BM-13N "Katyusha"

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

General info

The BM-13N in the garage.

The BM-13N is a gift Rank II Soviet tank destroyer with a battle rating of 3.7. It was introduced during Update 1.67 "Assault" as part of a Victory Day Event known as "KATYUSHA" during the span of May 06 - 10. The vehicle is unlocked during the event by getting five kills using the BM-8-24.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

The BM-13N, also known as Katyusha, is an artillery piece, belonging more in an artillery formation than in a tank battle. One should stay at a distance from the enemy since its rockets have a blind zone of about 250 meters in front of the truck when moving on a flat surface. This is best used as it was back in the days: to support allies. Best used in RB, it is a nasty surprise.

Vehicle characteristics

One of the most unusual vehicle in game, to say the least. Not only is its truck-based configuration not the most common, it also uses 16 x 132 mm M13 rockets as a main armament, has limited traverse, only 2 crew member, and a gun depression of +8°. The last is somewhat compensated by its ability to lean forwards with a hydropneumatic suspension system found on some Rank 5 vehicles. Its gameplay is somewhat comparable to other unique premium machines such as the T34 Calliope or Panzerwerfer 42, but remains a rather unique experience.

Tactics

There is two main ways to use the Katyusha:

Artillery
This truck is a real killer in an open field, provided it could hit its target before it is noticed. Since its main sight lack ranging marks, one should estimate the correct angle, shoot a rocket, watch where it lands, adjust fire, retry it as many time as it needs. Do not take too much time at range finding since a single shot can end your day. Once the correct angle is found, 'unleash hell on your enemies, blinding them with dust lifting up from the ground, detonating ammo racks and blasting off tracks. This is basically an intelligent artillery barrage. Once all rockets are fired, fall back behind ally lines, find a captured objective to reload at, repeat.

Ambusher
Best used in an urban combat scenario, when your team is losing. In these kind of times, enemies often rush the base/objectives without watching corners very well. This is your chance: find yourself a pile of rubble and lift the rear of the truck on it in such a way that you can fire right in front of you, past the corner. When an enemy passes by, spread it with rockets until it dies, using your good rate of fire. This tactic is often a last resort since you're cornered and encircled, you may kill 1 or more enemy if you're lucky but you will eventually be spotted or run out of rockets.

When firing, try to aim for these:

  • Tank's bellies: since almost no tank has more than 40 mm of armour underneat, it can disable them.
  • Tracks: To immobilize your foes, providing your allies a chance to finish them off. Some tanks store ammo over the tracks, it can detonate them.
  • Gun barrel: Blasting off your ennemy's gun barrell will incapacitate it from effectively firing back at your allies.
  • Engine deck: Can disable a tank's engine, in the best case scenario igniting it.
  • Turret front/ Commander's hatch: Many tanks have weak top armour, use it to your advantage.

Specific enemies worth noting

Counter-tactics

As with any Soviet truck, automatic weapons and HE shells are very deadly to the BM-13N. Use artillery strike to prevent Katyusha from finding a good position/reloading at an objective.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Powerful 132mm M13 rockets that can pierce 39 mm of steel
  • High fire rate
  • Moderate speed
  • High velocity rockets
  • Adjustable suspension
  • Can be used in deceptions: A similar model is used as decorations on some maps, without rockets and add-on armour, which may allow the player to hide. Works better when in group of 2 or more.

Cons:

  • Horribly protected against artillery and planes, Team kills are frequent due to this
  • Distinguishable firing signature
  • Lacks of other armaments beside rockets
  • Bad gun traverse
  • Low rocket supply of 16
  • Technically has the worst gun depression in game of +8°
  • Large dead zone in front of vehicle up to 250 meters on default suspension adjustment
  • The only 2 crew members are barely protected
  • Little to no armour, as expected from a truck

