100-mm Bs-3 Field Gun 1944,Technical Specifications – The USSR

100-mm Bs-3 Field Gun Technical Details

  • Years of production-1944-1953
  • Total issued-3,816 units.
  • Caliber-100 mm
  • Weight in combat position-3650 kg
  • Barrel length-5960 mm
  • Length of the threaded part-4625 mm
  • Payment – 6 people
  • Driving speed-50 km / h
  • Rate of fire-8-10 rounds/min
  • Maximum firing range-21,360 m
  • Direct shot range-1200 m
    Firing angles:
  • Horizontal – 58°
  • Vertical – 5° +45°
  • Horizontal – 5°
  • Vertical – 18 +11°

100-mm Bs-3 Field Gun Details

At the beginning of 1943, the Germans used heavy tanks Pz. Kpfw on the Eastern Front.VI Ausf.E “Tiger”, Pz. Kpfw. V “Panther” and self-propelled artillery “Ferdinand”, trying again to wrest the strategic initiative from the Soviet military command at the most crucial moment of the Great Patriotic War. The Red Army needed a new and effective means of destruction to deal with heavy-duty German tanks. GKO Resolution No. 3187 of April 15, 1943 required strengthening the anti-tank defense of the Red Army. The Soviet defense industry needed to create an anti-tank gun capable of penetrating the armor of promising German tanks.

The development and production of prototypes were assigned to the Central Artillery Design Bureau (TsAKB) and Motovilikha Plant No. 172
named after Molotov. The deadlines were tight: delivery of drawings to production – by May 30; by July 15, a prototype should be made, readiness for field tests – on August 1. There was no time to create a gun with new ballistics, so I had to choose between the ballistics of the 107-mm M-60 gun, the 100-mm B-34 ship gun, and the 122-mm A-19 gun. The caliber was chosen based on the need to create a gun with a power several times greater than that of existing 57-mm and 76 – mm anti-tank guns.

The Head and Chief Designer of the TsAKB, V. G. Grabin, considered the best option to be the 100-mm shipboard B-34 cannon with a deep rifling ( 1.5 mm) with a unitary shot mastered in production. The design team of TsAKB consisting of A. E. Khvorostin, I. S. Griban, F. F. Kaleganov, V. G. Lasman, A. P. Shishkin, E. A. Sankin, V. G. Pogosyants, G. I. Muravyov, under the leadership of V. G. Grabin, with the participation of K. K. Rennet, V. D. Meshchaninov, P. M. Nazarov, P. A. Tyurin launched work on the creation of a new 100-mm anti-tank gun. The general layout of the new gun was entrusted to the designer A. E. Khvorostin, which proved itself well in the development of the ZIS-3 cannon.

The cannon consisted of two main parts: barrel with bolt and carriage. The carriage was made according to the scheme of a reversed reference triangle, which reduced the load on the frames when firing at the maximum angles of rotation of the upper machine. The long barrel of the gun, which gives the projectile a muzzle velocity of about 900 m / s, had an effective two-chamber brake (efficiency of about 60 %), which made it possible to reduce the mass of the artillery system. A high rate of fire – up to 10 rounds per minute – was provided by a V-shaped vertical bolt, with semi-automatic mechanical (copy) type. The rollback brake is hydraulic, the knurler is hydropneumatic. When fired, the cylinders of the recoil devices roll back together with the barrel. The cradle is riveted trough-shaped. Anti-rollback devices are placed in the cradle. The upper machine is the base of the swinging part of the gun; it is connected to the lower machine by means of a pin. The lifting mechanism of the sector type provided vertical guidance in the range from -5 to +45°. The rotary mechanism of the screw type provided horizontal aiming of the gun within 58°. The counterbalancing mechanism of the hydropneumatic, pushing type (consisting of two parallel-working cylinders) and torsion springing, which automatically turned on (and off) when the mills were brought together (diluted), significantly reduced the dimensions and weight of the gun. The lower machine consisted of a frontal box and two sliding mills. In the hobot part of the stanin there were folding summer coulters. The shield cover consisted of the main, movable and folding shields. Sighting devices consisted of a panoramic sight S-71A-5 for shooting from closed positions and an optical sight OP-1-5 for direct fire (guns of the first releases of the sight for direct fire did not have).

The problem was the selection of wheels for a relatively heavy field gun – in the end, double wheels with reinforced tires from the ZIS-5 car were chosen. The gun was transported without a front end by mechanical traction.

