The 72-K was an anti-aircraft gun that was used by the Soviet Union during World War II.


The 72-K could fire 25 mm rounds at a distance of up to two kilometers. It required a crew of five men in order to operate effectively and it had a rate of fire of 240 rounds per minute. The total weight of the system was about 1,200 kilograms while the total length was about 5.1 meters. The 72-K was designed to compliment heavier 85 mm anti-aircraft guns also being developed at the time to outfit the Soviet anti-air forces.

Thus, the 72-K was created to fire quickly and be able to adjust quick enough to hit low flying aircraft. Like many other types of artillery used in the field, the crew of the 72-K was quite exposed, with barely any members being protected by the small blast shield at the front of the gun.[1] However, the lack of complicated parts made the 72-K quite reliable in the field. When deployed to the front, the 72-K was typically placed in batteries ranging anywhere from 25 to 100 units scattered around strategic positions such as rail yards, factories, headquarters, etc. It was hoped that if used in mass, the combined fire would be able to defend against most if not all low-flying German bombing runs.


The 72-K was first developed in early 1940 by Mikhail Loginov in order to refit the Soviet military for future conflict. Like many other Soviet designs of the late 1930s to the early 1940s, the 72-K entered mass production at Kalinin Plant No. 8 as soon as Operation Barbarossa had begun, providing much of the Red Army's anti-aircraft needs for the first half of the attacks. They proved useful and were then used up until the end of the war, with some 2,500 examples being produced in all, in platforms ranging from stationary positions to the backs of flatbed trucks.



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