Fire control Russian and German tanks, the second world war. Legends and Reality

Since then 67 years have passed, but the debate about whose is better tanks do not cease until the present time. However, there is one space in them: in fact, in all cases, is a comparison caliber guns, mm armor, armor-piercing projectiles, rate, speed, reliability and so completely similar "tangible" things. What's all the same to the tank optics and devices, it is usual, we litsezreem about the same copied each other's sentences, "high-quality German optics" — it's about German tanks or "very bad review" — this is obviously already about Russian cars. These phrases are so "capacious" describing a very important constituent element of combat power at least some of the tank, with an enviable vsepostoyanstvom meet virtually all the books on the subject. But is it in fact? Whether such "quality" was optics German tanks? Such a naughty devices were actually Russian tanks? Either it's all a myth? And if the myth, where did he come from? These are all questions we make out in this article.

First you need to understand why in general in the tank needed optical devices and how they work in principle. With all of this at once say, that observation chink in the armor of the tank I have for the "optical device" will not be accepted. Even if it is closed with bullet-proof triplex — it's just an observation slot for direct review — less. So, in order to kill the target, the tank must first goal of this find and identify. Only when the target is found and defined as "the enemy," the tank to produce accurate sighting at her guns and make a shot. Something that will further is beyond the scope of our study. In other words, the process of preparing a tank weapons to hit a target is divided, in fact, only two main components:
1. Target detection.
2. Targeting.
And the faster will be performed two operations, the greater the possibility of our tanks to defeat the enemy. So Makar, optical devices directly tank completely divided into two main groups:
1. viewing devices / systems / pan, giving a wide field of view to review the terrain and target detection devices crew of the tank;
2. optical and infrared sights, having a huge increase, but a small field of view for precise targeting. Also in this group can be assigned drive guidance and stabilizers, because they depend on the speed and accuracy of pointing to a detected target tank gun.
In accordance with this approach, multi-functional tasks and formed the crew of the tank. In some tanks task of detection and targeting tools solved by one person — a tank commander. Accordingly, he was serving a multi-functional devices both groups. These include Russian Tanks: T-34 models 1939, 1941 and 1943 model years and the German Pz.Kpfw I and Pz.Kpfw II.
But still most of the designers tanks, rightly considering such a scheme not optimal, we decided to divide the functional responsibilities of the members of the crew. Commander of the task now was limited only to the detection of targets and target designation giving the gunner, so that he himself was only operate devices in Group 2. Problem is hitting the target in other words, pointing guns at the target and the establishment of a shot now fell on the gunner devices in Group 1. Puzzle communication and team agility at first decided the individual — radio operator (usually, he cooperated with the function of the puzzle machine gunner).
This principle, later apt title as a "hunter-shooter", was implemented on the Russian tanks KB series of stamps, T-34-85 mod. 1944 and the following military vehicles. Germans have this "innovation" (in quotation marks, as in the Navy similar scheme in the general's own essence acted almost ancient times) was introduced in the light tank Pz.Kpfw II and following models.
So what did actually, are these devices on Russian and German cars of the time? I will give as examples only some of them. Naturally, the attentive reader will find that the KV-1 or T-34 set and other sights. But the fact is that with the improvement of optics Russian tanks on vehicles of different years were staged all over and more than modern sights and devices. To list them all, and no ability to lead only to the turmoil. I therefore only certain types of modifications.
So, let us associate the order and the steps of the war.

1941

All tanks are made perfectly in time of peace, highly spices and given all the necessary resources to do so.

The heavy tank KV-1 (Crew of 5 persons)

Gunner for the targeting crosshair had two:
— Telescopic sight TMPD-7 (2.5 x increase, the field of view of 15 °),
— Periscope sight PT4-7 (2.5 x increase, the field of view of 26 °),
— To fire the course and feed 7.62 mm machine-guns were used scopes PU,
— For target illumination time of the day in the black on the mask gun was mounted spotlight.
Commander for the detection of the target had:
— A commanding panorama of PT-K,
— 4 periscope observation devices on the perimeter of the tower.
Apart from this there were two cracks in the sight buttons sides of the tower.
The driver had in his own possession:
— 2 periscope observation devices (on some tanks one) and a viewing slot located on the VFD in the center of the body.
Drives gun laying horizontally, electronic, mechanical, vertical. Stabilization absent. Number of day of optical devices — 11. Night-optical devices — 1. Reticule slots — 3. Cupola is missing. To fire from concealed positions had side level. The peculiarity of the tank that Russian designers immediately opted for the creation of special observation and sighting system for the commander, we have decided that the primitive cupola cross hairs with narrow slits along its perimeter is an anachronism because through these slots bad review. Through every crevice seen a very small section, and the transition from one slot to another commander for the time lost sight of the situation and its landmarks.
I regret to admit that the commander's unit PT-K tank KB-1 in this regard has also been far from perfect, though, and allowed without annoying to watch an entire sector of 360 degrees without interruption eye on the situation. The principle of "hunter shooter" is realized in the tank. Here is a general assessment of devices tank KB-1 Yankee, "beautiful sights and vision devices rude but comfortable. The field of view is not very bad … "[1]. On the whole, 1941 KB instrumentation tank 1 was very good, to say the least.

Medium Tank T-34 (Crew of 4 persons)

Gunner (aka Commander) for the targeting had:
— Telescopic sight TSD-6
— For target illumination time of the day in the black on the mask gun was mounted spotlight. [2]
Radio operator-gunner to fire from the front 7.62mm DT machine-guns used:
— PU telescopic sight (increased 3x).
Commander (aka Gunner) for detection of the target had:
— A commanding panorama of PT-K (on some tank was replaced by a swivel, periscope sight PT4-7)
— 2 periscope device on the sides of the tower.
The driver had in his own possession:
— 3 periscope observation devices.
Drives gun laying horizontally, electronic, mechanical, vertical. Stabilization absent. Number of day optics — 8. Night-optical devices — 1. Reticule no gaps. Cupola is missing.
As we see, the number of optical devices T-34 production years 1939-41 yielded a few languid tank KV-1. But its main drawback was that this tank was not implemented the principle of "hunter-shooter." At the T-34 these issues gunner commander cooperated function. Naturally in a battle he could get carried away by the sight of goal telescopic sight TOD-6 (2.5 x increase, the angle of view 26 °) and a so absolutely lose control of their surroundings. I think there is no need to explain how much risk at such moments subjected tank and its crew. In a certain extent assi
st in the detection of the enemy commander could loader. Therefore, in comparison with a languid KV-1, T-34 first issues still significantly more "blind".
Alignment of American professionals about optics T-34: "Sights are good and vision devices are not finished, but very satisfactory. General limits of visibility — the good "[1]. In general instrumentation of the T-34 pre-war production was completely on the level. His main drawback — the lack of a tank gunner in the crew.

