CCKW 353 (DShK) "Sokol"

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CCKW 353 (DShK) “Sokol”

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History

In August 1991, when the armed rebellion of the Serbian population spread to western Slavonia, the 50th Croatian independent battalion of the National Guard Corps was already organized in the municipality of Virovitica. Even before the rebellion outbreak, the Battalion Command initiated the production of armed and armored vehicles for the unit. In mid-August, the arming of one vehicle for the Battalion’s anti-aircraft defense began. The initiative for this came from the 1st company from Milanovac, a suburban settlement that was the first line of defense.

An old 2.5-ton GMC CCKW-353 truck with an open cab and winch was chosen for conversion. The decision was made to rebuild it at the company Agroservis and mount a 12.7 mm Browning M2HB heavy machine gun acquired from the Special Police Unit of the Bjelovar Police Department. The truck, actually just the chassis with an engine, was brought to Agroservis by Zlatko Đuračić on the orders of commander Zvonko Kožnjak. The protection of the vehicle and the installation of weapons was led by the workshop manager Ljerko Abali. Works were carried out by workers Marijan Mikec, Đuro Galović, Josip Ripli, and Ivan Stubičar. Everything was done “on the fly”, without sketches and calculations. Instead of the dismantled truck bed floor, an 8 mm thick steel floor was installed. It was strengthened along the edges with steel square tubing. An 8 mm thick sheet metal wall was welded to the floor with a height of about 70 cm. It did not precisely follow the floor’s rectangular shape but was rounded at the back. On the front right side, behind the driver’s cabin, was an opening that served as an entrance for the gun crew. On the opposite side was a spare tire. An ammunition box made from 10 mm thick steel, which also served as a bench, was placed directly behind the cabin. The cabin was refurbished and seats obtained from Čazmatrans company from Virovica were installed. That company also provided the tarpaulin on the roof. A 16 mm thick steel plate was welded to the front bumper to protect the engine. In the center of the truck bed floor was a metal column. On top of it was a machine gun mount with a joint that enabled full 360-degree horizontal guidance and ca. -5 to +60 degrees of vertical guidance. A steel shield that protected the gunner was attached to it.

The vehicle was called Sokol (Falcon) and was used for anti-aircraft defense in the Virovitica region. As the Croatian forces pushed the rebels to a safe distance from Virovitica in early September 1991, Sokol’s combat operations (then part of the 127th Virovitica Brigade of the Croatian Army) began on October 31 in Operation Swath-10 (Otkos-10), which liberated Bilogora. This continued on December 12 with the liberation of Papuk in Operation Hurricane-91 (Orkan-91). The machine gun was most often aimed at ground targets. During the heavy fighting for the rebel stronghold of Bučje, on December 26, 1991, the Browning was fired so much that its barrel overheated, bent and bullets pierced through it. After a few days, the unit received a DShK machine gun of the same caliber from a T-55 tank disabled in Kusonje. With the necessary adjustments to the mount, the soldiers attached it instead of the Browning. The Sarajevo Armistice took effect on January 3, 1992, and the fighting stopped. In February, the 127th Brigade returned from the Pakrac region to Virovitica and Sokol was no longer active. During the summer of 1992, the DShK was dismantled and a special tripod was made for it so that it could be used in the trench. The vehicle was discharged from the unit in August 1992.

Specifications

  • Essentials
    • Length; 6.51 m
    • Width; 2.24 m
    • Height; 2.8 m
    • Mass; ca. 4 t
    • Crew; 3
  • Protection
    • Armor; 8-16 mm
    • APS; N/A
    • ERA; N/A
    • Smoke; N/A
  • Mobility
    • Engine; GMC 270 6-cylinder gasoline engine, 104 hp at 2750 rpm
    • Power/weight; 26 hp/t
    • Transmission; 1 reverse gear, 5 forward gears
    • Top speed; 45 kph
    • Amphibious; No
  • Firepower
    • Main;
      • 12.7 mm DShK machine gun
        • Penetration at 10 m: 29 mm
        • Belt capacity; 50 rounds
        • Fire rate; 600 shots/min
  • Guidance;
    • Stabilizer; No
    • Vertical; unknown
    • Horizontal; 360°
    • Rotation speed; 35°/s
    • Zoom; unknown
Gallery

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1/72 model of the vehicle.

Sources

https://www.steelexpress.co.uk/steel-weight-calculator.html
GMC CCKW 353 (G-508 / Jimmy / Deuce-and-a-Half)
https://hrvatski-vojnik.hr/sokol-50-samostalnog-bataljuna-zng-a/
Otvoreni maketarski forum :: Vidi temu - Mala vojna vozila (1/72)
PALUBA - Index
https://www.mycity-military.com/

1 Like

Always +1 for more funni trucc.