The Tank Museum | Soviet Tank Machine Gun acquired by Archive

Soviet Tank Machine Gun acquired by Archive

The Tank Museum’s Archive has recently acquired a historically important Soviet machine gun

7th November 2019

The Degtyarev DT, or in full, the Tankovyi Pulemyot DT, was the standard Soviet light machine gun. It was fitted as the secondary armament on the T-34, KV-1 and T-26 tanks.

DT machine gun

Newly acquired to the Museum’s Archive, this particular DT appears to have been manufactured in Czechoslovakia, and is like post-war.

Introduced in 1927, the DT held a 60 round drum magazine and only featured six moving parts. Simple and robust, the DT included a detachable bipod supplied in the vehicle stowage. It also had a removable foresight that allowed the gun to be used in a ground role in emergencies. 

However, the return spring had an unfortunate design flaw causing jams. Returning the bolt for reloading/re-fire, the spring was housed under the gun barrel. As the DT was fired, the heat generated would cause the spring to eventually lose its tempering.

Regrettably, due to being stored upright for some time, the Museum’s DT’s folding metal attachment on the butt is bent. This has caused a stress crack. The Damage prevents the locking catch from moving. The DT is also missing the muzzle break, but this is not uncommon with this particular weapon.

Acquiring the DT is in line with the Museum Archive and Supporting collection’s policy of collecting items of historic significance or which are missing. This includes firearms, uniforms and equipment. The DT will serve as a reference example. Such items, allow The Tank Museum to improve the ability of fully telling the story of tanks and the people who served in them.