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Q: Was the S-54 ever used on the T-34? Could it be mounted in the T-34 model 1942 turret?
A: Yes and yes. The model 1931 76.2 mm AA gun (ZK) from which the S-54 borrows its ballistics was recommended for installation in a tank since 1940, but the performance of the F-34 put those plans on the backburner. When the threat of the Tigers, Panthers, and Ferdinands loomed in 1943, many pre-war improved ballistics projects resurfaced, including the AA gun. As the T-34-85 was already in development, the S-54 was seen as a temporary measure. After trials, it was recommended as an upgrade to all T-34s currently in the field, but shortages of ammunition cut those plans short. In any case, the trials ended on October 19th, and the T-34-85 would be available only a few months later.
The gun was installed in the mass produced T-34 model 1942 turret, with some changes. Due to the longer shell, the position of the loader had to be altered. The tank could also carry less ammunition: 52 shells in the hull, 7 in the turret bay, and 9 on the sides of the turret (5 on one side and 4 on the other).
Q: What was the F-42 107 mm tank gun? How did it compare to the ZiS-6?
A: When the subject of 107 mm tank guns was raised, Grabin suggested the F-42, an existing 107 mm tank gun. Stalin refused, saying that the F-42 was too large. Grabin agreed, and built the more portable ZiS-6. The gun was similar to the F-42, borrowing a number of its features, including the loading assist mechanisms. The muzzle velocity of the ZiS-6 was also a bit higher (800 m/s vs 750 m/s).
Q: The Chinese T-34 has 5 degrees of gun depression, while the Soviet T-34 has 6 degrees. Which is the more correct one?
T-34 mod. 1942 with ZiS-4: -2 degrees
T-34 mod. 1942 with S-54: -4.5 degrees
T-34 mod. 1942 and mod. 1941 with F-34: -5 degrees
The Chinese Type T-34 is more correct. Clearly, Russian Bias is at work here.
Q: If a 76 mm shell and a 100 mm shell with the same penetration hit a tank, which one has a better chance of knocking it out?
A: If the shells penetrate, the chance is more or less equal, especially if it’s an AP-HE shell or something like that. If they don’t, the larger shell is probably going to deal more damage, since it would impact a larger area, and is more likely to hit a weak part of the armour and cause spalling. The bigger shell would also carry more explosives, in the case of HE, and will also deal more damage then.
Of course, this question is very theoretical, and I haven’t read any practical work on the topic.
That’s it for this time! Send in more questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.