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

Light tank T-26 (Crew of 3 persons)

This tank I have chosen to review for two reasons. In 1-x, T-26 tank was the chief of the Red Army during the interwar period, and was released in a quantity of more than 10,000 pcs. Lofty first Russian war fraction of these tanks in parts of the Red Army was still significant. In-2, despite the rather unprepossessing appearance, the T-26 was the first Russian tank, whose fire control system allowed him to fire an effective shot with stroke.
Gunner for the targeting crosshair had two:
— Telescopic stabilized in the vertical plane of sight TOS-1 with the block resolution shots
— Periscope sight PT-1
— For target illumination time of the day in the black on the mask guns were installed two spotlights,
— To fire the stern 7.62mm DT machine-guns had diopter sight.
Commander (aka charging) for detection of the target sight buttons had only two slots on the sides of the tower. To search for a purpose, he could also use the panoramic sight of the PT-1. The driver had in his own possession only sighting slot.
So Makar, a light tank T-26, with a rather feeble means to detect the target, with all this was a good chance that goal (if it is still unable to find it) hit.
Drives gun laying horizontal and vertical mechanical. Number of day optical devices — 2. Number of night optical devices — 2. Number of reticle slots — 3. The commander's cupola not. The very thought only of sight stabilization in the T-26 was certainly more successful than the South American approach to the dilemma of shooting accuracy with a stroke — the stabilization of sensitive instruments with mechanical stabilization of the sight of him. Imperfect and low-power regulator BH South American tank M4 "Sherman" is not allowed to detain the gun exactly on target, especially when driving on very rough terrain. Disposed at fluctuations of the housing was all the same and with all this, because the sight was a mechanical connection with a gun — has lost its purpose and gunner of the tank. Sight TOS-1 T-26 tank confidently kept goal in the most demanding criteria. When you click on the gunner firing the shot came at a time when the axis is aligned with the axis of the gun sight, and the goal was amazed. TOS-1 was 2.5 x increase, the field of view of 15 ° and was designed for aimed firing range of up to 6,400 m sight PT-1 had the same increase, the field of view of 26 ° and a distance of 3600 m aimed fire principle of "hunter-shooter "as a whole is implemented fairly clear, because the tank commander had a very limited set of tools for the detection of targets and with all this, besides distracted by reloading the gun.
It should be noted that because of the low-skilled and threats in the appeal, the stabilizer on the lend-lease tanks M4 "Sherman" Russian tankers are usually disconnected. Also for illiterate soldiers of the Red Army was an option crew of the T-26 with telescopic sight everyday TOP analogous features on the stabilized sight TOS-1.

Light Tank Pz.Kpfw III Ausf. G (Crew of 5 persons)

Gunner for the targeting had:
— Telescopic sight TZF.Sa (increase of 2.4 x).
Commander for the detection of the target reticule had 5 slots in the commander's cupola. Charging can take advantage of cross hairs 4 slits on the sides of the tower.
Mechanic driver has:
— Turning the device KFF.1 periscope sight cross hairs and 2 slots in the body of the tank in front and to the left.
One sighting slot in the right side of the body there was a radio operator and gunner. To fire the machine gun course radioman-gunner used all of the same sighting slot.
Drives guidance of horizontal and vertical mechanical. Number of day optical devices — 2. Number of night optical devices — 0. The number of slots reticle — 12. Cupola is.
More surprising than not rich equipment of the German tank or what optics in general. Especially eye-catching is the dissonance when compared with Russian tanks. For example, KB-1 had already 11 optical devices (!) Vs. 2 in the "troika". At the same time, the latter just happens to mean unlimited reticle gaps — as much as 12 pieces! They, of course, improved visibility of the tank, but weakened its defense and for themselves by themselves were weak spot in the tank, with all this posing a danger to use their soldiers. The commander of the tank was generally devoid of any optical surveillance devices, except, perhaps, their own binoculars. Plus, in a cupola, but again the same no instrumentation cupola had not, and after 5 to narrow gaps could be seen very bad.
Here, I think still necessary to give a detailed explanation of why the sighting slot for real optical, supervisory device I do not think so. In the case of a periscope device that monitors a person indirectly, under the protection of armor. The very same exit pupil of the device is placed much higher — very often in the roof of the case or the tower. This leads to the area of the mirror device is quite large and so makarom provide the desired field of view and viewing angles. Ingress of bullets or fragments in the worst case, will only lead to the exit of the device failure. In the case of the sighting slot and it is even sadder. It's just a narrow slit cut in the armor, specifically through which a person is observing. Quite obvious that a similar structure is vulnerable and potentially unsafe. The consequences of falling into the gap bullet or projectile can be different — from eye injuries observed, the failure of the tank. To reduce to a minimum the possibility of entering the observation slit bullets or fragments of its size makes it the least, that coupled with the thick armor very very suzivaet field of view through the slit. In addition, to protect the eyes from watching the case in the gap bullets or fragments of it is locked from the inside with a thick armored glass — triplex. So cling to the sighting slit a man can not — he has to look through the crack with a certain distance, determines the width of laminated glass, which of course is even more suzivaet field of view. So, no matter how imperfect were periscope observation devices tank KV-1 and T-34, they are a priori much better reticle slits German tanks. This shortcoming was in some degree compensated by the strategy of German crews, but more on that below.

