Hunting for tanks, as Soviet guns stopped the Nazi armored vehicles
Material posted: Publication date: 08-05-2017
The outcome of the great Patriotic war is largely decided by the Soviet designers. They have developed a weapon is characterized by simplicity, ruggedness and reliability. In 1941, the 22 day was created by an anti-tank gun of system of Degtyarev and Simonov. For two years they remained the most effective way against Nazi armor. RT talks about the history of these guns and their contribution to the Victory.

Tanks solve everything

The fundamental difference of the Second world war from the First world was repeated increasing the role of armor. Success on the battlefield is mainly provided powerful mobile units.

In Soviet and Russian historiography it is widely believed that a radical change in the great Patriotic war (Second world...

By 1941, for the needs of the worker-peasant red Army (RKKA) was released a few thousand tanks, including hundreds of T-34. However, Soviet troops did not have sufficient experience of using tanks. In addition, the country has not managed to create fully-fledged industry maintenance tank formations. As a consequence, the level of training of the Soviet tank was worse than the German.

In the summer of 1941 the Nazis had achieved superiority over the red army by the number of tanks and other armored vehicles. In some parts of the front of the advancing armored forces of the Wehrmacht was only stopped by lack of fuel and lubricants.

For objective reasons within a few months the Soviet Union could not manufacture new tanks and repair damaged armored vehicles. So in early July 1941, Stalin set the task to create a simple and effective weapon for the destruction of armored vehicles of the Nazis.

At the beginning of the war were re-tested anti-tank rifle (PTR) Nikolai Rukavishnikov under the large-caliber cartridge 14.5 mm.

Anti-tank rifle (PTR) Nikolai Rukavishnikov
© Wikimedia

Specialists of the people's Commissariat of defense of the USSR admitted that the gun surpasses foreign analogues. However, the experts noted that the complexity of the design of PTR Rukavishnikova not possible to establish rapid and mass production in war.

The country urgently needed more simple guns chambered for 14.5 mm. In 22 days with this challenge two brilliant Soviet designer Vasiliy Degtyarev and Sergey Simonov. In August 1941, they presented the prototypes which soon was adopted and put into mass production.

Both guns were extremely easy to operate. Soldiers mastered weapons for several hours. Degtyarev antitank rifle (ptrd) was scored and constructive simplicity — it is made on conventional lathes.


To stop the advance


Ptrd single shot pierced the armor at a distance of 500 m. the Soviet soldiers used the gun to destroy tanks, armored vehicles, bunkers and even low-flying aircraft.

Contrary to popular belief, in 1941-1942, the Nazis were not tailorwikirules tanks. The famous German "Tiger" and "Panther" against which was useless Soviet antitank rifles, appeared on the Eastern front in 1943.

Its effectiveness ptrd proved in the battle of Moscow, where infantry units of the red army clashed in an unequal battle with the leading armored units of the Wehrmacht. It is known that guns Degtyareva used the legendary 8th guards rifle division Ivan Panfilov who committed the immortal feat in October-November 1941 in Volokolamsk direction.

A huge role ptrd played in halting the Nazi offensive in 1942, when infantry of the red army received 184 thousand of guns is 11 times greater than in 1941. the Soviet army managed to stabilize the front, inflicting large losses of the shock groups of the opponent.

In 1943 the red army had achieved superiority in almost all indicators, including armored vehicles, and moved into a large-scale offensive.

© Wikimedia
By 1944, the need for mass use ptrd was gone, and in December its production was discontinued.

In their reports and memoirs of Nazi generals noted that the ptrd troops took them a lot of trouble. The soldiers were aiming at the chassis, the ammunition, Board and food. One shot to stop the tank failed, but the hit was almost one hundred percent.

Sometimes in Russian media can be found the comparison with ptrd sniper rifle. In reality, shooting at the tanks was at a distance of 100-200 m, the sight consisted of a conventional bracket, a rear sight with a slot and springs. The calculation of the gun — shooter and loader.

On 16 April 1945, Soviet troops launched an offensive on the capital of Nazi Germany. The red army carried out the operation without the participation of...

The soldiers took a big risk, but in 1941-1942, compared to Molotov cocktails and grenades, which were thrown from a distance of five to ten meters, really seemed ptrd sniper rifle.

The shortcomings of the gun of system of Degtyarev was cumbersome (weight 17,3 kg, length 2 m), monstrously strong returns and a relatively large time interval between shots.

Improved rate of fire possessed anti-tank rifle Simonov (PTW) thanks to store (a so-called bundle) with five cartridges. PTSD was heavier (weight is 20.9 kg, length 2.1 m) and structurally more complex than the ptrd, but was superior to the competitor conditional on the number of shots per minute, which at times was crucial.

Sergej Simonow G. (center), soviet small-arms desinger, during tests of a new version of the PTRS anti tank rifle (august 1943)
© Wikimedia
On the complexity of design rifle Simonov was something of a cross between the PTR Rukavishnikova and single-shot gun Degtyarev. The calculation of PTRs also consisted of two people, but the gun was easier to carry: if necessary, it was dealt with in two parts — the barrel with the bipod and the receiver with the butt.

PTR calculations were organized into separate platoons, composed of infantry formations. As a rule, in one regiment, stationed on the front line, consisted of three platoons of soldiers, armed with ptrd or PTRs.

In 1941-1942 gun Degtyarev and Simonov was the cheapest way to defeat enemy armored vehicles.

Recoilless rifles

The Creator of the online encyclopedia modern firearms of the twentieth century, Maxim Popenker in an interview with RT said that until 1943, the Soviet Union was by any means necessary to fight the Nazi armored vehicles. Anti-tank guns within a few months was uncontested on the effectiveness of weapons.

It is considered that the Great Patriotic war ended on 9 may 1945. However, for example, Prague offensive operation...
"Anti-tank weapons were given at least some opportunity to hit the enemy tanks in the distance. Not always able to penetrate the armor due to a lack of powerful ammunition, had plenty of operational problems related to the operation in severe conditions, dust, dirt. But the emergence of even bulky ptrd and PTRs, no doubt, helped to stop the German offensive," — said Popenker.

Chief editor of the gun magazine "Kalashnikov" Mikhail Degtyarev believes that the ptrd was more effective than the PTSD. According to him, in the harsh conditions of war to the forefront came the ruggedness and simplicity of the weapon.

"The likelihood of breakage or failure of the gun Simonov was higher. Although I would not began to perceive ptrd as something quite primitive. For the shot was only necessary to invest in the gun and close the bolt. It is a matter of a few seconds," — said Degtyarev.

According to him, the manipulation of the shutter, which can be seen in the films about the war, due to the fact that used a blank cartridge not working the weapon. In addition, the expert notes that towards the end of the war guns Simon and Degtereva become less relevant.

"During the great Patriotic war was produced hundreds of thousands of anti-tank guns, and at the initial stage of their application is decided by the outcome of the battle. By the end of the war the importance of the ptrd and PTRs have decreased, because the armor became heavier," said Degtyarev.

Alex Nakvasin, Christina Khlusova


Tags: AME