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SU-122/54 Revisited


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Here is a list of confirmed SU-122-54 vehicle numbers by city seen during Operation Danube...

 

§ Kosice TBD

§ Roznava 500-series

§ Zvolen TBD

§ Ziar nad Hronom 200-series

§ Ceske Tesin 800-series (probably)

§ Havirov 800-series

§ Pribram 300-series

 

SU-122-54_Operation%20Danube_Russian%20S

 

 

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BIS-1%20Mine%20Clearing%20Vehicle_SU-122

Another indication of how small our global village is: the guy on this photo (Anton Krotov) was among my fellows in university, before skipping regular life path in favour of "free travel" arounf the world with backpack

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTAGHZQMFpETIVwWCcMV5zQ

Edited by Roman Alymov
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  • 2 weeks later...

I recently discovered another city where SU-122-54s were spotted during Operation Danube in August 1968...Zvolen, Slovakia. This brings the total up to seven cities (see below)...

  • Kosice
  • Roznava
  • Zvolen
  • Ziar nad Hronom
  • Ceske Tesin
  • Havirov
  • Pribram

In Zvolen (the latest addition to this list), a man laid on the ground in protest of the invasion, directly in the path of the advancing SU-122-54, hoping to stop the vehicle and those following behind. The assault gun continued to move forward and ultimately crushed the man in front of a bus full of witnesses, killing him instantly. This is the only reference I've been able to find so far, that ties the SU-122-54 to a casualty.

 

Here's a pic of the victim's memorial in Zvolen…

 

Monument_Jozef%20Levak_%20Zvolen_Slovaki

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

With some much appreciated expert translation help, I've learned a bit about the "Vehicle Size Indicators" on the SU-122-54. AFAIK, these devices (see pics below) are unique to this vehicle. It appears that the decision to put the driver high and to the far right of the hull (at the same level as the TC), as opposed to low in the hull, centered or to the left...created the need to provide the driver with an additional driving aid. The Vehicle Size Indicators (the easier to see short mast on the right and the taller mast on the left), help the driver maneuver the vehicle through confined spaces. IMO, that primarily means while driving and fighting on city streets as opposed to wide-open spaces...perhaps a lesson-learned from fighting in German cities during WWII. Each spring-mounted mast is topped by a red light that is faced away from the driver...

 

SU-122-54%20Vehicle%20Size%20Indicators_

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How does it work? I assume that they are just placed there to be within the field of view from the periscopes so that the driver has some reference point as to where the corners of the tank are?

 

Speaking of this sort of stuff, the driver's instrument panel in the T-10 has two red warning lamps on its left and right edges that apparently warn the driver if the tank is too wide. But there are no sensors on the fenders or anything of the sort. Any idea on what they might be?

Edited by Interlinked
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How does it work? I assume that they are just placed there to be within the field of view from the periscopes so that the driver has some reference point as to where the corners of the tank are?

 

Let me point out the model used by Jim for illustrations above is wrong - it shows regular, undirected light size indicator lamps typical for all Soviet tanks on top of "Vehicle Size Indicators" while in reality it was special devices with lamp deep inside the body, providing more or less directed beam of red light looking forward. If no obstacle, driver is not able to see the light as it is looking away from him. But if there is obstacle, driver will see red circle of reflected light on obstacle – and, if he is driving slowly enough, will be able to take measures (stop or steer away the vehicle). In day time, it is regular size indicstor

 

 

Speaking of this sort of stuff, the driver's instrument panel in the T-10 has two red warning lamps on its left and right edges that apparently warn the driver if the tank is too wide. But there are no sensors on the fenders or anything of the sort. Any idea on what they might be?

Not sure how it works, but there are similarly located lights on PT-76 light tank driver dashboard - may be it is direction indicators.....

https://avatars.mds.yandex.net/get-zen_doc/151305/pub_5c0d22f643c0d400ab685685_5c0d2b472ee63b00aa978556/scale_1200

Edited by Roman Alymov
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Those are indicators that turret is traversed in such way that gun is outside width dimensions of the tank's hull.

Additionally in PT-76 while floating gun should not be fired except in emergencies while in those sectors.

Edited by bojan
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These indicator lights for the position of the turret (left or right "over hull flank") were also on the T-55. The switch (so a kind of Maltese cross to switch) are located on the rotary ring of the turret.

Edited by Stefan Kotsch
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How does it work? I assume that they are just placed there to be within the field of view from the periscopes so that the driver has some reference point as to where the corners of the tank are?

 

Let me point out the model used by Jim for illustrations above is wrong - it shows regular, undirected light size indicator lamps typical for all Soviet tanks on top of "Vehicle Size Indicators" while in reality it was special devices with lamp deep inside the body, providing more or less directed beam of red light looking forward. If no obstacle, driver is not able to see the light as it is looking away from him. But if there is obstacle, driver will see red circle of reflected light on obstacle – and, if he is driving slowly enough, will be able to take measures (stop or steer away the vehicle). In day time, it is regular size indicstor.

 

 

Roman; you are absolutely correct...the model simply provided the clearest view of these size indicators. While the correct size indicators are visible in real-world photos, it's hard to get a really good look. The photo below from Pribram Czechoslovakia in '68 gives a pretty good view...

 

SU-122-54_Pribram_Czech_1968_1_1.jpg

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Here are two more images showing the Vehicle Size Indicators...Roman's description above confirms that this is a special and AFAIK, a unique device. As I mentioned above, this device seems to be very applicable to traveling through and fighting in cities in the dark, helping the driver negotiate narrow streets and alleys. With the fighting in cities scenario in-mind, that could be one of the reasons for fitting the SU-122-54 with two 14.5mm HMGs. As opposed to going with no MGs at all back in the day, or with one or two lighter MGs, this assault gun/tank destroyer had the firepower to easily shoot through walls and rearrange the furniture inside...without using the main gun.

 

First, more on the 14.5mm coax and loader's MGs...

 

 

Now, back to the Vehicle Size Indicator...

 

SU-122-54_22_1.jpg

 

SU-122-54%20Vehicle%20Size%20Indicator_1

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  • 11 months later...
On 5/18/2019 at 11:16 PM, Jim Warford said:

Here is a list of confirmed SU-122-54 vehicle numbers by city seen during Operation Danube...

 

§ Kosice TBD

§ Roznava 500-series

§ Zvolen TBD

§ Ziar nad Hronom 200-series

§ Ceske Tesin 800-series (probably)

§ Havirov 800-series

§ Pribram 300-series

 

SU-122-54_Operation%20Danube_Russian%20S

 

 

 

The cities where SU-122-54s were spotted during Operation Danube now includes nine cities:

  • Secovce
  • Kosice
  • Roznava
  • Zvolen
  • Ziar nad Hronom
  • Ceske Tesin
  • Havirov
  • Dolni Lutyne
  • Pribram

MRNbjy6.jpg

 

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The two images below highlight the primary difference between the fielded SU-122-54 and the planned SU-122A (Object 620) variant fitted with the M-62S 122mm main gun. Published sources report that at least one SU-122A prototype was built. The SU-122A had the exact same armament as the T-10M, giving it the ability to fire the 3BM11 APDS round.         

FmnQ0h4.jpg

 

jLvCdKx.jpg

 

 

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