The History of Artillery Materiel, Rocket Armaments, Engineer and Communication Equipment
The display placed in the internal court of the Museum is a unique collection of arms samples and military equipment showing the dynamics of developing artillery materiel from the 16th century until the present, including rocket armaments, engineer and signal equipment.
|View of Kronwerk and the Peter-and-Paul Fortress from a bird-eye|
More than 250 Russian and foreign samples of guns and military equipment are displayed chronologically on a well-¬organized square of more than two hectares. All of the exhibits are divided by types of arms and groups, within which the types also follow the historical chronology. Samples of arms are placed on open, fenced-¬in observation grounds that restrict immediate admission of visitors to the guns, and at the same time provide the best opportunity to observe the exhibits. In fact, these consist of fifteen museum complexes. Two of them are arranged decoratively and are placed on the Kronwerk embankment before the entrance to the Museum and near the Monument to the Decembrists. The location of the others is marked on the map scheme available near the main entrance.
The section of artillery materiel is the most spacious and includes 7 display complexes (175 exhibits).
The first complex represents guns from the 16th¬19th centuries (97 exhibits). These are basically all smoothbore guns and their barrels: pishchals, field, ship and coastal cannons, howitzers, edinorogs and mortars. Among them are unique guns made by Russian masters. Pishchals of the ancient siege artillery are the decoration of this collection. Made in the late 16th century — early 17th century they are a graphic example of the flowering of gun making in Rus. These are works by famous gun masters Andrei Chokhov (Lev, Skoropeia, Tsar Achilles pishchals) and Semen Dubinin (Medved gun).
Each of these guns has its history and destiny. The Tsar Achilles pishchal, for example, was included in artillery of Russian troops that besieged Smolensk in 1633–1634, and then became a trophy of Polish troops. Until 1703, it was in Elbing, where it was captured by Swedes. As it was said before, the gun was redeemed from the Swedes by Russian merchants F. Anikeev and P. Barsukov (Borsukov) and brought to St. Petersburg in the 1720’s. According to the order of Peter I, 1,540 rubles in silver were paid to the merchants for this pishchal. In addition, a monument to Anikeev was cast, and Barsukov was granted a gold snuff¬box with the inscription FOR REPEATEDSERVICES by Peter I.
Here visitors may see a barrel of the unique 2 pounder three-¬bored regimental cannon cast by master Ivan Falk in Moscow in the first half of the 17th century.
In addition to Russian guns, 44 barrels made by medieval masters from seventeen countries of Europe and Asia — Sweden, Poland, France, England, Italy, Turkey, Persia, and others are displayed in the complex.
|Bronze barrel of the 30-pounder French ship cannon. Cast in Hague in 1626|
Ten of them were made by Riga masters. Some of them have names of their own, such as Rizhskii lev [Riga Lion], Sampson, Deti Marsa [Children of Mars], and Bolshoi drakon [Big Dragoon].
The barrels of these guns are richly decorated and often have emblems. In addition to their names they contain cast mottos, names of the masters, wishes and threatening inscriptions. Here are only some of them: “Children of Mars are not big, but bellicose and adroit in the fight; I was cast in the name of God; I was made by Gans Mayer. 1586” (the Deti Marsa cannon); “My name is Sampson the Strong and I am related to Riga gentlemen. Let all the impious run away from me, otherwise I will punish them” (the Sampson cannon), “One may hear noise, when I, Little Cat, catch mice, when I deliver a blow, nothing will survive. One may find me in the city of Riga. 1568” (Malenkaia koshechka [Little Cat] cannon); “Formless metal cast in such a bulk is rightfully called Riga lion and intended for roaring for Riga and destroying trenches; the patriot devotes it to fathers and the homeland” (the Rizhskii lev cannon); “The Duma called me the Lion of Revel in order to destroy its enemies that do not want to live with the city in peace” 1559 (the Revelskii lev cannon).
Especially notable is the barrel of the 1 pood (195 mm) Lubeck cannon which is completely decorated with a wonderful ornament and allegoric figures. It was founded by famous Dutch master Albert Bennink in 1669. The chase contains an allegoric image of trade on the globe in the air of a woman with a scepter in her left hand and a ship in her right hand. On the left is a figure with a shield and a sword on a chariot. A man with a trumpet or a shell is riding one of the chariot’s horses. Below is an image of military accessories (pikes, colors, sabers, rifles, ships, guns, mortars) and two shields with emblems under them. The left one pictures seven hexagonal stars, the right one, a double¬-headed eagle. The sea battle of sailing vessels is cast on the middle part. Trunnions and handles are made in the form of dolphins. The trunnion cuts have the image of a standing lion, the emblem of Holland. A big shield with the same image is cast on the chase. STAY BRAVELY WITH GOD is inscribed under the shield. A woman with a hat on her spear and a man with a cudgel are depicted from the left and the right of the shield accordingly. All the surface of the barrel, including its cascable with the button, is decorated with cast ornamentation. The button is formed as a knightly helmeted head. The barrel is engraved with the inscription ALBERT BENNINK CAST ME IN LUBECK IN 1669.
