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The ZiS-30 is a Rank II Russian tank destroyer with a battle rating of 2.7 (AB) and 2.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. It is a lightly armoured tank destroyer mounting a gun that is very powerful for its rank.
The ZiS-30 is the second Soviet tank destroyer on the Soviet tech tree. The highlight of this tank destroyer is its ridiculously powerful gun for its rank, which is capable of destroying most tanks of a similar rank in one shot. The ZIS-30 serves mainly in a support role, firing from the rear of the line at spotted targets. Despite this, the ZIS-30 can feasibly serve as a lone sniper or a hit-and-run vehicle, due to its powerful gun and impressive speed. Although the ZIS-30 is a powerhouse in terms of speed and firepower, it is quite fragile and can easily be taken out by enemy tanks. Due to the near nonexistent armour of the ZIS-30, the crew is extremely prone to damage and it takes very few shots to knock them out. A proven tactic is to fire at preoccupied enemies so that they cannot react fast enough to fire back. Often it helps to set up an ambush position on a ridge and wait for the enemy to enter your line of fire. After taking several shots (2-4), it is advised that a new position be found, as other enemies may have noticed you by that time.
The ZiS-30 possesses three main advantages – small dimensions, great speed and manoeuvrability, and a fantastic gun for its rank. With its good top speed and acceleration, it can move very quickly across the map. It is also comparatively a very small vehicle, so it can be a very hard target to hit especially at long range. Its gun has virtually no problems when penetrating anything on the given BR spread (eg. 2.3-3.3) and features a (relatively) fast rate of fire and flat trajectory, making the vehicle a suitable long range sniper. As the gun is mounted onto the roof, the vehicle has a reasonably tall profile. This is both an advantage and disadvantage – it compromises your cover which allows you to be spotted easier, but at the same time, you can shoot over lower obstacles while exposing only the gun shield.
Obviously, there are disadvantages as well. The gun’s recoil is rather strong for the small chassis and the sway is large enough to cause you to lose track of your target, hence requiring realignment every time you take the shot. The vehicle also carries a very small ammunition supply. Most importantly, however, the vehicle’s armour is practically nonexistent and even armour piercing rounds from rifle calibre machine guns can pierce your frontal armour at close range. The crew of the gun are protected only by the gun shield. Otherwise, it’s exposed and thus very vulnerable. However, many armour piercing rounds will just pass through the gun shield without detonating, significantly reducing the damage. That being said, it is advised to use HE rounds when facing the ZiS-30.
Given its advantages and disadvantages, the ZiS-30’s performs best when used as a highly mobile, long range sniper. Race to a position using your speed and then conceal your fragile hull and then wait for the enemy to stumble in your sights. Use your high rate of fire to take several well-aimed shots, then quickly relocate. Further research of the ZiS-30 will lead to the famous SU-76M self-propelled gun.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
|Hull|| 10 mm (24°) Front plate
10 mm (67°) Front glacis
10 mm (50°) Lower glacis
| 7 mm (19°) Top
17 mm (1°) Bottom
|7 mm (1-42°)||5-7 mm|
|Gun shield||5 mm (31°)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
- Suspension wheels are 10 mm thick while tracks are 15 mm thick.
- Aside from the front gun shield, there is no armoured encasement for the gunner and loader crew members.
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armour
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|57 mm ZiS-2|
|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°
|20||11 (+9)||1 (+19)||no|
|7.62 mm DT|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in the battles
As mentioned above, the ZIS-30 is ideal for ambush and sniping attacks, especially due to the fairly flat trajectory of the rounds. Carry a full load of ammo (it's only 20 rounds), especially the standard issue APHE shell, which is capable of penetrating the armour of just about every reasonable enemy for your BR. Shoot'n'scoot tactics are advised and use the surprising agility of the vehicle to get into unexpected locations.
While this tank can be used in AB to some effect (due to its excellent gun and good handling), you lose your main advantage, surprise! The ZIS-30 is easy to conceal due to its small size, especially if you have camouflage vegetation to add to the vehicle. This means that it is particularly effective in RB and SB. At the start of the match, rush to a good location overlooking enemy movement routes or a capture point and snipe away, making sure that you change your position every few shots to prevent enemies from tracking you down. In RB, planes become a big threat as the game goes on. Even light machine guns are a threat, and at BR 2.3 planes start getting heavier cannons and various payloads, which will tear you apart, while the ZIS-30 rarely has any AA armaents. Therefore, it is best to remain hidden in dense vegetation or among rocks or buildings to keep you safe. However at the initial part of a game the player is usually safe, as the enemy is unlikely to have enough SP to spawn with an aircraft.
In SB the ZIS-30 is very good at protecting capture points from enemy vehicles. Simply find a good hiding spot and wait for your enemy to go to capture the point, then take them out one by one.
Start as usual: Parts and FPE. The BR-271 is a good shell and the BR-271K upgrade can be ignored. Focus on all accuracy upgrades. Long range duels and shots are a favourite past time of all tank destroyers. Additionally, it helps to hit the weak spots on enemy vehicles. After these, all performance upgrades like Engine or Suspension will come in handy to further improve the ZiS-30's excellent mobility.
