After the Battle of Moscow of WWII (October 1941-January 1942), the Soviet Union began to make extensive use of self-propelled guns and howitzers, which used tank chassis as their mobile platforms, to fight against the German armored divisions. Some were used to provide fire support to ground troops, others mounted powerful, high velocity guns as they were used as tank destroyers.
List of Soviet Self-Propelled Guns
– ZIS 30. It was simply a 57mm anti-tank gun emplaced on the Komsomolet armored artillery tractor. It was first used in December 1941, but only 110 ZIS 30s were produced. It was powered by a 50-hp, 4-cylinder engine. Max speed: 40 km/h.
– SU-76. It consisted of a 76.2mm gun, mounted on the chassis of the T-70 tank, and a 25-mm-thick, steel shield. It was powered by two 70-hp, GAZ-203, 6-cylinder, gasoline engines. It was the most widely used self-propelled gun in the war. Weight: 10.8 tons. Maximum speed: 45 km/h.
– SU-122. It was composed of a T-34 tank’s chassis armed with a 122mm, M-30S howitzer, which was used to provide fire support to front line infantry. It had a 493-hp, V2, 12-cylinder engine. Weight: 31 tons. Maximum speed: 55 km/h. It was introduced in late 1942.
– ISU-122. Entering service with the Red Army in 1944, it mounted a 122mm, A-19S, high-velocity, anti-tank gun, used in direct fire against armored vehicles. It was also fitted with a 12.7mm machine gun. It was based on the KV-2 heavy tank’s chassis. The crew was protected by an armored box made of 90-mm-thick, sloping steel plates. It was powered by a 520-hp, V-12, diesel engine. Maximum speed: 37 km/h.
– SU-152. It was also based on the KV-2 tank’s chassis and was powered by the same 520-hp diesael engine, but it was armed with a 152mm, M1937 howitzer, used in indirect fire to attack German artillery positions and concentration of troops.
– SU-85. Also developed from the T-34 tank’s chassis, it mounted an 85mm anti-tank gun in a 45-mm-thick, a roofed, steel box that shielded its crew of 4. Weight: 29.6 tons. Maximum speed: 55 km/h. It entered service with the Red Army in mid 1943.
– SU-100. It was a tank destroyer that featured a 100mm, D-10S anti-tank gun, which was mounted in closed, sloping-sided steel box. This gun was one of the best of the war, being able to pierce a 125mm-thick armor from a distance of 1,900 m. It was almost as good as its German counter-part, the Panzerjäger Tiger (Elefant).