|This page is about the Soviet SPAA GAZ-AAA (DShK). For the version equipped with 7.62 mm Maxim's, see GAZ-AAA (4M).|
The GAZ-AAA (DShK) is the second variant of the GAZ-AAA-based self-propelled anti-aircraft gun family. In contrast to the first variant, the GAZ-AAA (4M), the main armament is a 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun. This slightly increases its firepower against aircraft and lightly armoured vehicles.
Introduced in Update 1.63 "Desert Hunters", the GAZ-AAA (DShK) retains the same unprotected but agile platform as its predecessor. However, the change in armament allows it to do more damage per shot against aircraft opponents while also killing lightly armoured vehicles, which are common at its rank. While the GAZ-AAA (DShK) can penetrate some enemy ground targets, it is not advised to rush into battle due to the vehicle's lack of protection and mediocre penetration. The vehicle is better suited for surprise ambushes and hit-and-run tactics.
Survivability and armour
This vehicle lacks any form of armour. Any light machine gun can penetrate the vehicle and knock out the crew (the gunner is completely exposed). Artillery strikes, bombs and rockets can cause critical damage even if they land far away from the vehicle.
The only benefit of being so light is that enemies using APHE rounds will often overpenetrate and not detonate. However, it is very easy to destroy this vehicle with high-explosive shells through the overpressure mechanic (and at this BR, many guns are equipped with such shells).
- Structural steel (truck chassis, driver's cabin, engine hood)
- Wood (truck bed floor)
- Wheel (tires)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Driver's cabin||1 mm||1 mm||1 mm||15 + 1 mm|
|Truck bed||15 mm|
- The truck bed floor is 15 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The mobility of the GAZ-AAA (DShK) is mediocre at best. Similar to the preceding GAZ-AAA (4M), the GAZ-AAA (DShK) does reach an impressive ~40 km/h on hard surfaces (e.g. grass, dirt, concrete, etc), and is quite agile in turning. The acceleration on these surfaces is average. These pros, however, are outweighed by cons such as the poor brakes. It takes around a whopping 4 seconds to reach a complete stop which is a disadvantage in cramped conditions like urban environments, causing it to drive over desired cover or to bump into walls/teammates. It also has very poor reverse speed of only -5 km/h, putting the player at great risk when needing to retreat back to safety. Due to the low engine power, it is hard or impossible to crush obstacles like stone fences or light poles which further limits its mobility in an urban battlefield. Finally, just like most other wheeled vehicles, it shares the poor mobility on soft terrain like mud and sand, especially when accelerating, making itself an easy target for strafing aircraft.
Modifications and economy
|12.7 mm DShK||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: · · - The belt consists of 3 different type of ammunition. ammunition is useful to put enemy planes on fire. helps lead your shots while the can be useful against less armoured aircraft. The lack of found on other belts, limits its effectiveness against ground targets, reducing it to mostly vehicles with exposed crew.
- API: · · · - Unlike the default belt, the API belt consists of 2 types of bullets. can penetrate most opponents frontally due to how unarmoured vehicles are at such Battle Rating. on the other hand, sacrifices penetration in favor of having an incendiary and a tracer component. This can prove to be very useful when engaging enemy aircraft as it can easily set them on fire. The belt's composition of 50% and 50% allows the vehicle to engage air vehicles as effectively as ground ones.
- AP: · · - While the AP belt shares the same bullet types as the API and API-T belts, the bullet ratio of 2/3 and 1/3 is better suited to engage ground vehicles. That said the belt's gives it enough flexibility to engage air targets.
- API-T: · · - The API-T belt on the other hand, while sharing the same bullet types as the API and AP belts, has an inverted bullet than that of AP: 2/3 and 1/3 - While such belt composition is better suited to engage air vehicles, the inclusion of allows the player to easily defend themselves against enemy tanks.
|Ammunition||Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Usage in battles
- Combat tactics
Potentially the most challenging SPAA to use in the game, due to the machine gun's low rate of fire making it relatively ineffective against aircraft, however, it can work in part as a basic tank destroyer and support vehicle.
