85mm Air Defense Gun Model 1939 (52-K) At The Machine-Building Plant Named After Kalinin No. 8

Soviet workers inspect finished 85 mm (3.35 inch) zenitnaja puška (air defense gun) Model 1939 (52-K) at the Machine-Building Plant named after Kalinin No. 8 in Sverdlov. Ural Federal District. This factory started in 1866 in St. Petersburg by Alexander II, then moved to the Kaliningrad neighborhood of Moscow in 1918. These anti-aircraft guns were just beginning mass production when the plant was ordered to move to Sverdlov to avoid the German advance in October 1941. The Model 1939 (52-K) became the standard Red Army anti-aircraft weapon. 13,422 were produced during the war. The gun was served by a crew of seven and could send a 20-pound (9.2 kilogram) high explosive shell to 25,000 feet (7,620 meters). The Model 1939 (52-K) was adopted as an anti-tank weapon when the T-34 tank needed to be up gunned to defeat the armor of the German Panther and Tiger panzers. The 85mm gun was the functional equivalent of the German 88mm gun, serving in both the anti-aircraft and anti-armor roles. The Soviet Union was extremely successful in transferring production behind the Urals, preventing the Germans from capturing production factories and using them for their own armies.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Archival Identifier: 
Machine-Building Plant Named Aft
Sverdlov Oblast, Ural Federal Di
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics