152-mm Howitzer D-1 Model 1943,Technical Details – USSR

152-mm Howitzer D-1 Model 1943 Specifications

  • Years of production-1943-1949
  • Total issued-2,827 units.
  • Caliber-152 mm
  • Weight in combat position-3600 kg
  • Barrel length-4207 mm
  • Length of the threaded part – 3117 mm
  • Calculation – 10 people
  • Driving speed-up to 40 km / h
  • Rate of fire-3-4 rounds / min
  • Maximum firing range-12,400 m
  • Direct shot range-850 m
  • Firing angles:
  • Horizontal – 35 °
  • Vertical -3 ° + 63 °

152-mm Howitzer D-1 Details

After the defeat of the German-Fascist troops at Stalingrad, when it became clear that the initiative had firmly passed to the Red Army, it needed a large number of powerful, but relatively light and maneuverable field guns capable of effectively destroying the enemy’s long- term defensive structures for broad offensive operations. In accordance with the Red Army’s weapons system, the 152-mm M-10 howitzer of the 1938 model, created by the Design Bureau under the leadership of FF, was intended to break into heavily fortified enemy defenses.Petrov.

By June 22, 1941, there were 1,058 M-10 howitzers in the Red Army. However, with the outbreak of war, their production was stopped, and the restoration of their production required a long time. In addition, due to its heavy weight and low maneuverability, the M-10 did not fully meet the needs of the war. Anticipating that howitzers of this caliber would be required by the Red Army in significant quantities, at the end of 1942, the FF Petrov Design Bureau began to design a new 152-mm howitzer with the D-1 index on its own initiative. It was a superimposition of the barrel with the ballistics of the 152-mm M-10 howitzer on the well-mastered carriage of the 122-mm M-30 howitzer. This approach made it possible to create a light but powerful howitzer using components already mastered in production.

At the beginning of 1943, FF Petrov informed the People’s Commissar of Armaments of the USSR DF Ustinov about the new project, and on April 13 of the same year, DF Ustinov informed FF Petrov about the decision of the State Defense Committee to supply 5 copies of the new howitzer by May 1, 1943 for field testing. The team of designers, engineers, and workers of plant No. 9 managed to complete the government task on time. Only 18 days were spent on designing, manufacturing five prototypes and testing them with firing.

On May 1, 1943, 152-mm D-1 howitzers were sent for state tests at the Gorokhovets test site, where on May 5 their tests began, which fully justified the hopes of F.F. Petrov for the strength of the carriage structure. The range and accuracy of the howitzer was quite satisfactory. But the special joy among the artillerymen was caused by the fact that when deploying from the march, when changing positions and preparing for firing, time was spent several times less than before.

On May 7, based on the test results, a report was signed in which the gun, after eliminating a number of minor flaws, was recommended for adoption, and at the end of May, by the GKO decree, the gun was put into service under the official name “152-mm howitzer D-1, model 1943” …

FF Petrov in the new howitzer used a wide unification of components and parts with those of already manufactured guns. So, the carriage with two sliding frames, recoil mechanisms and sighting devices were taken from the 122-mm M-30 howitzer, and the piston bolt was borrowed from the 152-mm ML-20 howitzer gun.

To reduce recoil, a two-chamber muzzle brake was mounted on the barrel of the 152-mm M-10 howitzer, which absorbed up to 30% of the recoil energy when fired. To lighten the guns, for the first time, they abandoned the traditional front end, which was usually equipped with guns with a similar mass, which made it possible, in comparison with the M-10 howitzer, to reduce the marching weight by almost a ton and the combat weight by 500 kg; reduce the time for transferring the gun from the traveling position – to the combat position and back to 2 minutes; relieve it of the mechanisms for pulling the barrel to the stowed position and back, as well as the shutter locking mechanism.

Due to the fact that the carriage of the
M-30 howitzer used in the creation of the D-1 howitzer was reinforced (the pins and the front cage of the cradle, suspension, larger diameter wheels with rubber tires filled with spongy rubber were used), the permissible speed of its towing on asphalt or flat ground road was up to 40 km / h, on cobblestones – up to 30 km / h, and off-road – up to 10 km / h.

The howitzer’s ammunition included shots of separate loading with fragmentation, high-explosive fragmentation and concrete-piercing shells. If necessary, concrete-piercing shells were successfully used to combat tanks. The firing range of the high-explosive fragmentation projectile was 12400 m. When the fuse was installed on the fragmentation action, the projectile fragments flew over an area of ​​2100 square meters. m: 70 m in front and up to 30 m in depth. If the fuse was set for high-explosive action, then when the projectile exploded in the soil of medium density, a funnel with a diameter of 3.5 m and a depth of about 1.2 m was formed.

The adoption of the mobile and powerful D-1 howitzer in 1943 increased the capabilities of corps artillery regiments and artillery divisions of the RGK, where it began to enter service, to break through in advance and well-fortified defensive zones and areas of the enemy. These howitzers took an active part in hostilities already in the Battle of Kursk and subsequent battles in 1944-1945.

The gun was used for firing from closed positions at the entrenched and openly located enemy manpower, its fortifications and barriers, objects in its immediate rear. A concrete-piercing shell was successfully used to defeat enemy tanks and self-propelled guns in self-defense. The experience of the combat use of the 152-mm D-1 howitzer showed that it is a very reliable weapon, has high firing accuracy and good survivability.Thanks to the widespread use of parts and assemblies already mastered in production, the serial production of 152-mm D-1 howitzers was established at the UZTM No. 9 plant in just a month and a half – already in July 1943. Their release lasted until 1949. However, during the Great Patriotic War, this gun did not go into a large series due to the extreme workload of the plant with the release of the 122-mm M-30 howitzer, so in 1943-1945 only 1057 D-1 howitzers were manufactured.

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