Pros and cons
- Excellent gun with good penetration, comparable to the Rank 3 tank T-34-57
- Has no issue penetrating anything at its rank
- Gun does good damage when it hits targets
- Short bullet travel time;
- Sufficient agility and top speed;
- Low shell fly arc, easy to aim in RB or SB
- Easy to conceal in vegetation (realistic & simulatory battles)
- Has a defensive machine gun for use against light SPAA
- Good horizontal traverse for the main gun
- Paper armour, HMGs are extremely dangerous
- Low HP ratio makes hill climbing difficult
- Wobbly handling, prone to accidental tipping with sharp turns
- Crew extremely prone to being injured
- Rocks violently upon vehicle stopping
- Low ammo capacity - carries 20 shells
During the first weeks of Operation Barbarossa in 1941, the Soviet armoured forces suffered crushing losses at the hands of the well organised German army. As the number of Soviet armoured vehicles rapidly decreased, Soviet representatives searched for ways to compensate for the losses with easily produced vehicles. As a result, an order for the quick development of improvised self-propelled anti-tank guns was issued in July 1941 as a means of providing the Red Army cheap and easy-to-produce anti-tank weapons. The schedule was extremely tight, allowing only two weeks for development.
In response to this, the design bureau in No.92 Factory, led by P. F. Muravyev, developed a light anti-tank destroyer using the chassis of the Komsomolets tracked artillery tractor, propelled by a 4-cylinder GAZ-M automobile engine which produced 50 horsepower and top speeds of up to 47.5 km/h (29.5 mph). The process of refitting the vehicle was simple: the chassis and the hull remained unchanged, while the armament, the 57 mm ZiS-2 anti-tank gun, was simply mounted atop the vehicle. The crew consisted of four men, the commander/gunner, loader, driver and machine gunner manning the hull-mounted machine gun. The situation was so dire, that mass production was launched on September 21, 1941, and by October 15, 100 vehicles designated as the ZiS-30 were produced, a mere three months after the order to develop the vehicle was given, making it perhaps one of the fastest designed vehicles in the world.
The vehicle featured a gun that was capable of destroying any German tank of the period at combat range. This was a very welcome trait and proved invaluable to the Soviet defences against the German Panzers. However, there were significant disadvantages to its makeshift design. The weight of the gun reduced the mobility of the vehicle and the size of the vehicle allowed only a very small ammunition supply of 20 rounds to be carried. Protection of the crew was nonexistent, as the vehicle had only a very thin amount of armour and the gun crew was protected only frontally by the gun shield. The vehicle was unstable due to its high profile, had a low operational range and the communication between the driver and the gun crew was very problematic. Only 101 ZiS-30’s were manufactured due to problems with the availability of both the gun and the chassis, both being urgently needed elsewhere. The ZiS-30 served until Summer 1942, being replaced by more specialised vehicles such as the SU-76M once the urgency for such vehicles disappeared.
During the first battles of the Great Patriotic War, it became clear that a new tank destroyer had to be developed, capable of quickly relocating and fighting German tank units, whose mobility significantly exceeded that of the Red Army's tank units. The vehicle was designed by factory No. 92's design bureau, and consisted of a turret-mounted 57 mm ZiS-2 anti-tank cannon with a 73 calibre barrel length placed on a T-20 Komsomolets armoured artillery tractor.
The SPG's production began on 21 September 1941. By the 15th of October, the factory had produced 101 ZiS-30 vehicles in total, which took part in conflicts at the culmination of the Battle of Moscow. In September-October 1941, all these vehicles went towards reinforcing anti-tank gun batteries (6 vehicles per battery) in tank brigade motorised infantry batallions.
The artillery system allowed it to fire at a rate of up to 25 shots per minute, while its targeted firing rate amounted to 15 shots per minute. It was fired only from a stationary position. The tank destroyer was stabilised when firing using folding bipods located in the rear of the vehicle's hull. A 7.62 mm DT machine gun was mounted on the tank for self-defence, installed in a rotating joint on the right in the hull's frontal plate. The SPG's crew consisted of 4 people.
Artillerymen liked these self-propelled guns because of their mobility, improved defences in comparison with the towed version, and the increased effectivity of the ZiS-2 cannon, which at times ripped straight through German tanks of that period. The ZiS-30's disadvantages included its low movement range and on-board ammunition capacity, the gun mount's large dimensions, the lack of communication between the driver and crew, the vehicle's instability, its overloaded chassis and its weak armour. Practically all these SPGs were lost by the summer of 1942, either in battle or due to mechanical failures.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|USSR tank destroyers|
|Light||SU-5-1 · ZiS-30 · SU-57 · SU-57B · SU-76M · SU-76M (5th Guards Cavalry Corps) · YaG-10 (29-K) · SU-85A|
|Medium||SU-122 · SU-85 · SU-85M · SU-100 · SU-100P · SU-122P · SU-122-54|
|Heavy||SU-100Y · ISU-122 · ISU-122S · SU-152 · ISU-152 · Object 268 · Object 120 "Taran"|
|Rocket||BM-8-24 · BM-13N|
|Airborne||ASU-57 · ASU-85|