Zhukov’s Roar

Yesterday was “Defender of the Fatherland Day” (Den Zaschitnika Otechestva) in Russia. The date celebrates the founding of the Red Army in 1918 and used to be known as Red Army Day. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation posted a number of interesting images of the salute division of the Western Military District firing volleys on Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow.

The guns are towed 76 mm divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3) on 2A85 salute mounts, notable for their lack of muzzle brakes.

Sometimes described as the most effective Allied anti-armor gun of the war, at least against Panzer IVs and below, especially when used in massed batteries, a staggering 100,000 ZiS-3s were produced, most likely making it the most prolific field artillery piece in modern history.

Very light for a 3-inch high-velocity gun, at just over 2,500-pounds (the comparable U.S. M5 weighed twice as much), a ZiS-3 could be pulled by a Lend-Lease Ford truck, a scrawny Russian horse or two, or even man-hauled by a squad if needed.

When Marshall Zhukov’s legions closed in on Berlin in April 1945, he had some 41,000 pieces of artillery, including an estimated 25,000 ZIS-3s or similar 76mm pieces. They proved useful in house-by-house streetfighting.

It is still in use in Africa and Asia and saw combat in Europe as late as the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia.

Of note, ZiS stands for the factory the guns were produced at, Zavod imeni Stalina, named for Stalin.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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