For the Record: Ensign’s Q&A #16
Send me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will answer them! Previous set of answers is here. Q: What Soviet 152 mm gun tank destroyers were there that aren’t in World of Tanks? A: The SU-D15 (SU-85 with 152 mm D-15 howitzer) and*ZIK-20 (KV-1 chassis with a 152 mm howitzer, later the 152 mm Br-2 gun). Of course, there may be many more lurking in the archives. Q: How did the Soviets puts such big guns in such small turrets? The long 85 mm gun on the T-34-58, 122 mm gun on the IS-2, while Germans could barely put the 75L/48 on the PzIV and the Tiger I could not even take the 88L/71? A: The turret of the T-34-85 is not all that small. For example, the turret ring diameter is only 5 cm smaller than the Panther’s. There was plenty of room in the turret for a large gun. The PzIV was limited by its suspension capability (chosen over the technologically superior PzIII precisely because of its turret ring). The Tiger I could mount the 88L/71, or at least was planned to do so. The D-25T in the IS is an extremely powerful gun, and was quite an accomplishment to fit in there. The recoil mechanisms were quite large at first, causing discomfort for the crews, but drastically reduced in later models, due to more efficient design of the muzzle brake and the mechanisms themselves. Q: The in-game S-51 had +/- 6 degrees of gun traversel, and the SU-14 had +/-5, both reduced to +/- 4 degrees in 8.6. What was the real gun traverse? A: The horizontal traverse of the SU-14 and SU-14-1 was 8 degrees (4 in each direction). The S-51 had a much more impressive horizontal traverse, 40 degrees (20 in each direction). Q: What kinds of guns were on T-44-85 prototypes? Which gun was a better anti-tank weapon, the D-5T or ZiS-S-53? A: Initial T-44 prototypes (T-44 first variant) mounted only D-5T and D-25T guns. Later prototypes with upgraded armour and engines (T-44 second variant) used ZiS-S-53 guns, as did the T-44A. None of these tanks were indexed “T-44-85″, but the hull shape of the in-game tank suggests that it represents a second variant T-44 (and not the T-44A, as the description suggests). The D-5T and ZiS-S-53 had equivalent ballistic performance, but the D-5T was more expensive, with a larger and more cumbersome breech. Q: SerB said that German tankers claiming kills at 2.5 km were either accidents or made up stories. What is the longest range confirmed hit during WWII? If there is no data on that, what about during all time? A: The all time longest confirmed kill was made by a Challenger during the Gulf War, at 5.1 km. As for WWII, the poorer fire control of the time would make it impossible to hit something at such distances. I don’t have data on the longest range kill for WWII, but be extremely vary of anyone that tries to feed you stories of 4+ km kills. Q: Could the SU-85 really mount the 107 mm gun? What about the D-5S-85BM? A: I am not aware of anyone actually trying to put the ZiS-6 in a SU-85 (but Grabin was a stubborn fellow, so it’s very possible that he did). The both the D-5T and ZiS-6 were trialed on the IS, so if both fit in that, it’s very likely that both would fit into the SU-85. As for the D-5S-85BM, that’s a definite yes. The experimental SU-85BM-I and SU-85BM-II carried slightly different versions of the gun. Work on the project was discontinued due to the more powerful D-10 gun becoming available. That’s it for this time! Email me more questions at email@example.com.