Ensign’s Q&A #17

Here’s another batch of questions, fresh from tankarchives@gmail.com! Previous edition can be found here.

Q: Was the 107 mm F-42 based on the M-60? What tank would it be mounted on?

A: The F-42 predated the M-60. It was developed before any tank large enough to fit it, as even the roomy KV-2 could only fit the reduced size ZiS-6.

Q: What is the firing procedure of Russian or German tank crews? 

A: I don’t know about German ones, but the Soviet ones would be Ай бля шухер, Ваня ебни по нему бронебойным as follows:

A crewman that spots the target announces its position and range. Position is given in angles (to the right of the tank is plus, to the left is minus). If the target is close and next to a visible landmark, the crewman may give its location relative to the landmark, or, preferably, combine it with the previous method. Direction is given first, then target, then distance. Example: “Plus 30, haystack, left 50 meters, cannon, 500″.

If the tank is in motion, the commander makes a decision whether or not to move after firing. If the tank will move after firing, the command is “Korotkaya” (short). When this command is given, the driver will resume motion immediately after the gunner has fired. If the commander does not wish for the tank to resume motion after firing, he orders “Stoy” (stop) or “Za ukrytiyem, stoy” (behind cover, stop). If the commander wishes to fire on the move, he orders “Menshe hod” (slower speed). In this case, the driver would seek flat terrain, and announce that it is more suitable for firing with “Dorozhka” (road).

If necessary, the commander will mark the target with tracer fire and/or announce its presence on the radio to his platoon.

The commander determines which type of ammunition is more appropriate and signals the loader. This can be done by announcing the type of shell he wants, but in the heat of battle, a hand signal was enough: closed fist for armour piercing, open palm for explosive fragmentation. When the loader completed loading, he replies with the command he was issued, ending it with “Gotov” (ready). When the commander orders “Ogon’” (fire), the gunner will seek out the target and fire when he is ready. The commander observes the target and corrects the fire. In a tank where the commander doubles as the gunner, the driver corrects fire.

After firing, the loader continues loading the same shell type until he hears “Ne zaryazhay” (do not load). That is a signal to clean up spent casings and replenish the ready rack.

Q: There are some Yugoslavian penetration tests on the internet, what is their source?

A: Who knows where the original source is (probably Yugoslavia :P ), but Bojan put up a whole bunch of them here.

That’s it for this time! Well, not all, but there’s a question that’s large enough in scope and interesting enough that it deserves an article all on its own. Stay tuned!

21 thoughts on “Ensign’s Q&A #17

  1. I don’t know if you’ve looked into this before, but were the D-44 and D-48 85mm AT guns ever planned to be mounted on tanks? I think that they might work similarly to the E-50′s 88 L/100 on the T-44 and T-54, as quickfiring, high penetration, good DPM, accurate, but low damage sniper guns if they were, or to act as a viable top gun for the SU-101 (it currently severely lacks in firepower IMO).

    • D-44 had same ballistics as (ZiS-)S-53 and D-5.
      Version of D-48 was actually mounted on AFV, on ASU-85 airborne SPG/TD. It’s barrel was shortened somewhat (L/65), but performances were quite close (less then 5% difference) to full D-48.

  2. The firing procedure is very interessting. Short but very informative. I was always wondering what such example code “Plus 30, haystack, left 50 meters, cannon, 500″ means. Now i only have to find out what the racing driver’s pilots mean with for example “60 left …” :)

    • depends on how the driver wrote his pace notes.

      the guy i drive with uses numbers for the angle of the corner, with adjectives to give context.

      a corner you can see coming that quite shallow would be “15 left” or something similar. a tight turn would be “hairpin left”, while a blind corner is something like “hidden 30 right”.

      then you have sweeping curves “30 left, tightens” and things like “crests” to tell you that you can jump if your not careful.

      and lastly we try to record when to cut or not “stay in” means you can cut the apex, “don’t cut” means there’s a dirty rock that will take off your wheel and most of the suspension along with the panel work… not fun

  3. Holy shit, where did you people find out about Tank-Net? I thought it was a obscure secret society where only a select few people could post there like me.

  4. IIRC in German tank crews Gunner had the freedom to fire when he wanted on the selected target, commander just told him that he may fire.

  5. plz explain this joke; Ай бля шухер, Ваня ебни по нему бронебойным

  6. Ай бля шухер, Ваня ебни по нему бронебойным.

    Made me laugh so hard :D

  7. Pingback: Ensign’s Q&A 18 | For The Record