Medium Tank Pz.Kpfw IV Ausf. F (Crew of 5 persons)

Gunner for the targeting had:
— Telescopic sight TZF.Sa.
Commander for the detection of the target reticule had 5 slots in the commander's cupola. The gunner and loader can use the reticle 6 slots located on the front plate of the tower (two) on the sides of the tower (two) and on the side of the tower hatches (also two).
The driver had:
— Turning periscope device KFF.2 and wide viewing slot. Radio operator-gunner features 2 observation slits.
Finally: drive pointing horizontally electronic, mechanical, vertical, no stabilization, commander's cupola is, the number of daytime optics — 2, the number of night optical devices — 0, the numb
er of slots reticle — 14 (!).
So makarom can say that at the beginning of the war our tanks still peacetime had incomparably more rich and varied equipment optical devices than their German opponents. With all of this archaic reticle gaps are minimized (CV-1, T-26), or were absent altogether (T-34). The absence of the commander's cupola explains its uselessness in tanks KB-1 and T-34, (so as not to increase the height of the tank) for target detection with special optical observation instruments commander of PT-K, providing radial view.

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

1943

This period is associated with only a languid state of the USSR. Big loss on the front and capture the enemy wide areas of the country could not affect the quantity and quality of products. The design of Russian tanks were introduced aimed configuration, priemuschestvenno, to simplify and reduce the cost of their construction. In factories machine tools were not skilled workers, and often ladies and kids. Tank crews also were recruited from people who do not have sufficient training in the present case that, coupled with a not very competent command and control organization has given rise to expressions such as: "The tank is waging a war on average 5 minutes," etc.
Naturally, this has left its mark on the package contents and the form of Russian tanks of the period. If we talk directly about the optics, the Russian tanks were deprived of optical illuminator for illumination purposes NIGHT MODE, because the criteria for a busy pounding it very quickly come into disrepair. From him on most tanks still refused at first war.
Optical periscope observation devices at the massive tank T-34 in some places replaced by ordinary sight buttons gap. Abandoned optical sights for guns, replacing them with dioptric. The simple regression, but what else was not there. Often deprived of even the tank he needed to combat the sights and devices. In this sense, the Russian tanks Release 1942-43 was too far up their own pre-war relatives.
At the same time, it should be noted as the right conclusions, which made Russian military and designers. Was initially created high-speed heavy tank KV-1S (speed up to 43 km / h on the highway). And soon, in response to the emergence of the Germans languid tank Pz.Kpfw VI «Tiger" we have a new model — KV-85 with a strong and clear 85-mm gun D-5T, refreshed sights and fire control devices in one hundred percent of the newest a large tower. This highly mobile (relatively, of course) with a massive tank weapons, good optics and protection better than the German tank "Panther" in expert hands was a very effective tool in the fight against enemy tanks at least some types (except perhaps that was the "King Tiger").
Has been upgraded and the main battle tank T-34, which also received new equipment and commander's cupola. German industry, though Macha from bombing, but in the period in question could still be completely comfortable and superbly produce tanks, not really saving on their own.

The heavy tank KV-1C (Crew of 5 persons)

Gunner for the targeting crosshair had two:
— Telescopic sight 9T-7
— Periscope sight PT4-7.
Commander for the detection of the target had:
— 5 periscope device in the commander's cupola,
— To fire the stern 7.62mm DT machine gun commander used a diopter sight.
Charging for observing the surroundings had:
— 2 periscope device in the roof of the tower. In addition, in his possession were two slits sight buttons on the sides of the tower.
Radio operator-gunner had to watch only the diopter sight course 7.62mm DT machine-guns.
The driver followed the situation through:
— Periscope device in the roof of the enclosure. In addition, he had a sighting slit in the center of VFD enclosure.
Drive pointing horizontally email, Vertical — mechanical. No stabilization. Cupola is. Number of day of optical devices — 10. Number of night optical devices — 0. Number of reticle slots — 3. In the tank incorporates the principle of "hunter-shooter."

The heavy tank KV-85 (Crew of 4 persons)

Gunner for the targeting crosshair had two:
— Telescopic sight 10T-15 (2.5 x increase, the field of view of 16 °),
— Periscope sight PT4-15.
There was a side to the level of fire from concealed positions.
Commander for target detection used:
— Periscope spinning unit of MK-4 gives the field of view of 360 °. As an alternate means of observation were 6 reticle gaps in the commander's cupola. For firing aft 7.62mm DT machine gun was used telescopic sight PU.
Charging was watching through:
— Periscope device MK-4. In addition to his two sides of the tower were slit sight buttons.
Mechanic driver used:
— 2 periscope device MK-4 and sighting slit in the center of VFD enclosure.
Drive pointing horizontally electronic, mechanical vertical. No stabilization. Cupola is. Number of day of optical devices — 7. Number of night optical devices — 0. Number of reticle slots — 9. In the tank incorporates the principle of "hunter-shooter."
A distinctive feature of the tank was, what his spacious crew compartment provides excellent habitability conditions and serviceability clear and high-velocity 85 mm gun D-5T-85, which effortlessly punched frontal armor "Tiger" from a distance of 1000-1200 m, in other words at a distance of DPA [3]. With all of this tank commander for the detection of targets has at its disposal a high-quality wide-angle periscope prism unit of MK-4, which allowed him to gaze on the job, smoothly track the entire radial sector with a wide angle field of view. So Makarov, the commander of the HF-85, in contrast to the commanders of German cars, there was no need to open the hatch and stick your head out of the tank is exposed to the threat (Russian snipers, for example, and watched the German tank commander's hatches).
In a high quality and quantity of the KV-85 was equipped optics at least not worse than at least some foreign tanks, including the "Tiger" with "Panther". Specifically appliances PT-K and MK-4 and become embryos sighting and observation systems commanding Russian postwar main battle tanks.