For anti-air duties, the GAZ-AAA (DShK) is harder to use than the previous SPAA despite having a more powerful gun. The 12.7 mm MG traverses very slowly for an SPAA, has a limited elevation angle and cannot aim backwards. These limitations severely impact the anti-air capability since the player have to constantly adjust the hull position just to get the gun on target. The best way to use this SPAA is to lure enemy planes into head-ons since little to no lead is required, compensating your low fire density and fire rate. First find yourself a solid cover, hide the driving compartment behind it and expose only the gunner. As an enemy plane nears, fire single shots towards it to draw its attention. If it starts to dive on you, open fire immediately, aim slightly up between the top of its fuselage and the tip of the vertical stabiliser. If the gunner is not knocked out, unload the entire box of ammo to the target. As you reload it might just be turning back for another pass, try crippling it more with another box of bullets. A few hits from the DShK should badly damage a fighter (e.g. He 112) around this BR, however a bomber/attacker (e.g. Do 17 Z, Ju 87) is generally more durable and can take more hits. If you see or hear a bomb falling from the plane, immediately hide behind cover, as even the smallest fragment can easily kill your poorly protected crew, or damage your tires or your engine.
For anti-tank duties, the key will be to stick to your team and take out the crew of an enemy tank and then let the dedicated tanks finish them off with their harder-hitting rounds. It is best to use the API or AP belts since they contain the highest percentage of armour-piercing cermet core bullets. The 29 mm penetration of these bullets at point blank range is enough to pierce through the front/sides of common tanks such as Pz.II, Pz.IV C, LVT(A), etc. Note that you cannot spray bullets, because one magazine only holds 50 rounds which is not a lot, so aim carefully and shoot 1-3 round bursts for taking out crew members. Just remember this only works on all but the most lightly armoured targets, such as other SPAA, early German tanks and the side of some American tanks, this works best when your vehicle is down-tiered and not the other way around.
- Enemies worth noting
- Ju 87 B2: this early Stuka is able to carry some very threatening bombs of up to 500kg. With the bombs it can easily destroy a GAZ-AAA (DShK) even if the bomb lands far away, due to the very thin armour protection of the SPAA. Its 2 x 7.92 mm MG, although weak, are still more than enough to knock out the completely exposed and not protected gunner, making the GAZ defenceless. It is best to target the Stuka's nose, where the engine and cooling systems are located. With an overheating/damaged engine, a Stuka will experience significantly worse flight performance which makes it easy for you or a friendly plane to destroy it.
- M13 MGMC: this SPAA can wipe out the GAZ within a second as it has a pair of fast-firing and heavy-punching .50 cals. Fortunately your DShK is also able to penetrate through its armour with ease. In an encounter with an M13, try your best to get your shots off first. Aim for its gun mount and disable its ability to fire, then go for the driver compartment to destroy it.
Pros and cons
- Weapon has increased penetration and damage output compared to the preceding GAZ-AAA (4M)
- Quite fast on hard roads, topping at ~45 km/h
- Small profile from all angle, hard to get spotted
- Thin armour will not trigger most fused shells, causing over-penetration and thus little damage
- Vehicle armament consists of only a single 600 RPM machine gun
- Limited magazine of 50 rounds means the armament has to reload frequently
- Gunner can't swivel around 360 degrees horizontally
- Limited vertical traverse
- Will struggle to eliminate passing aircraft due to a low volume of fire
- No armour, can easily be destroyed even by .30 cal machine guns
- Subject to overpressure damage from HE shells
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. 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 systems, 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 one DShK heavy machine gun installed on a mount on the truck. This configuration was called the DShK GAZ-AAA and served as a low-altitude air defence system.
Old and reliable .50 cal proved to be good at harassing low flying planes, infantry, and German APCs, but it became apparent that a more powerful gun was needed.
DShK proved its worthiness on many occasions, but a new anti-aircraft system had to be devised for the role of a 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 autocannon.
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.
|Gorky Automobile Plant (Го́рьковский автомоби́льный заво́д)|
|SPAA||GAZ-AAA (4M) · GAZ-AAA (DShK) · GAZ-MM (72-K)|
|ZUT-37 · ZSU-37|
|Light Tank||T-60 · T-70 · T-80|
|Tank Destoyer||SU-76M · SU-76M (5th Gv.Kav.Corps) · SU-85A|
|USSR anti-aircraft vehicles|
|GAZ-AAA||GAZ-AAA (4M) · GAZ-AAA (DShK)|
|BTR-152||BTR-152A · BTR-152D|
|Wheeled/Half-tracked||GAZ-MM (72-K) · ZiS-12 (94-KM) · ZiS-43|
|Radar SPAAG||ZSU-23-4 · ZSU-37-2|
|SAM||Strela-10M2 · 2S6 · Pantsir-S1|
|Other||ZUT-37 · ZSU-37 · BTR-ZD · ZSU-57-2|
|North Vietnam||▂Phòng không T-34|