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Eastern Front Altitudes


Halon
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Soviets used for 76.2mm guns (including T-34 L-11,F-32 and F-34 models) shrapnel projectile Sh-354 with different kind of fuses.It consisted of 260 lead balls of 12.7mm diameter.

They also had Shch-350 projectile which was canister (usually made of cardboard) with 549 lead/antimony shrapnel balls of 12.7mm diameter.Case disintegrated after leaving muzzle of the gun and balls scattered like shotgun pellets. It was used against soft targets up to 300m.

None of these projectiles is modelled in game.

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I will take your word for it Brano - I have never read an account of it being used in operations, but maybe because the the Soviets were not saying, and the Germans cannot say, after they have been shot with one!   ;)

 

What was the typical ammo load out for a Soviet T-34 tank, in say 1942-43? 

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Both types were "special cathegory" projectiles and as such were not distributed to tank units as standard. Canister and shrapnel ammo was usually used as last ditch defense for field arty units (76.2mm regimental/divisional guns) for direct fire at attacking infantry (not very common situation).

 

 

Standard ammo load:

T-34 1943 model (with hexagonal ''Mickey Mouse'' turret) had 100 projectiles,of which 21 were BR350 (APHE), 75 OF350 (HE-fragmentation) and 4 subcaliber BR350P (APCR) 

T-34 1942 model without radio 71 projectiles (simmilar ratio of projectile types)

T-34 1942 model with radio only 36 projectiles

 

EDIT: correction of BS I wrote previously

OF-350 projectile could be theoretically used as AAA  is not suitable as AAA.Doesnt have a distance fuse,only contact or contact with delay (used against field fortifications where it was more usefull to let the projectile penetrate into the "bunker" and explode inside with much better destructive result of blast wave)

Edited by Brano
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Fuse delay has nothing to do with AAA. It only means, that the projectile takes some time after hitting a target, until it explodes. For AAA you set a timer before shooting, so the projectile detonates after a fixed time, hopefully near the target. It was also used by artillery for letting the grenades explode over the heads of ground troops.

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I doubt that any tank on the Eastern front ever carried cannister rounds - as far as I know neither the Germans nor the Soviets used them.

 

Tanks typically had two MGs specifically for anti personnel purposes,  no tank commander would waste one of a limited number of shell slots on a "cannister" round, even if such were available, except in exceptional circumstances, since main gun HE or MG fire would almost always be a better choice against infantry.

 

The only references I have seen about this kind of round in WW2 relate to US tanks.  Your wiki reference gives one case of US AT guns using them, the other cases are post WW2. Elsewhere I have read that US tanks used them in the Normandy Bocage, that is about it.

 

Well maybe you're not an expert on these?

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Fuse delay has nothing to do with AAA. It only means, that the projectile takes some time after hitting a target, until it explodes. For AAA you set a timer before shooting, so the projectile detonates after a fixed time, hopefully near the target. It was also used by artillery for letting the grenades explode over the heads of ground troops.

My mistake,OF-350 doesnt have a distance fuse possibility,only impact/impact with delay. Sh-350 does have distance fuse.

I will correct my EDIT above.Thanks for noticing me writing BS  ;)

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Well maybe you're not an expert on these?

 

I am not an "expert" on anything, but I have been reading about warfare, in particular land based war at the tactical level, for some 40+ years, including during my spell as an infantry officer.

 

If cannister type rounds were in common use in WW2 tanks I am confident that I would have known about it. Brano says, the Soviets made cannister shells, but he also says that they were not usually issued to tanks. Indeed, from his comment, it is even still possible that they were never issued to tanks.

 

So I believe my original comment on your post was exactly on the money.

Edited by unreasonable
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http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/weapons/art_tanks.htm

 

but maybe you can ask LukeFF as I think he might be more authoritative on this subject.

 

I can only assume that you are referring to the last section of the tables which lists load outs including for cannister shells for T-34 and larger tanks. Plus the note that says  - Often high-explosive shells were used instead of those. 

 

The headings of the table also state "from Dec 1943".

 

All military OBs and load-outs in staff tables often indicate a staff officer's ideas rather than what actually happened. I imagine a tank being loaded up and the QM says "would you like 10% of your load out being in a shrapnel shell only useful against infantry in the open up to 300m just in case your MG is jammed, or a few more HE that can be used against just about anything right up to your gun's range limit ?" 

 

Show me usage and production data that shows extensive consumption of this shell type and I will concede the case. As a practical military option it seems implausible, except for special situations like suppressing rioters.

Edited by unreasonable
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In soviet manual for T-34/76 canister and shrapnel projectiles are not listed as standard issued. It is written in other soviet manual for 76,2mm guns that such projectiles are only to be used in defence when gun battery is under direct attack of infantry or cavalry.

Dont know if it was practical for soviet tank crews to try to obtain such projectiles. In case of overwhelming mass german infantry/cavalry charge against soviet armor (highly improbable) soviet tanks could just retreat.For them it was more important to get to standard AP rounds as they were largely unavailable at the beginning of war. To fetch few APCR rounds was a little miracle.

Edit:

I found an interesting piece of info in manual for T-34 with 85mm gun. While shrapnel projectiles are not mentioned in standard loadout,there is a paragraph about correct storage of ammo inside the tank. There is a note about shrapnel. It was considered as very sensitive for handling and was supposed to be stored only in vertical position on prescribed spots. It may indicate that also due to this it was not much popular with crews. I'll try to check also other manual from 1942 I have at home for T-34/76. The one I used now is 1944 2nd edition. There is usually difference inbetween manuals and sometimes they even contradict each other.

Edited by Brano
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  • 3 weeks later...

I did consider it total nonsense as well a few years back, but by now I've read a lot of accounts where this allegedly happened.

 

Otto Carius claims to have shot down an aircraft in a Tiger, while Dieter Orth was lost in his Hs 129 after being hit by a T-34 main gun.

Related, slightly different - in Vietnam, 1967, a 155mm artillery piece shot off the tail of a C-7 Caribou in an accidental friendly fire incident.

 

The chance to hit is there, and I guess at least occasionally, someone would take that chance.

Lipfert was shot in the wing by a Soviet AT gun (so he describes in his memoirs). I also remember reading about a Churchill tank which destroyed a German bomber with its main gun in N.Africa.

 

So it happened now and then, apparently.

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