For the Record: Straight outta Supertest: new Soviet tank destroyers
Source: Wotleaks VK community Apparently, Soviets will get three new tank destroyers, tier 5 GAZ (as an alternative to SU-85), premium tier 3 ZIS-30 and premium tier 7 (!) IT. To elaborate a bit on the story behind them. These vehicles were planned for a very, very long time. They first appeared somewhere around September 2012 in the old tree Soviet tree, but in completely different form. IT-45 and IT-76 both were supposed to appear as regular vehicles (IT-45 definitely as an alternative tier 3 tank destroyer, with SU-76BM being an alternative tier 4) as far as I know. I’ll start with the easiest one, the ZIS-30. ZIS-30 – after the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Soviets were literally desperate to stop the armored onslaught of the Wehrmacht. On 1.7.1941, an order was given to the automotive factories to quickly develop lorry-mounted weapons and other desperate stopgap measures. The factories were supposed to use 37mm, 57mm and 85mm cannons. The projects were to be ready in 15 days. One of the projects developed in Gorky factory no. 92 involved mounting a 57mm ZIS-2 gun on top of the T-20 Komsomolec artillery tractor. By the time this project was introduced however, the T-20 tractors were no longer manufactured and in order to get a testbed, the vehicle had to be confiscated from a regular artillery unit. The cannon was mounted on the rear end behind the driver and was protected by small thin armor plates – when preparing to fire, these plates rolled down and served as space for the crew to stand on. The cannon had a very limited traverse rate and it had to be aimed by turning the vehicle. The crew was practically unprotected, the only cover was provided by the gun shield. The amount of ammo carried was also very low and the vehicle had to be practically followed by an ammo truck, that caried spare rounds and also the rest of the men, needed to fire the bulky gun. The prototype passed very short series of tests and by 21.9.1941, series production was started. 101 vehicles were made until 15.10.1941 – after that, there were simply no more T-20 tractors available and the production stopped. Other versions, carrying 45mm and 76,2mm guns were developed, but those never got to be produced. The vehicles fought on the Soviet western and southwestern front and as many as 20 brigades were equipped with them. Despite its many flaws (low speed, low armor protection, unreliable drivetrain), the vehicles were considered successful and archieved some victories. In the game, it will probably be a typical small lowtier tank destroyer, quite fast with good camo factor and relatively high rate of fire. Weight: 4 tons Crew: 4-5 Armor: 7-10mm Gun: 57mm ZIS-2 Engine: 50hp V6 GAZ-AA Maximum speed: 60 km/h GAZ and IT Here’s where it gets a bit more complicated. Both names do not describe one single vehicle, but a program, so I am not sure, what kind of statistics will they have. Both were Soviet attempts to build a light, mass-produced tank destroyer (something like a Russian version of the Hetzer), suited for defensive combat. Both came too late however – by the time any prototypes were ready, the Red Army was already on the offensive and there was no need for such a vehicle, that’s why they didn’t get mass-produced. Both names are shortcuts. GAZ is the known one – it means “Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod” – Gorky Auto Plant, it’s a name of the manufacturer (or rather designer in this case). IT means “istrebitel tankov” – “tank destroyer”. It was an older Soviet designation for dedicated tank destroyers, the “classic” ones are simply designated as SPG’s (it’s a bit more complicated, because at one point there was such a designation as SU-IT-76, assigning both roles to it). The development of the mobile tank destroyer actually began even before the German invasion and it’s quite complex. It’s well described here. Basically, what happened is that the Soviets created a very light vehicle, based on the chassis of T-60 and T-70 light tanks. It was equipped either with one 45mm gun, two 45mm guns of the same type, or one 76mm gun L/50 (some sort of F-22 modification). The armor was quite light (45mm front, 25mm sides and rear). Overall, it wasn’t a bad design, but it got plagued by delays (especially in engine development) and the project was scrapped in Fall of 1943. No prototype was made, only a hull existed (it was used later for target practice). In World of Tanks, the IT is supposed to be a tier 7 premium tank destroyer (by its placement in the tree) and I have absolutely no idea, how will they fit a 76mm gun on tier 7. At best, we are looking at something like a Soviet version of E-25 – very light, very fast, but very vulnerable and undergunned, with massive ROF. The GAZ tank destroyer is basically a followup program, started by the GAZ plant in Fall 1943. Somewhat similiar in concept to the IT series, GAZ tank destroyer prototypes were actually built: There were several of them (variants of GAZ-74, GAZ-75 and GAZ-76). The first version had about the same armor as the IT (45mm front, later increased to 60mm), but it came with more powerful guns. Specifically, it was the 57mm S-1-57 gun (similiar ballistics to the ZIS-2), later 76mm S-1 (the same gun like in the SU-76i) and – finally – the 85mm S-53. The latest version (GAZ-76) had 75-95mm front armor and weighed 18 tons. The program was cancelled in 1945, it was not produced in series. The GAZ-75 (the 85mm prototype shown above) statistics were as such: Crew: 4 Weight: 15 tons Engine: 170hp (2 85hp GAZ-80 engines, based on T-70) Maximum speed: 45 km/h Armor: 50mm frontal hull, 82mm frontal superstructure Gun: 85mm D-5S-85A (42 rounds of ammo carried, maximum ROF for GAZ-75: 8 RPM) Maximum elevation: 15 degrees In World of Tanks terms, it will probably be roughly equivalent to the SU-85. I haven’t found any detailed data on short notice, but I will later have a look.