Tuesday, 27 December 2016

85 mm AT Gun Battery

"16.11 At 13:00, a radio telegram arrives from the XXXXVI Tank Corps giving us the objective to deliver an attack from Shitkovo through Lama, as the progress of 2 Pz.D. is blocked by flanking fire from the forest east of Morozovo."
NARA T-315 R-587 F-1014/1019

The Soviet report shines a little more light on the nature of this blocking fire:

"On 16.11, around 12:00, the enemy began an attack on the left flank of the 316th Rifle Division (8th Guards) with 25 tanks. Of them, 7 tanks fired from standstill and 18 drove towards Morozovo. The 4th AT gun battery of the 768th Artillery Regiment opened fire on the advancing tanks despite enemy fire. As a result, 3 tanks were knocked out and the tank attack was pushed back. The battery lost one gun."

Seems like a fairly standard course of events, but the 768th Artillery Regiment wasn't an ordinary AT gun unit.

This is a map of the 768th and 296th Artillery Regiments from just a few days prior. The 768th is armed with a rather curious array of weapons: 37 mm AA autocannons and 85 mm AA guns. Seems that they were quite effective in an AT role, just like the German 88 mm AA gun.

Via zhur_from_rkka.

This is hardly the only effective use of 85 mm guns. For example, a month prior at Ilyinskoye line of defense at Maloyaroslavets, an 85 mm gun battery destroyed 14 German tanks and 10 trucks or APCs in only 10 minutes.

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