Main Artillery Directorate
January 12th, 1944
To commanders of artillery of Fronts and Armies:
RE: using 76 mm armour burning (HEAT) ammunition
Armour burning (HEAT) ammunition (index BP-353A) that has been developed for the 76 mm model 1927 regimental gun by the GAU has been supplied since October of 1942.
To use the aforementioned ammunition correctly, the GAU distributed the following materials as soon as the ammunition was sent out:
- Memo regarding the use of HEAT ammunition included in every crate of ammunition.
- Instructions on using model 1942 HEAT rounds.
- Firing tables for the model 1927 regimental gun, 1943 edition.
- Brief firing table #3 for the 76 mm model 1927 regimental gun 1943 edition.
- Directions on using firing tables, 1943 edition.
The aforementioned materials list the rules for using 76 mm HEAT ammunition.
Despite distribution of the aforementioned materials, investigations performed by GAU representatives on one Front show that the armies are ill informed on the 76 mm HEAT ammunition and do not use it sufficiently. Some artillery units do not have any idea about the round at all.
I explain that armour burning (HEAT) ammunition differ from ordinary HE grenades by their tip and design of the explosive charge, a powerful mix of cyclonite and TNT. The tip of the shell is made from sheet metal. The charge has a cone-shaped indentation in the upper part, with the base pointed forward. This direction the explosive wave and produces the armour burning effect.
The 76 mm HEAT shell is equipped with the BM tip fuse that works flawlessly when striking armour or vertical obstacles, but might not go off when hitting the ground. Firing 76 mm HEAT shells at the ground is forbidden.
The 76 mm armour burning (HEAT) shell can destroy tracks of all types of tanks and can penetrate the front or side armour of a PzIII or PzIV tank. If it hits the fighting compartment, the shell can detonate the ammunition and destroy the tank completely.
In addition to fighting armoured targets, the 76 mm HEAT shell can be used to destroy structures and fortifications with vertical walls.
The 76 mm armour burning (HEAT) shell is an effective weapon against enemy tanks when fired directly from a range of up to 1000 meters.
The 76 mm HEAT UBP-353A round can be used in 76 mm model 1927 and model 1943 regimental guns as well as divisional and tank artillery.
I ask you to check your officers' knowledge of this round and report to the GAU on the results of its use in combat.
Authorized representative of the Chief of the Red Army GAU, General Colonel of Artillery, Yakovlev"