The rate of fire of the gun without correcting the tip was 8-10 rounds per minute, almost 4-5 rounds per minute. The maximum firing range is about
20,000 m when firing at full charge and about 13,400 m when firing at reduced charge. The height of the firing line is 1010 mm .

In the shortest possible time, the TsAKB developed all the technical documentation for the gun and on June 4, 1943, sent it to plant No. 172 for the production of a prototype.

Initially, the gun was named after the TsAKB S-3 index, but since it was planned to produce it at the Bolshevik plant in Leningrad, whose guns had the B index, the gun received the BS-3 index.

The 100-mm BS-3 field gun of the 1944 model, adopted by the Red Army in May of the same year, played a major role in the final stage of the Great Patriotic War, breaking through well-fortified enemy defense lines in Germany. Despite its name “field”, it was, in fact, a powerful anti-tank gun. It was used both as a powerful anti-tank gun not only to fight tanks and other motorized means of the enemy at all distances, but also as a hull gun for long-range counter-battery shooting due to its high range of fire, as well as for destroying enemy firepower and manpower.

The gun’s ballistic properties and targeting mechanisms made it possible to fire both at stationary targets located openly or behind small shelters, and at fast-moving ground targets. The set of ammunition for the 100-mm field gun mod. 1944 BS-3 included unitary shots with projectiles: armor-piercing sharp-headed, tracer; armor-piercing blunt-headed with a ballistic tip, tracer; marine fragmentation grenade; high-explosive fragmentation.

The gun’s armor-piercing tracer projectile penetrated 135 mm thick armor at a range of 1500 m and 160 mm thick armor at a range of 500 m .

To combat artillery and enemy firing points, high-explosive fragmentation grenades weighing 15.6 kg were used . The high armor penetration of the shells of these guns made it possible to effectively use them against the most powerful tanks of the Wehrmacht (“Tiger”, “Royal Tiger” and “Panther”). In the case when the armor did not break through (for example, the thickness of the frontal armor of the Ferdinand self-propelled gun was 200 mm ), then the control mechanisms were destroyed from a strong impact of the projectile on the armor, and the crew received a strong contusion or was hit by fragments that broke off from the inside of the armor.

In August 1944, when the BS-Z began to arrive at the front, the war was already nearing its end, so the experience of using this weapon in combat was limited. However, appearing almost simultaneously on many fronts, powerful guns quickly tamed the Fascist “menagerie” and thereby accelerated the complete defeat of the enemy. Soviet soldiers aptly nicknamed the new gun of the 1944 model of the year – “St. John’s Wort”.

The 100-mm BS-3 gun was used in the fighter-antitank artillery brigades of the RVGK, light artillery brigades of three regiments that were part of tank armies (48 ZiS-3 guns and 20 BS-3 guns), fighter-antitank regiments and divisions. The 206th fighter-anti-tank artillery Regiment of the 20th Army Fighter-anti-tank Artillery Brigade was armed with the 100-mm BS-3 gun of the gun commander, Senior Sergeant Berdyansky. The gun was the first to come out and opened fire on a strong strongpoint with a large garrison located in the building of the naval school in Berlin. The main building of the school was destroyed by gunfire, up to 120 soldiers and officers, two self-propelled artillery units, two mortars and three machine guns were destroyed.

Since May 1944, plant No. 232 has started scheduled deliveries, having managed to produce 275 guns by the end of the year. Since August, they have been produced by the Frunze Arsenal plant No. 7, bringing the total annual production to 335 copies. Production at the Bolshevik plant lasted three years, and plant No. 97 made the BS-3 until 1953, which eventually gave the army 3,816 BS-3 guns.

In the post-war years, the BS-3 gun underwent a small modernization, this primarily concerned sights and ammunition. Until the early 1960s, BS-3 guns successfully hit the armor of any NATO tank. But later the situation changed: BS-3 armor-piercing sub-caliber shells could not penetrate the front of the turret and the upper frontal armor of the M-48A2, M-60 and Chief tanks. In this regard, feathered sub-caliber and shaped-charge projectiles were urgently developed and put into service. Moreover, sub-caliber shells could penetrate any M-48A2 armor and the M-60 and Chieftain turrets, but they did not penetrate the frontal upper armor of the M-60 and Chieftain.

Cumulative shells penetrated any armor of all three tanks. In the 1980s, the BS-3 received a new anti-tank guided projectile 9M117 (Bastion complex), which had an effective firing range of 100-4000 m and penetrated armor up to 550 mm thick. In the Russian Federation, BS-3 guns continue to serve as coastal defense weapons in service with the 18th machine-gun and artillery Division stationed in the Kuril Islands, and a fairly significant number of them are in storage.

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