|This page is about the Soviet SPAA GAZ-AAA (4M). For the version equipped with a 12.7 mm DShK, see GAZ-AAA (DShK).|
The GAZ-AAA (4M) (4M gun mount on a GAZ-AAA truck), or the 4M GAZ-AAA, is a rank I Soviet self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.49 "Weapons of Victory".
The first of the Soviet SPAAs, it presented a crude set-up of bolting a 4M quadruple Maxim MG mount to a 6x4 GAZ-AAA truck chassis. This Soviet improvisation would lead to the Soviet SPAA trend of attaching anti-aircraft weaponry to trucks, half-tracks, and cars in the game.
Better suited for hauling potatoes on the Russian steppes than rolling into the battlefield, the GAZ chassis of this vehicle has non-existent armour and is armed with surplus WWI-era machine guns. Besides not being suited for the rigours of ground combat (due to lack of armour), it cannot penetrate even the lightest of armour, so charging into battle is very unadvised (unless the aim is for attracting attention). Its quad 7.62 Maxim machine guns are well suited for the vehicle's job as mobile AA, most aircraft at its rank is easily swatted out of the sky by its high fire-rate and the massive amount of rounds it puts out, even without any particularly skilful aiming. The 4000 rounds of rifle calibre rounds mean there is little haste in aiming, so be quite generous in dishing out those rounds.
Survivability and armour
This vehicle has extremely poor survivability. The gunner is completely exposed, and the rest of the 3-man crew is protected only by 1 mm of steel. Any machine gun can destroy the vehicle with ease, as can nearby artillery, rocket, or bomb strikes.
However, the vehicle's extremely thin armour does mean that it is possible for APHE rounds to overpenetrate, and pass through the vehicle without detonating and causing catastrophic damage.
- Structural steel
- Wood (Truck bed)
|Driver's cabin||1 mm (1°)||1 mm (1-2°)||1 mm||1 mm|
|Cargo bed||15 mm (1°)||15 mm (1°)||15 mm||15 mm|
- Road wheels are 2 mm thick while the chassis was 5 mm thick.
- The truck bed is 15 mm of wood, which will probably not offer as much protection as the truck cab
- The radiator housing is unarmoured.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
The main armament of the GAZ-AAA (4M) is 4 x 7.62 mm machine guns. For anti-air duty, these little guns do the job pretty well against biplanes and early monoplanes. The fire density given by the quad 7.62 mm MGs is good enough to damage a plane's critical components such as engine, cooling system, and fuel tank. They also have a huge amount of ammunition each gun, so one does not have to worry about constant reloads. Lastly, the guns have a depression of -10 degrees, something pretty rare for Soviet vehicles. The low projectile mass, however, will result in it not being able to hurt planes at a distance, and any armour plates inside the plane is likely to stop the bullet.
However, the biggest drawback of the armaments is the poor penetration of 10 mm at most, meaning that the GAZ-AAA (4M) simply cannot engage tanks when needed. It can only damage lightly armoured vehicles such as Flakpanzer I, AS 42, and P.7.T AA. The disadvantaged anti-tank capacity therefore greatly reduces this SPAA's effectiveness at anti tank missions, making itself very vulnerable when being hunted by tanks.
The recommended belts are APIT or API. APIT is great for new players to learn the trajectory of a weapon as this belt composes entirely of tracer bullets. Familiarising with the trajectory is crucial especially for the GAZ-AAA (4M) since it needs lots of bullets to down an aircraft, so tracers will help one to get used to the lead. When one is used to the trajectory, API might be a good choice as it has a bit less tracer, which helps to conceal the SPAA's position a bit. It also has an extra 1mm of penetration which might become handy against certain vehicles like M13 MGMC, whose armour is right around 10 mm.
|7.62 mm Maxim's (x4)||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Mode||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal||Stabilizer||Stock||Upgraded||Full||Expert||Aced||Stock||Full||Expert||Aced|
- Default: · · · ·
- API: · ·
- Universal: · ·
|Belts||Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|4||0 (+4)||0 (+4)||0 (+4)||0 (+4)||No|
Usage in battles
The 4M GAZ-AAA is highly vulnerable to any vehicle, from tanks to planes. An encounter will most likely end with the GAZ-AAA destroyed. Prioritize enemy aircraft, as you are significantly vulnerable to strafing and bombing due to the lack of armour.
Stay back from the front lines yet don't be too far away from it, because most planes might go strafing the cap points, and if you are far away the low kenetic energy of your bullets will result in even weaker damage. So stay between a cap point and a friendly spawn point. You can find a hard cover and position yourself sideways, with the driver's cabin behind cover and the gunner exposed. This way the two crews at the fornt can be effectively protected.
When enemy planes spawn, shoot shurt bursts into their general direction to get their attention. Most planes will go head on with an SPAA, knowing that early SPAAs all have weak firepower and protection. If a plane dives on you, fire off a burst (remember to aim higher, as the bullet drop at head-on distance is more than you think) towards the plane and before it returns fire, quickly withdraw back to cover, as you cannot sustain much damage. As the plane flies by and climbs for another run, start firing long bursts at it. The 4x 7.62mm MGs have plenty of ammo per magazine and they do not overheat, so prolonged bursts will be yuor main method of damaging planes. Generally, shoot when they fly right past you, and avoid head-ons, as your firepower is not potent enough to destroy a plane in a second.