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

Medium Tank T-34 (Crew of 4 persons)

This is the massive Russian tank. In 1943 produced as much as 6 plants with an abundance of allied enterprises, and therefore represents a real "designer for adults". Despite the unlimited number of published copies (more than 60,000 pcs.) Will hardly meet even two to one hundred percent of similar tank. Of the companies involved in the release of the T-34 during the war have been redirected to the issue thereof, even during the war and the first release of similar products is not engaged. Of course the quality of the product and its good equipment, such as was the case before the war, in 1942, could easily forgotten. T-34 tanks were produced at that time as "stripped" and lightweight. Build quality components and assemblies allowed to reach their own power from the factory gate to the place of battl
e. Notwithstanding such a sad situation and there was a place some innovation, incorporated into the design of this popular, mass tank.
Gunner (aka Commander) for aiming sight had two:
— Telescopic sight TMPD-7
— Periscope sight PT4-7.
Commander (aka Gunner) for detection of the target had:
— Periscope device MK-4 on the commander's cupola. As an alternate means of observation were 5 reticle slits along the perimeter of the commander's cupola.
Charging in his own possession had:
— Periscope device MK-4. In addition to this there were 2 slots sight buttons on the sides of the tower.
The driver was watching through:
— 2 periscope device housed in the hatch.
Radio operator-gunner surveillance, not counting dioptrical sight of his gun had.
Drives pointing horizontally electronic, Vertical — mechanical. No stabilization. Cupola is. Number of day of optical devices — 6. Number of night optical devices — 0. Number of reticle slots — 7. In the tank is not implemented the principle of "hunter-shooter" and is one of the harshest of its shortcomings.
One man (commander, gunner, he is) not in a condition to serve both devices multifunctional teams and it was very difficult to divide attention to the contours of the two positions. Usually hunting excitement made commander on duty to look into the telescopic sight of TMPD-7. With all of this he has not been the case up to the commander's turret mounted with it special unit of MK-4. Destination search commander-gunner was easier to create a periscope sight located near PT4-7. This sight has a field of view of 26 ° and was able to spin, providing a viewing angle of 360 °. For this reason, a commander's cupola on the T-34-76 did not survive and many tanks of this type, it was not installed at all. More feasibly reduced visibility bad quality of the glass of the period used for the optics of the tank.
That's about the world of American professional optics of the T-34 issues in 1942: "The design was recognized pretty sight, even the best in the world of the famous South American designers, but the quality of the glass better left much to be desired". [4] But by the middle of 1943 Izyumsky Optical Glass Factory (evacuated in 1942) was able to raise the quality of the products to global standards. With all of this, of his own design Russian sights were always at least in the "top three."

Medium Tank Pz.Kpfw IV Ausf. H (Crew of 5 persons)

Gunner for the targeting had:
— Telescopic sight TZF.Sf.
Commander for the detection of the target reticule had 5 slots in the commander's cupola.
The driver had:
— Turning periscope device KFF.2 and wide viewing slot.
Radio operator-gunner had only the diopter sight gun.
Drives pointing horizontally electronic (on some tanks, mechanical), vertical mechanical stabilization is not. Cupola is. Number of day optical devices — 2. Number of night optical devices — 0. Number of reticle slots — 6.
In the design of the tank have been made to the configuration aimed at the greatest increase in firepower and protection. With all of this equipment tank devices and optics was very relieved. With the installation of on-board screens protivokumulyativnyh had to eliminate the gap sight buttons on the sides of the hull and turret. On the part of the tanks and refused to drive the electronic turret! Later abandoned and the mechanics of the periscope device driver KFF.2, so that all optics of the tank began to make only a single gunner's sight.

The heavy tank Pz.Kpfw VI. Ausf E «Tiger» (Crew of 5 persons)

Gunner for the targeting had:
— Telescopic sight TZF.9b (2.5x increase in the angle of the field of view of 23 °). To monitor the terrain he could use sighting slot in the left side of the tower.
Commander for target detection using the reticle 6 slots in the commander's cupola. Charging can take advantage of:
— Periscope device in the roof of the tower and target slot in the right side of the tower.
Mechanic driver used:
— Sighting slot and motionless periscope device in the cover flap.
Radio operator-gunner took:
— Optical sight KZF.2 7,92-mm machine gun and motionless periscope device in the cover flap.
In the end, the tank had a drive targeting the horizontal and vertical hydraulic, no stabilization, commander's cupola is, the number of daytime optics — 4. Number of night optical devices — 0. Number of reticle slots — 9. In the tank incorporates the principle of "hunter-shooter."
As can be seen, the difference of the tank from its easier to take in the main only that part of the auxiliary reticle slits (charging, the arrow mechanics) was replaced by a motionless periscopes. At the same time, at the disposal of the commander to search for all purposes had the same unfortunate commander's cupola with narrow and blind "cross hairs slits", which in Russian tanks in that time has been used as a spare (the exception was only KB-1C).
The main advantage of this tank and it is one of the main shortcomings: hydraulic actuators horizontal and vertical guidance. This allowed the gunner to accurately without physical effort to direct the gun at the target. But there were drawbacks: very leisurely rotation of the tower and the highest fire risk throughout the system. Russian tanks have electronic steering tower (BCH) and manual vertical guidance. It provides high speed towers and allowed them very quickly flip the gun on the newly discovered target, but aim precisely at once the habit was difficult. Inexperienced gunner had to later bring manually.

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

1945

The period can be described as difficult for the industry Germany. Yet, agonizing "Third Reich" convulsively tried to find a miracle weapon capable of turning back the tide of war. Not being able to produce armored vehicles in need of thee scales comparable with the volume of production in such USSR and the USA, the Wehrmacht took the only probable, as it believed the decision: to make even a difficult and expensive, but with all this on the head perfectly able to outshine opponents reference [5] . Eclipse the "head", by the way, it was not possible. Yet, this period is fascinating occurrence of such monstrous constructions as heavy tank "King Tiger", self-propelled gun "Yagdtigr" super-heavy tank "Maus." More or less resilient instance was just a heavy tank Pz.Kpfw VI Ausf. In "King Tiger" or "Tiger II». As it is impossible not to note the emergence of a new battlefield, languid tank Pz.Kpfw V «Panther" and self-propelled guns, "Yagdpantera" made on its basis.
Unlike Germany, Russian flywheel power, including industrial continued to unwind. Was created by a new heavy tank IS-2. The tank was armed only with a strong 122-mm rifled gun D-25T, which simply punched frontal armor at least some German tanks at all distances tank battle ever since. IS-2 was not special anti-tank weapons — for the role of his gun firing rate was obviously insufficient. It
was a heavy breakthrough tank. Yet, in the case of a duel with a German tank or what, get over it MIS required only once. "One-two-two" usually, death did at least some German tanks instant and catchy. In accordance with these specifications and developed a strategy for the implementation of the JS-2 against enemy armored vehicles. Now our tank crews did not need nearly point-blank closer to the German "cat" — for the penetrating power of the D-25T could not help worrying. On the contrary, had as early as possible to see the enemy, and, turning to him forehead, start quietly shoot him with that distance at which the 75-mm gun "Panther" and the 88-mm gun "Tigers" were still powerless against the heavy armor of the tank IS-2.
To increase the effective range of fire powerful cannons to the JS-2, a new articulated, telescopic monocular sight TS-17, which had a 4-fold increase.
JS-2 was created back in 1943. In 1944 he perfected. And in 1945, was created by heavy-duty heavy tank IS-3 on long years to determine the path of development of Russian tanks languid.
A very successful and effective heavy tank KB-85 was discontinued (it was released 148 KB-85 tanks with 85-mm NR D-5T, one tank KB-100 with 100-mm D-10T NP and one tank with KB-122 122mm D-25T NP) in favor of the IS-2 production, and the role of the tank-destroyer ran across a more a cheap and technologically advanced T-34-85. This medium tank, released in 1944 on the basis of the famous "Thirty" of early release. He was very active, copes with the German average machines, the truth against the "Tigers" and "Panther" T-34-85 still pass — suffered from a low level of the reservation. The quality of production of the tank is consistent with international standards. The same can be said of the South American Medium Tank M4 "Sherman" is delivered to the USSR under Lend-Lease.

