped” with a gun, supplemented with a simplified trigger mechanism with the handle and shoulder rest. After testing the new weapons gun mount equipped with a screw stopper, and two cars out of three were sent to the front. The subsequent fate is unfortunately unknown.
 
Judging by everything, starting with the autumn of 1941, despite the retreat, the troops were constantly used, a significant number of captured military vehicles. It can be assumed that in the period of 1942-1943 it reached two or three hundred. In any case, by the spring of 1942 was issued a “Memo on the use of captured German combat and support vehicles,” which in short form is cited description of the design and controls of all tanks of the Wehrmacht, certain types of vehicles, tractors, cars and motorcycles. Were given recommendations on the use of tank weapons.
 
SU - 76И
 
SU – 76И
 
The layout of the SU-76И
 
The layout of the SU-76И:
 
1 — f-34 gun, 2 — gun mask, 3 — armored shield, 4 — panorama PTK, 5 — sight TMPD-7 telescoping, 6 — fencing guns, 7 — rounds for the gun, 8 — seat charging, 9 — engine, 10 — casing driveline 11 — shaft, 12 — seat driver.

 
At the end of 1942 there were “service Guides” on the most mass in the units of the red Army trophy tanks: Pz.Kpfw.lll and 38 (t), and in 1944 year on the tank Pz.Kpfw.V “Panther”. Regarding the latter, it was appreciated in the army on “weight in gold” trophy “Panthers” were manned with the best crews and was used mainly in anti-tank purposes. Pz.Kpfw.lll has been the subject of dreams to the Soviet tank commanders: high speed, comfort, great optics, great radio station!
 
Willingly was used by the troops and captured light armored vehicles — armored personnel carriers and armored cars. For example, in November 1943, under Fastov in the Ukraine 53rd guards tank brigade in combat with units of the German 25th Panzer division captured up to 30 serviceable armoured personnel carriers, which served in the brigade until the end of the war. Moreover, cacatoidae from the memoirs of the commander of the brigade V. S. Arkhipov, on the part of these machines the drivers were… the Germans.
 
In 1943 and 1944 took place the facts of the capture and use against German heavy tanks “Tiger”. March 9, 1944 godv during the fighting on the outskirts of Ternopil tank 61st guards tank Sverdlovsk brigade, commanded by Lieutenant G. S. Cesak, was hit. The crew left the car and switched on the captured Tiger. The trophy car tankers fought for almost a week and a half until I got the new T-34-85. For courage and heroism guard Lieutenant Cazacu was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
 
The most exotic use page German tanks in the red Army was the creation in 1943 on the basis of a captured tank Pz.Kpfw.lll self-propelled artillery SU-76И.
to say that captured self-propelled gun was operated actively in the red Army since the first days of the war. Important role here was played by the almost complete absence of similar domestic military vehicles.
 
The first mention of the use of assault guns of captured StuG. Ill refers to the period of the defense of Kiev. In August 1941, near the village Vita Poshtova was captured two intact StuG. Ill from the part of the 244-th division assault guns, one of which its course was delivered to the city. After showing people the car was equipped with Soviet crew and sent to the front. Its further fate is unknown.
 
Similar instances of the use of captured SAU was a lot. For example, during the Smolensk battle tank crew Junior Lieutenant S. Klimov, losing your own tank, moved in a captured StuG. Ill and in one day of fighting destroyed two of the enemy tank, armored personnel carrier and two trucks, for which Klimov was presented the order of the red Star.
 
During the liberation of left-Bank Ukraine at least two batteries of StuG. Ill fought as part of 3rd guards tank army. Under the Pryluky newly arrived at the front of the young tankers saw going on the road captured self-propelled gun, in spite of the large red stars on the sides, took her for a German and fired from a distance of 300 m from your light tank T-70. However, to burn it failed and in the end were beaten by samochodzik and going for the armor ACS infantry.
 
In the spring of 1942, the construction Bureau of factory No. 592 has proactively developed a self-propelled artillery SU-122A using the chassis of captured StuG assault guns. Ill Ausf.C and the swinging portion of the domestic 122 mm divisional howitzer M-30. The cabin of the German self-propelled guns has increased with additional armor plates. The first two cars were ready in April — may 1942. Serial production, however, was constrained by lack of adequate number of serviceable chassis. In July 1942 these ACS were tested at Moscow. According to test results, the State Committee of Defense decree # 2758сс in January 1943 gave the job factory # 37, Narcotango-prom and the Central artillery design Bureau (TsAKB) of the people’s Commissariat of weapons to develop and produce prototypes of self-propelled units on the basis of the captured tanks Pz.NI and Pz.IV, which by that time quite a lot has accumulated on the rear of the repair depots and warehouses trophy property. Two SAU – SU-76И and SU-122И (AND foreign) was built and tested on Netpoolone. SU-76И recognized quite satisfactory and recommended it for serial production.
 
ACS was a 76-mm tank gun f-34 mod. 1940, set in a non-rotating armored cabin mounted on the hull of the German medium tank Pz.Kpfw.lll. Suspension, engine and transmission were completely borrowed from the machine (more about them see “M-K” No. 2, 1994), and on the construction of cuttings and installation of the weapons makes sense to tell more.
 
The wheelhouse was welded from rolled armor plates and attached to the body by bolts. Cannon axles frame installed in the recess of the cabin. At the right rear corner of the latter on the horizontal display rack is located in 48 rounds for the gun, and another 38 in vertical racks along the left side and 10 in the vertical bar along the right side. In addition, fighting compartment in the pilings there were 15 disks for the two submachine guns PPSH, constituting auxiliary armament ACS, 20-25 hand grenades, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, a tank for drinking water and a box for a panorama of Hertz; the right front corner of the wheelhouse, radio station 9-R.
 
To the right of the guns were movable, height adjustable seat, commander, on the left front, this design the gunner’s seat, which was located on it when firing from the closed position, i.e. when working with panorama. When firing direct fire he was standing. Back on the housing shaft of the transmission there was a soft removable seat loader, he used it on the March.
 
For aiming at the target 76-mm tank gun was used telescopic sight TMPD-7 and a sight of the 76-mm gun ZIS-S with a panorama of Hertz. The observer of the battlefield served as a tank commander panorama PTK.
 
In General, the design of the SU-76И quite simple, and its creation can be seen as a temporary solution to the shortage of SPG SU-76M, whose mass production only were developed.
 
Unfortunately, almost nothing is known about the combat activities of SU-76И and the parts that they were armed. Basically, they took part in the fighting in 1943. In particular, on 25 October 1943 the headquarters of the 1st Panzer army of the Wehrmacht (Panzer-Armee-Oberkommando I.) sent to the Department “Foreign armies East” army intelligence “Abwehr” (OKW Abwehr Abteiluhg Fremde-Heere-Ost (lid) a report containing the following information: “In the 177th tank regiment of the 64th mechanised brigade has four companies of 11 tanks each. These tanks given the name Sturmgeschütz 76mm. As a base used the chassis of a German tank Panzer III with the Maybach engine. The new cockpit has a frontal armor thickness of 3-4 cm side — 1 — 1.5 cm Cabin is open from above. The gun has a traverse angles of 15° on direction, the vertical aiming angle of ±7°”. It should be added that the 64th mechanized brigade was part of the 7th mechanized corps of the red Army.
 
To our days miraculously survived, after spending nearly 30 years at the bottom of the river Sluch, only one sample of this rare war machines. He is now installed as a monument in the center of Sarny of Rivne region, Ukraine.
 
M. BARYATINSKY

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