×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks
HOME
ARMOR
MODERN ARMIES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR
KOREAN WAR
WORLD WAR 2

GAZ BA-64


4-Wheeled Light Armored Car (1942)


Land Systems / Battlefield

1 / 2
Image released to the public domain by the United States DoD DVIDS imagery database.
2 / 2
Left side profile view of the BA-64 armored car; Public Domain.

Jump-to: Specifications

The GAZ BA-64 LIght Armored Car proved a multi-role battlefield performer for the Soviet Army during World War 2.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/23/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Advertisements
Despite the heavy shift to tracked armored combat vehicles during World War 2, the massive Soviet Army understood the value in retaining the wheeled armored car for their production and maintenance simplicity, inherent mobility and low operational and procurement costs. Red Army failures in the Winter War against Finland through late-1939 into early-1940 and during the initial thrust of the German invasion of June 1941 through "Operation Barbarossa" revealed the need for all workable vehicle types to be brought to bear in the Soviet response. Design work of one such vehicle (under the direction of Vitaliy Grachev) began in July of 1941 and eventually begat the "BA-64" series of light armored cars - over 9,000 of the type being built by GAZ (Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod = "Gorky Automobile Plant") from 1942 to 1946.

The BA-64 originated from the chassis of the existing GAZ-64, a multi-purpose 4x4 wheeled vehicle acting as the Soviet equivalent to the American JEEP (the Gorky plant was actually assisted by Ford Motor Company to an extent). Production of this vehicle spanned from 1941 into 1942 to which only 646 were produced. Eventually, GAZ-64 vehicles were given up in favor of the quantitative GAZ-67 series appearing from 1943 onwards to the staggering production total of 92,843 units.

Nevertheless, the existing GAZ-64 chassis offered the required specifications a new wheeled armored design. Owing much of its armor arrangement to the German SdKfz 222 armored car series, the new BA-64 was accordingly fitted with an angular hull superstructure encompassing the forward-mounted engine and two-man crew. The driver sat in the middle of the hull behind an armored visor while the second crew managed a position at the rear hull under an open-topped armored compartment with pintle-mounted general purpose machine gun. Armament amounted to 1 x 7.62mm DT series machine gun with 1,260 rounds of ammunition afforded. Power for the BA-64 chassis was served through a GAZ MM series 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine outputting 50 horsepower. This allowed for a maximum road speed of 80 kmh with an operational road range of up to 600 kilometers. The hull was suspended atop a 4x4 wheeled suspension system offering the needed cross-country capability. The vehicle displaced at 2.6 tons (short) overall and featured a running length of 12 feet with a body width of 5 feet, 6.5inches and an overall height (assuming the turret of the B-model in place) of 6 feet, 2.8 inches. Armor protection was minimal and ranged from 4mm to 15mm across the various presented facings.

A pilot (prototype) vehicle was evaluated during January of 1942 and, upon passing the requisite state trials, the design was formally adopted by the Soviet Army in March of 1942 under the designation of "BA-64A". After some practical operational use and 3,900 vehicles produced, this initial model was slightly reworked to become the "BA-64B" series of 1943. The B-model type incorporated the increased wheelbase of the GAZ-67B JEEP series instead and brought about use of an armored traversing machine gun turret.
Advertisements
The BA-64 series was branched into several notable battlefield-useful roles. The BASh-64 was a related staff vehicle which transported VIPs under armor protection while the BA-64D became an ultimately abandoned, though similarly minded, prototype for an armored personnel carrier intended to house six combat-ready infantry. To shore up the limited effectiveness of the 7.62mm armament of the original marks, the BA-64DShK was appropriately fitted with a 12.7mm DShK heavy machine gun and appeared in number from 1944 onwards. The BA-64ZhD was a proposed railcar defense vehicle that fell to naught while the BA-64SKh became a proposed "Winter Warfare" hybrid design utilizing a half-track component coupled with front axle-mounted skis. This initiative existed in prototype form only and was never adopted on a wide scale.

