The Katyusha (Russian: Катюша Katyusha) was a Soviet multiple rocket launcher artillery vehicle designed in 1939 and used by the Red Army during World War II. It was composed of a simple transport truck mounted with a large rail structure used to mount and launch rockets in rapid succession. It had many variants, some using original Soviet-designed trucks, and some using American lend-leased tucks, and used different caliber rockets. One of the most used variants was the BM-13 (as seen in Battlefield 1942) which fired 132mm rockets from 16 rails. The Katyusha had a reputation for being inaccurate, but since it fired in salvos, its power proved to be very destructive on the battlefield. It was later developed into more effective vehicles, such as the BM-21.
In Battlefield 1942, the Katyusha is the Red Army's self-propelled artillery. It is a unique vehicle in the game. It has space for two players: one driver and one gunner. The driver only has the ability to drive, having no weapons available. The gunner controls the rocket launcher.
Its gunner position can fire a salvo of 6 rockets per reload, each more or less equal in impact power to a rocket from a Panzerschreck or Bazooka, but with a huge blast radius, just a bit less than that of a Wespe. The gunner can easily kill a large group of infantry, and it may take only a single rocket if they are close together. 6 rockets that hit the front of a Tiger can destroy it. The rocket rails are affected slightly by some recoil, though this is minimal and they can recover very quickly. The Katyusha has tremendous range as well. If perched on top of a high area, such as the hill on Kharkov, it can fire its rockets just about anywhere on the map. Usually the gunner in Katyusha cannot fire to the front side of the vehicle due to the truck itself is blocking the view.
Where the Katyusha excels in power, it loses in armor and maneuverability. It has more or less the same armor and health of a Willys MB or Kubelwagen, but with much less speed, and it is a bigger target. One shot from a heavy tank, medium tank, rocket launcher, or two grenades can destroy the Katyusha as well as small arms fire. This means that the Katyusha is not meant to come into close contact with the enemy, but should rather stay behind the front lines and bombard enemy positions.