Jump to content
tanknet.org

SU-122/54 Revisited


Recommended Posts

A short article on SU-122/54. Most interesting detail is D-49 gun. Crew was 5 (as in ISU-122) which meant a higher ROF than IS tanks. Only +100 produced as Khruschev thought the future lay in missiles.

 

http://vestnik-rm.ru/news-4-6519.htm

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
  • Replies 417
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I wonder what the crew is doing…. On the left track chain it is the cable from BTS or BREM attached (see special removable shackle on it). On the right track chain it is some auxiliary cable attached, not special-issue tank one (see makeshift knot). One of the crew is wearing working gloves – it is uncommon in summer…. My guess is this vehicle is serving as anchor in a recovery operation or stand ready to be used in this role (for example during underwater river crossing)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder what the crew is doing…. On the left track chain it is the cable from BTS or BREM attached (see special removable shackle on it). On the right track chain it is some auxiliary cable attached, not special-issue tank one (see makeshift knot). One of the crew is wearing working gloves – it is uncommon in summer…. My guess is this vehicle is serving as anchor in a recovery operation or stand ready to be used in this role (for example during underwater river crossing)

Maybe an anchor, but then why not use the hooks on the front slope? The only reason I can think of for the crew to attach the cables to the track, would be to increase the pull distance when reversing. As the vehicle backs up the top of the track moves twice as far as the hull. If the pulling vehicle backs up 3 meters the track will move 6 meters and so will the recovered vehicle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

D-49 was a modernised versions of D-25S. Can you comment on the improvements? according to Russian sources the chambering was improved, but it is hard to understand using Google Translate.

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

I have been looking for information on the vehicle. Production is stated differently, some sources state 77 and others +90. I am surprised by size of the crew (5). If loading of the gun was assisted I would have expected a reduction to 4. Some more photos, probably of trials:

 

 

 

 

 

http://vadimvswar.narod.ru/ALL_OUT/TiVOut0809/T54/T54048.htm

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

More information regarding the SU-122-54...

 

Operation Danube (the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968):

  • When the confirmed sighting/deployment of the SU-122-54 in Pribram (South-West of Prague), is combined with the Soviet invasion plan and disposition of Soviets Army units, the most likely scenarios are: 1) The SU-122-54s were part of the GSFG units that came out of East Germany; 2) The SU-122-54s were part of the Soviet NGF that came out of Poland; 3) The SU-122-54 units originated in the Western Military Districts of the USSR and passed through Poland on their way to Czechoslovakia.
  • AFAIK, the available USMLM reports make no mention of SU-122-54s ever being depolyed with the GSFG. Depolyment with the NGF on the other hand, is a possiblity and would keep the SU-122-54s away from USMLM observation. Deployment in the Western Military Districts is probably the most likely scenario and would fit the known pattern of testing/fielding new weapons/vehicles behind the buffer provided by the "Groups."
  • Soviet forces involved included units from the Carpathian, Belorussian, Odessian, and Baltic Military Districts.

Vehicle markings and units:

  • A diamond-shaped turret marking was comonly used during and after World War II as a tactical road march symbol for Soviet tanks. Sometimes these symbols were filled-in while other times they were used as an outline that included a unit designation or recognition symbol. The available photos of fielded SU-122-54s include examples of vehicles carrying these diamond-shaped symbols (including one seen during Operation Danube), along with three digit tactical numbers. This seems to confirm Suvorov's claim that SU-122-54s were deployed in MRRs not Self-Propelled Artillery Regiments or Self-Propelled Artillery Brigades like the SU-100.
  • The SU-122-54 at Kubinka, however, is fitted with the unit symbol of the 8th Self-Propelled Artillery Brigade from World War II...so, this is either a mistake or a way to honor a unit from World War II; or perhaps, a subtle form of disinformation intended to keep SU-122-54 organizational information a mystery.
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

While the available Russian sources report that the SU-122-54 was used by the Soviet Army into the second half of the 1960s (including the Dnieper maneuvers in 1967 and Operation Danube in 1968), the ARV and CEV variants soldiered on into the 1970s and 1980s.

 

Here's a pic of the ARV variant from a Red Square parade in the 1970s:

 

 

 

And another pic of the CEV variant from Afghanistan in the 1980s:

 

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

After some more research (and some luck); I was able to confim that SU-122-54s were spotted during Operation Danube in at least two different cities; Pribram (southwest of Prague) and Roznava (due east of Kosice)...on opposite ends of Czechoslovakia. I also found some personal information from a former SU-122-54 crewman that confirms he was part of the 166th Guards MRR, 30th Guards MRD, 28th Army, (Byelorussian) Military District, in Czechoslovakia during Operation Danube. It's possible that vehicle #576 (seen in Roznava), was from the same or a related MRR as our crewman's. The vehicle seen in Pribram, however, is still a bit of a mystery. Based on the available information, it didn't come from the GSFG (I've never seen a report from either BRIXMIS or USMLM that mentioned the SU-122-54), so it apparently came from the NGF or traveled through Poland on its way to Czechoslovakia from the Western USSR. That's a long way to travel...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Jim - personal information from a former SU-122-54 crewman ?! Do you have a link or was this through personal correspondence ?

