Vasily Degtyaryov

Vasily Alekseyevich Degtyaryov (Russian: Васи́лий Алексе́евич Дегтярёв; January 2, 1880, Tula January 16, 1949, Moscow) was a Russian engineer who specialised in weapons design.

Vasily Degtyaryov
Vasily Alekseyevich Degtyaryov

(1880-01-02)January 2, 1880
DiedJanuary 16, 1949(1949-01-16) (aged 69)
OccupationWeapon designer


Degtyaryov was the Major General of the Engineering and Artillery Service, Doctor of Technical Sciences (1940), and Hero of Socialist Labor (1940; he received the second such award in its history just two weeks after Joseph Stalin himself). He became a CPSU member in 1941.

Vasily Degtyaryov headed the first Soviet firearms design bureau. He created several types of machine guns, submachine guns and anti-tank guns.

Vasily Degtyaryov was awarded the USSR's State Stalin Prize in 1941, 1942, 1944, and 1949 (posthumously). He was also awarded three Orders of Lenin, four other orders and different medals.


  • In 1927, the Red Army was equipped with the 7.62 mm light machine gun called ДП, or DP-28 (Russian: Дегтярёва Пехотный Degtyaryov's infantry (machine gun)). This design also led to
    • Two aircraft machine guns: ДА (DA) and ДА-2 (DA-2) (Дегтярёва Авиационный)
    • A tank machine gun: ДТ, or DT (Дегтярёва Танковый)
  • Degtyaryov also designed a few models of submachine guns, the best of which would be adopted by the Soviet Army in 1934 (modernized in 1940) as the ППД PPD-40 (from Пистолет-пулемёт Дегтярёва, Degtyaryov's submachine gun).
  • In 1930, Degtyaryov designed his 12.7 mm large-caliber machine gun, the ДК, or DK (Дегтярёва Крупнокалиберный). In 1938, this machine gun was upgraded by Georgi Shpagin and called ДШК (DShK) (Дегтярёва Шпагина Крупнокалиберный).
  • In 1939, Degtyaryov designed his heavy machine gun called ДС, or DS (Дегтярёва Станковый). The DS-39 was issued to the Red Army and used in the Winter War of 1939-1940. The belt feed mechanism damaged the cartridge cases and the gun was found too complicated and liable to malfunctions and was withdrawn from service.
  • During the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet Army adopted Degtyaryov's 14.5 mm anti-tank rifle the ПТРД, or PTRD (Противотанковое Ружьё Дегтярёва).
  • Near the end of World War II, Degtyaryov designed a belt-fed light machine gun chambered for the 7.62x39mm intermediate cartridge, which entered Soviet service in 1946 as the RPD light machine gun and was exported to numerous countries worldwide.

Honours and awards

See also

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