Saturday, July 18, 2015

An SA-4 Ganef battery

This weekend's post is more antiaircraft for my East Germans; an SA-4 Ganef battery:

Marcin at O8 has very recently put out a pack intended to represent an SA-4 battalion, but I have no need of three batteries, so I'm doing just one. 

The Ganef medium to long range missile:
(Ganef being Yiddish for "rascal" or "thief" and predictably also for "lawyer") is called Krug ("circle") in Russian and it entered service in 1965. It was designed to fit inside an AN-22 Cock aircraft:
Yes, I agree. One of the most unfortunate of NATO reporting names.

The two versions operational in 1981 (the year my scenario is set in) were the Krug A (1971) and the Krug B (1973). The A had a maximum engagement altitude of 88,500ft/27,000m and a range of just under 45mi or 72 km. The B model sacrificed altitude and range for increased performance against lower altitude targets. The two types were visually indistinguishable from each other. 

A brigade (three battalions) of Ganefs would have been an Army-level asset and would have operated 6-15mi/10-25km behind the front lines. Each battalion consisted of three batteries and a technical (radar) company. 

So what should a battery consist of? Three TELs, two of which were armed with Krug B and one with Krug A:
four reload trucks:
and one Pat Hand radar vehicle:
Each battalion was also equipped with eight ZSU-23-4 self-propelled antiaircraft vehicles:
for close-in air defense, two of which accompanied each battery and two for the technical section. And finally, a BTR-60PU-12 antiaircraft battery command vehicle:

The separate radar unit, which served all three of the battalion's batteries, would have been a Long Track:
and a Thin Skin, with its accompanying generator truck:
I chose a simple UAZ-469 command vehicle for this one:
There would also be two ZSU-23-4s.

Unfortunately, some sources list only one reload truck per battery (only one reload missile for a unit that uses six!?!) and that's what Marcin has provided, but in reality, it was four trucks per battery. As the pack has only the three, I didn't feel it was worth $12.50 for a second pack just to get the one missing truck, so I'll just have to have three for my battery. And here it is:
Obviously, in reality, the TELs would never be packed in so closely, but wargaming requires some tweaks.
and the commander:
I added an MT-LB to accompany the Pat Hand, as the stand needed something else and I doubt the radar vehicle traveled alone. 

Here's my radar section:
a Long Track:
with an MT-LB for the same reason, and a Thin Skin:
with the generator truck and the section commander's UAZ-469. 

You generally see the missiles painted a light grey or left in bare metal, but as usual for me, I don't see this happening in real wartime conditions. You can see in the top photo of a TEL that they did sometimes paint the missiles green, which seems more sensible to me, so I have done the same.

That's it for this post. More next weekend!


  1. Great post. Nice collection of photos of the actual thing, and the miniatures look great.