33 Comments

  1. One of the most amazing things to me about such guns is the muzzle blast they produce plus the fact that if you stand directly behind one you can often see the projectile as it leaves. After being assigned for a while as perimeter security for both 105 and 155 mm batteries, I do not wonder why I am almost completely deaf in my left ear and partially so in the other. (Note: cigarette filters do NOT constitute adequate ear protection!) But at least I was never on the receiving end of one of these things!

    • This is a good photo illustrating muzzle blast etc,

      http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/multimedia/archive/00864/173692743_iraq_864326b.jpg

      it was in the paper a week or so ago. It’s a Soviet 152mm artillery piece, being fired by Shia Iraqi militia against I.S that poor fellow looks petrified “You’d probably instantaneously combust and just burst, pop like… With a big splat, if you got in the way of that muzzle blast”

      I’ve had 105mm shells going over my head training in Kenya mustn’t have been higher than a few hundred foot as they were hitting about a mile away – The impacts were pretty close, not to close obviously. You can hear a “whum, whum, whum” noise which I assumed was them turning mid air not sure, they’d been fired from miles away apparently, serious bits of kit artillery mind you as WW1 proved if you dig in you can hide from it pretty well.

      He he Arizona that’s some firing range, folks with cannons etc.

  2. We had one gun crew that tool delight in putting a C-Ration can over the tip of the HEAT rounds so it would create an un-nerving “rattle” as it went overhead. Very disconcerting to the opposition… Later threats from Gunny put that out of their minds.

    • Good question, Charles. It would seem logical that the T124E2 would at least incorporate design aspects from the tried-and-true 76mm tank gun used in the M10 Tank Destroyer, late-model Shermans ( such as the M4A3E8 ) and M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer. It would be interesting to look more into this topic — perhaps the technical archives at the Bureau Of Ordnance might yield some information?

      • The M10 TD actually carried the 3″ gun, which was more or less the same as the 3″ AA gun it was derived from. The 76mm gun for the M4(76) Sherman models (the M4A3E8 was not the only one, although the most common in US Army service) and the M18 Hellcat was a redesign better suited for armored vehicles (e.g. more compact breech).

  3. Do you have technical data for this gun like: total weight (combat), total weight (transport), muzzle velocity, barrel length etc.?
    This gun seems to me as specialized anti-tank, so far I know nobody adapt new towed anti-tank towed cannon after WW2, if this gun use same projectile as American M18 (“Hellcat”) tank-destroyed it would make it ill-suited for soft targets – the HE round was in fact worse than that HE for older 75mm tank gun used in M3 Lee and early M4 Sherman tank.

    • Correction: The Soviet Union adapt some AT towed gun post-WW2, for example: 85mm gun D-48 and 100mm gun T-12, but notice that these guns have bigger caliber.

      • There’s also the 125mm 2A45(M) Sprut AT gun developed in the late 1980s. Apparently only the later 2A45M was purchased in small numbers.

    • Finnish Tampella (now Patria) developed a new 100mm towed AT gun for the Finnish Army in the 1980s. It was loosely based on the Soviet 100mm D-10 tank gun, so unlike the Soviet (M)T-10, it had a rifled barrel. Very little about this gun has ever been published in open sources, other than it did exist. Its downfall was apparently that the Tampella designed APFSDS ammunition never worked as intended, probably because the company had no prior experience in designing that type of ammunition. The project was also over budget and consequently it was shelved by new commander, who considered towed AT guns an outdated concept.

      • Actually, D-10 was rifled (one of those I had been introduced to in armourer’s course). I read a report how this cannon came to existence; by spring of 1943 the Russians were in dire straights – they did not have adequate gun to destroy Tiger by head-on shot. That started huge effort coming right form top of Soviet leadership – and delivered among other things this.

        I suppose Finns just could have adopted complete gun as is.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-10_tank_gun

        • I don’t know if my grammar was incorrect, but I thought I was saying that like the D-10, the Finnish AT gun was rifled. The (M)T-10 on the other hand is smoothbore. There was also a towed version of the D-10 called the BS-3 or M1944, but that gun was never imported to Finland.

          In the 1980s the D-10 was also somewhat outdated, so I would speculate that they wanted to modify the design for a higher maximum chamber pressure, although like I wrote, actual hard data on the project is difficult to obtain. In any case the gun carriage had to be designed for the gun. The carriage is an important part of any artillery piece; for a towed AT gun you would want a light and low carriage with a wide range of traverse (optimally 360 degrees).

  4. Bill, you are maligning the honor and integrity of myself and my fellow red legs. By the way, we screwed razor blades between the fuse and projo body to create that unnerving whistling that made the round sound like it was coming right for you. The FO’s hated when we did that. LOL

  5. This gun would have been useable against T34/85 but likely not against T54/55 and following T63. Also, the blast would probably easy reveal gun’s emplacement.

