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Comparing Shells

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 "Report of the GBTU Self Propelled Artillery Directorate on results of comparative penetration trials of American, German, and domestic AP shells
May 13th, 1945

Firing according to the attached velocities was done at the Main Artillery Proving Grounds of the GAU at NKB proving grounds at Sofrino

Results of firing the shells at armour plates at prescribed velocities (see table)

#1: 76 mm AP shells against 50 and 75 mm thick plates.

The experimental shell from 60Kh30 steel shows undoubtedly superior results compared to the stock shell or the American shell.

#2. 76 mm AP shells with a muzzle velocity of 800 m/s against 60, 75, and 90 mm plates

The experimental shell from 60Kh30 steel shows undoubtedly superior results compared to the stock shell at an angle of 0 degrees, comparable results at 30 degrees, and worse results at 50 degrees. The latter is due to incorrect thermal hardening of the experimental shell.

The American and German shell are superior to the domestic shell at a velocity of 800 m/s.

#3. 85 mm domestic AP and 88 mm German AP against 75, 80, and 100 mm plates

The 85 mm experimental AP shell made from 60Kh30 steel shows undoubtedly superior results to the stock shell and the other experimental shell made from 35KhGS steel. The 35KhGS shell shows slightly better performance at 30 and 50 degree slopes due to unsatisfactory thermal hardening of the shell.

The performance of the German shell is superior due to its muzzle velocity.

#4. 100 mm domestic AP and 88 mm German AP against 90, 100, and 130 mm plates

Trials were made at angles of 30 degrees and 50 degrees.

The 100 mm flat tipped shell with a ballistic cap shows undoubtedly superior performance to the stock sharp tipped shell. 100 mm shells made from experimental steel have no advantages over the stock shell.

Due to higher muzzle velocity the German shell has a small advantage.

#5. 122 mm AP against 90 and 130 mm plates

The flat tipped shell undoubtedly has advantages over the sharp tipped shell both for stock and experimental shells.

Conclusions:

  1. The 76 and 85 mm experimental shells made from 60Kh30 steel undoubtedly have advantages over the stock shells and in some cases even surpass American shells.
    If properly hardened, the 60Kh30 steel shells will achieve a penetration distance 2-3 time higher than the stock shells.
  2. The flat tipped 100 and 122 mm shells are superior to the sharp tipped shells. They have been accepted into service without waiting for full firing trials.
    100 and 122 mm shells from experimental steel require additional work.
The GBTU experimental proving grounds is preparing for trials against targets at real distances. Firing will be performed at the following ranges:
  1. 88 mm German, 100 mm stock, 100 mm experimental, 122 mm stock, 122 mm experimental against a Panther at 2 km.
  2. 122 mm stock, 122 mm experimental, 100 mm stock, 100 mm experimental, 88 mm German against a second Panther at 2 km.
  3. If complete penetrations are achieved, fire at a third Panther at the same range.
  4. If the range is insufficient for obtaining the limit of penetration, fire at a Panther from 2.5 km.
  5. 85 mm shells are tested against a Tiger at 2 km.
  6. If the range is insufficient for obtaining the limit of penetration, fire at the Tiger from 2.5 km.
  7. 76 mm AA gun shells are tested against a Tiger at  2km.
  8. 76 mm divisional gun shells are tested from the 1500 m position against a Tiger that is 1000 m away.
Conducting trials is difficult, since the approved trials program is short 2 Tiger H and 1 King Tiger tanks. They will not be delivered from the front as the railroad is busy with other cargo.

Chief of the GBTU USA, Major General of the Tank Engineering Service Alymov."

CAMD RF F.38 Op.11355 D.510 L.27-29
Printed in Glavnoye Bronetankovoye Upravleniye Lyudi, Sobytiya, Fakty v dokumentakh, 1944-1945 p.493


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