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The ZiS-30 was a tank destroyer that was used by the Soviet Union during World War II

Description

The ZiS-30 was very much a stop-gap weapon with very little in the way of protection. The hull itself was only 7 to 10 mm thick with an even thinner gun shield. Being based upon the chassis of the T-20 Komsomolets Tractor, the ZiS-30 had a GAZ-M engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour. Operational range was 250 kilometers. To operate the vehicle, a crew of at least four men was required with the only armament being a single 57 mm ZiS-2 and a 7.62 mm machine gun to defend against infantry.[1]

The total length of the vehicle was 3.45 meters, not including gun and its total weight was 3,130 kilograms. While the platform was not the most ideal, it was reliable and the gun mounted was very effective in practice. In fact, the ZiS-2's penetration value was near equal to the German PaK 39 anti-tank gun.[2] Being a makeshift vehicle, the ZiS-30 had no variants created in its service length. 

History

The ZiS-30 was initially created in 1941 to stem the increasing breakthroughs of the German army through the Soviet Union. Production was hampered by the lack of Kosmomolets artillery tractors and ZiS-2 anti-tank guns available but efforts were still made to get ZiS-30s to the frontlines in time to fight against German armor. All in all, the design worked, with the vehicle scoring numerous kills throughout its use, however it was still impractical and was eventually replaced by newer and improved tank destroyers. In total, around 100 production models were created during the early campaigns of Operation Barbarossa

References

  1. http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=371
  2. http://www.tanksinworldwar2.com/sovietunion-zis-30.php