Due to these ancient guns, the names of master gun-¬founders have been kept until now. Among them are Grigorii Naumov, Yakov Dubina, Pantelei Yakovlev, Login Zhikharev (Russia), George Mayer (Riga), Gerhard Mayer (Sweden), Johann Gilger (Saxony), Asseverus Koster (Holland), Mohammed Kethuda, Ibragim (Turkey), Daniel Tim (Poland), Jean Maurice (France), Antony Zechenter (Austria), Alberegeti, Innokenti Giordani (Italy) and others.
The first rifled breech¬-loaded fortress and siege cannons, mortars Models 1867 and 1877 are displayed within the same complex as well.
The second complex (11 exhibits) includes guns which were used during World War I (1914–1918). Among them is the 3 inch (76 mm) experimental quick-¬firing field cannon designed by engineers at the Putilov works in 1898. It is a prototype of the well-¬known 3 inch cannon Model 1902 which was later updated and then used during World War II. Also displayed are the 6 inch (152 mm) cannons Models 1877 and 1904 weighing 190 and 200 poods accordingly; a French howitzer, the Armstrong heavy field cannon and the 203 mm English howitzer made at the American Midval Plant. The last three, along with other foreign systems, were adopted in the Russian army.
Here also are 122 mm and 152 mm howitzers, 107 mm cannons Models 1909 and 1910 updated in 1930 and adopted in the Red Army during World War II, as well as a high-¬powered 305 mm howitzer made at the Putilov works.
The third complex (14 exhibits) includes artillery systems from the 1930’s.
|Artillery guns from the reserve of the General Headquarters. 1939|
It displays Russian systems with which the Red Army entered World War II. They were essentially new and were produced in a very short time frame, eventually receiving the name, "Arms of the Victory." The complex includes general samples of that period. Among them are battalion 76 mm cannons Models 1936 and 1939 (chief designer — V. Grabin); a 122 mm howitzer Model 1938 adopted in the Soviet army until the 1980’s; a corps (army) 107 mm cannon Model 1940 and 152 mm howitzer gun Model 1937 (chief designer — F. Petrov); super heavy guns: a 210 mm cannon with a firing range of up to 30 km, a 305 mm howitzer and a 280 mm mortar (chief designer I. Ivanov), as well as the first Soviet systems: a 122 mm corps cannon and a 203 mm powerful howitzer Model 1931.
The fourth complex includes artillery systems made during World War II (8 exhibits). Excellent samples on display were made by a high¬-speed method taking into account the experience of previous artillery usage. These are the ZiS-¬2 57 mm anti¬tank cannon Model 1943, able to kill all German tanks (piercing effect — up to 145 mm) and the BS¬-3 100 mm field cannon Model 1944 called Zveroboi (i.e. Hunter), which successfully fought with German tanks Tigers and Panthers. They were worked out in the V. Grabin design office. Also displayed is the ZiS¬376 mm battalion cannon Model 1942. The latter occupies a special place among the exhibits. It excelled its predecessor, the USV 76 mm cannon Model 1939, in all characteristics. It was more compact and weighed 400 kg less. The muzzle brake was used in it for the first time for battalion cannons. Guns of this design differed by a low cost of production, high mobility of fire, in combination with safety features, which proved enough in battle conditions. The menacing and beautiful cannon even won the respect of the enemy. Wolf, Hitler’s consultant on artillery, thought that it was the best gun in World War II, “one of the greatest designs in the history of tube artillery.”
The complex represents the elaborations of F. F. Petrov: the D¬-1 152 mm howitzer Model 1943 designed in less than three weeks, and the first powerful 100 mm, 122 mm and 152 mm self propelled assault guns, the terror of German tanks and self¬-propelled guns.
The fifth complex is dedicated to anti¬aircraft artillery (9 exhibits). It includes almost all anti¬aircraft guns designed and adopted before and after World War II. These are the 25 mm and 37 mm self¬-operated anti¬aircraft cannons Models 1940 and 1939; the 85 mm anti¬aircraft cannon Model 1939 which showed their advantage during World War II by successfully hitting both airborne and ground targets, including tanks. Among the post-¬war guns are the C¬-60 57 mm self¬-propelled anti¬aircraft cannon (1950) and long-¬range powerful KS¬-19 100 mm, 130 mm anti¬aircraft cannons (1948, 1954) which hit targets at a height of up to 15–20 km.
