The Russian model 1910 machine gun, which was similar
to the British Vickers with the only real difference being the
caliber, was before World War 1 virtually the only machine gun
in Russian servive (there was a small number of Madsen Model
1902 machine guns used in the Russian-Japanese War*). During
WW 1, Russia received from her Allies many new machine gun types.
* = Regulyarnaya pekhota. 1855-1918, by O. Leonov &
I. Ulyanov (The regular infantry. 1855-1918). Provided by Andrey
After World War I, the new Soviet army started developing
its own machine gun. The 7.62mm Maxim Tokarev and Maxim Koleshnikov
were among the first efforts.
The first originally developed Soviet machine gun was
the 7.62mm DP (Degtyarev Infantry), which appeared in 1926.
The DP was the first of a series of Degtyarev machine guns adopted
by the Soviet Union.
A tank version called DT may still be found on older Soviet
armored vehicles in use among Ex-Soviet allies and the third
world countries. An aircraft version, the DA, was also produced.
The DP, DT, and DA have their operating springs coiled
on the piston rod, which is seated under the barrel. The heating
of the barrel caused distortion of the spring which resulted
in malfunctions. During World War II, a modified version of
the DP (the DPM) was put to service. It was basically the same
gun as the DP, with the recoil spring mounted in a tube that
projects to the rear of the receiver.
During the Winter War, the captured DPīs were usually
taken into use by the Finnish troops immediately, and with great
The DP was always regarded high among the Finnish troops,
especially since the Finns didnīt have enough light machine
guns of their own. The weapons received praise of its
extreme reliability in combat conditions.
(For curiosity purpose this sidenote:
Finland's former President Mauno
Koivisto was a DP-gunner during World War II )