Retaliation Howitzer

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Tactical Analysis

  • Distant evil neighbor:The Syrian-made Retaliation howitzer is converted from Rhino tank, making it more armored than most of other artilleries in the world, and with the 152mm gun and the variety of ammunitions, it can spray the enemy infantry from long distance with rains of shrapnels or hammer the bunkers and fortresses with high explosive shells. The soldiers that are hiding in the buildings in towns are ultimately shredded by this artillery, making it not safe for any infantry to be near.
  • The biggest shotgun there is: Sometimes there is too many infantry to kill before reaching the Socialist position. For this reason, the engineers made the firing mechanism able to lower the big gun and fire its shrapnel shells right against the approaching troops like a giant shotgun for some time. The shells detonates meters away after leaving the barrel, which than tears target apart along with any other comrades, who unfortunately get too close to him.
  • That's too close!: A common weakness to the artilleries, with Retaliation being a prime example it cant fire on enemies that will get closer than minimal fire range, where even the tank-grade armor cant keep the punishment for too long. Also, the shrapnel shells are useless against the heavily armored vehicles.
  • Venomous thorns: The shipping of small supply of combat chemicals from the Union, the Socialists were able to integrate them into the Porcupine ammunition, called "Poison Porcupine". With this the Retaliation artilleries can not only bombard the terrorist infantry in the field or in buildings, but also to prevent them for some time to return to the contaminated area. The Supply & Logistic Division offers this new kind of ammunition only to the elite crews because of the risks of accidental leaking of the chemicals within the vehicle's compartment from unpracticed manipulation.

Operational History

"'DROP THE HAMMER!"

- Military code for a Retaliation artillery barrage.

The war in Iraq in 1969 has unified the country into a pro-socialist state that aims to join the bigger Communist bloc. From the Union the Iraq received a large number of Rhino Tanks which were converted by Iran into their tropicalized version. Around a hundred of damaged Rhinos were found in desert by Syrian troops operating in Iraq and brought into Syria for evaluation.

The Syrian engineers attempted to repair the tanks, but in few cases the damage of the turret and gun were too severe, the engine was beyond repair or fixing the shattered hull would be impossible. With few tanks entering into Socialist's service as command tanks for experienced tank platoons with their Mattock Tanks, the rest were laying in the backyard of the newly-constructed Ismail National Arms Plant, founded by Amir Ismail, the Minister of War of ASG. Despite the rapid expansion of the skills in industry and arms making, making a Rhino Tank from a scratch was not possible, not without any fuhrer simplification, primarily the Tesla-diesel engine. Making the Mattock was more efficient for main battle tank role. But just throwing the spare parts would be a waste, so the generals were searching for a way how to utilize them. In the expanding military it was not very different to search for a free role. Seeing that there is no mobile artillery in the army, and Rhino's easy maintenance, the developers started modifying and experimenting with various guns and configurations mounted on Rhino chassis under the supervision of the INAP. Some designs were conventional, like the older Canadian M100 Husky SPG with fixed forward mounted gun, large mortars for close-range support, a hybrid of self-propelled gun and tank destroyer resembling the Marauder Tank, a turreted artillery like French Horizon, also mounting a small caliber gun for rapid fire. With about twenty different designs, the generals authorized for accepting the artillery into service had a difficult decision making. With about five candidates, one was a rather unique design. The hull of the Rhino would stay as it is, with the only change being wider track guards to accommodate wider (or doubled) tracks and installation of round platform upon which will be placed a large welded rectangular turret, casted using the melted metal from damaged Rhino tanks' turrets, giving the turret a similar degree of armor protection of the normal tank (explaining why the turret is so large). Thought the silhouette was very high, making it an easier target to hit, the protection was more than sufficient and enabled to mount here a large 152mm howitzer which can be retracted into 83° up, enabling to fire into greater distances than other standard gun artilleries, hitting the weak top armor which is in total majority of cases significantly weaker than front or sides. In the second round, the generals choose this design for its large caliber gun and armored turret, and gave it name Antsam, "Retaliation".

Initially the first Retaliation artilleries were used in bombarding enemy positions, GLA forts and vehicle camps. However, soon the role of anti-armor was proved to be not effective, as when the first shells lands on the ground, GLA quickly boards their vehicles and runs away, and with the converted Covenant Cruiser Tanks in tank hunting role, the anti-armor ammunition was not required for Retaliation, but soon there was another role that can be given to the new artillery. The rebels were often hiding in fortified buildings in towns and cities, which would be difficult to secure, not without severe causalities. Thus, the developers in INAP created the special "Porcupine" munition for the 152mm howitzer. Using the trait of the artillery to hit the targets from above, the shrapnel shell first penetrates the building's roof and than releases the shrapnels, which outright kill any occupant that was hiding inside, with no (or at any rate minimal) civilian casualties. This shrapnel ammunition is carried together with the high explosive shells which are used in destroying the enemy fortifications, making it good at sieges.

Thought, there showed up one technical flaw of the gun. While the gun is perfect in firing on targets that are in greater distances with highly elevated gun, the lower degree of elevation causes too stress on the holding mechanism. Thus, the artillery has a rather wide minimal radius for its gun to fire. This problem became apparent when a platoon of Retaliation artilleries were ambushed by GLA tanks, where one artillery was lost due to enemy fire, and one severely damaged ts own gun when it attempted to fire on the tanks up close, requiring a maintenance to replace the gun and repair the turret. The solution which was swiftly introduced enabled the crew to detract the gun and fire for a limited time, reducing the stress on the mechanism by additional pistons and supports. However, this improvised solution is considered suboptimal and army requested to improve the mechanism as soon as possible. Still, the crew enjoys the new option, in few cases going to the front lines with other tanks, depress the gun towards the incoming rebels or soldiers hidden in structures, and spray them with a "mega shotgun", as some Socialist troops started calling it.

The official designation of the Socialists is just "Antsam", but Soviets, who are pretty intrigued in the design, gave it a designation BSA-58-152 (Bronirovannoy Samokhodnoy Artillerii - Armoured Self-Propelled Artillery), and adopting the Socialists' name, Retaliation.

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