The sixth complex represents materiel made and added to the armory during the post¬war period. It includes almost all systems of that period; 24 towed and self¬-propelled guns. Visitors may see here the first post¬war D¬-44 85 mm battalion cannon (1946), artillery systems of the 1950’s and 1960’s, anti¬tank T¬-12 and MT-¬12 85 mm and 100 mm smooth¬bore cannons, powerful long-range 130 mm and 152 mm cannons (1953) and the D-¬20 gun howitzer (1954), the 160 mm mortar (1949) and the D¬-30 122 mm three-¬trailed all-¬around fire battalion howitzer. Among them is one of the first guns carrying nuclear ammunition to the target within the tactical link, unique by its appearance and destination, the Oka 420 mm self-¬propelled mortar system (2B1 mortar, 1959) with a firing range of 25–50 km and a weight of 55 t. The length of the mortar barrel is 18 m.
Here are perfect artillery systems of the 1970’s and 1980’s: towed ones, the Giatsint¬B 152 mm cannon and the Msta¬B 152 mm howitzer; large¬-caliber ones, the S¬23180 mm cannon and the 240 mm mortar; modern self¬-propelled guns, the 2S5 Giatsint¬S 152 mm cannon and the 2S7 Pion 203 mm cannon; the 2S1 Gvozdika 122mm howitzer, the 2S3 Akatsia 152 mm howitzer; the 2S19 Msta¬S 152 mm howitzer; the 2S9 Nona¬S 120 mm self¬-propelled gun and the 2S4 Tulpan 240 mm self¬-propelled mortar.
Gun¬-relics, with which teams courageously and heroically fought for the motherland during World War II, form the individual seventh complex.
The 152 mm howitzer gun Model 1937 #5900. Commanded by senior sergeant D. Lukonin, with members of the team, junior sergeants Ya. Lukonin and Galinin. On July 9, 1943, Dmitrii Lukonin who had replaced the gun-¬layer put 4 tanks out of action. On October 19, the Lukonin brothers put 6 more tanks out of action in the battle near Piatikhatka near the Dnieper. The title of Hero of the Soviet Union was conferred to both of them for this feat. The Lukonin’s team successfully operated during the defeat of fascist troops in Hungary, and through street fighting for Budapest. Close to the end of the Great Patriotic War they had 36 tanks put out of action to their credit.
The 152 mm howitzer gun Model 1937 #7520. It participated in the storm of Berlin and in street fighting there. On the night of April 29/30, 1945 the gun team destroyed a large group of Hitlerites with a direct laying near the Angaltskii railroad. They tried to break through to the rear of Soviet troops. The title of Hero of the Soviet Union was conferred to the gun commander N. Vasilchenko for his courage and bravery in battles for Berlin. The gun passed 2,700 km along the roads of war and took 1,074 shots at the enemy.
The 152 mm howitzer gun Model 1937 #7214. Commander of the gun — sergeant T. Lunev. Starting its fighting near the Northern Donets, the gun team participated in the liberation of Belgorod, Kharkov, Poltava, Kremenchug, the Korsun¬-Shevchenko operation, the forced crossing of the Dnieper and the Danube, the capture of Vienna and finished the war in Amstetten in May 1945. The gun took 3,021 shots. Its fire destroyed 8 tanks, 19 machine¬guns, 14 observation posts, 42 automobiles, and neutralized 84 enemy batteries.
The 122 mm howitzer Model 1938 № 6370. Commander of the gun — senior sergeant A. Akulenko. The gun was used in the Stalingrad battle. The team participated in battles for Kupiansk, Izium, Zaporozhie, Dnepropetrovsk, Nikopol and Odessa, the storm of the city-fortress of Poznan and Berlin. 5 tanks, 36 machine¬guns, 4 artillery guns, 34 automobiles and loaded carriages, and 2 armored vehicles were destroyed with the howitzer’s fire. It neutralized the fire of four enemy batteries and 17 machine¬guns, destroyed 25 pill¬boxes and 3 observation posts, and destroyed up to two battalions of the enemy’s infantry. The whole team was awarded with military orders.
The 76 mm cannon Model 1942 №12488. Commander of the gun — junior sergeant I. Plotnikov. The team took 9,967 artillery shots at the enemy during military operations. It participated in battles at the North-¬West, Stepnoe, and Voronezh Fronts, fought on the territory of Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, helped to force a crossing over the rivers Lovat, Dnieper, Bug, Reut, Prut, Seret, Danube. 5 enemy tanks (to include 4 Tigers), an armored personnel carrier, 9 loaded automobiles, 10 guns, 7 pill¬boxes, 22 machine¬guns and about 200 soldiers were destroyed with the gun’s fire. The gun’s team was awarded with military medals and orders.
