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The PTRD-41 was an anti-tank rifle that was used by the Soviet Union during WWII.
It fired a 14.5mm round and only required a crew of one to two men in order to operate effectively. It was of a more simplistic design than its fellow anti-tank rifle the PTRS-41 and was used to a far greater extent. The weapon was bolt-action and had a maximum range of around 550 meters with a muzzle velocity of about 1,000 meters per second.
The PTRD had a total weight of 17.3 kilograms and a total length of 205 cm. The PTRD was extremely reliable in the field which can be undoubtable attributed to its rugged and extremely simple design. Although, the PTRD could only have one round loaded at a time before the operator was required to reload.
Thus, it did not have the same kind of capacity as the PTRS-41. Furthermore, during firing, the PTRD experienced extreme recoil that the small muzzle brake on the front of the barrel could only compensate for to a certain extent. However, a shoulder pad was added to the back of the rifle to aid the operator. Ammo as mentioned before had to be carried in a separate container with each bullet separate from the other. The PTRD had no variants ever created yet in some cases, field modifications were added. These included telescopic sights that although may seem to help, actually lessened the accuracy of the weapon.
The PTRD-41 was designed by Vasily Degtyaryov in 1941 during the rush to find a weapon that could effectively knock out German armored vehicles such as the Panzer III or IV. This led to the weapon being "pushed out the door" before all of the major drawbacks could be fixed but it performed well in the field nonetheless. Tactics were quickly drawn up by PTRD crews to use the PTRD to their advantage in dealing with tanks. One famous tactic was to lie in wait for Axis armor and attack it from the side where it was far more vulnerable to AT rifle fire. Another tactic was used should flanking not be an option; it was to attack weak points on the front area of the tank that could at least temporairly disable it such as vision slits. In its career, the PTRD became the most used Soviet anti-tank weapon during the war and was even used until the Korean War.
- ↑ Alexander Lüdeke. Weapons of World War II. Parragon Books Ltd (2007)
- ↑ http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=444
- ↑ http://www.antitank.co.uk/russian1.htm