OVERVIEW: The D-20 or M1955 gun-howitzer was a Soviet towed 152mm gun-howitzer.
DETAILS: The D-20 towed 152mm gun-howitzer was first seen by the West in 1955. It was designated a gun-howitzer because it had a caliber length greater than 30 (34 caliber) and a muzzle velocity greater than 600m/s. It replaced the 152mm ML-20 (M1937) howitzer which was of WWII origin. The weapon was also the basis for the self-propelled 2S3 152mm howitzer. Standard ammunition is HE-Fragmentation, smoke, illumination, and chemical. Developed later were Dual-purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM), scatterable mines (AT & AP), flechette, Precision Guided Munitions (PGM), communications jammer, and extended range Rocket Assisted Projectiles (RAP). Normal range is 17,400m (9.4nm) and RAP is up to 24,000m (13nm).
NOTES: The D-20 towed 152mm howitzer was assigned to the artillery brigade of the Combined Arms Army (CAA) or Tank Army (TA) which had either two battalions of 24 tubes or three battalions of 18 tubes, depending on the operational needs of each Army. It was also assigned to the gun-howitzer brigades of the artillery division at the Front level which had either four 18-tube battalions or three 24-tube battalions again depending on the operational needs of each Front. Battalions of D-20's were sometimes assigned to the maneuver divisions as part of the divisional artillery group (DAG). Until the appearance of the 2S3 self-propelled howitzer in the early 1970's it was also assigned to the artillery regiments of motorized rifle (MRD) and tank divisions (TD) which had three battalions of 18 tubes. Some artillery units retained their towed D-20's for years after the 2S3 became the standard replacement. It was widely exported, copied, and modified by other nations. It has seen combat in many conflicts and is still in use today in some countries.
SOURCES: FM 100-2-3. Washington D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 1991 ; Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "152 mm towed gun-howitzer M1955 (D-20)." Accessed November 16, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/152_mm_towed_gun-howitzer_M1955_(D-20)