Degtiarev, Vasilii Alekseevich
Born Dec. 21, 1879 (Jan. 2, 1880), in Tula; died Jan. 16, 1949, in Moscow. Soviet designer of small arms; major general of the engineer artillery service; doctor of technical sciences (1940); Hero of Socialist Labor (1940); and member of the CPSU from 1941.
Degtiarev was the head of the USSR’s first design bureau for the development of small arms. In 1927 the Red Army adopted Degtiarev’s 7.62-mm light machine gun (DP). Aircraft (DA and DA-2) and tank (DT) machine guns were built from this design. Degtiarev developed several models of submachine guns, the best of which was officially adopted in 1934 and, after modernization, became widely known as the 1940 submachine gun (PPD). In 1930, Degtiarev developed a 12.7-mm heavy-caliber machine gun (DK); after improvement by G. S. Shpagin in 1938 this model was used as the DShK antiaircraft machine gun. In 1939 the Degtiarev system heavy machine gun (DS) was adopted. During the Great Patriotic War the Soviet Army received Degtiarev’s 14.5-mm antitank rifle (PTRD) and the 1944 light machine gun. Degtiarev was a deputy to the first and second convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1941, 1942, 1944, and, posthumously, 1949), as well as three Orders of Lenin, four other orders, and various medals. He was buried in Kovrov.
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Bolotin, D. N. Sovetskoe strelkovoe oruzhie za 50 let: (Katalog). Leningrad, 1967.
K. A. NIKOLAEV