85 mm divisional gun D-44
The 85-mm divisional gun D-44 was a Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 divisional 85-mm calibre field artillery
Field artillery
Field artillery is a category of mobile artillery used to support armies in the field. These weapons are specialized for mobility, tactical proficiency, long range, short range and extremely long range target engagement....

 gun used after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. It was designed as the replacement for the 76 mm divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3). The gun is no longer in front-line service with the Russian Ground Forces
Russian Ground Forces
The Russian Ground Forces are the land forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. The formation of these forces posed economic challenges after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and required reforms to professionalize the force...

, although some 200 of the Chinese Type 56 variant are still in service with the Pakistan Army
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

. Wartime service included use by communist forces during the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 and by Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 forces during their conflicts with Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...



The design of the D-44 started in 1943 at the design bureau of No.9 factory "Uralmash
Uralmash is a heavy machine production facility of the Russian engineering corporation OMZ. The facility is located in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The surrounding residential area where workers live is also called Uralmash....

" and production began in late 1945. Its GRAU
Grau is a German word meaning "gray" and a Catalan word meaning "grade". It may refer to:* BAP Almirante Grau , a De Zeven Provinciën class cruiser in service with the Peruvian Navy* Grau Käse, Tyrolean grey cheese...

 code was 52-P-367. The SD-44 was a 1950s variant with an auxiliary propulsion unit and ammunition box for 10 rounds, with 697 issued to the airborne forces (VDV) from 1954. The D-44N was a 1960s variant with an APN 3-7 infra-red illumination device for night combat. China received D-44's during the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 and began manufacturing a copy, the Type 56, in the early 1960s. Finally, the Polish Army has equipped some of their D-44 guns with electrical subsystems in the early 1980s and designated them D-44M and D-44MN.

The barrel was developed from that of the T-34-85 tank and was capable of firing 20-25 high explosive (HE), armor piercing, and high explosive antitank (HEAT) projectiles per minute. Subcaliber BR-365P HVAP-T (high velocity armor piercing-tracer) projectiles were capable of penetrating 100mm of armor at 1000 meters at a ninety-degree obliquity, and the BR-367P HVAP-T projectile penetrates 180mm of armor under the same conditions. The O-365K HE round 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 300mm of armor. The HEAT round for the Type 56 has a maximum range of 970 meters and will penetrate 100mm of armor at an angle of 65 degrees.

The gun uses GAZ-AA tires, and is towed by a 2.5t truck or a Ya-12 tractor with the average speed of 20-25km/h on surfaced roads, and 11km/h over open terrain, with a maximum towing speed over asphalt roadway of about 55km/h. The SD-44's auxiliary propulsion unit M-72 of 14 hp can move the gun at road speeds up to 25 km/h.

The gun uses the OP-2-7 sight with 5.5x magnification for day combat. The sight permits target acquisition at 1500 meters.
Performance of D-44 and comparable weapons
Explosive projectiles and range
Weapon Projectile Weight (Bursting charge), kg Maximum range, meters
85 mm D-44 (firing O-365K) 9.5 (0.74) 15,650
25 Pounder Mk II (firing HE Mk. I D) 11.33 (0.82) 12,253
8.8 cm FlaK 18 (firing SprGr L4.5) 9.4 (0.87) 14,815
90 mm M3 (firing M71) 10.64 (0.93) 17,337
Data taken from Janes (1982), The American Arsenal, German Artillery of World War Two, and tarrif.net.


The D-44 was produced from 1945 until 1953. During the years 1948-1950, over two thousand D-44's were produced per year. The D-44 also served as the basis from which the 85 mm antitank gun D-48
85 mm antitank gun D-48
The 85-mm antitank gun D-48 was a Soviet 85-mm calibre antitank gun used after World War II. It was designed as the replacement for the 100 mm field gun M1944 . Distinguishing features of the D-48 include a very long barrel and a pepper-pot Muzzle brake. The D-48 was itself replaced in the 1960s...

 was developed and also the RPU-14
The BM-14 , is a Soviet-made 140mm multiple rocket launcher, fielded by the Soviet Union.The BM-14 can fire rockets fitted with chemical , smoke or high-explosive fragmentation warheads...

 multiple rocket launcher uses the D-44's carriage.

Use by other nations

By the 1950s, the D-44 had been exported for use by Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 nations, with the gun remaining in service with the East German National People's Army
National People's Army
The National People’s Army were the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic .The NVA was established in 1956 and disestablished in 1990. There were frequent reports of East German advisors with Communist African countries during the Cold War...

 until the fall of the East Germany
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

. Besides Pakistan and East Germany, other users include(d) Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China (Type 56), Cuba, Egypt, Georgia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Laos, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Poland, Romania, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, and Vietnam.

External links

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