The ␗SU-76M is a rank I Chinese tank destroyer with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision".
Survivability and armour
The SU-76M shares a similar hull armour profile with the T-70 light tank on which it is based. The hull, with a large, well-angled 25 mm upper front plate, might bounce some shells when the hull is angled, but high-penetrating guns such as 5 cm Kwk 39 can still penetrate it easily. Once penetrated the driver will get knocked out, or the transmission/engine will be broken, immoblising the tank. On the back of the hull, the SU-76M has a lightly armoured open-topped superstructure to accommodate the 76 mm gun. With a maximum thickness of only 25 mm and poor angling, the superstructure will not stop much more than heavy machine gun fire. Common tanks such as Pz.II, M3A3, AB 41, etc are all able to penetrate the front of the fighting compartment with ease, and knock out any crew in the shell path. The crews are quite cramped together too, further decreasing the survivability against explosive-filled rounds. It is only able to resist rifle-caliber rounds or heavy machine gun fire from far away.
The open top also makes the SU-76M very vulnerable to aircraft strafing runs from above or behind.
- Rolled homogeneous armour
|Hull||25 mm (60°) Front glacis
30 mm (30°) Lower glacis 25 mm (35-89°) Driver's hatch
|15 mm||15 mm (1°) Top
15 mm (32°) Lower
|Superstructure||25 mm (27°)||10 mm (21-24°) Left
10 mm (18-19°) Right
|15 mm (1°)||N/A|
- Suspension wheels are 10 mm thick while tracks are 15 mm thick.
- Belly armour is 7 mm thick.
- The rear superstructure does not cover the entire crew compartment.
- A 25 mm plate of armour separates the driver's and engine compartment to the rear fighting compartment.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The SU-76M has an adequate top speed of about 30 km/h. It does have a good power/weight ratio, giving it nice acceleration. Its tracks are short and far apart, allowing it to traverse the hull relatively easy. Considering how lightly armoured it is, however, this mobility does not seem that good. It also has a poor reverse speed of only 5 km/h which can sometimes prevent the player from retreating to safety, putting the player at great risk. The tracks are very narrow, resulting in very sluggish movement and acceleration in snowy, sandy or muddy maps. Generally the SU-76 will fall behind common tanks such as M3A3 Stuart, Pz.IV.C, A13, etc. Therefore, with this level of mobility, the SU-76 is limited to a short-range defensive tank destroyer that should only go to where it is needed, and cannot afford to constantly perform long-range cross-country maneuvers.
Modifications and economy
Main article: ZiS-3 (76 mm)
The SU-76M is armed with the 76 mm ZiS-3 field gun, a versatile artillery piece that is also capable of performing in the anti-tank role. It has a decent rate-of-fire and a wide traverse arc, but the mounting has very poor gun depression due to the rearward placement of the superstructure.
It has a very wide-selection of ammunition, though only a few are worth using regularly. The stock BR-350A APHEBC shell is adequate enough for most purposes, although it will struggle against heavy tanks like the Churchill at long ranges. The BR-350B APHEBC shell is arguably the best all-round projectile available, combining decent penetration with excellent lethality. Against particularly heavy armour, the BR-350P APCR shot is available, though its poor lethality and performance against sloped armour will tend to disappoint. The BR-350SP APBC shot is a solid shot round with no filler, but it creates more spalling than the APCR and is somewhat more lethal. The BP-350A HEAT round is occasionally useful for long-range fighting since it does not lose penetration with distance, but the Soviet 76 mm guns generally do not perform very well at long range, and work better at medium to close range. The Sh-354T shrapnel round creates a lot of fragments when it penetrates, but is only effective against lighter vehicles.
|76 mm ZiS-3|
|Turret rotation speed (°/s)|
|Mode||Stock||Upgraded||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Stock||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 90°|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
Mass in kg
| Screen radius
| Screen time
| Screen hold time
| Explosive Mass in g|
|60||44 (+16)||37 (+23)||30 (+30)||1 (+59)||no|
Usage in battles
Like most turretless tank destroyers, the SU-76M needs to be handled with care. Not only does it not have a rotating turret, it is also lightly armoured, has an open top, and practically no protection from behind. The crew is quite exposed to air and rear attacks, which can disable them with even machine gun fire.
