Soviet Railway Artillery
The main producer of electric parts was the Kharkov Electromechanical Plant (CHEM), which in 1937 named Kharkiv Electromechanical and Turbine Generating Plant (HETZ). That is, there are all grounds for assuming that it is Ukrainian electrical engineering played a determining roles in the creation of the Soviet railway artillery,
The idea of creating artillery based on marine systems based on railway platforms, acquired its wide-ranging incarnation in Germany, France and others countries already during the Great War. But in pre-revolutionary Russia, it never succeeded in realizing scales suitable for use. After the overthrow of tsarism and revolutionary events, scientific and technical potential of the Soviet industry was in decline, which did not allow measures regarding the organization of the system of production of high-tech weapons. But with the beginning of "socialist industrialization" and certain the rise of the Soviet industry's capabilities regarding the introduction of such measures increased significantly.
Taking advantage ofthese opportunities, in the late 1920s the government began the completion of the Fort "Red Hill" in the Baltic, which remained unfinished during the Great War. Presently the object received the code name "Fort F". Designing armament for "Fort F" was laid on the Artillery marine research institute (ANDMI) Naval Force (IMS) Workers'Peasant Red Army (RCHA).
The command of the Red Army understood the importance of heavy railway artillery in combat operations on land and also wanted to have their own railway artillery. Thus, in the list of artillery weapons approved for August 3, 1933 for 1933–1937. for the “reserve of the High Command” artillery it was planned to have 180-mm cannon with a firing range of up to 42 km and a 356-mm cannon with a range of 27–28 km. However, these plans remained on paper.
The Soviet Union in the 1930s began to create the TM-1-180 platforms with a B-1-P 180-mm caliber gun, which used tools from the MO-1-180 coastal naval artillery with minor modifications. The armor shield was reduced, the frontal part became 38 mm, on the sides and on top 20 mm. The reduced caliber and the installation of eight support legs helped to achieve a railway artillery installation of a circular view and fire, the gun rotated on the central support pin. The fine cutting of the 1.35-mm barrel was a feature of the first platforms, later on they used the deep cutting of the “3.6-mm”, so the artillery shells were not interchangeable.
The production of the TM-1-180 railway platforms themselves was carried out by the Nikolaevsky plant No. 198, and the B-1-P gun were manufactured by the Barricady factory. The launch of the platform began in 1934, high-explosive fragmentation, semi-armor-piercing and armor-piercing shells, a grenade with a BM-16 remote fuse with the same weight of 97.5 kilograms were included in the ammunition of the installations.
The creation of railway artillery in the USSR started with tests of a unified electrical mechanical equipment for land-based versions of Marine artillery with a caliber of 180 mm, 12 and 14 [railway artillery systems TM-1-180, TM-1-12, TM-1-14] on the site of "Fort F". By 1931, based on technical requirements, ANDMI developed and supplied for the systems of the Fort the first models of the required electro-mechanical equipment.
By 1936, TM-1-12 and TM-1-14 projects were implemented and completed and even started entering service of the developed systems of the project TM-2-12 and TM-1-180. At the same time, employees of the Special Bureau of PMTwork on the examination of all these systems on the subjectthe reliability of the work of electromechanics continued and in 1936 and 1937. Based on the results of these tests, from the beginning of 1938, KhEMZ began the development of new generations of electric cars for railway artillery systems installed in place beforehand, as well as for new TM-3-12 systems.
The TP-1 and TG-1 projects (received by the plant on July 21, 1938) to complete the design of equipment for objects TP-1 and TG-1 already March 6, 1939. In the same year the Special Bureau of PMT managed a series of research works aimed at raising the reliability of the work of electromechanical items of all kinds of artillery systems.
On April 5, 1938, a new weapons system was compiled in 1938. It already provided for the creation of railway 180-mm and 356-mm guns with a firing range of 48 km and 77 km with projectiles weighing 70 kg and 508 kg, and also 500-mm howitzers with range of 25 km projectile weighing 1250 kg. Work on the 356-mm cannon and 500-mm howitzer began at the end of 1938. The lead developer (development of the swinging part) was the NKVD OTB (sharashka in the Kresty prison in Leningrad).
By June 1941, the swinging parts of the TP-1 356-mm cannon and the TG-1 500-mm howitzer were made, as well as one universal railway transporter.
In 1940, a significant proportionthe results of this work found its embodiment onto TP-1 and TG-1 electric projects machines, thanks to the uninterrupted labor of unification for replacing such machines corresponding to obsolete equipment on TM-1-14 systems. Early in 1941 the team of the Special Bureau of the PMT of the Chemz began its work aimed at the development of alternating electric machinescurrent for rail artilelry systems.
The main purpose of the artillery batteries on the railway platforms was the struggle and destruction of the surface ships of the enemy. At the beginning of World War II, the Gulf of Finland was completely covered by railroad batteries, three 356-mm batteries, three 305-mm batteries and eight 180-mm batteries. They supplemented the stationary naval artillery batteries of the caliber of 152 mm and 305 mm. But since the Wehrmacht did not plan to seize the bay with the help of surface ships, the railway batteries were left idle.
Three TM-3-12 railway guns were built using guns from the sunken battleship Imperatritsa Mariya, which had been lost to a magazine explosion in Sevastopol harbor in October 1916. They were used in the Soviet-Finnish war in 1939-1940. In June–December 1941 they took part in the defense of the Soviet naval base on Finland's Hanko peninsula (Rus. Gangut). In the early days of the war, it was not easy to use artillery rail batteries No. 17 and No. 9, the Finnish troops blocked them on the Hanko peninsula. The batteries were used to fire on fortified Finnish positions and shelling Finnish Tammisaari. At the end of 1941, when Soviet troops left the peninsula, the batteries were destroyed, 305-mm caliber barrels were blown up, the supporting legs were broken and sank along with the platforms.
But the Finns, nevertheless, restored the batteries, pulled the platforms out of the water, their supporting legs were restored, and the barrels were delivered from the battleship Alexander III through occupied Europe. A 305-mm caliber railway battery was put into operation, and the 180-mm battery was not put into operation even after the truce concluded with Finland in 1944, the USSR received back all the batteries. In 1945 they entered the composition of the Soviet Armed Forces as batteries of the railway brigade.
During the war years, work on the TP-1 installation was not carried out, there is also no information about the resumption of these works at the end of the war. This was due to the fact that in the second half of the 1940s in the USSR, the development of more advanced rail artillery systems of 406, 305 and 180 mm calibers began.
In the postwar years, the Soviet Union began designing new artillery complexes on railway platforms of various calibers. As early as 1943, the TsKB-19 designed an artillery system with a caliber of 406 mm. Project "TM-1-16" with a swinging hub B-37. In 1951, already TsKB-34, using these developments, developed the project SM-36. In the project, for the first time, the system used a double rollback, the specialized PUS B-30 and the radan Redan-3. The radar began to be developed in 1948 and a new indicator was used in it for the exact coordinates of the bursts from the shells. But at the end of 1954, the project was stopped.
Termination of the development of artillery systems on railway platforms was of a political nature. General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee N.S. Khrushchev brought the work on the creation of large artillery to naught. But the heavy artillery was still in service with the fleet. At the beginning of 1984 in the Navy of the Soviet Union there were 13 installations. Eight TM-1-180 were part of the Black Sea Fleet, the naval base in Leningrad consisted of three TM-1-180 and two TM-3-12.
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