Steel breastplate: how the red army gave this

History 29/12/19 Steel bib: how the red army gave this “bulletproof vest”

once in Europe, the spread of firearms, began a long process of dying armor. They became more and more useless, and the heavy burden cast. In the early twentieth century are protected by steel faced head. But during the First world war, the attitude of the armor has changed. First, the armor in the context of developed heavy industry has fallen, secondly, vehicles could deliver them directly to positions so that the soldiers didn’t need them all the time to carry. And the idea of the armor’s back. The Germans made plate armor, the French — steel shields for the archers, the Russian also made a few modifications to the armor and armored shields.

With the outbreak of the Second world war, such protection has again become topical. Shortly before the war, the red army appeared small shields, but they were pretty massive and reduced the mobility of the soldiers. In 1938, the red army has supplied steel breastplates, but they were fragile, awkward and ineffective. But in 1942, there was already a new, improved steel bib SN-42 (or SN-2). As pointed out by researcher Viktor dick’s book, “personal armor. Book 1. History of armor”, SN-42 armor has developed a laboratory of the Institute of metals under M. I. Korukov (he invented the Soviet helmet).

during the battle of Stalingrad many Soviet soldiers were equipped with this armour. By the beginning of 1943, Soviet industry has set the armor of the army in the amount of 100 thousand pieces (produced at Lysva plant). In addition to the SN-42 was and a few other modifications (for example, in the siege of Leningrad released a bib to the special design of 5 plates). But they are a big distribution has not received, SN-42 and remains the most massive army armor. It is perfectly protected from rifle bullets at the end (i.e., at a distance of over 150 m, and the rifle bullets did not break through occasionally and at a distance of 400 m), pistol bullets, bayonet pricks and splinters. Bib was a two metal plates anatomically shaped 3 mm thick and weighing 3.5 kg: one plate for the chest and one for stomach. Kept on a special adjustable straps.

One of the conspicuous structural features of the carapace seems strange — why have a steel vest of the red army was open right shoulder. V. dick writes that in fact this is not a bug or a design fad or a tribute to some fashion, it is necessary to leave open for normal stop butt. If the shell was covered and the right shoulder soldiers always had the opportunity to firmly lock the butt of the rifle or machine that is necessary for marksmanship.

a Particularly successful “Armored infantry” equipped with SN-42 (still jokingly called “crayfish”), were in the street fighting and storming powerful fortifications. The bibs were provided with infantry assault troops, sappers and soldiers advancing on enemy trenches. Less widely 7-pound more armored shields (but still enjoyed them). As the shields used by the bibs — when shooting prone. In this position, a missing right shoulder also proved to be useful in the formed niche was established and received additional stability to small arms. A serious problem of the bibs remained their burden and inconvenience to carry when the soldiers had to drag them personally, but also if the fighting was going on in the field. There gardeners become a hindrance when you need to crawl on their bellies.

nevertheless, often the SN-42 was saving lives of Soviet soldiers, and very much frightened the Germans. Senior Lieutenant of the 7th company of the 3rd battalion 653 regiment Cherkashin recalled how broke into the enemy trenches, and there the German was firing into him from the machine: “Three strong push in the chest three hits in the shell. Barely mouthoal on the legs, but survived… the Gunner sees that his bullets bounce off me like peas. Behind his glasses — mad with fear the eyes.” Cherkashin survived thanks to armor and wrote about it: “Bronenakladki saved my life. And loss of that day in all the “armored companies” was much less than usual”.

Then, after taking into account the experience of the great Patriotic war, Soviet engineers developed and launched the new bibs, the CH-46. The novelty has received the most compared to the previous model thickness (5 mm), but this was done by increasing the mass (5 kg); CH-46 was also more flexible and consisted already of three plates. He was protected from bullets two or three times better than SN-42. Armor ordered those, and now use vests — police, interior troops and special services. But after the CH-46 Soviet army order steel armor stopped. They were replaced with armored shields and then armor.

Konstantin Dmitriev

© Russian Seven

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