76-mm Mountain Gun Model 1938, The USSR

76-mm Mountain Gun Model 1938 Technical Details

  • Years of issue – 1939 – 1950s.
  • In total, 967 units were produced. (in 1939 – 1941)
  • Caliber – 76 mm
  • Weight in firing position – 785 kg (on a long gun carriage); 722 kg (on a short gun carriage)
  • Barrel length – 16300 mm
  • The length of the threaded part – 1435 mm
  • Calculation – 6 people
  • Travel speed – 18 km / h
  • Rate of fire – up to 15 rds / min
  • The greatest firing range – 10 520 m
  • Direct fire range – no data
    Angles of fire:
  • Horizontal – 10 °
  • Vertically – on a long gun carriage -8 ° + 65 ° (on a short gun carriage + 25 ° + 75 °)

76-mm Mountain Gun Model 1938 Details

In the pre-war years, the artillery units of the mountain rifle and mountain cavalry divisions of the Red Army were armed with an obsolete by that time 76-mm mountain gun of the 1909 model. Its disadvantage was the use of unitary rounds with a constant charge and a low initial velocity (381 m / s), as well as a small vertical guidance angle (28 °), which seriously hindered the use of the gun on rugged terrain, as well as the inability to transport it in packs due to their large mass.

The Red Army needed modern weapons that were not inferior in their characteristics to the best world analogues, but since Soviet designers had practically no experience in creating such mountain artillery systems.

For help, they turned to the Czechoslovak concern “Skoda” – the world leader in the production of mountain artillery. As a result of the concluded agreements, already in 1936, the USSR tested the 75-mm mountain gun C-5 (also known as the G-36 – mountain sample of 1936), re-barreled under the caliber of 76 mm. According to the results of military tests, it was recognized that the system had proven itself excellent and was immediately adopted by the mountain rifle units of the Red Army. But the state leadership decided not to adopt the C-5 in its original form, but to refine it, both to improve the characteristics and to adapt this design to the capabilities of the Soviet industry.

In 1937, this task was assigned to the design bureau of the Frunze plant No. 7 under the leadership of L.I. Gorlitsky. After a long process of testing and elimination of the identified shortcomings, in May 1939, it was officially adopted by the Red Army under the name “76-mm mountain gun of the 1938 model.” A number of changes were made to its design, including, instead of semi-automatic, a quarter-automatic was introduced, the design of recoil devices was changed, the frontal part of the carriage was shortened, and the thickness of the cradle was increased.

The mountain cannon was intended for operations in the mountains and on heavily rugged, difficult terrain (although it was allowed to be used as a regimental gun) to accomplish the following tasks: destroying enemy manpower, artillery and fire weapons; the fight against enemy armored vehicles, as well as the destruction of light field shelters.

The main design features of the 1938 mountain gun were: a large elevation angle, as well as the ability to quickly disassemble into separate parts for transporting the gun on horse or human packs. The small mass of the gun contributed to its rolling on wheels in battle and on the march only by the forces of calculation. Possessing good firepower, the guns of this system also had a number of disadvantages, one of which was the inconvenience of carrying the packs of guns due to the excessive weight of the packs. The gun was a classic mountain artillery system with a collapsible barrel with a vertical wedge gate and a single-bar carriage with metal disc wheels without suspension.

The shutter was opened only manually with a handle, and closed automatically when a shot was inserted into the barrel. The carriage consisted of a cradle with recoil devices, a machine tool, a wheel drive, a carriage, a shield cover, guidance mechanisms, a balancing mechanism and sighting devices. In the cradle under the barrel, recoil devices were mounted, consisting of: a hydraulic recoil brake and a spring knurler, the springs of which were located in two rows around the recoil brake cylinder. When rolling back, the brake cylinder rolled back together with the barrel.The machine consisted of three parts: frontal, middle and trunk, hingedly connected to each other. When firing at elevation angles up to + 65 °, a carriage consisting of three parts (“long carriage”) was used, and if it was necessary to fire at elevation angles from + 65 ° to + 70 °, the middle part of the carriage was dismantled and the trunk part was attached directly to the front, forming the so-called “short carriage”. On a long gun carriage, shooting was possible at elevation angles from -8 ° to + 65 °, on a short gun carriage from + 25 ° to + 70 °. The opener is mounted in the trunk part. The balancing spring mechanism consisted of two columns located inside the frontal part. With the help of a lifting mechanism fixed on the cradle, the gun was guided in a vertical plane.

The single-bar carriage allowed for horizontal shelling in the 5 ° sector. When working with a flywheel of the swivel mechanism, the frontal part was displaced along the combat axis. The height of the line of fire was 760 mm. To protect the gun crew from bullets and shell fragments, a shield cover with a thickness of 3.5 mm was used. The carriage had metal wheels with tires filled with sponge rubber. The cannon could be transported by horse or mechanical traction, or transported on horse packs.

The 76-mm mountain cannon of the 1938 model was fired with special unitary shots intended only for this weapon, and not interchangeable with other weapons. In addition, some of the casings had a removable bottom, which made it possible to take out excess beams of powder charge and shoot with reduced charges. The ammunition load included unitary shots with armor-piercing caliber and cumulative shells, high-explosive and fragmentation shells, shrapnel, as well as incendiary and smoke shells. An armor-piercing caliber projectile of this cannon with an initial speed of 510 m / s at a meeting angle of 60 ° at a distance
500 m pierced armor with a thickness of 39 mm, and at a distance of 1000 m – 34 mm.

On June 1, 1941, the Red Army had about 800 guns. In addition to mountain rifle units, the 1938 mountain cannon entered service with the airborne troops. In mountain rifle divisions, 76-mm mountain guns performed the functions of both regimental and divisional guns. The mountain rifle divisions had a mountain artillery regiment, which in 1939-1940 consisted of three divisions of 76 mm mountain guns (27 mountain guns) and one division of 122 mm howitzers.

In 1941, in the mountain artillery regiment, according to the states, he received two divisions with two batteries of 76-mm mountain guns (16 guns in total) and one battery of 107-mm regimental mortars (6 mortars). Since 1944, the organizational and staff structure of the mountain artillery regiment has changed again, now it consisted of three divisions, each containing two mortar (12 107-mm mortars) and one artillery (12 76-mm mountain guns) battery.

The mountain rifle brigades in 1944-1945 had a mountain pack artillery battalion with 12 76-mm mountain guns. The mountain cavalry divisions had one mountain pack artillery division (8 76-mm mountain guns and 6 107-mm regimental mortars). The 76-mm mountain cannons of the 1938 model were widely used in the Red Army in many battles of the Great Patriotic War, including during the defense and liberation of the Transcaucasus, as well as in battles in the Carpathian region. Sometimes they were used instead of 76-mm regimental cannons as part of regimental artillery in rifle divisions.The 76-mm mountain gun of the 1938 model continued to be in service with the Soviet army in the post-war period. It was replaced by a new 76-mm mountain gun “GP” only in 1958. Serial production of the 76-mm mountain gun of the 1938 model was carried out at the Frunze Plant No. 7 (Leningrad). In 1939, 364 guns were manufactured, in 1940 – 497 guns, and in the first half of 1941 – 106 guns. 

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