57-mm Anti-tank Gun ZIS-2,Technical Specifications – The USSR

57-mm Anti-tank Gun ZIS-2 Technical Details

  • Years of production-1941; 1943-1949
  • Total issued-13,710 units.
  • Caliber-57 mm
  • Weight in combat position-1250 kg
  • Barrel length-4160 mm
  • Length of the threaded part-3950 mm
  • Payment – 5 people
  • Driving speed-50 km / h
  • Rate of fire-25 rounds / min
  • Maximum firing range-8400 m
  • Direct shot range – 1120 m
    Firing angles:
  • Horizontal – 54°
  • Vertical – 5° +25°

57-mm Anti-tank Gun ZIS-2 Details

The Second World War convincingly proved the increased role of tanks and the tendency to constantly increase the thickness of their armor. In this regard, in June 1940, in the Design Bureau of barrel artillery of plant No. 92 (Gorky), headed by V. G. Grabin, designers K. K. Rennet, V. D. Meshchaninov, A. P. Shishkin, F. F. Kaleganov began to develop a new anti-tank gun F-31. The general layout of the new gun was led by V. I. Sapozhnikov.

By the end of the 1930s, anti-tank guns were usually 37-50 mm caliber . Calculations have shown that for a significant increase in armor penetration, the caliber should be 57 mm, and the initial speed should be about 1000 m/s.

Such a gun in terms of power and armor penetration would exceed the standard 45-mm anti-tank gun of the 1937 model by four times.

The new project was based on the design and technological scheme
of the 76-mm F-24 regimental gun, which made it possible to immediately start developing the technical design and working drawings. The scheme of the F-24 regimental gun, which has already passed field tests, showing high quality, largely met the tactical and technical requirements for the new 57-mm anti-tank gun.

The new anti-tank gun is a classic long-barreled anti-tank gun with sliding frames, semi-automatic vertical wedge bolt and sprung wheel travel. In addition to replacing the 76-mm barrel with a 57-mm, only some mechanisms required radical processing, including the knurler-in the F-24, which was located under the barrel, and in the new gun it was decided to mount it above the barrel. Reducing the vertical guidance angle from 65° to 25° made it possible to apply a rollback brake with a constant rollback length in the anti-tank gun, which greatly simplified the task. The anti-tank gun received permanent coulters, in order to reduce the transition time from the marching position to the combat position and back.

A key feature of the new gun was the use of a long
(73 caliber) barrel. At the same time, the issue with the shot was resolved – a standard cartridge case from the 76-mm F-22USV divisional gun was adopted as its sleeve, with the muzzle of the cartridge case being re-compressed to 57 mm caliber . This solution simplified the production of ammunition, and also in the future allowed the use of the ZIS-2 bolt almost unchanged when creating the new 76-mm divisional ZIS-3 cannon of the 1942 model of the year.

Already at the beginning of 1941, a prototype 57-mm gun was produced, which received a new factory name “ZIS-2” (after the name of the enterprise – the Stalin Plant). During factory and field tests, it showed excellent fire characteristics for that time, confidently breaking through 100 mm thick armor at a distance of 500 m . The muzzle velocity of the 57-mm cannon was 990 m/s. The muzzle energy of the gun provided at a range of 500 m defeat armor with a thickness of 100 mm . The mass of the system in the combat position is only 1050 kg . Rate of fire-up to 25 rounds per minute. The range of a direct shot is 1120 m, armor penetration at an angle of 90 ° at a range of 500 m is 102 mm .

Firing from the gun could be carried out with the highest elevation angle of 25°, the declination angle was -5°, the horizontal guidance angle was 54°. The PP 1-2 panoramic sight with a hinged drive was used as sighting devices. The height of the firing line was 875 mm . Springing was turned off automatically when breeding stannins. The gun was towed at the beginning of the war by a semi-armored Komsomolets tractor, as well as by GAZ-67, GAZ-AA/GAZ-AAA and ZIS-5 cars at speeds up to 50 km/h or by horse traction – six horses.

The ammunition for the 57-mm gun included unitary shots to combat armored vehicles: with an armor-piercing tracer blunt-headed projectile; with an armor-piercing tracer sharp-headed projectile; with an armor-piercing tracer solid projectile; for firing at enemy personnel and firing points located openly, shots with a fragmentation grenade or buckshot were used.

The 57-mm ZIS-2 gun was designed to destroy armored vehicles and other motorized vehicles; suppress and destroy infantry, as well as destroy enemy firepower installed openly.

Already in March 1941, the ZIS-2 was adopted by the Red Army under the official name “57-mm anti-tank gun mod. 1941”, although only in May was the development of the technology for manufacturing the gun completed. The gun was transferred to mass production, organized simultaneously at three artillery factories.

At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the 57-mm ZIS-2 anti-tank gun (model 1941) was successfully used to fight against German tanks, being in service in anti-tank divisions of rifle divisions or brigades (in both cases – 3 batteries of 4 guns, a total of 12 guns), or in anti-tank regiments of the RGK (from 16 to 24 guns, depending on the number of batteries in the regiment).

But, despite its high combat qualities, at the end of 1941, by the decision of the State Defense Committee, the release of the ZIS-2, after the production of 371 guns, was discontinued, because “due to an excess of power in the absence of appropriate targets,” the 57-mm gun was unnecessary for the army. German tanks were pierced through with 3IS-2 shells, which sometimes did not cause harm to the crew, and the critical situation at the front required a sharp increase in the supply of anti-tank guns using already mastered and established technology in a short time.

