85-mm Anti-aircraft Gun 52-k,The USSR

  • Years of issue – 1939 – 1945
  • In total, -13422 units were produced.
  • Caliber – 85 mm
  • Weight in firing position – 4500 kg
  • Barrel length – 4693 mm
  • The length of the threaded part – 3493 mm
  • Calculation – 7 people
  • Travel speed – 35 km / h
  • Rate of fire – 20 rds / min
  • Maximum firing range -15650
    Direct fire range – no data
  • Shooting angles:
  • Horizontal – 360 °
  • Vertical – 3 ° + 82 °

By the end of the 1930s, the leadership of the Red Army came to the conclusion that a sharp increase in the speeds and “ceiling” of aircraft, an increase in their survivability in the next few years would lead to obsolescence of the existing air defense weapons, and this requires an increase in the height reach of anti-aircraft guns and an increase in power projectile.

In 1937, in the design bureau of plant number 8 named. MI Kalinin (settlement Podlipki, Moscow region) under the leadership of M.N. Loginov, engineer Dorokhin G.D. presented his project of an anti-aircraft gun, providing for the imposition of a new 85-mm barrel on the carriage of the standard 76-mm 3-K anti-aircraft gun. When choosing a caliber, he proceeded from the need to obtain a high initial velocity of the projectile and such a mass of the shot that would make possible a sufficiently long operation of the loader. Such requirements were most successfully combined in the 85 mm caliber, with a projectile mass of 9.2 kg and a shot mass of 15.1 kg. It was planned that the initial velocity of the projectile will be 800 m / s. Much for this new cannon, designated “52-K”, was borrowed from the 76-mm anti-aircraft gun of the 1938 model (primarily the bolt and semi-automatic).

Already in January 1938, a new anti-aircraft gun, representing an 85-mm barrel mounted on a 3-K carriage, arrived at the Research Anti-Aircraft Artillery Range (NIZAP), where field tests were carried out in the summer and autumn of the same year. The main advantage of the 85-mm anti-aircraft gun, compared to its predecessor, the 76-mm anti-aircraft gun of the 1938 model, is the increased power of the projectile, which created a greater amount of damage in the target area. At the same time, during the tests, the need to install a muzzle brake and increase the supporting surface of the bolt wedge and the breech socket was revealed.

The polygon recommended this weapon for adoption as a corps anti-aircraft gun. Modified, in accordance with these recommendations, the gun in the same year was adopted by the air defense forces and units of the military anti-aircraft artillery of the Red Army under the name “85-mm anti-aircraft gun of the 1939 model.”

The gun consisted of: a barrel with a bolt, a cradle with recoil devices, a swivel with aiming mechanisms, a counterbalancing mechanism, sighting devices and a shield cover, as well as a pedestal and platform with forward and reverse moves. The fastened barrel consisted of a casing, a free pipe, a breech and a multi-slot muzzle brake, which absorbed about 30% of the recoil energy. The shutter is a wedge vertical semi-automatic. Automation – inertial type.

Opening, extracting the liner and closing the bolt was done automatically, loading and firing a shot – manually. The presence of semi-automatic mechanisms ensured the rate of fire of the gun up to 20 rounds per minute. The recoil devices consisted of a recoil brake and a recoil brake. Rollback brake – hydraulic, spool type, was mounted inside the cradle box, under the barrel. The presence of a mechanism of variable rollback length, which depended on the elevation angle, ensured the stability of the system during firing at all elevation angles, and also excluded the possibility of hitting the breech of the barrel against the platform at large elevation angles. The reel is hydraulic, mounted in the cradle holder above the barrel. When rolling back, the cylinders of the recoil devices remained stationary.

To balance the swinging part (consisting of a cradle with a barrel and recoil devices) at all elevation angles there was a push-type spring balancing mechanism. The lifting and turning mechanisms had 2 guidance speeds, and the vertical and horizontal guidance drives were only manual. The carriage borrowed from the 76-mm anti-aircraft gun made it possible to conduct circular fire with vertical angles from -3 ° to + 82 °.

The four-wheeled platform ZU-8 was created in 1938 at the Bryansk plant named after I. Kirov under the leadership of A.P. Belov. Each wheel was individually sprung. The forward course was pivotally connected to the frame. The forward and reverse gears are rotary (only forward in the cannons of the war period). In the combat position, the side supports were retracted to the sides and secured, and the course turned along with the wheels. To raise and lower the system from the combat position to the stowed position and back, there were special spring mechanisms – compensators. The transfer of the gun from the traveling position to the combat position and vice versa took one minute for a well-trained crew.

To control the fire on the 85-mm anti-aircraft gun 52-K from 1939 to 1942, sighting devices were mounted with an aiming line independent of the gun and a horizontal goniometer table, and from 1942 to 1944, sighting devices with a dependent aiming line and an inclined protractor table were assembled on it. … For the convenience of the calculation, sighting devices with an independent aiming line and a horizontal goniometer table were located on both sides of the barrel. To improve the accuracy of firing at air targets, the batteries of 85-mm anti-aircraft guns were equipped with PUAZO-3 artillery anti-aircraft fire control devices, which made it possible to solve the problem of meeting and developing coordinates of the lead point of the target at a distance of 700 – 12000 m, and an altitude of up to 9600 m with a base size of up to 2000 m.

