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.