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76.2mm DIVISIONAL FIELD GUN MODEL 1942 (USSR AND THE PEOPLE`S REPUBLIC OF CHINA)

76.2mm DIVISIONAL FIELD GUN MODEL 1942 (USSR AND THE PEOPLE`S REPUBLIC OF CHINA)

By Michael Tobolo, Curator, DITSONG: National Museum of Military History

Figure 1:An example of the field gun on display. 

Figure 2: Field gun in the DNMMH Workshop. 

Introduction

The 76 mm Divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3) was a Soviet 76.2 mm Divisional gun used during the Second World War. ZiS was a factory designation and stood for Zavod imeni Stalin (named after Stalin). That was the honorific title of Artillery Factory № 92 which first constructed this gun

History

At the end of 1940 the Soviet Artillery factory № 92 began to design the ZiS-3 (Zavod imeni Stalina: named after Stalin) combining the light carriage from 57mm ZiS-2 anti-tank gun and the 7.62mm barrel from F22USV which was the previous divisional gun. In December 1941 Vasiliy Grabin who was the Soviet artillery designer put ZiS-3 into mass production at factory 󠆵№ 92.

ZiS-3 stockpile grew but went unused as the Red Army refused to accept the guns without the usual acceptance trial. In February 1942, the ZiS-3 underwent an official five-day trial and it was then accepted into service as The Divisional Field Gun Model 1942.

The tactical characteristics of the M1942 are the high rate of fire, good muzzle velocity, great manoeuvrability, it`s good anti-armour capabilities and ability to penetrate 92mm of armour at 500m

Combat history

The Soviet soldiers liked the ZiS-3 for its extreme reliability, durability and accuracy. It was also easy to maintain and use by novice crews.

It was quite popular with the German Wehrmacht and introduced to German service as a Kanone 7.62 cm(r). German factories retooled to produce ammunition for it.

During the Korean War (1950-1953) the North Korean forces used it in combat services. From 1975 it was also deployed by the People`s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA), the South African border war in Angola, and the Tanzanian People`s Defence Force during the Uganda – Tanzania war in 1978 to 1979.

The ZiS-3 was exported to the Soviet allies during the Cold War who in turn exported it to the third world countries. In 1955, Austria purchased 36 ZiS-3 and kept them in service until 1991.

The gun remained in service in at least six sovereign states up until 2016. It has continued to be used during ceremonial occasions to fire gun salutes by a number of nations including Zimbabwe.

South African forces captured the gun on display from MPLA forces in 1984.

Operators

CURRENT OPERATORS

FORMER OPERATORS

Cambodia

Afghanistan

Mozambique

Algeria

Namibia

Angola

Sudan

Republic of Congo

Tanzania

Croatia

Zimbabwe

North Korea

AMMUNITION DATA

  • Calibre: 2mm
  • Maximum range: 13 300m
  • Armour penetration: 92mm at 500m
  • Shell: 2mm × 385mm
  • Breech: semi-automatic vertical sliding
  • Recoil: Hydro pneumatic
  • Carriage: Split trail
  • Elevation: -5o to +37o
  • Rate of fire: 25 rounds per minute
  • Crew: 7 Artillery man
  • Width and height: 1.6mm and 1.37mm
  • Barrel length and mass: 3.4m and 2.460lbs.

References

  • Shunnkov V.N The weapons of the red army.
  • Harvest 1999(ШykOB B.H.- Opӝue kpachoṻ APMUU—Mн.: Xapʙec󠅡ᴛ, 1999.) ISBN 9778-985-433-469-1.
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