Medium Tank T-34-85 (Crew of 5 persons)

This machine — the result of deep modernization of the T-34. At an extended chase installed the latest spacious tower on three people with heavy armor. Depending on the modification tank could be fitted with 85-mm rifled gun D-5T or C-53. Both guns are similar in ballistics. The crew appeared gunner (finally, in 1944!) With the result that the principle of "hunter-shooter" was implemented. Significantly renewed instrumentation.
Gunner for the targeting crosshair had two:
— Telescopic sight TSH-16 (4x increase, the field of view of 16 °),
— Panoramic periscope sight PTK-5, as the level of the side to fire from concealed positions.
Commander for detection purposes had:
— Periscope observation unit of MK-4 in the commander's cupola. As an alternate means there were 5 reticle gaps in the commander's cupola.
The gunner has:
— Supervisory periscope device MK-4 in the roof of the tower.
The shooter to fire the course 7.62mm DT machine-guns used:
— Telescopic sight PPU-8T.
The driver drove through observation:
— 2 periscope observation devices in the cover flap.
For a tank was designed stabilizer arms STP-S-53 in the vertical plane, but because of the low reliability introduce it did not [6]. So Makar, the drive pointing horizontally email, Vertical — mechanical. Cupola is. No stabilization. Number of day of optical devices — 7. Number of night optical devices — 0. Number of reticle slots — 5. In the tank incorporates the principle of "hunter-shooter."

The heavy tank IS-2 (Crew of 4 persons)

Gunner for the targeting crosshair had two:
— Telescopic sight TSH-17 (4x increase, the field of view of 16 °),
— Periscope sight PT4-17. Lateral level for firing from the closed position.
Commander for detection purposes had:
— Periscope spinning unit of MK-4 gives the field of view of 360 °. As an alternate means of observation were 6 reticle gaps in the commander's cupola,
— Telescopic sight PPU-8T was used to fire the stern 7.62mm DT machine-guns,
— Collimator sight K8-T — for firing anti-aircraft 12.7-mm DShK.
Charging was watching through:
— Periscope device MK-4. In addition to his two sides of the tower were slit sight buttons.
Mechanic driver used:
— 2 periscope device MK-4 and sighting slit in the center of VFD enclosure.
Drives gun laying horizontally electronic, Vertical — mechanical. Cupola is. Number of day optics — 8. Number of night optical devices — 0. Number of reticle slots — 9. No stabilization. In the tank incorporates the principle of "hunter-shooter."
Talking about the optics of Russian tanks last year of the war it is worth noting that some of them were equipped with active infrared night observation devices of the driver. These Russian instruments then were still very imperfect and provide a full range of vision in the mist at least 20-25 meters. Yet, they allow the driver-mechanic completely to carry on a tank NIGHT MODE without the inclusion of unmasking their ordinary headlights. Because these instruments are used only to control the tank, but not for shooting out of it, I did not add them to the configuration considered in the paper Russian tanks.

The heavy tank IS-3 (Crew of 4 persons)