The SU-76M lacks the speed to perform daring flanking maneuvers or quickly take control of key locations. Unlike the high penetration 57 mm ZiS-2 gun on the preceding LVT(A)(4), the 76 mm ZiS-3 tends to struggle at long range, but it far outperforms the 57 mm gun in terms of lethality when using the APHEBC rounds, capable of creating havoc on the battlefield, the SU-76M needs to be handled with care.
Not only does it not have a rotating turret, it has an open top and practically no protection from behind. Therefore, when an engagement's complexity evolves and the Su-76 is surrounded, there is little that can be done to survive. One well placed hit to its rear will knock out a good part of the exposed crew, even machine guns can do the job of eliminating both loader and gunner.
It is crucial to remain at a distance from the enemy, perhaps even seek the cover of trees for protection against low-level attack aircraft, and to only ever give the front side to an enemy. The fact that this vehicle does not have a turret not only means that it is not effective when fighting more mobile enemies attempting to flank, it also means that placing the armour at an angle is not a viable strategy to increase relative armour thickness and stay more protected, since the gun's limits for horizontal traverse mean that any significant angle of the hull towards an enemy will make make it harder to keep the enemy in sight. What can be done is to fire a shot and, immediately after, angle the hull whilst reloading, to then return to facing the enemy to fire another shot. However, hiding whilst reloading is the most sensible choice.
Unfortunately, the SU-76 has low mobility, handling, and a vastly different gun. However, the gun on the SU-76 is definitely more powerful than the 57 mm. The sheer force of the 76 mm shells will cause huge amounts of trauma to a target upon penetration. Given its poor gun depression and velocity, the SU-76 should be used as a mobile brawler and ambusher. It is well suited to performing ambushes in urban areas. The high HE filler of the 76mm shell makes it capable of OHK'ing nearly all enemy armour at its 2.3 BR. A minor issue with the SU-76 is that it has no defensive machine gun, meaning that responding quickly to SPAA is difficult.
The gun in itself is what makes the SU-76M a good vehicle, all its other characteristics are less than impressive. The variety of ammunition is a definite pro for this SPG, its APCR and HEAT shells being effective even at higher ranks, giving this humble tank destroyer the ability to destroy high-ranking tanks like the Tiger H1. Recently, the much more effective late-war BR-350B ammunition has been added to the SU-76M's ammunition options. It features noticeably more penetration and a better fuze in exchange for somewhat less explosive mass. Despite this, the SU-76M will often destroy most enemies in one shot when the shells penetrate. Once unlocked, the SU-76 is quite capable of dealing with any tank it is likely to see from the front, though there may be a need to swap ammunition often to deal with different targets.
Enemies worth noting:
M4A3 (105): This low-rank Sherman posts a huge threat to every of its opponents due to its superior armor and destructive firepower. Its armor is overall quite tough to penetrate with your short 76mm gun, but it can be solved by careful aiming. If the M4 is within 200m, use default APHE to shoot at the vertical part of its gun mantlet or its side if exposed. If it's hull down within 100m, only target the gun mantlet with either APHE or APCR to disarm it. When the M4 is further than 400m away, all of your shells will perform poorly at penetrating its armor, so disengage or wait until it gets closer. Remember to not get hit by it, its HE or HEAT is likely to knock the SU-76 out with ease.
Pros and cons
- Decent horizontal gun traverse of 30 degrees-no need to constantly adjust hull position.
- Great cannon, its deadly APHEBC packs a heavy blow for common opponents like the Pz.IIIs, Crusaders and Stuarts
- Offers a wide range of ammo to deal with various opponents: APHEBC for normal targets, HE / shrapnel for soft targets and APCR for the hard ones.
- Small profile makes it easy to hide and set up ambushes.
- Adequate acceleration and hull traverse
- Carries up to 60 rounds of ammo which is plenty even for a long battle.
- Open topped, very vulnerable to strafing aircraft
- Thin armor struggles to protect the crew from even .50 cal.
- -3 degrees of gun depression isn't enough for hill combat, and this flaw is sometimes fatal.
- No MG, so killing vehicles with light armor / exposed crew is rather ineffective, for example SPAAs.
- Poor reverse speed of only 5 km/h might get the player killed.
- Cannon penetrates poorly at more than 700m. Will struggle to pen hard targets like the Matildas, early Churchills and Shermans
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|China tank destroyers|
|American||␗M8 HMC · ␗LVT(A)(4) (ZiS-2) · ␗M10 · ␗M18 · ␗M36 · ␗M113A1 (TOW) · CM25|
|Soviet||␗SU-76M · ␗ISU-152 · ␗ISU-122 · ␗SU-100|