Soviet Russian Anti-Tank Weapons

Shell Types and Armour Penetration Capabilities

Soviet Russian Anti-Tank Gunnery Data, Shell Types and Armour Penetration Capabilities

One of two 152 mm ML-20 Howitzers displayed at the Soviet Army Memorial in Berlin. The memorial is three minutes walking distance from Brandenburg Gate, heading towards the Siegessäule monument. The memorial was built soon after World War Two, and it ended up in West Berlin when the Wall divided the city. Following German unification the memorial fell into serious disrepair, and the area was closed off. The howitzers and the two T-34 tanks were in bad condition: the paint had faded and was flaking off. Apparently, the Soviet Army Memorial is undergoing repair, and the military equipment will be restored.

The table lists armour penetration values for Soviet infantry anti-tank weapons as well as Soviet guns at 0 to 100 meters range and 0 degrees inclination of armour. Dates indicate the year when a particular shell type entered production, not necessarily the year of availability to combat units. New shell types would take several months to reach the troops at the front, some favoured units receiving the new shells more quickly than others. Andrew Mark Reid is the author of Panzergranate, a set of miniature wargame rules using carefully researched gunnery data to simulate armour penetration results.

Anti-Tank Rifles Projectile Penetration
14.5 mm P.T.R.S. A.P. 38 mm
14.5 mm P.T.R.D. A.P. 38 mm
The P.T.R.D. is a semi-automatic version of the P.T.R.S. anti-tank rifle. Both weapons were also employed for long-range sniping out to 3000 or 4000 metres, using a modified telescopic sight. Typical crew consisted of two men, gunner and loader. The loader was armed with a PPSh SMG for close defence. Many photos of this weapon show smoke grenades and conventional grenades at the ready nearby on the ground. In fact, the Soviet anti-tank rifles are the most common weapon seen in period photos, and it is surprising that only Revell offers Soviet infantry armed with one of these weapons.
Anti-Tank Devices, Rocket Projectors Projectile Penetration
Dog Mine Explosive (Wracking) 20 mm (Approx.)

The Russian Dog Mine is described in The Book of Heroic Failures Volume I. The weapon was supposed to work as follows: The dogs were kept hungry, and they were only fed underneath running tanks, to familiarize them with the high noise level. The dogs were then trained to get used to carrying a large weight of explosives (T.N.T.) strapped to their backs and sides. In operation, the dogs would be taken to the battlefield, and released when enemy tanks were clearly visible. The dogs would run underneath the enemy vehicles, expecting to be fed, and the device would be set off with catastrophic results for the tank, and the unsuspecting animal, of course.

In actual use, the device did not work as planned. The dogs had been trained underneath Soviet tanks, and they only expected to be fed there, not underneath enemy vehicles. As a result, when they were first deployed in 1941, the dogs immediately made a beeline for the nearest Soviet vehicles. Apparently, an entire tank division had to be withdrawn from the combat zone until the infantry had shot all the uncontrollable mine dogs. The device remained in use, and Soviet sources claim that several enemy tanks were destroyed in this way at the Battle of Kursk. German sources dispute this claim, although it is known that dogs in the combat zone were shot on sight if the use of dog mines was suspected.