This heavy-duty tank was created at the very end of the war on the basis of components and assemblies languid tank IS-2 and in the hostilities with Germany did not take the role. IS-3 had a very sophisticated and meticulously calculated ballistic shape of the hull and turret. At the corners of the board of course and in fact it does not matter what point of contact with the tank gave a bounce. All this mixed with insane armor width (tower around — up to 220 mm!) And the low altitude of the body. Single tank since virtually nothing he could do with the armor IS-3, a private 122-mm gun which is fully confident take, in general, at least some tank as long at all distances (from "King Tiger" is naturally worse, and it was completely permeable). Strengthened and firepower. The commander of the tank for the first time in the world got an automatic target detection gunner.
This innovation has proved to be very useful in some reworked version used on modern tanks. The advantage of a tank filled with a similar system, of course, and here's why. If there are two battle tank, similar in performance characteristics, the victory usually comes out first who managed to find the enemy. On this topic I have already started to talk first article and at the moment it will sum up the logical ending. If both tanks have seen each other immediately or almost immediately, it will overcome the one who first shot to open fire and hit the enemy. The time from detection of the target before the opening of the impact of fire on it is called the "reaction time to the target." This time comprises:
1. The time required for loading the gun necessary type of ammunition and training gun to fire.
2. The right time in order to see the gunner commander previously detected target in the lens of its own scope.
3. The time required for the gunner to accurately aim and make a shot.
If the first and third Fri understand everything, then the second item asks clarification. In all previous tanks commander after he found the target through his instruments, he began voice (via the TPU course) to explain the gunner and where exactly is it located. With all of this while the commander will be able to find the right words to describe the target site, while the gunner learns where she is, as long as he is able to "find" her with his gun, possessing comparable to a narrow field of view … In all of this precious seconds left, which in some desperate The situation becomes fatal to the soldiers.
On the new tank IS-3 was different. The commander, finding purpose through its own prism unit commander MK-4 (then EC-3M is replaced by the commander periscope, stereoscopic device TPK-1 having a variable 1x-5x multiple growth), and without saying a word gunner, simply press
down on the button. Tower gun turned in the direction you looked commanding unit of MK-4, and the goal was provided in the field of view of the gunner's sight. Next — a trick. Everything is simple and easy — see the goal, a couple of seconds and the gunner has to aim at it.
Another feature of the JS-3 — the rejection of the commander's cupola, which gave "excellent review" area according to some historians armored vehicles. From the previous explanation, it is clear that the Russian tanks commander found the target through a special unit commander: PT-K or MK-4 — not the essence of principle. In principle, that the target plate gap in the commander's cupola was left as an alternate means (in the case of damage to the unit commander, for example), and in fact they almost did not get. Browsing through them was not comparable to the review by the MK-4. So the decision on the IS-3, so as not to increase the weight and height of the machine, completely abandon this anachronism (as it turns out, still too early). The result was a large dead zone in the direction of the commander's unit to the right and down (especially she felt when tilting the tank on the left side). A thing of the past and target gaps in the armor of the tank.
Thus, the IS-3. Gunner for the targeting had:
— Telescopic sight TSH-17.
To monitor the terrain at his disposal:
— Supervisory periscope device MK-4. There was a side to the level of fire from concealed positions.
Commander for the detection of targets used:
— Periscope observation unit MK-4 with automatic target acquisition TAEN-1
— Collimator sight K8-T for firing a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun ANC.
The loader had:
— Periscope observation unit of MK-4 in the roof of the tower.
The driver in a combat situation was watching through:
— Periscope observation unit of MK-4.
In the stowed position, he was sticking his head out of the tank flap.
Lucrative feature of the IS-3 was so called "pike nose", which consisted of the VLD 3 at an angle to each other armor plates. In addition to enhanced snaryadostoykosti this form of nose mechanics allow the driver to the JS-3 relaxed climb and climb out of the tank when the gun turned right on the nose and a zero angle of its elevation. And this despite the move up to the bow of the tower. It would be nice if this exquisite design would send their own opinion makers of the modern Russian main battle tanks. And the tower does not need to be always turned towards the keep and the life of the driver would be eased.
Drives pointing horizontally electronic, Vertical — mechanical. No stabilization. The commander's cupola not. Number of day of optical devices — 6. Number of night optical devices — 0. The number of slots reticle — 0. In the tank perfectly implemented the principle of "hunter-shooter."
He was later created a modernized version of the JS-3M, which have been enhanced in the sights and fire control equipment, introduced night vision goggles, ammunition and tanks filled with new feathered armor-piercing projectiles (BOPS) to the 122-mm gun D-25T, able to 1000m pierce the armor on a normal width of 300 mm.

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

The heavy tank Pz.Kpfw V. Ausf G. "Panther" (Crew of 5 persons)

In fact, according to the German organizing "Panther" was a medium tank, but our ordering anything heavier than 40 tons a number of weary tank. A "Panther" weighed 46.5 tons. Russian analogue of this exemplary German "cat" was the KV-85, which was very close to it in their performance characteristics. The tank came from the Germans good enough, though on its own "philosophy" it was a purely German standard approach to the design of the tanks.
The highlight of the "Panther" was the fact that a small part of the tanks of this type were active infrared night vision devices commander Sperber FG 1250. This device was installed on the turret of a tank commander and was not designed for the shooting, but for the purposes of detecting a commander in the black clock. It consisted of convector image and infrared projector set up for target illumination IR beam. Range of vision devices NIGHT MODE by modern standards, was small — about 200 m At the same gunner did not have such a device and in your own sight NIGHT MODE not beheld rovnenky personal account, as well as all the other gunners and tanks since. And therefore conduct aimed fire NIGHT MODE still could. Shooting was conducted face-down on the verbal prompts commander. Similarly, the driver drove a tank mechanic NIGHT MODE, focusing only on the team commander of the tank. But even in this form, these devices provide the "Panthers" NIGHT MODE advantage before the Russian tanks and tanks allies. Naturally, they were much more modern Russian first night of devices I mentioned in the description of languid tank IS-2. The existence of the enemy itself "night" version of "Panther" has led to some stressful crews Russian tanks in a black clock.
Gunner for the targeting had:
— Telescopic sight TZF-12A (had multiple variable rate of 2.5 x 5 x and in accordance with the changing field of view 30 ° -15 °).
Commander for detection purposes had:
— 7 periscope observation devices in the commander's cupola,
— Active infrared night vision device Sperber FG 1250 (NIGHT MODE range of vision up to 200 m).
Charging surveillance devices had not.
The driver drove a tank, using:
— Rotating periscope device monitoring.
Radio operator-gunner had:
— Optical sight KZF.2 7,92-mm machine gun and MG.34 periscope viewing device.
Drives guidance of horizontal and vertical hydraulic. Cupola is. No stabilization. Number of day of optical devices — 10. Number of night optical devices — 2. The number of slots reticle — 0. In the tank incorporates the principle of "hunter-shooter." There was a purge system stem with compressed air, which reduced the gas content of the crew compartment. Russian tanks then treated only VU crew compartment.
This tank is, in fact, absorbed all the best that could give the German industry ever since. For the last modification of the tank (Ausf F) even staged optical rangefinders. "Panthers" were harsh opponent for Russian and U.S. medium tanks (more often encountered on the battlefield). At the same time, its organic defects caused by the "German" approach to the design, namely: the huge size, that if the mass of 46.5 tons made it worse protection than the Russian KV-85 is the same weight and is much worse than that IS-2. The apparent discrepancy of 75 mm caliber guns such size and weight.
In the end, the tank stood bad contact with the Russian military languid tank type IP-2. Known case of complete defeat "Panther" 122-mm armor-piercing projectile tank IS-2 with a distance of 3000 m 85-mm gun KV-85 and T-34-85 problems with the German beast, too, did not have.
It is also interesting to note how varied the form of German tanks during the war. The Germans were at first very proud of the convenience of their own tanks. Their light and medium tanks of the war and were filled with countless hatches, hatches, vents and plugs cross hairs. On the example of "Panther" it is clear that the Germans eventually went the way of Russian designers. The number of holes in the armor "Panther" is kept to a minimum. Sight buttons gap and the plugs are not a hundred percent.
Nightly versions of "Panther" was released a little hard and they drowned in the weight o
f their own everyday, "daytime" twin brothers. But I found it necessary to thoroughly the brakes on this model, because in the unlikely event that reticence about them can be regarded as podygryvanie Russian tanks. But I have the courage to apply at least to some objectivity.

