122 Mm a-19 Cannon,Technical Details – USSR

122 Mm a-19 Cannon Specifications

  • Years of issue – 1933 – 1946
  • In total, 2926 units were produced.
  • Caliber – 122 mm
  • Weight in firing position – 7117 kg
  • Barrel length – 5650 mm
  • The length of the threaded part – 4604 mm
  • Calculation – 9 people
  • Travel speed – up to 25 km / h
  • Rate of fire – 5 – 6 rds / min
  • The greatest firing range – 20240 m
  • Direct shot range – 825 m
  • Shooting angles:
  • Horizontal – 58 °
  • Vertical -2 ° + 65 °

122 Mm a-19 Cannon Details

In 1927, the Red Army command demanded the development of a more powerful 122 mm gun to replace the outdated 107 mm corps gun of the 1910 model. The first version of the new 122-mm corps cannon was developed at the Design Bureau of the All-Union Arsenal and Arsenal Trust by a group of designers consisting of
N. Komarov, S. Ananyev, V. Drozdov, V. Vodokhlebov, B. Makarov, S.
Rykovskov and N. Torbin under the leadership of S.P. Shukalov, while he received the designation “A-19”.

The prototype of the gun was manufactured at the factory number 172 (Perm). The A-19 gun differed from the old artillery systems in several innovations: the high muzzle velocity of the projectile increased the barrel length, which, in turn, complicated vertical aiming and gun transportation; to unload the lifting mechanism and facilitate the gunner’s work, a balancing mechanism was used, and to protect the critical units and mechanisms of the gun from shock loads during transportation, a mounting mechanism was used for traveling.Now, before transporting the gun, the barrel was separated from the recoil devices, pulled back along the cradle and fastened with stoppers to the carriage. The mechanism of mutual closure allowed to exclude the closing and opening of the bolt when the barrel was not fully connected to the recoil devices. For the first time on guns of such a large caliber, sliding beds and a rotating upper machine were used, which ensured an increase in the angle of horizontal firing, and the introduction of suspension and metal wheels with rubber tires made it possible to transport the gun along the highway at a speed of up to 20 km / h.

The new gun was adopted by the Red Army in March 1936 under the designation “122-mm A-19 cannon, model 1931”. It was intended for counter-battery warfare, for disrupting the control of enemy troops, suppressing his rear services, preventing the approach of reserves, and transporting ammunition and food.

The production of the A-19 cannon of the 1931 model was mastered at the Barricades artillery plant (Stalingrad) in 1933 and continued until 1939. In terms of projectile power and firing range, the 122-mm A-19 cannon was superior to all guns in its class. However, it also had disadvantages associated with the design of the carriage: unsuccessful wheel travel, limiting the mobility of the gun; lack of automatic suspension of suspension (reducing the speed of transfer from traveling to combat position and vice versa); an unreliable lifting mechanism, combined with a spring balancing device, which often failed, which negatively affected the preparation time of the gun for firing.

Until 1937, significant changes were made to the design of the gun, aimed at improving its manufacturability and eliminating the shortcomings identified during operation. At the same time, by the end of 1936, a new 152-mm howitzer-gun ML-20, which received a carriage of a more modern design, was tested. A logical idea emerged – to put the barrel of a 122-mm cannon on the carriage of a 152-mm howitzer-cannon, which made both systems “duplex”, that is, two guns using a single carriage, but with different barrel groups. The advantage of the duplex over individual designs of artillery systems was the simplification and cheapening of the production and operation of guns.

Further modernization was carried out at the artillery plant No. 172 under the leadership of the designer F.F. Petrov. The barrel of the A-19 cannon was placed on the normalized 52-L-504A carriage from the ML-20 howitzer-cannon, which improved the gun’s mobility and elevation angle. In this carriage, the balancing and lifting mechanisms were divided into two independent units, the elevation angle was increased from 45 ° to 65, a normalized sight with an independent line of sight was installed. Field tests of the new gun were successfully completed in the fall of 1938, and on April 29, 1939, it was adopted by the Red Army under the name “122-mm corps cannon model 1931/37” year, was also used in the designation of a new modification.

The A-19 body gun of the 1931/37 model had a classic design and consisted of a barrel with a bolt and a carriage with sliding beds and a sprung wheel travel. Barrels for guns were produced in two types: initially – a monoblock barrel, and since 1937 it was replaced by a barrel with a more technologically advanced free tube. The piston breechblock of the gun had the same design as the breechblock of the howitzer-gun.
ML-20, but somewhat smaller. It was opened and closed by turning the handle, and the built-in safety mechanism prevented untimely opening of the bolt during prolonged shots or misfires. The shot was fired with a cord. If the gun was incorrectly transferred from the traveling position to the combat position, the shutter was prevented from opening by the lock of the mutual closure mechanism. The recoil devices consisted of a hydraulic recoil brake of a spindle type and a hydropneumatic knurler mounted in a trough-shaped cradle under the barrel.When rolling back, they remained motionless. The normalized carriage with sliding frames was equipped with a balancing mechanism and shield cover and provided firing with a horizontal firing angle of 58 °, and the elevation angle was 65 °. Lifting and turning mechanisms – sector type.