V.P.G.S. 40 Grenade H.C. (Munroe) 30 mm
The V.P.G.S. 40 was a stick grenade. It is not certain if this grenade used a chaped charge or if it was a chemical thermide grenade designed to burn its way through armour plate. The former is more likely, and its relatively poor performance may be explained by the poor quality of Soviet explosives.
R.P.G. 40 Rifle Grenade H.C. (Munroe) 30 mm
A rifle grenade version of the V.P.G.S. 40 grenade, it had a maximum projected range of 60 metres.
V.P.R.S. Grenade H.C. (Munroe) 76 mm
The Soviet V.P.R.S. grenade required a very strong individual to throw it, the device resembles a large paint can with a handle attached underneath.
50 mm Bazooka (U.S.) H.C. (Munroe) 119 mm
Soviet forces received a Lend-Lease shipment of American Bazookas in 1942, some of which were captured by the Wehrmacht, leading to the development of Panzerschreck and Panzerfaust anti-tank weapons. Bazooka, and Panzerschreck rocket projectors are missile weapons which produce a less dangerous backblast than the Panzerfaust, although the backblast is still noticeable enough to reveal the firing position. Rocket projectors can be fired from enclosed spaces with minimal risk to the operator, and there is enough historic evidence to suggest that this was done in combat.
Faustpatrone/Panzerfaust 50 Klein (German) H.C. (Munroe) 153 mm
Faustpatrone/Panzerfaust 100 Klein (German) H.C. (Munroe) 219 mm
Soviet troops often used captured Panzerfaust launchers in combat. Recoilless weapons like the Panzerfaust, and Russian RPG-1 copies of the same, had a tremendous backblast which made it nearly impossible to fire the weapon from buildings, bunkers, and similarly enclosed positions. In the heat of battle, this important safety instruction was often ignored, resulting in many accidental casualties among the operators. In addition, the noticeable backblast would draw enemy return fire to the firing position.
Tank and Anti-Tank Guns Projectile Penetration
20 mm L.107 T.N.S.H. (ShVak.) A.P.H.E. (1941) 28 mm
20 mm L.107 T.N.S.H. (ShVak.) H.V.A.P. (1942) 60 mm
25 mm L.91.6 Flak A.P.H.E. (1941) 57 mm
25 mm L.91.6 Flak H.V.A.P. (1942) 74 mm
37 mm L.33 Hotchkiss Tank Gun A.P. 34 mm
37 mm L.33 Hotchkiss Tank Gun A.P.H.E. 28 mm
A French gun, not adopted by the French army. Hotchkiss 30 mm L.33 guns were exported to Russia, to be mounted on T-18 light tanks, and BA-27 armoured cars. The T-18 was similar to the French Renault FT-17, only faster and better armed. T-18 tanks were to be used primarily for training purposes, but enormous losses of T-26 light tanks meant that the T-18 was pressed into combat service as an infantry tank. The BA-27 armoured car mounted a T-18 turret. The 37 mm L.33 was also the main armament of the T-23 light tank, a longer and bigger version of the T-18, from the early 1930s, and the twin turreted early T-26.B light tank which replaced it. The BT-2 fast tank with twin turrets also used the 37 mm L.33, but the BT-3 fast tank was upgraded to a 37 mm L.45 gun in a single turret.
37 mm L.33 T.G. A.P.H.E. 30 mm
37 mm L.33 T.G. H.V.A.P. 37 mm
37 mm L.45 M.1935 A.P.H.E. 42 mm