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Armaments

16 x 132 mm M13 rockets

  • Ammunition Capacity: 16 Rockets
  • Gun Depression: 8°
  • Gun Elevation: 45°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 4.2°/s (Stock), 5.8°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 10.4s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)}}
16 x 132 mm M13 rockets
  • Ammunition Capacity: 16 Rockets
  • Gun Depression: 8°
  • Gun Elevation: 45°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 4.2°/s (Stock), 4.9°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 10.4s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
16 x 132 mm M13 rockets
  • Ammunition Capacity: 16 Rockets
  • Gun Depression: 8°
  • Gun Elevation: 45°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 4.2°/s (Stock), 4.9°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 10.4s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)

Ammunition

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
M-13 39 39 39 39 39 39 SSM 355 42 0.0 0.1 4,900 +0° 11° 10°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the BM-13N.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
7th
rack empty
8th
rack empty
9th
rack empty
10th
rack empty
11th
rack empty
12th
rack empty
13th
rack empty
14th
rack empty
15th
rack empty
16th
rack empty
Comments Visual
discrepancy
16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Rockets deplete right to left, columns first no

Crew

  • Commander
  • Driver

Total: 2 Crew members

Armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Roof)
  • Structural steel (Chassis and driver's cabin)
  • Gun steel
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Driver's cabin 1 mm (77-86°) Hood
4 mm (38°) Driver's windows
1 mm (1-8°) 4 mm (86°) 4 mm
Truck bed 5 mm 5 mm 5 mm 5 mm

Notes:

  • Wheels provide 2 mm of armour thickness
  • No armour in front grille, simple 7.62 mm machine gun rounds can enter and damage the engine.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 7.9 ton

Max Speed: 78 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 134 hp @ 2500 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 16.96 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 16°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 164 hp @ 2500 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 20.76 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 20°
Weight: 7.9 ton

Max Speed: 72 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 83 hp @ 2500 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 10.51 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 17°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 94 hp @ 2500 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.90 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 20°
Weight: 7.9 ton

Max Speed: 72 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 83 hp @ 2500 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 10.51 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 17°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 94 hp @ 2500 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.90 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 20°

Modules and improvements

The BM-13N is a premium vehicle and as such comes with all modules already purchased.

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The concept of a multiple rocket launcher system came about in June 1938, when the Soviet Jet Propulsion Research Institute was authorized by the Main Artillery Directorate to develop such system for the RS-132 rocket in use on their aircraft. A prototype by I. Gvay in Chelyabinsk was tried and fired M-132 rockets on ZiS-5 trucks, though these were unstable and were revised on the proposals of V.N. Galkovskiy to mount the launching rails longitudinally. Testing for the newly made prototype began at the end of 1938, firing 233 rounds in a couple of salvos. The rockets were found to be able to hit up to 5,500 meters out, but the system was not looked fondly upon by the artillery branch. It took 50 minutes to load 24 rockets onto the launching rail, while a regular artillery cannon and howitzer can fire about a hundred in the same time at a sustained rate.

Testing continued up until 1940 and with a prototype of a truck with the launch rails on the back. The design was approved for production before Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, and mass-production began after the first month of the war, where the multiple rocket launchers proved very successful. During the war, the launchers were taken with much secrecy and operated by specialized troops such as the NKVD who do not even know its true name. Through the presence of a "K" on the vehicles from the Komintern Factory, the soldiers operating decided to nickname these launchers "Katyusha" after a popular wartime song of the same name. Up to 3,237 of all types of Katyusha launchers were produced from 1941 to the end of 1942, and more than 10,000 were made by the end of the war.

Advantages and disadvantages

Compared to the contemporary artillery systems of the time, the multiple rocket launcher system presented a different kind of artillery barrages used in the field. Advantages the multiple rocket launcher was that they were simple, extremely effective in saturation bombardment, fires lots of ordnance in a small time span, and were usually attached to mobile vehicles that can permit a quick retreat after firing to prevent counter-battery firing. Disadvantages with the system was that the rockets took a long time to reload, less accurate than regular artillery guns, and cannot sustain fire for a long period of time. However, in the battlefield, the multiple rocket launcher induces a greater psychological effect onto the targets on the receiving end due to the heavy amount of explosives able to be delivered in a short time. A battery of only four launchers could deliver their salvos of about 4.35 tons of explosives in a span of no longer than 10 seconds at a 400,000 square meter area.

