Jump to content
tanknet.org

SU-122/54 Revisited


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 418
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • 4 months later...

After spending a lot of time over the years researching the SU-122/54 and looking for Suvorov's "IT-130," it's clear that most folks out there believe that Suvorov simply made-up the "IT-130." My question is this...has anyone seen any kind of confession from Suvorov? After all these years, has he ever opened-up about the whole "IT-130" thing? On another military forum, Steve Zaloga posted the following in 2003: "The SU-130 was a figment of a Soviet defector, "Viktor Suvorov" and my drawings in that old book were based on his (fictitious) sketches." The book he's referring to is probably "Modern Soviet Armor" (1979)...he doesn't mention that he used those same and other drawings in a few other books/articles including his article "Soviet Assault Guns" that appeared in Jane's Defense Review (April 1983). We know now that Suvorov apparently got the name wrong with the SU-122/54 (could it have been initially known as the "IT-122?"), but he was right about the thing existing. It was truly unknown to the West...with only one recent exception, it has never been included in an official US Army or USMC field manual or vehicle ID guide. So, what about the "IT-130?" In my mind (and I know that I'm a minority with this one), there's more to the story than Suvorov just made it up.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday; thanks for the info and links. I'm familiar with these sites...especially the link on Alex Mitsch's thread on the "IT-130" which links directly to my 1992 Master's Thesis posted on DTIC. The info on the blog is interesting but it seems to miss the existence of the IT-1 (1964-1970) completely...the "IT" designator was obviously used for the IT-1. I'm thinking that this designator may also have been used for other tank destroyers early in their concept/design phases.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My desk officer at HQ BAOR in the late Seventies used to swear by Suvorov - he claimed to be part of the team which de-briefed him.

 

Dave; I had the same experience back in the day when Suvorov's info initially surfaced. It's clear that the vast majority of his critics have focused on his claims regarding WWII (his claim that Stalin was planning to invade Germany prior to Operation Barbarossa, etc.), while ignoring the things that he got right. In "Inside the Soviet Army," for example, he introduces the IT-1. He goes on to report that "wartime" Soviet Armies each had an independent tank battlaion of 40 IT-1s. All the other sources I could find describe IT-1 production as being only small scale. According to Zaloga, two IT-1 battalions were actually formed, one in the Carpathian Military District and one in the Byelorussian Military District. The "BM-27" MRL is another example where he got the designation wrong - for some reason (the correct designation is BM-22), but he did give us our first glimpse at this new system. The US Army's FM 100-2-3 "The Soviet Army: Troops, Organization and Equipment" (1991), includes a drawing of the BM-22 and the note that "the Soviet designation is BM-22 rather than BM-27, as previously assumed."

 

I'm thinking that Suvorov's issues may have been more about scale and potential/planned deployment vs. what the Soviets actually accomplished during those years.

Edited by Jim Warford
Link to post
Share on other sites

...Su-122/54, is this the machine that Isby refers to in Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army being used (after conversion into a tug) in Red Square parades?

Yes, some were also converted for mine clearing (BMR-1 IIRC) and used for route clearance in Afghanistan.

Edited by bojan
Link to post
Share on other sites

Did any other defectors point to an IT-130? Or is this really a single source issue?

 

I'm always fascinated by those guys, is it true, for instance that Wardak (the Afghan Lt Col who gave the Voroshilov lectures) was involved in NATO exercises?

Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the available sources, the Soviets produced 95-100 SU-122-54s...while Suvorov's claim that every MRR inside the Soviet Union had a battery of SU-122-54s is hard to believe, the known numbers produced support the equiping/fielding of 10-12 batteries (1 each in 10-12 MRRs). We also know that they were used operationally as evidenced by their participation in the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. By the way, the single reference to the SU-122-54 in an official US Army or USMC Field Manual or Vehicle ID Guide (AFAIK), is the USMC's "Soviet/Russian Armor and Artillery Design Practices: 1945-1995" (September 1996 - from the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity or MCIA).

Link to post
Share on other sites

That would seem to imply that it was Soviet formations probably not in East Germany, but Western Russia and maybe the WGF would have had these vehicles wouldnt it? I dont remember GSFG formations taking part in the invasion (though I know NVA units clearly did). I certainly dont recall seeing any reference to them being in East Germany in USMLM reports. Might be worth my pulling them out and looking at them again.

Stuart; that's a great question...I spent some time recently trying to identify the Soviet units involved in the invasion, but I couldn't find a good source that identified the divisions, etc. It would be very interesting to see who this particular SU-122-54 belonged to. As far as USMLM reports are concerned, I've never seen a reference to the SU-122-54 in any of "the Groups." While it's likely that the deployment to Czechoslovakia was the only use of the SU-122-54 outside of the Soviet Union, it makes one wonder why it was used there...was it simply a case of being in the right place at the right time?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I'm quite amazed to see SU-122-54 in Prague, there were what, 77 of them?

 

On a related note does anyone have a TO&E for Soviet forces in Prague? I've seen photos of all sorts (ASU-57, ASU-85, T-55, T-62, T-10M, ZSU-57, BRDM-1, BTR-60... and now SU-122-54!)

 

Also this which appears to be some ASU-57 derived APC?

Edited by FLOZi
Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like AT-P light artillery tractor, which is a vehicle ASU-57 was based on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nailed it, it is ASU-57KShM, IOW gunless ASU-57 used as command vehicle. Quite rare beast considering lack of photos on the net.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm quite amazed to see SU-122-54 in Prague, there were what, 77 of them?

 

On a related note does anyone have a TO&E for Soviet forces in Prague? I've seen photos of all sorts (ASU-57, ASU-85, T-55, T-62, T-10M, ZSU-57, BRDM-1, BTR-60... and now SU-122-54!)

 

Also this which appears to be some ASU-57 derived APC?

 

The legs on the blonde look pretty good. Didn't see the APC. :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

OF-471 HE

BR-471D APCBC

Balistically D-49 gun was same as D-25.

 

Plans were made to equip all SU-122-54 with 122mm M-62 guns, but in was never implemented.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...