152-mm gun Br-2 Specifications
- Years of issue – 1937 – 1940
- In total, 37 units were produced.
- Caliber – 152 mm
- Weight in firing position – 18,200 kg
- Barrel length – 7170 mm
- The length of the threaded part – 5713 mm
- Calculation – 15 people
- Travel speed – 12 – 15 km / h
- Rate of fire – 1 rds / min
- The greatest firing range – 25750 m
- Direct shot range – no data
- Shooting angles:
- Horizontal – 8 °
- Vertical – 0 ° + 60 °
152-mm gun Br-2 Details
After the end of the Civil War, the Red Army had only a small number of long-range large-caliber guns of large and special power (mainly of foreign production), intended for counter-battery firing, shelling of important objects in the enemy’s near rear, destruction of especially strong fortifications. By this time they had already become obsolete, both technically and morally.
In 1927, the Artillery Directorate of the USSR People’s Commissariat of Defense developed a program for the creation of samples of guns of large and special power guns. This program provided for the development of long-range long-barreled 152-mm guns for the artillery of the reserve of the main command (ARGK). In 1929-1934, the Leningrad plant “Bolshevik” (formerly the Obukhov plant) created a similar weapon, which received the index “B-10”. It did not withstand the military tests carried out in
1935, however, the conceptual features of the B-10 – ballistic characteristics and a tracked carriage, were embodied in another project – the Br-2. Back in the early 1930s, the Artillery Directorate attempted to create a high-power triplex, consisting of a 203-mm howitzer, a 152-mm cannon and a 280-mm mortar on a single gun carriage. The use of a single gun carriage gave a number of advantages – the development, production and operation of guns were significantly reduced and simplified.
The development of the triplex was carried out by competing design bureaus of two plants – the Leningrad Bolshevik and the Stalingrad Barrikada. The project of the new 152-mm cannon of the Barrikady plant was named “Br-2” and represented the imposition of the B-10 barrel on the carriage of the B-4 howitzer. The prototype 152-mm cannon, manufactured by the Barrikady plant, had a bolted barrel, a counterbalancing mechanism and minor changes in the bolt firing mechanism. He entered the proving grounds in December 1935.The design of the Br-2 cannon was largely unified with the design of the 203-mm B-4 howitzer of the 1931 model. A tracked carriage was borrowed from the howitzer, with minor changes, allowing firing directly from the ground without the use of special platforms. The new element was a 152-mm piston-bolt barrel with a plastic shutter. In the stowed position, the gun was disassembled into two parts and transported on two carts by tracked tractors at a speed of 15 km / h. Thanks to the tracked undercarriage of the carriage, the cross-country ability of the system was quite high. Small-scale production of Br-2 cannons began on March 14, 1936 (that is, even before the completion of military tests), and, unlike the prototype, the barrel of the serial guns had a free tube of the B-30 type.
The gun put into service under the designation “152-mm cannon model 1935” had a number of serious defects, including very low barrel survivability (only 100 rounds). To solve this problem, another prototype was created with a barrel that received deeper grooves, as well as with a reduced charging chamber. As a result, since 1938, deep-grooved barrels went into production for these guns.
The Br-2 cannon was a long-barreled cannon mounted on a single-bar carriage with a caterpillar track. The same carriage, with minor design changes, was used for the B-4 203-mm howitzer and the Br-5 280-mm mortar. The main design features of the gun included: a barrel with a free tube; piston type shutter; hydraulic recoil brake; hydropneumatic knurler; variable rollback length; carton loading. To facilitate the supply of shells from the ground, there was a special crane with a winch.The carriage had a special hydropneumatic push-type balancing mechanism. It was assumed that the design of the tracked carriage would provide high maneuverability when moving on virgin soil or arable land, thus making it possible to increase the survivability of the gun by quickly changing the firing position in an unassembled form. However, its use has led to the cumbersomeness and very low mobility of the entire system, both unassembled and disassembled. At the same time, the ability to maneuver fire was also severely limited by the horizontal guidance angle of only 8 °.It took at least 25 minutes to turn the gun by the calculation forces beyond the horizontal aiming angle. For short distances, the gun could move unassembled at a speed of 5 – 8 km / h, for long distances the Br-2 was towed unassembled – the barrel separately on a special gun cart, the gun carriage – separately. The gun wagon Br-10 was wheeled, the total mass of the wagon with the barrel reached 11.1 tons.
The carriage consisted of a body, a forward motion with a mechanical traction boom, a reverse gear, a braking device and a device for re-equipping the system. The B-29 tracked barreled carriage could also be used, while the total mass with the barrel reached 13.4 tons. The time for transferring the gun from the traveling position to the combat position during separate transportation ranged from 45 minutes to 2 hours. The gun was towed by the Voroshilovets tracked artillery tractors, and the barrel carts by the less powerful Comintern tracked tractors.
152-mm gun Br-2 used for firing only its own, specially developed for it ammunition; moreover, guns with deep and shallow rifling also had their own non-interchangeable shells. Shells for guns with deep grooves had one leading belt, and for guns with fine grooves – two belts. The ammunition load of the Br-2 gun included shots of separate caps loading with various types of high-explosive and concrete-piercing shells and three variable charges. The firing range of a high-explosive fragmentation projectile weighing 48.77 kg was 25750 m.
152-mm cannon Br-2 was intended to destroy various objects in the near rear of the enemy – command posts and headquarters, warehouses, field airfields, railway stations, troop concentrations, long-range batteries, as well as the destruction of vertical fortifications with direct fire.
Br-2 guns took part in the Soviet-Finnish war. As of June 1941, the Red Army had 37 Br-2 cannons, while the troops had 28 guns. The rest of the guns were in warehouses and training grounds. Due to the unfavorable course of hostilities for the Red Army at the initial stage of the war, all 152-mm Br-2 cannons, like almost all artillery of high and special power, were withdrawn to the rear and took part in hostilities only from the end of 1942. They were used in the Battle of Kursk, during the final lifting of the blockade from Leningrad, in the Belarusian offensive operation of 1944, and in April 1945, these guns from the artillery group of the 8th Guards Army were used to defeat targets on the Seelow Heights during the Berlin offensive.
Before World War II, 152-mm cannons of the 1935 model entered service with a separate heavy cannon regiment of the RVGK (24 guns), as well as two separate batteries (2 guns each) stationed in the Arkhangelsk military district for coastal defense. After the start of the war, the Br-2 cannons were used as part of separate divisions of 6 guns. Later, their organizational and staff structure was changed – a cannon regiment of special power was introduced, consisting of four batteries (2 guns each). The gun regiment of special power was armed with 6 152-mm Br-2 cannons and two 210-mm Br-17 cannons. As of May 1945, the RVGK units included four such regiments.
The production of Br-2 guns was carried out by the Barrikady plant (Stalingrad) from 1937 to 1940. A total of 37 guns were made, including 7 guns with small grooves were fired in 1937, and later only guns with deep grooves were produced. In 1955, the Br-2 cannons underwent a major modernization; a new wheeled carriage was developed for the gun. The transport of the gun became inseparable, the towing speed increased significantly to 35 km / h. The upgraded guns received the Br-2M index and were in service with the Soviet army until the 1970s.