SU-85 gallery

The SU-85 appeared in 1943 and was one of the first serious threats for the German Panther and Tiger tanks on the eastern front. Its 85mm gun could penetrate up to 100mm of armour at 1,000 meters away, enough to destroy any tank of that time.
The conversion of the D-5 antiaircraft gun to perform anti-tank tasks was really fast and in less than 4 months, the new SU-85 were deployed with the units. Parts from the SU-122 assault gun were used for the construction of this new tank destroyer and accelerate its entry into service.
The SU-85‘s low silhouette was one of its best features, because once it was half-buried in a “stalking position”,it was very difficult for their preys to detect them…, until it was too late.
SU-85‘s frontal armour reached 45mm in thickness, insufficient for relatively short distance combat against German anti-tank guns. That is why they used welded track links on the front to improve protection, although its effectiveness was more than questionable.
Production of SU-85 was very short due to the arrival of T-34/85 medium tank, that had the same gun installed. However, more than 2,000 were finally manufactured. Their vision devices were progressively improved and in the latest models allowed a 360º observation.
SU-85 captured by the Germans were designated as “Jgd Pz SU-85 (r)” or “BeutePanzerjäger SU-85 748 (r)” and were highly appreciated. The captured damaged vehicles were put into service by the Wehrmacht as soon as possible.
The Germans painted large “Balkankreuz” on the sides and front for easy identification and avoid the dangerous “friendly fire”. Normally the Soviets tried to destroy their vehicles to avoid their use by the enemy, but it was not always possible to achieve it.
Poland was one of the destination of the SU-85 along with several countries from the Warsaw Pact. Some reached the 1990s, but most of them had been converted into recovery and support vehicles. Only in North Korea and Albania were they in combat units in those years.

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