ZSU-57-2

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The ZSU 57-2 was the first successful post-WW2 SPAAG (self-propelled anti-air gun) designed by the Soviet Union, meant to provide air cover for the Soviet tank brigades from capitalist jets of the 50s and 60s. Nicknamed the 'Sparka' (pair) by the Soviet Union, the vehicle is essentially a T-54 chassis with a pair of 57mm autocannons designed to knock slow flying planes out of the skies, and firing at ground targets with very deadly force.

In Team Yankee[edit]

The ZSU-57-2 functions as the anti-armour older brother to the Shilka, trading Radar for additional ground range up to 24", AT9, FP 4+ and a ROF of 3/2. Uniquely in Team Yankee, this is one of the only anti-air units whose threat bubble is only good enough for surrounding units and not three-quarters of the table. The special rule manual tracking gives the ZSU a penalty when trying to engage aircraft. Unable to touch most helicopters firing ATGMs, its guns struggle to hit most ATGM helicopters and virtually all aircraft. In fact, the only time this unit can fufil its AA role is against Hinds or US players hovering Cobras right over your head.

Unlike the Shilka, the ZSU-57-2 has some very deadly weapons when targetting ground vehicles. It automatically penetrates anything with a front armour of two, and IFVs like the Marder will have to roll 5 or better to avoid bailing or burning up. FP4+ may not be the most reliable, but outperforms all autocannons from the M247 Sergeant York. In terms of raw firepower, the ZSU is deadlier than the SA-13 Gopher with an additional shot but it lacks the range of its counterpart. Fortunately, using the two of these AA units gives you a very respectable air-cover umbrella with the Gremlins shooting whatever the ZSUs cannot.

The ZSU boasts a front armour of two, sides of one but top armour 0. However, the low range of its 57mm guns means that you should be attacking with this unit as much as possible. Employed as a light tank or an IFV, it comfortably keeps pace with a company of T-72Ms but leaves them totally vulnerable to most air threats.

Mediocre anti-air (except against Hinds), solid ground support unit.

A unit of ZSUs comes in at 1 point for two, and 2 points for four vehicles.

IRL[edit]

An Iraqi ZSU, ready to shoot down some Skyhawks like its 1973.

The ZSU-57-2 had a similar development history to the more famous ZSU 23-4 Shilka, to fill a need for SPAAGs that could hit harder than older machinegun mounts, but the Soviets quickly found the weapon to be lacking due to its lack of search and fire-control radar, inadequate rate of fire, and slow traverse. They were quickly replaced by Shilkas starting in the 1960s. A handful of other countries adopted and then replaced their ZSUs as well, though Chinese-manufactured versions ended up selling relatively well in the Middle East, particularly with new proximity fuse ammunition to turn them into modernized flak cannons. They also saw more limited action in Vietnam and the Yugoslav wars.

Iranian Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: T-55 - T-62 - M60 Patton - Chieftain
Transports: M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
Troops: Iranian Mechanized Platoon - Basij Infantry Company
Artillery: M109 Howitzer - BM-21 Hail - M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier
Anti-Aircraft: ZSU 23-4 Shilka - ZSU-57-2 - SA-8 Gecko
Tank Hunters: Jeep TOW - M113 106mm Recoilless
Recon: Scorpion
Aircraft: AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter
Soviet Support: SU-25 Frogfoot