The 75mm Resita Model 1943 anti-tank gun was brought about to give the Romanian military a locally-produced anti-armor solution that proved comparable to contemporaries. To hasten its development (World War 2 had been raging since the fall of 1939), Romanian Army Colonel Valerian Nestorescu championed a design that would utilize the best qualities of competing guns found elsewhere - namely the German PaK 40 series and the classic Soviet Army ZiS-3 model. Development work began in 1942 and resulted in the construction of three prototypes which were tested against existing designs. The gun was then taken into service as the "Tunul Antitanc DT-UDR 26, cal. 75mm, md 1943" but has become better known as the "75mm Resita Model 1943".
The system fired a 15lb Armor-Piercing (AP) or High-Explosive (HE) fixed projectile out to ranges of 12,000 meters. Rounds were loaded through a vertical sliding breech arrangement (taken from the PaK 40) and the caliber measured 75mm (unlike the 76.2mm proven by the Soviet ZiS-3 series). The gun component included an integral recoil mechanism and mounting hardware (taken from the ZiS-3) sat upon a split trail two-wheeled carriage featuring a small shield for local, frontal protection. Inherent elevation spans reached -7 to +35 degrees and 70 degrees left-to-right from centerline. A well disciplined gunnery crew could expect to make 20 rounds per minute in field conditions. Shells exited the barrel at 1,030 meters per second. A typical crew numbered seven and transport made possible by mover vehicle.
Overall weight of the finalized design was 3,150 pounds and dimensions included a length of 17.9 feet with a barrel length of 8.2 feet. The barrel was rifled to as to impart a rotation on the exiting projectile and maintain accuracy at range.
Manufacture of the guns was through Uzinele si Domeniile Resita and picked up steam in 1944. By the end of the run, as many as 400 may have been produced from the original 1,100 or so ordered in December of 1943. Production was simplified due to far fewer parts compared to the PaK 40 and performance was generally good with penetration of 100mm from 550 yards away. The Romanian Army's 1st Armored Division received a first-batch of Model 1943 guns in 1944 and put them to use against the Soviets later that year. Losses mounted that ultimately limited the strategic reach of the gun in the grand scope of the war but the type was still on hand in the immediate post-war years.
With the heavy Soviet influence on Romania during the Cold War decades, the guns were relegated to secondary roles like training as more Soviet-oriented equipment took their place. Amazingly, despite their 1940s origins, the 75mm anti-tank guns managed a useful (though increasingly limited) existence until the mid-to-late 1990s for Romania.
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