Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

D-1 (Model 1943)

152mm Towed Field Howitzer

Soviet Union | 1943

"The 152mm M1943 D-1 howitzer proved critical to Red Army actions when facing off against the might of the German Army along the East Front in World War 2."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/08/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
As barrel rifling and efficient recoil and breech mechanisms became widely accepted, national armies began development and adoption of 35mm and larger artillery systems - anti-tank guns, field guns and howitzers. The Russian Empire - reincarnated as the Soviet Union following the Bolshevik uprising and subsequent political, social and military victories during and after World War 1 - proved no exception. During the interwar years, several designs were kept on hand until necessity in World War 2 - brought about by the German invasion of the Soviet Union - spurred hasty development of new and more powerful field weapons.

Though warnings were relayed to Soviet leader Josef Stalin, they were disregarded until his nation was steamrolled by German-led Axis forces in June of 1941 through "Operation Barbarossa". The Soviet Army fought to the death, retreated, or surrendered in droves and were largely ill-equipped and ill-prepared for the Axis onslaught. Only stretched supply lines, Soviet determination in a few key quarters and the onset of the Russian Winter slowed the advance outside of Moscow. This lull in the fighting allowed the Soviets to reallocate and recoup resources and men to the front while reestablishing its powerful industrial base in the east.

Article Continues Below Advertisement...
To provide Red Army artillerymen with a capable long-range weapon of considerable hitting firepower, F.F. Petrov led design work (initially as a private venture designed to shore up the limitation of mobile artillery pieces in the modern Red Army) on a new howitzer based on the barrel assembly of the 152mm M1938 (M-10) coupled to the wheeled carriage of the 122mm M1938 (M-30). The end result was the 152mm M1943 (D-1) which, after being brought to the attention of Soviet officials, was in trials by the middle of 1943 and quickly adopted for frontline service to see extensive use throughout the conflict. Its use of existing components allowed the weapon to be manufactured en mass and rather quickly, doing away with a protracted and expensive developmental cycle common to "all-new" artillery designs. Production was led by No. 9 Plant (Uralmash) based in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and numbered 2,827 examples of which hundreds were in circulation by the end of the war (peaking in 1945 with 715 alone produced - wartime production being 1,057 units). Production spanned into 1949 and operators went on to include many Soviet-allied nations and states. Amazingly, the D-1 continues operational service with several ground forces today (2012).

Design of the D-1 was conventional, essentially a heavy-duty barrel assembly fitted to a support mounting atop a two-wheeled carriage unit. The barrel measured 13.9 feet in overall length and was specifically of 152.4mm (6in) in caliber (generally rounded down in "152mm" in publication) while being capped by a large double-baffled muzzle brake. The mounting system fitted a limited-protection angled shield for point defense of the gunnery crew as well as the requisite recoil facilities identified over-and-under the barrel base. As can be expected, the firing action was a very violent one, requiring the use of such dampeners for obvious reasons. The carriage was of a "split trail" type with tow arms that opened and lowered to act as "legs" in assisting ground placement and further countering recoil. The wheels were solid steel lined with rubber tires which allowed for good off-road travel. Transport was generally by any vehicle available - a heavy duty military-grade truck would suffice as would an artillery tractor. The breech mechanism consisted of an interrupted screw which was hinged to open to the right, allowing a projectile to be fitted into the now-exposed breech. The recoil system was hydropneumatic in nature and highly suitable for the role. The mounting installation seating the barrel allowed for an elevation of -3 to +64 degrees and traversal was limited to +/-17.5 degrees. A trained gunnery crew - optimally made up of 8 personnel, each charged with a certain role in the firing process - could fire off 3 to 4 rounds per minute out to 7.7 miles at a muzzle velocity of 1,600 feet per second. This allowed for excellent range in engaging all manner of targets, particularly dug-in enemy troop positions and fortifications. Overall weight of the system was 8,000lbs which points to the need for multiple crew and vehicles to transport the weapon.

The D-1 was cleared to fire a primary High-Explosive (HE) projectile weighing some 88lbs. Various HE payloads were devised including HE-FRAG to counter steel targets and a time-delay shrapnel round (featuring up to 700 steel metal balls to shred exposed troops). There was also an illumination round for lighting up the night sky during low-light offensives and several lethal chemical shells was added to inventory. Fortifications could be dealt with through use of an anti-concrete projectile that ranged out to 12,400 meters. A HEAT (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank) projectile could be used against armored targets at range while a navalized Armor-Piercing (AP) variant rounded out the available munition options.

In practice, Russian ingenuity prevailed as the D-1 series came as a nasty shock to the Axis armies during the Soviet counter-offensives to follow. Whole batteries of D-1 weapons would precede a large-scale maneuver and lay waste to the ground before the main fighting force to which then the crew could switch to a support role. Wherever and whenever possible, D-1 guns were fielded across the many fronts having been developed by the fracturing of Axis and Soviet forces alike. Soviet artillerymen recalled the weapon as a very reliable system and accuracy at range was only as good as the gunnery crew itself as the weapon in no way impeded their success. The D-1, therefore, remained in wide circulation through to the end of the war and went on to see service in lesser conflicts emerging throughout the Cold War that followed the events of 1945.

Due to the Soviet sphere of influence, the D-1 found a home in many Soviet-allied nations, primarily in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It saw action the Arab-Israeli War beginning in 1948 as well as more localized firefights that resolved after the disbanding of the Soviet Empire in 1991. The D-1 still maintains a frontline presence in the fledgling militaries of Afghanistan and Iraq while it remains a centerpiece solution for the modern armies of China, Syria and Vietnam as well as Albania, Cuba and Hungary.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Model 1943 (D-1) 152mm Towed Field Howitzer.
None. This is a towed artillery piece.
Installed Power
8 miles
12 km
The physical qualities of the Model 1943 (D-1) 152mm Towed Field Howitzer.
22.0 ft
6.7 meters
O/A Length
7,937 lb
3,600 kg | 4.0 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the D-1 (Model 1943) 152mm Towed Field Howitzer.
1 x 152mm main gun
Dependent upon ammunition carrier. Options included HE, HE-FRAG, AP, Illumination and chemical projectiles.
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the D-1 (Model 1943) family line.
D-1 - Base Production Series Designation
152mm Howizter M1943 (D-1) - Formal Designation
M1943 - Alternative Designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the D-1 (Model 1943). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 2,827 Units

Contractor(s): No. 9 Plant - Soviet Union
National flag of Afghanistan National flag of Albania National flag of Belarus National flag of Bulgaria National flag of China National flag of Cuba National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of modern Germany National flag of East Germany National flag of Hungary National flag of Iraq National flag of Mozambique National flag of Poland National flag of Romania National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Syria National flag of Ukraine National flag of Vietnam

[ Afghanistan; Albania; Belarus; Bulgaria; China; Cuba; Czechoslovakia; East Germany; Egypt; Hungary; Iraq; Mozambique; Poland; Romania; Soviet Union; Syria; Ukraine; Vietnam ]
Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The D-1 (Model 1943) 152mm Towed Field Howitzer appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)