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PLN-200101 Polygon N1 2001 magazine
The typical British murder (Dieppe landing)
Among many events that preceded the Allied Normandy landing, the Dieppe landing of Summer 1942 causes arguably the greatest controversy. Some historians hold it to be a Churchill's mistake, others believe that Churchill tried to demonstrate to Stalin in this manner that landing of large Allied forces in Europe is impossible, yet others maintain that this operation completely lacked any sense. In this article M.Morozov, PhD (history), tries to give his own answer to this question. The first part of the article deals with operation preparation, lists the forces committed, and describes flank landings in Quiberville, Vasterival and Berneval. The story is accompanied with TOE tables, photographs and landing diagram.
The birth of the «Suchka» («Bitch»)
Mikhael N. Svirin
SU-76 SPG was known by many derogatory terms during the War; most well-known are "SUchka" ("bitch"), "gas chamber", and "common grave". But it is not a common knowledge that Red Army had not one, but several vehicles that were called SU-76 (SU-12). This article describes the history of creation and use of one of them, which was created by OKB-38, Chief designer M.Schukin, and entered combat in January 1943. SU-12 had two GAZ-202 engines that were working in parallel on a common shaft. The revolution synchronizer was needed but it couldn't be developed. As a result the rotational vibrations resonances occurred, resulting in a transmission's breakdown. In May 1943 the SPG was modernized and received the index SU-76M (SU-12M). The number of breakdowns was reduced and the production of the vehicle was renewed. In autumn 1943 a new SU-76 modification appeared (SU-15M), which received the engines that were coupled consecutively SU-76M (SU-12M) were used in combat until mid-1944.
SB didn't want to leave
It is common knowledge that an obsolete SB bomber was replaced in 1941 by a more modern Pe-2 bomber. However many interesting stories happened in the interim. One of them is connected with the activity of A.Arkhangelsky's Design Bureau. In July 1939 the series-built SB failed to achieve required maximum speed, reaching only 409 km/h instead of 450 km/h. At the same moment in time Yakovlev's BB-22 reached 560 km/h. However the Yakovlev's aircraft was a record-setting plane, not a bomber. But this was not understood by everyone at the time. A.Arkhangelsky started designing a new plane, which received designation 'B'. It resembled SB, but had better aerodynamic properties, bomb load of up to 800kg, and was equipped with M-106 turbocharged engines. In 1940 the B plane was being built in two variants - high-speed bomber 'B-1' and dive bomber 'B-2'. The later shouldn't be confused with 'Ar-2' plane. B-1 's maiden flight took place on November 6,1940. On November 26 an accident happened - the landing gear collapsed. The revision efforts took place, but it was too late, as Pe-2 got accepted for series production. 'B-2' variant never got finished.
The vehicle that conquered USSR
Mikhael N. Svirin
When the German forces got stuck in snow near Moscow, Hitler took decision to create a tracked tractor along the lines of Russian STZ tractors that had good mobility. The tractor was designed by Steyr Company based on a 1500/2 truck. The tractor received the designation RSO and was needed mainly for towing of heavy AT guns over snow and mud. However its use have shown that petrol engine is not very suited for harsh usage conditions. Therefore KHD company proposed a variant of a tractor equipped with 70hp Diesel. By 1943 the tractor was very easy to produce, and the Germans started to develop various-purpose vehicle on its base, including anti-tank and air-defense SPGs. However, it is little known that the tractor didn't die with the demise of 3rd Reich, but instead found its use in the civil applications in USSR. In 1947 Kirov plant Design Bureau created a logging tractor design based on captured RSO tractors. The tractor was met with enthusiasm and already in 1949 the series production of tractors, designated KT-12, began. Even today on a territory of former Soviet Union one can find a somewhat unusual silhouette of TDT-55M logging tractor that in its own way has conquered USSR.
A brief technical specification and description is provided on a three-wheel mine-sweeping vehicle, that was captured in Germany and is currently on a display in Kubinka museum. The description was compiled in 1947 based on the results from external observations, measurements, and disassembly of selected components of the vehicle, as well as interviews with German specialists. Due to unreliable operation of various sweep's subsystems the actual mine-sweeping trials were cancelled.
The gun wrongly forgotten
Mikhael N. Svirin
This gun didn't win renown. It took part in no battles and was never installed on series-produced tanks. Because of this, PS-3 gun is completely forgotten today. However this is a very interesting gun, as it is the first dedicated tank gun created in USSR (most tank guns of the time were adaptations of various field pieces into tank turrets), and it had big shot power, could provide high rate of fire and long fire range despite its compact dimensions. The gun was created in 1929-1932 by a professional designer P.Syatchintov and was fielded in 1933 under the designation 76.2mm model 1933 tank gun. However, this gun proved beyond the reach of a weak Soviet industry of the time and the Kirov plant failed to master its production for 5 years. In 1935 P.Syatchintov became a chief designer of SPG design division and in 1937 fell victim to repressions along with many other Soviet armament designers.
Today everyone knows about VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) planes. The work on them dates back to forties and fifties. Though the design efforts followed different paths, the same scheme was implemented in Harrier and YaK-38 planes, that of a directed vector of thrust through rotating nozzle system of a fixed jet engine. In USSR such scheme was first implemented in 1946 by designer-engineer of OKB-155 K.V.Pelenberg (Shulikov), who started working on short take-off and landing problem during the war, in 1943. His 1946 plane design was completely functional as the author has foreseen not only take-off issues, but the problem of maintaining the balance of entire system during this process. On December 14, 1946 the invention claim was filed with the Bureau of Inventions of the Ministry of air-building industry. He. has received priority confirmation in 1947, but has only received Invention certificate on August 29, 1964, 18 years after his application. On October 10, 1969, the technical council of OKB-300 admitted that the YaK-36 design uses the rotating nozzle design proposed by K.V.Pelenberg (Shulikov).
1. Assault gun built by Plant No.37 in 1942
2. SU-76 in frontline units of the Volkhov Front. March 1943
3. First prototipe of a T-35 tank with a PS-3 gun mock-up on a parade. Moskow, November 7, 1932
4. A T-35 prototipe No.1 during armament trials. PS-3 gun No.2 is installed in the main turret
5. An installation model of track/wheel T-29 tan armed with a PS-3 gun