Meanwhile, the battle against enemy tanks was successfully conducted by 45-mm anti-tank guns mod. 1937, the production of which was well established. However, in 1943, due to the appearance on the front of the German medium and heavy tanks Pz. Kpfw. V “Panther” and Pz. Kpfw. VI “Tiger” with an armor thickness of 85-100 mm, the most common 45-mm and 76-mm guns in the Red Army were not effective enough, in contrast to the 57-mm ZIS-2, which demonstrated the ability to deal with these types of tanks at most real battle distances.

On June 15, 1943, the GKO again accepts the 57-mm gun for service, now under the name “57-mm anti-tank gun of the 1943 model of the year”.

The ZIS-2 cannon of the 1943 model was created by superimposing the barrel
57-mm ZIS-2 cannon of the 1941 model with a single semi-automatic bolt on the carriage of the 76-mm divisional ZIS-3 cannon of the 1942 model in production. It had the same characteristics as the 57-mm gun of the 1941 model of the year, but instead of barrels with a free pipe – only monoblock barrels, in addition, instead of riveted staninas, the new gun received tubular ones. Also, according to the experience of the war, the knurler armor was introduced, consisting of two shields that were attached to the barrel clips. The thickness of the shield cover was 6 mm .

This decision made it possible not only to simplify and reduce the cost of manufacturing the ZIS-2 gun, but also to speed up its development in production – the Red Army again began to receive these guns three weeks after the adoption of the corresponding GKO resolution. In addition, a group of engineers headed by I. S. Burmistrov and
V. N. Konstantinov, additionally developed new subcalibre armor-piercing tracer projectiles with heavy cores for the 57-mm cannon. If at a distance of up to 500 m, a 45-mm sub-caliber projectile penetrated armor up to 95 mm , a 76-mm sub-caliber projectile-up to 105 mm, and a 57-mm sub-caliber projectile, which had an exceptionally high muzzle velocity of up to 1270 m / s, penetrated the frontal armor of any German tank. For the ZIS-2 of the 1943 model, a unified front end of the 1942 model was used (designed for 76-mm divisional and field guns), designed for 24 shots. For towing the gun, both Soviet trucks and American Dodge WC-51 “Dodge 3/4” cars and four-wheel drive Studebaker US6 trucks were used.

For the first time in large numbers, the 57-mm ZIS-2 anti-tank guns of the 1943 model were used in the summer of 1943 in the battles on the Kursk Bulge to combat German heavy tanks. 57-mm guns ZIS-2 in 1943 began to arrive in the fighter-anti-tank artillery regiments (20 guns per regiment). Since December 1944, ZIS-2s have been introduced into the states of Guards rifle divisions – in regimental anti-tank batteries and in the fighter-anti-tank division (12 guns). In June 1945, ordinary rifle divisions were transferred to a similar state.

Also at the end of the war, 4 ZIS-2s were in service with cavalry regiments. The 57-mm anti-tank gun of the 1943 model confidently hit the 80-mm frontal armor of the most common German Pz medium tanks at all distances..IV and StuG assault guns.III, as well as the tank’s side armor Pz.VI “Tiger”; at distances of less than 500 m, the frontal armor of the” Tiger ” was also hit, which was not hit from 45-mm guns in general, and from 76-mm guns – only by a sub-caliber shell from distances of less than 300 m .

When using sub-caliber projectiles, the capabilities of the ZIS-2 increased even more. So, on August 14, 1944, on the Sandomierz bridgehead, 13 German tanks with paratroopers tried to break through the front line of our defense. Their path was blocked by the 1st battery of the 324th Guards fighter-anti-tank artillery Regiment. Having let the enemy tanks at a distance of 250 – 300 meters , the gunners opened well-aimed fire. The gunner of one of the ZIS-2 cannons, Sergeant P. E. Aldunenkov, knocked out the gun.
7 enemy tanks, including 3 “Tigers”. This gun was actively used until the end of World War II and by its combat characteristics was rightfully considered one of the best anti-tank guns. In terms of power, it surpassed the 37-mm American anti-tank gun by 5.4 times, the 50-mm German one by 2.2 times, and the newest 57-mm English one by 1.6 times.

Serial production of 57-mm ZIS-2 guns was organized at factory No. 92 in October 1943. Since 1945, the production of ZIS-2 guns was mastered by plant No. 235
(Votkinsk), and from 1947 to 1949, ZIS-2 guns were produced only at this plant. A total of 13,710 57-mm ZIS-2 anti – tank guns were produced from 1941 to 1949, of which 371 guns were produced in 1941, 9645 57 – mm guns of the 1943 model were produced in 1943-1945, and another 3694 guns were produced in 1946-1049.

After the end of World War II, the 57-mm ZIS-2 anti-tank guns were in service with the Soviet Army until the 1970s. In 1957, its new modification ZIS-2N was adopted, on which the APN-57 or APN3-55 night sight was mounted. Modernization in this version of the previously released ZIS-2 guns was carried out by plant No. 235. In addition, a self-propelled version of the ZIS-2SN gun was created, equipped with an M-72 motorcycle engine. the engine and an auxiliary (front) roller for moving the gun on the battlefield.

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