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The SU-100 was a tank destroyer that was used by the Soviet Union during World War II.

Description

It had a diesel-powered W-2 Engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 35 km/h. The SU-100 also had a crew of four men and an armament that consisted of a single 100 mm D-10S main gun and a 12.7 mm machine gun.[1]

The total weight of the SU-100 was about 32,500 kg while the total length was 9.4 meters. The SU-100 was based on the T-34 Medium Tank chassis, so it had a christie-type suspension system and a five speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission.

Operational range of the SU-100 was approximately 320 kilometers while the maximum amount of ammunition that could be carried on board at any time was 33-35 rounds of ammunition. Maximum armor protection on the vehicle was 75 mm. Having a fixed superstructure, the vehicle had a maximum traverse of 10 degrees in either direction. Furthermore, the elevation range was from -3 to 20 degrees.[2]

The overall design was generally quite similar to the T-34 Medium Tank on which it was based upon. Reliability of the system was good however initial problems arose with gun penetration at distance. However, these errors were quickly rectified and the vehicle became a truly effective tank destroyer.[3] It maintained the same excellent results as the T-34 and thus was widely accepted in Red Army formations.

History

SU 100

A SU-100 in an armored convoy

The SU-100 was initially developed in 1944 in the form of two prototypes designated the SU-100-1 and 2. The main purpose of these vehicles was to counter the threat of heavier and far better equipped German tanks such as the Panzer V Panther.

The choice of chassis for the role of tank destroyer was picked because Red Army planners realized that if it was to be produced in any quantity, a reliable and readily available platform should be used with the T-34 Medium Tank being the obvious candidate.

The first deployment of the SU-100 was in early 1945 against German forces struggling to retain control of Lake Balaton in Hungary. Although the design proved to be highly successful and the mass use of the vehicles in the last months of the war being a true testament to its combat effectiveness, the SU-100 nonetheless was put into service with the Red Army far too late to damage German troops extensively. In total, around 1,700 examples were produced during the war with just over 1,000 models being made in 1945 alone.

References

  1. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/ussr/tank-destroyers/su-100.asp
  2. http://www.onwar.com/tanks/ussr/fsu100.htm
  3. http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=355


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