MANUFACTURER(S): State Arsenals - Soviet Union
WEIGHT: 1 Tons (625 kilograms; 1,378 pounds)
ENGINE: None. This is a towed artillery piece.
RANGE: 3 miles (5 kilometers)
Detailing the development and operational history of the 45mm Model 1942 (M-42) Towed Anti-Tank Gun.
Entry last updated on 8/29/2014.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
As the effectiveness of the Soviet 45mm anti-tank gun Model 1937 dwindled in the face of newer German tank offerings, it was decided to revise the once-proven format to a more powerful design. This became the Model 1942 which introduced a longer barrel, pressed-steel rims (instead of metal-spoked ones), and lengthened split trail arms. The lengthening of the gun tube provided additional muzzle velocity which increased penetration values of the original gun. Firing an AP or HE projectile, the Model 1942 could retain the double-duty nature of the original Model 1937 and then some. The Model 1937 was also known by its product designation of "M-42".
On the whole, the Model 1942 kept much of the form and function of the preceding design and its roots could be traced back to the German 37mm AT gun purchased by the Soviets in the early 1930s. These were adopted as the Model 1930 before the design was revised to become the 45mm caliber Model 1937 of the Soviet Army. The carriage was of a split-trail arrangement which served to haul the vehicle (by way of towing) and helped to entrench the system as a recoil measure prior to firing. A simple (though thicker), hinged three-panel gunshield protected the crew (to an extent) and optics supplied the necessary ranged assistance. The carriage also included two rubber-tired road wheels for road travel and to allow the gunnery crew to make small positional adjustments as necessary. The mounting hardware gave an elevation span of -8 to +25 degrees with a traversal of 60-degrees from centerline.
The weapon fired a 45x386mmR projectile and a trained crew could fire up to 20 rounds per minute in extreme circumstances. Muzzle velocity was rated at 2,855 feet per second with a maximum firing range out to 4.55 kilometers. While they proved more effective in combat than the preceding marks, they still lacked the caliber size and penetration powers necessary to tackle the newer generation of German tanks - uparmored Panzer IVs, the Panther, the Tiger, and the King Tiger. Numbers of Model 1942 guns still forced their active use despite their battlefield limitations. In time, resources were dedicated to production of the 57mm ZiS-2 AT gun systems and, ultimately, the storied 76.2mm ZiS-3 line.
Production of the Model 1942 series stemmed from the No. 172 Plant and spanned from 1942 into 1945. This work netted some 10,843 total units which also saw service in the post-war years.