The 37 mm self¬-operated anti¬aircraft cannon Model 1939 №25. Commander of the gun — senior sergeant N. Semochkin. The team with its gun fought in Ukraine, the Caucasus, Crimea, Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia and showed courage and bravery, as well as mastership in the delivery of fire. The gun took 20,241 shots at the enemy and brought down 12 aircrafts. The gun’s team was awarded with military orders.
Four complexes of the display form the section on rocket armament.
|Anti-aircraft missile systems|
It represents launchers with missiles of operational-¬tactical and tactical, anti¬aircraft missile systems, fighting vehicles with anti¬tank missile systems and multiple-¬launch rocket systems. All of them were added to the armory of the USSR’s land forces in the 1960’s — 1980’s. Many of them are still adopted in the Russian army today. The operational-¬tactical 9K76 Temp¬S and 9K714 Oka systems were liquidated in accordance with an agreement between the USSR and the USA dated December 8, 1987. The only sample of these systems is kept in the Museum.
The first complex represents operational¬-tactical missile systems: the 9K72 (NATO reporting name Scad) with an 8K14 missile on the 2P19 tracked vehicle launcher and the 9P117 wheeled launcher with a firing range of up to 300 km (adopted in the Russian army for more than 20 years and exported to many foreign countries), the aforementioned Oka systems with a firing range of 50–400 km, and the Temp¬S systems with a firing range of 300–900 km; tactical missile systems Luna, Luna¬M with nuclear armed missiles, and Tochka, a perfect system with high accuracy of hitting its target at a range of up to 70 km.
Visitors may see the first mobile anti¬aircraft missile systems in the second complex. Among them there are the 2K11 Krug army long¬-range system (1965), the 2K12 Kub (1967) and the Osa (1972) battalion medium¬-range systems, the Strela¬1 (1968) and the Strela¬10 (1976) regimental short¬-range systems, as well as the Tor multi-¬barreled system of the second generation, built for two or more simultaneously guided missiles and firing targets. The latter has a vertical start of missiles from the section of the fighting vehicle. Perfect for their time, these Soviet anti¬aircraft missile systems did not yield to foreign analogues, but excelled them.
|2P24 launcher with two 3M8 missiles from the 2K11 Krug anti-aircraft missile systems|
Here is also the Tunguska anti¬aircraft cannon¬-missile system, which combines cannon and rocket armament. Its self¬-propelled mount 2S6 has two 2A38 30 mm two-¬barrel automatic cannons and eight rails for 9M311 missiles. It can hit airborne targets at a range of up to 8 km and a height of up to 3.5 km, as well as fixed and un¬fixed ground, surface targets, at a range of up to 2 km.
One more exhibit of the complex is the 3SU¬23–4 Shilka 23 mm quadruple anti¬aircraft self-propelled system, which can effectively hit both airborne and ground targets.
The third complex represents fighting vehicles for anti¬tank guided missiles, the 9P110, 9P133 Maliutka and 9P148 Konkurs which have either a manual control system (9P110) or a semi¬automatic one (9P133 and 9P148). Commands are transmitted to the missiles by a wire communication link. Here are also the 9P137 Fleita (Falanga¬P) and 9P149 Shturm¬S vehicles with a semi¬automatic guidance system and radio command transmission.
The section of the rocket armament is finished with multiple-¬launch rocket systems. This complex includes the 9P140 fighting vehicle and 9T452 transporter¬-loader for the Uragan 220 mm system which has a 8.5–34 km range of fire with rocket shells weighing 280 kg. The shells may have high-¬explosive noses, or ones supplied with fragmentation element cassettes, cassettes with anti¬tank and anti¬personnel mines, and others. Also displayed is a 9A52 fighting vehicle for the Smerch 300 mm multiple¬-launch rocket system which has no analogues in the world. A controlled rocket shell weighing 800 kg and having an angle stabilization system and range adjustment system was made in it for the first time. It twice improved closely¬-grouped fire and target accuracy at a range of 20–70 km. The Smerch system was also supplied with the cassette rocket shell with self-¬aimed fighting elements intended for killing tanks, destroying self¬-propelled assault guns and rocket launchers.
The engineer equipment complex (13 exhibits) includes digging and scooping machines, trenchers, an MTU bridge-¬laying tank and BAT¬M track¬layer; an IMR engineer obstacle clearing vehicle and IRM engineer reconnaissance vehicle that was added to the armament in 1980; elements of light pontoon equipment and a PTS¬2 amphibious carrier; mine sweepers; a GMZ mine¬-planter, a PMR¬3 mine layer and other exhibits.
Communication equipment is represented by command¬-staff cars and aerials of radio-¬relay stations R-400, R-402, R-404 and R-406.