85 mm divisional gun mod.1944 D-44

85 mm divisional gun mod.1944 D-44

Russian divisional gun model 1944 caliber 85 mm was developed in 1943-44 in the Department 9 of „Uralmasz” factory in Sverdlovsk under the direction of chief designer, F. F. Petrov. Its creation resulted from the experience of war, when it became apparent that the existing standard tank and antitank guns caliber 76.2 mm (i.e. 76,2 mm field gun ZiS-3) are not able to effectively combat the new German tanks and self-propelled guns. After removing the defects found during testing of a new gun, they adopted as standard armament and started to produce in 1945 as D-44. Guns were used by units to destroy tanks and other vehicles, manpower, field fortifications and enemy artillery positions. It uses various ammunition: high-explosive (HE), armor-piercing, and high-explosive antitank (HEAT) and subcaliber HVAP-T (high velocity armor-piercing-tracer). The post-war round O-365K HE weighed 9.5 kg and packed 741 grams of TNT as its bursting charge, while the BK-2M HEAT-FS (fin-stabilized) projectile can penetrate 300 mm of armor. Gun D-44 was used mainly at the divisional or regimental level. Total production 10 800 pieces of this type.

An interesting version was the cannon SD-44 equipped with its own auxillary propulsion unit (engine taken from M-72 motorbike) for rapid changes of the position of fire by its crew without using artillery tractor.

85 mm D-44 gun is still used by Polish Army by its artillery training centres.

Technical specification:

Crew: 6-8 soldiers

Caliber: 85 mm

Barrel length: 4685 mm

Breech: semi-automatic vertical sliding block

Weight in combat position: 1725 kg

The length of the gun in transport position: 8.34 m

Rate of fire: 20 rpm

Initial muzzle velocity: 793 – 1050 m / s (depending on the ammunition)

Armor penetration at 90 deg. at a distance of 1000m: 95-110 mm (wartime ammunition)

Max. firing range: 15650 m