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Red Bear

Soviet Light Self-propelled Artillery Regiment

When the Soviet’s were searching for an answer to heavier German armour and guns, they first decided on the 76mm ZIS-3 gun.  Powerful enough to penetrate most early German armour, the 76mm became the mainstay of Soviet armour until the arrival of the Tiger and panther. Although, like the T-34, the 76mm gun became inadequate in 1943 in dealing with the newer German medium and heavy armour, it was still quite effective against German anti-tank and machine gun positions.

In this role the SU-76 found a new home. Lightly armoured and open-topped the SU-76 was very vulnerable to German armour and even infantry. Placing it with Soviet infantry provided it some protection. This also allowed mobile support for the infantry in dealing with the German anti-tank line and in destroying tenacious German machine gun nests.

A role that became even more important as the Soviet Army switched from the defensive to the offensive. Having a gun capable of keeping up with the advance gave much needed support to the Soviet Army’s push towards Poland and Germany.

Nearly every Soviet Army had an independent regiment of self-propelled artillery attached to provide direct fire support. Though many of the armoured formations would have medium and heavy self-propelled artillery support, the majority of the infantry formations were supported by the Light Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment outfitted with the SU-76M self-propelled artillery gun.

SU-76M assault guns in action
SU-76M Each regiment would sport four companies of five guns with a battalion commander in a T-70 light tank. The regiment had its own reconnaissance, sapper, anti-aircraft, and submachine-gun companies to provide support for the guns.

The Light Self-propelled Artillery Regiment Intelligence Briefing is now in Red Bear.

Last Updated On Wednesday, November 23, 2011 by Wayne at Battlefront