 

Talk about a rarity !

 

If they were deployed in MRR (must recheck Suvorov as I don't recall this but haven't read his books in years) - maybe they were in the anti-tank platoon / company / battery ?

 

Niall Hall

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim - personal information from a former SU-122-54 crewman ?! Do you have a link or was this through personal correspondence ?

 

Talk about a rarity !

 

If they were deployed in MRR (must recheck Suvorov as I don't recall this but haven't read his books in years) - maybe they were in the anti-tank platoon / company / battery ?

 

Niall Hall

Niall; after doing a lot of digging around and learning the ins and outs of Google Translate, I found a former GSFG tanker who helped me discover some interesting information. Unfortunately, he confirmed that beyond what I've included here, efforts to contact the SU-122-54 crewman and learn more have been unsuccessful. We both will continue the search... :)

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

 

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.

 

 

Suvorov Replies (IDR, 6/1983):

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read Suvorov's books in years, though I may dig them out again for a re-appraisal sometime.

 

From memory his earlier books had a ring of authenticity about them having been based on personal experience. It was later books where he seemed to attract a lot more doubters which seemed to tarnish his reputation in the west.

 

He's certainly someone I would love to talk to for a few hours and fire a few hundred questions at !

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

After some more research (and some luck); I was able to confim that SU-122-54s were spotted during Operation Danube in at least two different cities; Pribram (southwest of Prague) and Roznava (due west of Kosice)...on opposite ends of Czechoslovakia. I also found some personal information from a former SU-122-54 crewman that confirms he was part of the 166th Guards MRR, 30th Guards MRD, 28th Army, (Byelorussian) Military District, in Czechoslovakia during Operation Danube. It's possible that vehicle #576 (seen in Roznava), was from the same or a related MRR as our crewman's. The vehicle seen in Pribram, however, is still a bit of a mystery. Based on the available information, it didn't come from the GSFG (I've never seen a report from either BRIXMIS or USMLM that mentioned the SU-122-54), so it apparently came from the NGF or traveled through Poland on its way to Czechoslovakia from the Western USSR. That's a long way to travel...

 

 

 

Here's a map...

 

 

 

 

 

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

This is interesting SU-100 information (from a Russian Website - Google Translate):

 

"Three years have passed, and in October 1956 the SU-100 was used during the operation to suppress the Hungarian uprising. Attempt to resolve the conflict at the executive level in Hungary then ended in complete failure, which caused military clashes with artillery and tanks on both sides. In urban combat to destroy enemy strongholds actively involve self-propelled artillery. Together with the ISU-152 "weave" from the 33th Guards Mechanized Division (formerly stationed in Romania near the Romanian-Hungarian border) were the main striking force in street fighting in Budapest. Although the use of armored vehicles was of very broad divisions casualties amounted to only 14 cars, among which was one heavy tank IS-3 (destroyed after the detonation of ammunition), 12 medium T-35-85 and one self-propelled gun SU-100. It is curious that a few "acres" from the Hungarian army passed into the hands of insurgents, but the battles are almost not used and were subsequently captured by Soviet troops."

 

And..."peacekeeping" action, which was attended by the SU-100, began "Operation Danube". At this time, the spring of 1968, pacified "political unrest" in Prague. Self-propelled guns belonged to the Western Group of Forces and again acted as a "deterrent". After a combat mission "weave" returned to their places of permanent deployment."

It seems likely that the decision to deploy SU-122-54s into Czechoslovakia could have been based on a variety of factors (keeping in-mind that they weren't local): 1) To provide additional fire support if it became necessary to destroy enemy strongholds in urban combat; 2) To act as a deterrent to enemy forces; 3) To test/practice moving the secret vehicles from their homes in the Soviet Western Military Districts (during times of "acute tension"), to identified trouble spots. In any case, I'd still love to know for sure, how and why the SU-122-54s were deployed so far to the West...maybe, just maybe, this is an indication of where they would have been deployed had the balloon gone up. Hmmm...

Soviet SU-100 in Hungary in 1956...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Evidently Pribram, an historic center of occupation resistance, was so again in 1968. I'm reading that the Army Command located in Pribram refused to cooperate with the WP occupation of Czechoslovakia and it harbored an independent television broadcasting company. Maybe that's why at least one SU-122-54 was seen in Pribram.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave; maybe you're right...maybe parking an SU-122-54 in Pribram...at least one (something still very unknown in most ways, even throughout the ranks of the Soviet Army), was a sign of Soviet resolve during the invasion. I'm still curious about how it got all the way to Pribram (maybe more than one vehicle), without being noticed and photographed until it got there...

Link to post
Share on other sites

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...