37 mm L.45 M.1935 H.V.A.P. 51 mm
A copy of the German 3.7 cm PaK 35 anti-tank gun.
37 mm L.74 Flak A.P.H.E. (1941) 69 mm
37 mm L.74 Flak H.V.A.P. (1942) 88 mm
45 mm L.46 PTP M.1937 Anti-Tank Gun A.P.H.E. (1941) 52 mm
45 mm L.46 PTP M.1937 Anti-Tank Gun H.V.A.P. (1942) 64 mm
45 mm L.46 PTP M.1937 Anti-Tank Gun A.P.D.S. (1945) 96 mm
The 45 mm L.46 gun was the main armament of Soviet T-26, T-50, T-70, BT-5, and BT-7 tanks, as well as BA-10, and BA-32 armoured cars.
45 mm L.66 PTP M.1941 Anti-Tank Gun A.P.H.E. (1941) 74 mm
45 mm L.66 PTP M.1941 Anti-Tank Gun H.V.A.P. (1942) 102 mm
45 mm L.66 PTP M.1941 Anti-Tank Gun A.P.D.S. (1945) 138 mm
57 mm L.73 ZIS-2 A.T.G./T.G. A.P.H.E. (1941) 104 mm
57 mm L.73 ZIS-2 A.T.G./T.G. H.V.A.P. (1942) 128 mm
57 mm L.73 ZIS-2 A.T.G./T.G. A.P.D.S. (1945) 194 mm
76.2 mm L.16.5 M.1927 I.G. A.P.H.E. (Any Year) 38 mm
76.2 mm L.26 M.1930 Field Gun A.P.H.E. (Any Year) 58 mm
A modernized version of the Czarist 76.2 mm L.26 M.1902 Putilov field gun, it was used as the main armament of the BT-8 and T-28.B tank.
76.2 mm L.30.5 Tank Gun M.1934 A.P.H.E. (1941) 69 mm
76.2 mm L.30.5 Tank Gun M.1934 H.V.A.P. (1942) 75 mm
76.2 mm L.30.5 Tank Gun M.1934 H.E.A.T. (1944) 75 mm
76.2 mm L.42 F-34 Tank Gun A.P.H.E. (1941) 81 mm
76.2 mm L.42 F-34 Tank Gun H.V.A.P. (1942) 104 mm
76.2 mm L.42 F-34 Tank Gun H.E.A.T. (1944) 75 mm
76.2 mm L.42 F-34 Tank Gun A.P.D.S. (1945) 149 mm
This gun was known as ZIS-5 when mounted in KV-1 heavy tanks.
76.2 mm L.54 ZIS-3 A.T.G. M.42 A.P.H.E. (1941) 104 mm
76.2 mm L.54 ZIS-3 A.T.G. M.42 H.V.A.P. (1942) 133 mm
76.2 mm L.54 ZIS-3 A.T.G. M.42 A.P.D.S. (1945) 191 mm
76.2 mm L.54 D-6 A.A. Gun A.P.H.E. (1941) 104 mm
76.2 mm L.54 D-6 A.A. Gun H.V.A.P. (1942) 133 mm
76.2 mm L.54 D-6 A.A. Gun A.P.D.S. (1945) 191 mm
85 mm L.54 D-7 A.A.G./T.G. A.P.H.E. (1941) 130 mm
85 mm L.54 D-7 A.A.G./T.G. H.V.A.P. (1942) 168 mm
85 mm L.54 D-7 A.A.G./T.G. A.P.D.S. (1945) 240 mm
100 mm L.56 D-10 A.A.G./T.G. A.P.H.E. (1941) 158 mm
100 mm L.56 D-10 A.A.G./T.G. H.V.A.P. (1942) 205 mm
100 mm L.56 D-10 A.A.G./T.G. A.P.D.S. (1945) 261 mm
100 mm L.59.9 BS-3 M.1944 Anti-Tank Gun A.P.H.E. 169 mm
100 mm L.59.9 BS-3 M.1944 Anti-Tank Gun H.V.A.P. 219 mm
100 mm L.59.9 BS-3 M.1944 Anti-Tank Gun A.P.D.S. 279 mm
The M.1944 anti-tank gun was developed from the D-10 anti-aircraft listed above, and it may have been the 100 mm L.59.9 shown here.
122 mm L.46 D-25T Tank Gun M.1938 A.P.H.E. (1941) 145 mm
122 mm L.46 D-25T Tank Gun M.1938 H.V.A.P. (1942) 205 mm
122 mm L.46 D-25T Tank Gun M.1938 A.P.D.S. (1945) 261 mm
122 mm L.46 D-25T Tank Gun M.1938 H.E.A.T. (1944) 200 mm
152 mm L.28.8 ML-20 Howitzer M.1930 A.P.H.E. (1941) 73 mm
152 mm L.28.8 ML-20 Howitzer M.1930 C.P.H.E. (1941) 124 mm
152 mm L.28.8 ML-20 Howitzer M.1930 H.V.A.P. (1942) 102 mm
152 mm L.28.8 ML-20 Howitzer M.1930 A.P.D.S. (1945) 131 mm
152 mm L.28.8 ML-20 Howitzer M.1930 H.E.A.T. (1944) 200 mm

Soviet guns suffered from very poor propellant. The calculated propellant constant is not much greater than that for gun powder.

Andy Reid

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Soviet Red Army Miniatures of World War Two