    WP militaries used anti-tank guns well thru 1950s a till sixty’s in 85 and 100mm calibres. Recoilless 82mm guns were slowly seeping in by that time. By mid-sixty’s it went into AT wire guided missiles.

    I like to see this kind of stuff; regrettably (although received armorer’s course which included 122mm howitzer and 100mm tank gun) was not able to fire artillery piece.

  6. Okay, really dumb questions.

    If this gun ambushed a Tiger tank at spitting distance at 90 degree deflection (totally perpendicular to armor surface) with an APCR round, what would happen? Would the projectile bounce or reduce the German crewmen to ludicrous gibs?

    Incidentally, would this gun do any good against a low-flying Henschel HS. 129 Panzerknacker armed with a 7.5 cm Rheinmetall Bordkanone?

    • If you’re talking about the Tiger I, it was actually quite vulnerable to many Allied and Soviet guns even during WWII; honestly I think its modern reputation of being “nigh-indestructible” is heavily overstated by TV, movies and video games. This gun would likely tear right through it at pretty much any range at which it could reliably hit it. The King Tiger, on the other hand, now THAT thing was a real hard nut to crack.

    • Tiger’s armour on side of turret was 82mm thick. In favourable circumstances (at range below 500m) several Russian guns were able to perforate it (even before new 85mm weapon). So I’d assume that this one might have similar capability. Front plate was different story however.

  7. That projectile looks s-c-a-r-y. I’d hate to think what that gun’s bore looks like after a few of those have gone down it at antitank gun velocity, refurbished driving bands or no – between that cannonball-looking shell and the refurbished driving band (refurbished how?) I’d rate that gun as a serious explosion hazard. I’d recommend that the gun’s owner immediately cease using dug-up ammunition and go find a machine shop to make new shells to whatever the original spec was.

    And on red-leg lore, I have it on good authority that if your gun tube is rusty and won’t pass a bore scope, wiping a shell down with cherry juice and firing it at maximum charge will get that tube -nice- and shiny again. It apparently looks like a fireball going downrange.

    • I would not be very worried about the projo, but the “refurbished” driving band is another matter. If it doesn’t work like it’s supposed, there could be trouble.

      • Euro,

        Depending on what that projectile’s struck after being fired the first (few? many?) times it could be cracked or bent out of true and disintegrate in the bore on firing, which would probably destroy the gun.

        Or, to put it bluntly, it wouldn’t pass a military ammunition inspection so why would you fire it? I’m sure nobody here would deliberately put rounds through their hand-held firearm that wouldn’t pass military standards for safe firing.

  8. Eric, you are apparently the evil-minded deviant spawn of a deranged orangutan; the kind of people I liked to pull shore-leave with. You also appear to posses a superbly warped sense of humor with tendencies of depraved whimsey. I bet the skivvies laundry bills you and your pals caused with that little prank were astronomically high. {:>)!!! Wish I had thought of it myself.

  9. Thanks Bill! We were smart enough to only do that when there was battalion fire (3-4 batteries firing at once) so as to spread the suspicion and blame around. There was always another battery that were referred to as F Troop who the blame always fell on.

    • Bill & Eric, know I know why it’s called a “professional” army… 😉 You we’re able to pull of pranks we couldn’t even dream of as lowly conscripts under the watchful eye of the safety officer. Yes, I was in field artillery as well, although being somewhat of a nerd I didn’t get to play with the big guns very much.

  10. Euroweasel: I didn’t get to play with the big ones much either except for our “foolishness” as Grandmaw used to call it. I was a counter-sniper running perimeter security most of the time. But I have always loved anything that made REALLY BIG BOOMs which was why Mom banished me to the barn after that one small incident in her kitchen that time. Pranks were a way to relieve the tension as you well know. And all of us lived by the Arab dictum of “Me and my Brother against our Cousin; but me and my Cousin against the World!” Still goes… Thanks for the post. And “Simper Fi!” to all our brothers and sisters out there no matter what color your uniform or your nationality. And on a more serious note, you folks absolutely amaze me with the depth and diversity of your knowledge on the many aspects of weaponry!

  11. The anti-tank gun is basically the same gun as was used in the M41 Walker Bulldog light tank which was built in the 50’s. There were thousands of them built and the gun is much more powerful than the WWII 76mm used on the shermans etc. While the towed anti-tank gun didn’t make it into series production the M41’s are still in use in a variety of places with the original 76HV guns. Newer ammunition is available which increases the range of the gun.

    Timmie

  12. Though an excellent piece of ordnance it was still inferior to the 17 pdr of British Army fame when it was firing the APDS shot. That gun would still give many modern MBTs a bit of a headache today, though at far shorter range. During the 39/45 war it was the most potent A/Tk gun in existence. By the way, in the 60’s I saw a 5.5 inch gun fire a 100 lb solid shot at a conqueror tank at 1000 metres range, on the side armour, and flip 65 tons of steel on its side. Impressive.

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