The Soviet High-Power Artillery 'Tripleks' B-4 203mm Howitzer, Br-2 152mm Gun, Br-5 280mm Mortar and VariantsAfter the experience of World War One, the newly founded Red Army identified a need for heavy artillery pieces ranging from 152mm to 280mm. Despite the fact that the young Soviet state of the 1920s did not possess any major heavy industry, not to speak of experienced designers of military equipment, the idea of producing several different artillery pieces on a standardised gun carriage was outlined, first as the Heavy Artillery Duplex (with a howitzer and a gun sharing the same design of carriage), but in the mid-1930s the idea was expanded to a "Tripleks" (triplex) by adding a mortar sharing the same carriage design. This approach was to reduce the time needed to develop the systems and to ease mass production. The Soviet High-Power (Heavy) Artillery Tripleks would finally comprise the 203mm B-4 (B-4MM/B-4BM) and B-4M howitzers, the 152mm Br-2 and Br-2M guns, and the 280mm Br-5 and Br-5M mortars, whose development stretched over 25 years. The B-4 in its utmost refinement, the post-war wheeled B-4M (capable of firing a nuclear projectile) is today still considered an inactive asset in the Russian Federation's nuclear reserve arsenal.
This publication is a powerful statement covering the development history, the variants within the high-power artillery triplex, the wartime service and the technology of the most recognisable and impressive Soviet artillery weapon of the Great Patriotic War, simply called the B-4.
On 224 pages this book is lavishly illustrated with 415 black&white photographs, 119 graphics and sketches, fourteen 3-D artists' impressions in colour, twenty 3-D drawings and two five-perspective 1/35 scale drawings. English Text. Chapters:
- 006 | Soviet Heavy Artillery - A Brief History
- 008 | The Soviet High-Power Artillery "Tripleks"
- 009 | B-4 Development and Production
- 019 | B-4 Organisation
- 027 | B-4 Red Army Service, Wartime Record, Parade Duty
- 045 | B-4 in Operation Barbarossa 1941, "Through the German Lense"
- 059 | Br-2 152mm Gun
- 077 | Br-5 280mm Mortar
- 089 | SU-14, S-51, S-59 - Self-Propelled Guns / Howitzers
- 095 | B-4M, Br-2M, Br-5M - Post War Nuclear Artillery
- 105 | B-4 - The German Side: 20,3 cm Haubitze 503 (r)
- 112 | Tripleks - Technical Data Overview
- 113 | B-4 Technology in Close-Up
- 116 | B-4MM
- 119 | B-4BM
- 130 | Gun Carriage - Tracked Early Type
- 138 | Gun Carriage - Tracked Standard Type
- 167 | Gun Carriage Limbers
- 173 | Barrel and Breech
- 183 | Barrel Carriage - Tractor Type
- 190 | Barrel Carriage - B-29
- 198 | Barrel Carriage - Br-10
- 207 | Ammunition and Ammunition Trailers
- 209 | Tyagatshi - The Tractors behind the Guns
- 221 | The Tripleks in Museums