The heavy tank Pz.Kpfw VI. Ausf B. "King Tiger" (Crew of 5 persons)

This tank has been created at the very end of the war in a vain attempt to overshadow the quality of the advancing Russian tanks. Of course "German quality" in these tanks have and did not smell. Everything was made very rough for a quick (about a T-34 in 1942, the year). His 88-mm self-propelled gun of "Ferdinand" was quite effective, but the tank itself, representing a certain kind of larger "Panther", came out how weary and still, and so fragile. In other words, super-heavy tank German designers managed to do. A good tank — no. And the experienced German tank crews still prefer to use ordinary "Tigers".
Here are the words of a noble German tanker Otto Carius (waging war on Pz.38 (t), «Tigre", "Yagdtigre") which account for some reports of about 150 tanks and self-propelled guns destroyed, "If you're talking about Konigstiger (Tiger II), then I do not see any real improvements — more grievous, the least reliable, least maneuverable "[7]. Naturally Otto Carius partly tricky, because it is so adored own ordinary "Tiger." For example, armor, "King Tiger" with the ordinary "Tiger" does not even compare, but in general it is quite true assessment.
Gunner "King Tiger" for targeting had:
— Telescopic sight TZF-9d / l (growth was variable multiplicity 3-6x).
Commander for detection purposes had:
— 7 periscope observation devices in the commander's cupola.
Loader used:
— Observation periscope device in the roof of the tower.
Radio operator-gunner took:
— An optical sight to the 7.92-mm machine gun MG.34 KZF.2,
— Periscope device in the roof of the enclosure.
The driver was watching through the periscope viewing device.
So Makar, drives targeting the horizontal and vertical hydraulic, no stabilization, commander's cupola is, the number of daytime optics — 11. Number of night optical devices — 0. The number of slots reticle — 0. In the tank incorporates the principle of "hunter-shooter."

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

In an analysis of the comparative features of the sights and observation devices Russian and German tanks, tank configuration of these devices and their multi rassredotachivaniya, he imposed a conclusion is not confirming the widespread opinion about the "quality optics" of the German tanks and "bad" field of view in Russian. In other words — this is another well-established multiple repetition of the myth.
As can be seen from the comparative tables, Russian tanks in the beginning, even before the war had on average a rich equipment optics, if their German opponents, not counting the "fly in the ointment" in the form of a small number of "Panther" with night observation devices. There, where the German tanks had one aim, Russian features 2. Wherever Russian tanks had special commander unit for the detection of targets, the German treated primitive tower cross hairs with narrow slits. There, where the German tanks were slit sight buttons — Russian had periscopes.
Let us examine some of these items in more detail.
What are two of sight? In battle tank sight just might be, if not broken, then the trivial smeared mucky. Russian gunner could use a second sight, and the first to tidy up after a fight in a steady environment. In a similar situation was transformed into a German tank unfitness "punching bag." It had to be, or withdraw from the battle, weakening at the time of their strength, or in the battle to someone from the crew to come out with a rag and wipe it. How could it turn out, I think there is no need to explain.
What is a periscope device better standard reticle gap has been explained above.
Now about the commander of the first multi-function devices group, in other words, created for the purpose of detection. In the case of the creation of such monitoring devices, and later sighting and observation systems commander at their base, we are ahead of the Germans in the war. Even before the war tanks KB-1 and T-34 had a special commander's panoramic spinning device PT-K and its modifications. German tanks in the duration of the war did not have such devices. All models of German tanks to review the area commander were only the commander's cupola, which is true, then slit sight buttons have been changed to 6-7 periscope devices that provide a larger field of view. Cupola with Russian tanks had appeared, but very soon (EC-3) it was abandoned as unnecessary. So Makar, the discussion about the "great" field of view of the German tanks do not match reality. Eliminated this defect visibility own tanks German commanders are very common and unusual method. If you hear it on bolshennom field of view of the German tanks, then you first have to be submitted these pictures:

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

Immediately turns on a kind of flap sticking head commander. That this explanation is pretty visibility of the German tanks. In fact, all the commanders of German tanks even in combat constantly popping out of the hatch and observed the battlefield with binoculars. Naturally, they are very risky to get a splinter or a sniper bullet to the head, but what else have they did not exist. From the inside of the tank it was nothing to be seen.
German tank commander Otto Carius this dilemma, commented: "The commanders of tanks, hatches battened down that first attack and open them only when the target is reached, no good ipli, very small, second-rate commanders. There are, of course, six or eight inspection devices installed in a circle in each tower to ensure the observation of the terrain, but they are not bad for monitoring individual terrain, the limited ability of each separately taken the viewing device. If the commander looks to the left unit of observation, while the anti-tank gun opened fire on the right
, he will need a lot of time before it will recognize it from the inside of the tank tightly closed. "…" No one will refute that many officers and tank commanders died because poked his head out of the tank. But their death was not in vain. If they went with zadraennymi hatches, the far greater number of people would find his death or injury received languishing in their own tanks. Significant losses in armor Russian attested to the correctness of this statement. Luckily for us, they are almost always drove cross-country with a tightly zadraennymi hatches. Naturally, each tank commander must be careful, looking outward in the process of trench warfare. In particular, for the reason that in the turret hatches of tanks constantly monitored enemy snipers. Even if the tank commander popped out to kutsee time, he could have died. I've got a folding artillery periscope, so protect yourself from it. Perhaps such a periscope should be on every combat vehicle "[8].
Conclusions Otto Carius although they are close to the truth, but at the root of its own completely wrong. In the course of the description of tanks I have already given an explanation of what an advantage of special surveillance devices rotary commander to the commander's cupola with multiple slots or cross hairs motionless periscopic devices. To quote myself: "tank commander for the detection of targets has at its disposal a high-quality wide-angle periscope prism unit of MK-4 that allowed him to gaze on the job, smoothly track the entire radial sector with a wide field of view." … "Rightly decided that the primitive cupola cross hairs with narrow slits along its perimeter is an anachronism because through these gaps is difficult to see. Through every crevice seen a very small section, and the transition from one slot to another commander for the time lost sight of the situation and its landmarks. "
Otto Carius in fact it specifically had in mind, forgetting that such a primitive measure as a "folding artillery periscope" carried in a tank in the Russian machines actually already been implemented in the form of a commanding panoramas and wide-angle, rotary, periscope, observation devices commander.
A few words about the unit of MK-4. He was not a Russian design, and was a copy of the British unit MK.IV. Otto Carius conclusion that the heavy losses in tanks we carried out due to the fact that our tank commanders do not protrude in the battle of the flap, of course is incorrect. Russian tank commanders simply did not need to be put out of the hatches, because Russian tanks they have all the necessary tools for high-angle terrain. Prerequisites huge tank losses of the USSR must be found elsewhere, but more on that below.
Comparison of the features of the sights also does not suggest sights Russian tanks naughty. Their design is fully consistent with the world level since then. Yes, the Germans experimented with stereoscopic sights and optical rangefinders, but the spread of such devices did not have.

