Double muffler caused by GAZ twin-engine
Fighting compartment canvas attached to left side
Self-propelled Gun SU-76M
In 1942, the demand for mobile direct artillery support of the infantry was still unanswered in the Red Army.
However, the solution should have been obvious to the Russians from the first day of Barbarossa, in form of the German »Sturmgeschuetz« (assault gun). So, all that was needed were mass-produced chassis and hulls carrying a turretless gun.
As the T-60/T-70 light tanks were becoming obsolete and the new ZiS-3 gun had proven versatile and effective, both parts were combined at Gorkiy Auto Zavod (»GAZ«) yielding an armoured vehicle surpassed only by the T-34 in terms of production numbers.
While the first version, the SU-12, still had a fully armoured hull, the standard production »M« series reduced weight by leaving the fighting compartment top and rear open. This was not to the pleasure of the crews facing fierce climate conditions and a German infantry well skilled in throwing hand grenades. So it comes to no surprise that the SU-76 soon received the unfavourable nickname »Suka« meaning bitch.
Nonetheless, the SPG proved not only the mobile infantry supporter it was designed for but an effective tank destroyer as well.
Note : The vehicle shown in the drawings belonged to the 8th Self-Propelled Artillery Brigade, Belorussia, 1944.
Ubiquitous tree logs on left fender
Note 6-digit serial number of co-producing Zavod No 38