The balancing mechanism of the spring type, consisted of two columns (consisting of two cylinders put one on top of the other) with springs inside, located in front of the shield. Large angles of fire and the presence of four variable charges of separate-case loading shots provided high flexibility of fire, allowing you to adjust the firing range. Sights included a sight and a panorama. The sights were used in two versions, with an independent and semi-independent (on guns of later years of production) line of sight. In the frontal part of the lower machine in a special socket, a combat axle was mounted, at the ends of which wheels were put on. The wheels were produced in two versions: cast with a rubber tire and disc (double) with a sponge rubber tire.

The 122-mm cannon of the 1931/37 model was transported by medium tracked tractors “Stalinets-2” and “Comintern”, and since 1943 – by the artillery tractor Ya-12, at a fairly high speed – up to 25 km / h. This was largely facilitated by the design of a common front end for both guns (A-19 and ML-20).

The trunk part of the carriage beds, tightly connected to the rotary part of the front end, had the ability to rotate horizontally and swing in vertical planes relative to its lower frame connected to the course, which achieved independence and flexibility of the carriage and front end moves. The transportation of the gun was usually carried out on a gun carriage with the barrel in a retracted position. For short distances, the system could be transported with an unstretched barrel at a speed of 4 – 5 km / h. The time to transfer the gun from the traveling position to the combat position and vice versa was 8-10 minutes.

The ammunition for the 122-mm cannon of the 1931/37 model included shots with shells: high-explosive fragmentation (several types); armor-piercing tracer; concrete cannon. The firing range of high-explosive fragmentation projectiles weighing 25 kg with an initial speed of 800 m / s was 20,240 m. When installing the fuse for fragmentation, they inflicted damage with fragments along the front up to 40 square meters. m and up to 8 m deep. When the fuse was installed for high-explosive action, the depth of the funnel was 1.3 m, and the diameter was 3.3 m.

For the first time, 122 mm A-19 cannons took an active part in hostilities during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940. The main targets for the 122-mm A-19 cannons were accumulations of manpower and equipment, columns on the march, artillery batteries, field depots, headquarters and communication centers, well-fortified defensive positions. However, the 122-mm corps cannon of the 1931/37 model had a special role to play during the Great Patriotic War, when A-19 guns almost always participated in all major artillery preparations, in counter-battery combat and assault on enemy fortified areas.In case of urgent need, 122-mm cannons were used to combat enemy tanks and self-propelled guns, especially heavy ones. Similar cases were recorded back in October 1941, when the A-19 cannons, mounted on direct fire, repelled attacks by German tanks along the Volokolamskoe highway during the battle for Moscow.

The most famous are the cases of using guns of this type to combat well-armored German armored vehicles during the Battle of Kursk. Armor-piercing shells weighing 25 kg with an initial speed of 780 m / s at a direct shot range of up to 900 m pierced armor with a thickness of over 150 mm, i.e., all enemy tanks. The 122-mm cannon of the 1931/37 model was rated as one of the most accurate and long-range weapons of this war. And it is no coincidence that this gun was one of the first to open fire on Nazi Berlin on April 20, 1945.

122 mm cannon mod. 1931/37, together with the 152-mm howitzer-cannon ML-20 of the 1937 model, made up the so-called “corps duplex” – two artillery systems that entered service with corps artillery regiments before the war (12 or 24 A-19 cannons). In June 1941, the Red Army was armed with 1257 (1236 in the army and 21 in the Navy) 122-mm corps guns A-19. However, during the Great Patriotic War, the 122-mm A-19 cannons began to be used in artillery regiments of a larger organizational unit – the combined arms army.

On June 1, 1944, the corps artillery had 387 A-19 guns (regiments of 18 guns each). Along with the artillery regiments of rifle and mechanized formations, the A-19 cannon was in service with the artillery brigades and regiments of the RVGK. The gun regiment of the RVGK by the summer of 1941 had 48 A-19 guns in its staff. In the fall of 1941, their staffs changed (in the cannon regiments of the RVGK, there were now 18 guns).

Since 1942, artillery brigades of the RVGK were formed (36 A-19 guns each). The cannon brigades of the RVGK could be part of larger formations – artillery divisions, which began to form at the end of 1942. The divisions had one A-19 cannon brigade (and three more brigades of lighter guns and mortars). From June 1943, cannon artillery divisions began to form, which included 3-4 brigades (a total of 108 – 144 guns A-19 and ML-20). After the end of the Great Patriotic War, the 122-mm A-19 cannon was in service with the Sovietarmy, serving as the basis for the creation of a family of powerful D-25 tank guns. For its time, the 122-mm cannon of the 1931/37 model was a completely modern, structurally perfect weapon that successfully combined high firepower, mobility, manufacturability in production and unpretentious operation.

122-mm A-19 cannons of the 1931/37 model from 1939 to 1941 were produced at the Stalingrad plant “Barricades”. In 1941 – 1946, the production of A-19 guns was mastered at the Motovilikhinsky plant number 172. In addition, in 1941, a new plant number 352 (Novocherkassk) received an order for the manufacture of guns of this type, but with its evacuation in October 1941 to Votkinsk, the production of A-19 guns was not established there. In total, from 1933 to 1946, 2926 122-mm corps guns of the 1931 and 1931/37 models were manufactured, not counting the 122-mm D-25 artillery pieces intended for installation on self-propelled guns and tanks.

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