The PUAZO-3 used an electric synchronous transmission of the generated data to the guns, which ensured the rate of fire and its accuracy, as well as the ability to fire at maneuvering targets. For firing with PUAZO, the gun was supplied with receiving devices of azimuth and elevation angles, which were fixed motionless on a swivel. The installation of fuses using the receiving device of the fuse installer was carried out both according to PUAZO data and at the command of the commander.In addition to PUAZO devices, radar detection stations for RUS (RUS – aircraft radio catchers) were also used to control the fire of 85-mm anti-aircraft guns operating in the main directions. The radar station RUS-1, produced since 1938, had a detection range of air targets of 80 – 90 km, and the station RUS-2 “Redut”, which appeared in 1943, to carry out rough target designation – up to 120 km.

The design features of the 85-mm anti-aircraft gun, the presence of a wide range of ammunition made it possible to use it for firing both at air targets and for hitting enemy manpower, destroying its firing points and mobile armored targets. For firing from the 85-mm anti-aircraft gun of the 1939 model, unitary shots with fragmentation were used; armor-piercing tracer and subcaliber armor-piercing tracer shells. When firing at aircraft, the rupture of fragmentation anti-aircraft projectiles occurred at the point of the trajectory corresponding to the installation of a remote fuse.The presence of a thermo-smoke bomb in the projectile caused a bright flash of light and a thick cloud of brown smoke when the projectile burst, which ensured good visibility of the gap at all combat altitudes and at distances of up to 10 km, both during the day and at night. Targets were hit by the formation of up to 500 fragments weighing 5 grams and more. Armor-piercing tracer shells weighing 9.2 kg were used to destroy tanks, self-propelled guns and other armored targets. When a projectile hits the armor, it pierces it, and then explodes behind it, inflicting damage with explosive charge gases and shrapnel.When firing at a 60 ° meeting angle, the projectile pierced armor with a thickness of 9 1 mm at a distance of 500 m, and 85 mm at a distance of 1000 m. When fired, the gases of the tracer composition of the projectile in flight left a clearly visible trail of fire, greatly facilitating the adjustment of fire when firing at fast-moving targets. The 85-mm armor-piercing tracer projectile weighing 4.9 kg had an even greater armor-piercing ability.

85-mm anti-aircraft guns of the 1939 model of the year were widely used by units of the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War, both on the front line and in the rear to protect factories, railway junctions, administrative centers and other significant objects from enemy air raids. On June 22, 1941, the Red Army was armed with 2630 85-mm 52-K anti-aircraft guns. In the very first massive raid on Moscow on the night of July 21-22, 1941, Soviet air defense units shot down more than 10% of Hitler’s bombers. During the war, fascist aviation carried out 134 raids on Moscow.About 9,000 aircraft took part in them, but only 243 enemy vehicles managed to break through to the city, 1,392 aircraft were destroyed by air defense systems, of which 267 were destroyed by anti-aircraft artillery. Thus, the air defense of Moscow and other large administrative and industrial centers of the country, unparalleled in history, demonstrated the correctness of the methods of countering aircraft developed before the war and the high combat qualities of air defense artillery: artillery anti-aircraft fire control devices (PUAZO) and 85-mm anti-aircraft guns 52-K …

The 85-mm cannons of the 1939 model were in service with the RVGK anti-aircraft artillery divisions, which consisted of three small-caliber anti-aircraft artillery regiments and one medium-caliber guns regiment (16 85-mm cannons and 48 37-mm cannons). Designed to combat enemy aircraft, for firing at airborne assault forces, at live ground targets and enemy firing points, these guns were also successfully used until 1942 to destroy Nazi tanks.So, a significant part of the 85-mm anti-aircraft guns were used as anti-aircraft guns, for example, according to the 1940 state, in 10 anti-tank artillery brigades formed before the war, along with others, there should have been 24 85-mm anti-aircraft guns used as anti-tank … However, in fact, the number of 85-mm guns in these brigades was 48 and more. Every tank and mechanized corps of the Red Army had an anti-tank division (8 85 mm anti-aircraft guns) during almost the entire war.

If during the Great Patriotic War all ground-based air defense systems shot down 21,645 enemy aircraft, then the share of medium-caliber anti-aircraft artillery (mostly 85 guns) accounts for 4,047 aircraft. The average consumption of shells per shot down aircraft was 598 pieces. On the basis of the 85-mm anti-aircraft gun, tank guns for the SU-85 and T-34/85 were created. After the end of the war, part of the 85-mm anti-aircraft guns 52-K was withdrawn from the armament of the Soviet army and was converted for peaceful use in mountainous areas as avalanche anti-avalanche guns.

The production of 52-K was mastered at the plant №8 named after. Kalinin, which until the winter of 1941 -1942 was located in the village. Podlipki (Moscow region), and then was evacuated to Sverdlovsk, where from 1941 to 1944 11,750 85-mm anti-aircraft guns of the 1939 model were manufactured.

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