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

So Makar, a comparative analysis of the tank sights also confirms vserasprostranennogo idea of their "primitive" in the Russian tanks since the second World War. In either were better than German, in something — Russian standards. Russian tanks were in the lead in stabilizing devices, surveillance and attack systems, one of the first to receive electric trigger gun. German tanks were the first in night vision systems, perfection drives pointing devices and purge the barrel after the shot.
But once there is a myth, means any ground for his appearance was still. Circumstances for the approval of the terms of a few. Make out briefly some of them.
The reason first. The main Russian tank T-34, in which the commander cooperated function gunner. Defectiveness of such management option yavna and has repeatedly explains as we progress. No matter how sophisticated monitoring devices may have been the tank, and one man, and he can not burst. In this case, the T-34 was the most widespread war tank and clean it statistically more often "caught" the enemy. Often transported by armored infantry could assist here — due to the infantry tank crews had not.
The reason for the second. The quality of the glass used in the sights. In the most languid war optical quality Russian sights and devices has been very naughty for fully understandable reasons. In particular, it was aggravated after the evacuation of optical glass factories. Russian tanker SL Aria says: "triplexes on the driver's hatches were quite disgusting. They were made of a nasty yellowish or greenish Plexiglas, which gave quite distorted, wavy pattern. Disassemble anything through such triplex in particular hopping tank was impossible "[9]. Quality German sights of the period, filled with Zeiss optics was infinitely better. In 1945 the situation changed. Russian industry has brought the quality of the optics to the desired level. Quality German sights of this period (and tanks in general) is at least no better. Fairly easy to behold detailed photos "Royal Tiger" to realize that the former "German quality" is no longer there.
The reason for the third. The difference in the level of training and strategy of warfare. It's no secret that the level of training of the German tank was very highest. They had quite a time for preparation and disposal tank training polygons that include everything needed for this purpose. In addition, the Germans and was a great military experience fighting against enemy tanks. It is mixed with relative freedom commanders of German tanks and a special strategy of warfare. German tank crews featured the ability to "graze" on the battlefield, in other words, choosing the most comfortable position waiting for their prey.
Even in the advent of German tanks were moving relatively slowly, preferring speed control their surroundings. All this happened at the exact input from their own infantry and observers. Such a strategy of engagement is usually allowed German tanks if not the first, then at least the last fit to find danger and react properly to it: to open fire on the target pre-emptive or hide on the terrain.
More close to this level of training and fighting were Russian "elite" languid tanks of the type of IS-2. Their crews were equipped with only opytneyshemi soldiers who have officer positions. Even charge had not below the rank sergeant. In the attack on the highest speed they rushed because of the JS-2 was not necessary (122-mm gun did not achieve convergence with a view), and of tribute to the speed of the IS-2 did not have. Therefore, the strategy implementation languid tanks IS-2 was approximately that of the same as the Germans and in the duel situations the IS-2 usually went favorites. But with the average T-34 situation was a little different. Their crews were usually soldiers, who of course also studied and knew the real part of their own tanks, but their level of training, though, is much inferior to the German. In addition, low power 7
6-mm guns F-32/34/ZiS-5 very likely sought rapprochement with the target. All this gave rise to the strategy of attack is very probable speed.
Everyone should be clear that in a non-stabilized tank optical monitoring devices since then and even more so after sight buttons gap, leaping over the bumps in the tank at a speed of 30-40 km / h could be seen only glimpses of heaven and earth. Control of the surroundings is lost completely. This is typical for at least some of the period of the tank and not a reason for it to be considered specifically visibility of the T-34 bad. Its just so used, and aiming shooting was likely just a place. If Otto Carius or Michael Wittmann gave the order to storm the head on our position and they would have dispersed from the mountain own "Tiger" up to 40 km / h, they are completely just beheld nothing (unless of course did not go to the battle as usual , sticking his head out of the hatch) and is unlikely to be able to kill as many of our tanks and self-propelled guns.
Summarizing the outcome hunt noted that Russian tanks at the technical level has been implemented the most advanced at the time the layout and multi-circuit surveillance sighting devices. But in 1942 a severe war compulsory implementation strategy of medium tanks, bad quality glass sights and some lag in the armored gun system (which for a strong 107-mm rifled gun ZIS-6 required to build large-type monsters and KV-3/-4/-5 than this gun does not come everyday, the already existing KV-1 on the other tower — only God is clear) negated these advantages at that time. But all these problems were solved by the Russian designers of 1944.

Fire control equipment of the Soviet and German tank of the Second World War.  Myths and Reality

1. "From the history of tests of the T-34" A. Bakhmetov, G. Kandrashina, Yu Spasibuhov.
2. In the terminology of those years — "combat light the world."
3. Blank range — the distance at which the projectile down the line of flight traffic is not rising above the target.
4. "The tank might of the USSR." M. Svirin.
5. The decision was wrong. In general, these rakes came not only the Germans, and the inhabitants of the country of the rising sun creating his famous super battleship "Yamato" and "Musashi".
6. "Guns of Russian tanks (1945-1970 gg.)" A.Shirokorad.
7. "Interview with Chief Lieutenant Otto Carius'.
8. "Tigers in the mud" by O. Carius.
9. "I have fought a T-34." A. Drabkin.

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