Designations

Multiple variants of the multiple rocket launcher system were made in the course of the war as the design is simply the attachment of launch rails onto a variety of vehicles. Each vehicle has different names that follows a template to distinguish their types.

  • "BM-x-y" indicates a ground vehicle.
  • "M-x-y" indicates a towed variant.
  • "y-M-x" indicates a naval variant.

and "x" stands for the missile model while "y" stands for the number of launch rails available for the launcher variant. For example, the BM-8-16 indicates a ground vehicle firing M-8 rockets with 16 rails available to mount on.

Vehicles using the Katyusha launchers range from trucks, cars, and tanks. The production started with trucks such as the ZiS-6, then moving on to STZ-5 artillery tractors, then on Allied Lend-Lease vehicles. The 82 mm M-8 rockets, which saw service in August 1941, was the most popular rocket variant and saw use on the trucks and even tanks, which would make the BM-8-24 rocket launcher tank mounted on the T-60 light tank. Another attempt with tank mounting was with a KV-1 heavy tank as the KV-1K, but as a waste of heavy armour, this was scrapped.

Combat usage

The Katyusha rocket launchers first saw service during the opening of Operation Barbarossa against Germany. On July 14, 1941, under the experimental battery commanded by Captain Ivan Flyorov, seven launchers were used in Rudnya and were able to cause massive destruction to the Germans in the town before they fled in panic. This success prompted the Red Army to build up more Katyushas in their inventory and raise more batteries and regiments for the vehicle. All these units were under NKVD control for secrecy until the Germans reveal their own multiple rocket launcher system, the Nebelwerfer. The Germans nicknamed the Katyusha launchers "Stalin's Orgel", literally "Stalin's Organ" after Joseph Stalin and how the launchers are organized in a way which looks like a church organ. This German nickname became widely known in other areas in Western Europe. By the end of 1941, eight regiments and 37 independent battalions were available with a count of 554 Katyushas total.

The rocket launchers continue to become more integrated into the rest of the army as the war continued. Heavy mortar battalions were armed with the newer M-30 rocket launchers with heavy 300 mm M-30 rockets in June 1942. In July, a battalion of rocket launchers was added to the tank corps. The organization and equipment of these mortar battalions equipped with the Katyusha continue to increase and by the end of the war in 57 regiments, about 518 batteries of Katyusha launchers were available.

Legacy

The Katyusha launchers, issued in large numbers in the Eastern Front, was largely successful in the strategic effect of the war, granting the Soviet Union the ability to lay down a very heavy and shocking bombardment very quickly. The success of the system prompted many other countries to pursuit such a system as well, such as the modified T34 Calliope based off the Sherman and the Germans Panzerwerfer 42s. Today, the multiple rocket launcher system is still widespread with the implementation of newer technology, rockets, and missiles that makes the rocket launcher system a very potent weapon to anyone on the receiving end.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the BM-13N series from live.warthunder.com.

Images

War Thunder Facebook announcement image

Additional information (links)

[Event] BM-13N: Say Hello from Katyusha!

Obtainable events

The BM-13N has only been offered once during the V-Day event "Rocket Launch" in the time span between May 06-10 2017.

References


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ussr_bm_13n.png

Icon-country-sov.png BM-13N
Nation USSR
Type Tank destroyer
Rank 2
Battle Rating
3.7
3.7
3.7

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
7,900 kg
17,416 lb
Number of Crew 2
Hull armour thickness
4/1/4/4 mm
0.16/0.04/0.16/0.16 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
134 hp
83 hp
83 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
164 hp
94 hp
94 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
16.96
17.23
10.51
10.67
11.55
10.67
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
20.76
21.10
11.90
12.10
11.90
12.10
Max speed
78 km/h
49 mph
72 km/h
45 mph
72 km/h
45 mph
Main Weapon
16 x 132 mm M13 Rockets
Vertical guidance 8°/45°
Horizontal guidance -10°/10°
Economy
Required RP N/A
Vehicle cost N/A
Crew training cost 10,000 SL
Max repair cost*
840 SL
840 SL
840 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
3h 40m
6h 47m
6h 38m
Free repair time (Upgraded)
1h 13m
2h 15m
2h 12m
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