The Soviet 4M GAZ-AAA
In the late 1920’s the Soviet Union adopted the GAZ-AAA truck, a six wheeled, 50 horsepower vehicle which was an improved copy of the Ford AAA. The truck served a variety of roles including supply transport, troop transport, gun carrier, and fuel tanker. One of it’s more unique roles was that of mobile anti-aircraft platform. In 1931 the 4M GAZ-AAA was created after being mounted with four Maxim Model 1910/30 machine guns on a 360 degree traversable mount. The M1910/30 was chambered in 7.62x54R and had a firing rate of 600 rounds per minute while being fed from a 250 round belt.
When the 4M GAZ AAA was introduced in 1931 it was certainly sufficient for it’s anti-aircraft role. It’s four machine guns produced more than enough firepower to flick any airplane out of the sky, this being at a time when most military aircraft were comparatively slow and unarmored biplanes. However with World War II came a wide variety of fast and heavily armored aircraft. The 7.62x54R cartridge lacked the range to hit enemy aircraft and the penetrating power to do much damage. It did see use in 1941, often being utilized against enemy infantry. However without any armor it was very vulnerable in combat. The GAZ would later be outfitted with 25mm and 37mm autocannon making it more effective in it’s anti-aircraft role