Despite the inherent benefits of the economical lightweight vehicle, the BA-64 series held several key deficiencies. Early forms lacked coverage for the gunner which exposed him to all manner of battlefield dangers and inclement weather. The pintle-mounted reach of the machine gun limited engagement angles and the 7.62mm caliber machine gun was really on sufficient as an anti-infantry weapon. The vehicle managed a rather tall profile which made it an easy target to identify at range and the driver had to take special care on turns or across uneven terrain lest the vehicle topple over. The BA-64's light armor protection scheme also made it extremely susceptible to large-caliber weaponry, mines, anti-tank (AT) weapons and artillery. Punctures of any wheel could also debilitate the vehicle to extreme levels, rendering it a tactical liability in the heat of battle (a spare would be carried on the rear hull panel for replacement).

Regardless, the BA-64 could be procured in massive numbers and its speed and mobility in the field were hallmarks of its design. If properly fielded with accompanying infantry and armored units for self-preservation, a BA-64 could hold its own when called to suppress of flush out embedded enemy units. Its agility could be put to good use in the forward reconnaissance role or as a battlefield surveillance vehicle and its machine gun armament was sufficient enough to engage enemy infantry when providing suppression fire in support of advancing allies.

While production figures vary, it is largely believed that 9,110 BA-64 vehicles were ultimately produced (5,209 of these were of the improved BA-64B type). The type served beyond the Soviet Union and eventually made its way into the inventories of China, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, North Korea, Mongolia, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia. The BA-64 was still in play at the time of the Korean War (1950-1953) where it was fielded by both China and North Korea. Amazingly, the vehicle is still in operational service with North Korean land forces (2013), well over 70 years since its adoption by Red Army elements of the Soviet Union.

Specifications



Service Year
1942

Origin
Soviet Union national flag graphic
Soviet Union

Crew
2
CREWMEN
Production
9,110
UNITS


GAZ - Soviet Union
National flag of China National flag of Czechia National flag of modern Germany National flag of East Germany National flag of North Korea National flag of Poland National flag of Romania National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Yugoslavia China; Czechoslovakia; East Germany; North Korea; Mongolia; Poland; Romania; Soviet Union; Yugoslavia
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Amphibious Assault
Traverse bodies of open water under own power with / without preparation.
Reconaissance
Can conduct reconnaissance / scout missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, et al - typically through lightweight design.
Utility
General utility-minded design to accomplish a variety of battlefield tasks, typically in a non-direct-combat fashion.
Special Purpose
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.


Length
12.0 ft
3.65 m
Width
5.7 ft
1.75 m
Height
6.2 ft
1.9 m
Weight
5,291 lb
2,400 kg
Tonnage
2.6 tons
LIGHT
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base GAZ BA-64 production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x GAZ MM inline 4-cylinder water-cooled engine developing 54 horsepower to conventional four-wheeled arrangement.
Speed
49.7 mph
(80.0 kph)
Range
310.7 mi
(500.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base GAZ BA-64 production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 7.62mm DT machine gun OR 1 x 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) in roof-mounted turret.


Supported Types


Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun
Graphical image of a tank heavy machine gun


(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
1,260 x 7.62mm ammunition.


BA-64 - Base Production Series Designation
BA-64A - Initial production model based on GAZ-64 vehicle; open-topped hull rear with pintle-mounted 7.62mm machine gun.
BA-64B - Modified variant based on GAZ-67B vehicle; increased wheelbase; machine gun turret.
BASh-64 - Armored Staff Vehicle
BA-64SDhK - Fitted with 12.7mm DShK heavy machine gun; introduced 1944.
BA-64D - Proposed Armored Personnel Carrier with seating for six infantry; prototype form only.
BA-64ZhD - Proposed railcar defense vehicle; prototype form only.
BA-64SKh - Proposed winter warfare vehicle with half-track rear and front axle skis; prototype form only.


Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of the Bulge
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Kursk
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental military vehicles


Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Advertisements





Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


2022 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-