| 45mm anti-tank gun model 1937|
45-мм обр. 1937 года
Well, what if I tell you it's man-portable?
|Upgrades to||AT 76mm|
This anti-tank gun was manufactured in the USSR for sometime before the war. Production halted because the military believed it would in ineffective against massive German heavy tanks. In reality though, these Nazi tank programs were propaganda. When the invasion began and the Soviets realized this, they began fielding the 45. It proved to be effective against earlier Panzer II and Panzer III models.
The gun bearing factory designation 53-K (Cyrillic 53-К) was a combination of a modified carriage of the 37 mm anti-tank gun model 1931 (built according to a documentation bought from Rheinmetall) with a 45 mm barrel. The resulting light semi-automatic anti-tank gun was adopted for Red Army service in 1937, and thus known as "45 mm anti-tank gun M1937" (Russian: 45-мм противотанковая пушка образца 1937 года). These guns were used in the first stage of the German-Soviet War, but their anti-armor capabilities allowed them to fight successfully only with German light tanks and armored personnel carriers. Early models of the Panzer III and Panzer IV could also be knocked out at close range, but this put Soviet artillerymen in greater danger. Due to these circumstances, model 1937 guns were replaced with the all-new design, the more powerful model 1942. The mass production of outdated model 1937 guns was stopped in 1943. The total number of guns produced was 37,354.
Two such guns were employed as an anti-tank platoons, organic to each rifle battalion. Additionally a dozen (12 guns) was in anti-tank battalions at a level of a rifle division. It was also used by separate anti-tank regiments (4-5 batteries of 4 guns each).
Strategy and TacticsEdit
- At the cheap cost of only $10, this anti-tank gun can prove to be useful and cost-effective against enemy armor.
- Pairing it up with a recon unit, preferably one possessing weapons (as infantry can come up and attack both an unarmed recon and anti-tank unit), will maximize the range of the gun.
- When in groups of 2+ and hidden in forests, this gun really packs a nasty punch.