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Dshk

The meaning of «dshk»

The DShK 1938 (Cyrillic: ДШК, for Russian: Дегтярёва-Шпагина Крупнокалиберный, romanized: Degtyaryova-Shpagina Krupnokaliberny, "Degtyaryov-Shpagin large-calibre") is a Soviet heavy machine gun with a V-shaped "butterfly" trigger, firing the 12.7×108mm cartridge. The weapon was also used as a heavy infantry machine gun, in which case it was frequently deployed with a two-wheeled mounting and a single-sheet armour-plate shield. It took its name from the weapons designers Vasily Degtyaryov, who designed the original weapon, and Georgi Shpagin, who improved the cartridge feed mechanism. It is sometimes nicknamed Dushka (a dear or beloved person) in Russian-speaking countries, from the abbreviation.[14]

The requirement for a heavy machine gun appeared in 1929. The first such gun, the Degtyaryov, Krupnokalibernyi (DK, "Degtyaryov, large calibre"), was built in 1930, and this gun was produced in small quantities from 1933 to 1935. The DK was fed from a drum magazine of thirty rounds, and had a poor rate of fire. Shpagin developed a belt feed mechanism to fit to the DK in 1938, giving rise to the adoption of the gun as the DShK 1938. This became the standard Soviet heavy machine gun in World War II.

Like its American equivalent, the M2 Browning, the DShK 1938 was used in several roles. As an anti-aircraft weapon it was mounted on pintle and tripod mounts, and on a triple mount on the GAZ-AA truck. Late in the war, it was mounted on the cupolas of IS-2 tanks and ISU-152 self-propelled guns. As an infantry heavy support weapon, it used a two-wheeled trolley which unfolded into a tripod for anti-aircraft use, similar to the mount developed by Vladimirov for the 1910 Maxim gun.[15] It was also mounted in vehicle turrets, for example, in the T-40 light amphibious tank.

In 1946, the DShK 1938/46 or DShKM (M for "modernized") version was introduced. It replaced the original rotary-feed system with a simpler and more reliable shuttle-feed system.

In addition to the Soviet Union and Russia, the DShK has been manufactured under license by a number of countries, including the People's Republic of China (as the "Type 54"), Pakistan, and Romania. In Russia, it has been mostly replaced by the more modern NSV and Kord designs. Nevertheless, the DShK is still one of the most widely used heavy machine guns.

In June 1988, during the conflict in Northern Ireland known as "the Troubles", a British Army Westland Lynx helicopter was hit 15 times by two Provisional IRA DShKs smuggled in from Libya, and forced to crash-land near Cashel Lough Upper, south County Armagh.[16]

DShKs were also used in 2004, against British troops in Al-Amarah, Iraq.[17]

In the 2012 Syrian civil war, the Syrian government said rebels used the gun mounted on cars. It claimed to have destroyed, on the same day, 40 such cars on a highway in Aleppo and six in Dael.[18]

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