If a tank comes up to you, don't try to fight as the tanks were built to be resistant to the rifle calibre rounds the Maxim fires. Withdraw to safety if encountering any ground vehicles.
Enemies worth noting:
Ju 87: the Stuka has a durable airframe against the 4x 7.62mm MGs, so you need to put enough bullets into it to effectively damage it. The main threat comes from its bombs, an early Stuka can carry either 4x 50kg + 1x 250kg, or a huge 500kg bomb, both of which are more than enough to destroy the GAZ-AAA with shrapnel. If you see a Stuka diving at you, move sideways to avoid the bombs.
Pz.II, M3A1, etc: these tanks, although designated as "light" tanks, are literally heavy tanks for the GAZ-AAA's weak guns, therefore impossible to get destroyed. They also have superior mobility and firepower, so if you see them it is best to leave them to your teammates. If it is safe enough you can shoot a few shots at their tracks, barrel, etc to show them on minimap.
M13: this is a commonly seen SPAA with armour enough to resist rifle-caliber bullets and firepoewr enough to vaporise poorly protected crews. Target its quad .50 cal mount to disable its gunner first, then you can just shoot at the gun mount as its elevation drive, guns, ammo, etc are all exposed. The armoured cabin can only be penetrated if you two are face to face, a distance of more than 200m will render your bullets useless.
Pros and cons
- Decent anti-aircraft capabilities afforded by the armament, can do satisfactory damage to aircraft of its rank
- Turns in a tight radius like a conventional truck
- Large amount of "ready" ammunition, 4000 rounds
- Able to reasonably damage lightly armoured vehicles of its kind such as M13 MGMC or M3 GMC
- More of a threat to small, nimble aircraft than the M13 or T17E2
- 6x4 truck design is sturdier and heavier than the 4 x 2 design of the GAZ-MM (72-K)
- Has a great rate of fire thanks to the four fast firing maxim guns
- Aircraft at early ranks are very common, meaning there will be plenty of aircraft for to be picked off
- Good at setting aircraft on fire
- Unique ability to fire tracer-less rounds. This allows you to pick off enemy planes without them even realizing that they are being shot at
- The fact that you cannot kill tanks will mean that you focus on enemy aircraft rather than stray and hunt tanks
- Non-existent armour/protection, anything will penetrate and damage the vehicle
- An average car has the same amount of protection as this vehicle, like a VW Beetle
- Very lightweight, prone to being destroyed by ramming or being overturned by other vehicles
- Crew is not afforded much protection, owing to the improvised design
- No reserve ammunition, you will only get 4,000 rounds
- Low speed of 27 MPH (43 km/h), even slower cross-country
- Gunner is exposed to all the sundry, and can easily be knocked out from a stray bullet
- Cannot be used effectively against anything other than trucks or aircraft due to its machine gun armament
- Outclassed by other AA vehicles in the same rank
- Vulnerable to strafing by enemy aircraft, especially to kamikaze attacks
- Can easily be tipped over in tight turns
- Machine guns are useless against armoured targets except for other GAZ trucks
Around the late 1920s, the Soviet Union was undergoing a mechanization revolution and realized that no purpose-built motor vehicles were available for them to help move cargo and materiel back and forth from point one to point two. The result was the GAZ-AAA truck, which was a truck based on the Ford Model AAA 6 x 4 truck. These trucks entered production in 1932 and were used in multiple roles in the civilian world and in the military.
In the military, the GAZ trucks were used as tractors for gun systems, fuel tankers, radio system, and even armoured cars. By 1931, an anti-aircraft version was created as well, in order to give the Soviet Union a mobile anti-aircraft system to work with. The design had four Maxim Model 1910/30 machine guns installed on a mount on the truck. This configuration was called the 4M GAZ-AAA and served as a low-altitude air defence system after being adopted in 1931.
The 4M GAZ-AAA was a crude weapon. It was simply a truck with a gun mount on the back that connected to four 7.62 mm machine guns. These machine guns could all be simultaneously fired by one operator. The operator had no protection whatsoever as he had to stand in order to fire the gun, there were also no gun shields to protect him from any incoming fire. Despite that, it served as a part of the Soviet defence against the German invasion in 1941, where it was also used in an infantry-support role by laying down a large volume of fire onto the enemy. Many were seen destroyed in German newsreels, covering the roads as German troops advanced deeper into the Soviet Union.
The vehicle was unsatisfactory for the battlefield, and even ineffective against planes due to its low calibre. A new anti-aircraft system had to be devised for the role of mobile anti-aircraft system. This led to the development of the GAZ-MM (72-K), which while still truck-mounted weaponry, had a noticeable increase in firepower with a 25 mm auto-cannon.
This self-propelled anti-air mount based on the GAZ-AAA truck with four Maxim machine guns installed on its body was added to the arsenal in the mid-1930s and was the heaviest Soviet mount of the pre-war period. However, by the time WWII began it was no longer effective against airplanes.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|USSR anti-aircraft vehicles|
|Based on trucks||GAZ-AAA (4M) · GAZ-AAA (DShK) · BTR-152A · GAZ-MM (72-K) · ZiS-12 (94-KM) · ZiS-43|
|Other||ZUT-37 · ZSU-37 · ▂Phòng không T-34 · ZSU-57-2 · ZSU-23-4 · ZSU-37-2 · ZPRK 2S6|