Hello again everyone,
Slight change of topic here as I slip beyond the fateful V.E. barrier despite the thread title.
I figured that no one would be interested in a new thread specifically for what's coming, and that I'd better expand the time scope of this one a bit.
We left the Soviet Union at the end of the Great Patriotic War with coastal and riverine units equipped with a bewildering array of small gunboats (mostly variants of Projects 1124 and 1125) and a small amount of larger monitors, all of which carried standard Army weapons.
Already in 1944, a project was started to replace both Projects 1124 and 1125. Despite the end of the war, the replacement project was pursued in the form of Projects 190 and 191, with broadly the same displacements and operational concepts as Projects 1124 and 1125. The larger Project 190 was abandoned before lay-down as combat experience proved the uselessness of the dual-draft concept.
The resulting Project 191 embodied the lessons from Pr.1125 into a brand new low-profile hull, and used at last the MK-85 turret that had started design at the beginning of the war. In contrast to the T-34 turrets used so far, this mounting matched a standard 85mm tank gun with a new, specially designed turret with lighter armor, easier construction, and more importantly, a maximum fire elevation way beyond that of a tank turret, that allowed it both indirect fire against shore targets and retaliation against ambushes from higher banks, in steep river corridors and urban waterways.
The initial Project 191 ended up not being produced in series.
Instead, it gave rise to the upgrade Project 191M, which can be easily distinguished by the new machine gun turrets, replacing the WW2-vintage DShKM-2B 12.7mm MGs with the newer 2M6 turret with twin KPVT 14.5mm.
Another new requirement was for better strategic mobility, and the boat was designed with removable and foldable parts (masts, turrets...) to ease the tying down on standard train cars, equipped for the occasion with dedicated clamp mountings. The prepped boat would normally be transported under a tarpaulin, omitted here for clarity.
This final version would end up with over 100 produced, serving in the Soviet Navy, the KGB Border Guards and the Indonesian navy.