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GarageImage SU-85M.jpg

The SU-85M is a Rank III Soviet tank destroyer with a battle rating of 5.3 (AB/RB) and 5.7 (SB). It was introduced in during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. The SU-85M is basically the beefed up version of the regular SU-85 with an increased frontal armour thickness from 45 mm into 75 mm that can save it from shots that would've been lethal for the SU-85. It also has an APCR shell modification for increased lethality against enemy tanks.

When taking the vehicle out the first time, two things will be instantly noticeable: The armour and slow movement of the gun. The former being welcome and the latter being very painful. With the right ammunition between AP and the APCR, the SU-85M is a very good vehicle in the role of a sniper and ambusher. Weary tanks will pop out of corners, unhappy to see an SU-85M locked and loaded. The SU-85M can also be used as a long range sniper due to the 85 mm's good velocity and damage, which could destroy vehicles in just one shot. Range also comes at an advantage as the 75 mm of front sloped armour at a distance of more than 1500 m is impervious to most tanks of its BR.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet, Driver's hatch)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 75 mm (49-50°) Front glacis
45 mm (60°) Lower glacis
70 mm (50°) Driver's hatch
45 mm (15-41°) Top
45 mm Bottom
45 mm (48°) Top
45 mm (48°) Bottom
20 mm
Superstructure 75 mm (49-50°) Front glacis
75 + 75 mm (0-89°) Gun mantlet
45 mm (15-41°) 45 mm 20 mm
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 45 mm 20 mm


  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.


Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armor
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
31.6 N/A 62 (AB)
57 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 710 ___
Realistic/Simulator 442 500
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 22.47 __.__
Realistic/Simulator 13.99 15.82


Main article: D-5S (85 mm)
85 mm D-5S
Capacity Vertical
60 -3°/+20° ±8° N/A
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 4.8 6.6 _.__ __._ __._
Realistic 4.8 5.6 _.__ __._ __._
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
9.6 __.__ __.__ __.__

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration in mm @ 90°
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
BR-365K APHE 145 142 125 107 92 78
BR-365A APHEBC 142 139 123 105 91 81
O-365K HE 9 9 9 9 9 9
BR-365P APCR 180 175 136 100 73 54
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
in m/s
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
0% 50% 100%
BR-365K APHE 792 9.2 1.2 15 81.6 -1° 47° 60° 65°
BR-365A APHEBC 792 9.2 1.2 15 164 +4° 48° 63° 71°
O-365K HE 780 9.5 0.1 0.3 646 +0° 79° 80° 81°
BR-365P APCR 1030 5.4 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 66° 70° 72°
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the SU-85M.
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
60 46 (+14) 31 (+29) 16 (+44) (+59) No

Usage in the battles

As a tank destroyer, the SU-85M's job is to hunt down and ambush tanks and destroy them. When aiming at a tank, prioritize the area the enemy gunner sits at as if the first shot does not completely destroy the enemy vehicle, the downed gunner forces the enemy to fallback as the SU-85M goes through the lengthy reload time.

Do not attempt to brawl with this vehicle as it is unsuited for mobile, frontal assaults due to the fixed gun traverse. Keep calm and wait for the enemy to roll into the gun sights instead so while the enemy panics upon the sight of the tank destroyer, the SU-85M can use this time to aim for a good hit.

Heavy tanks and medium tanks should be engaged with caution due to their lethality against the SU-85M's armour. Heavy tanks are a concern as some have enough armour and angling to prevent a reliable penetration by the 85 mm, like the M4A3E2 (76) W Jumbo, IS-1, IS-2, and Tiger I. Have them distracted against teammates first to avert their cannons from the SU-85M's location. While they are engaged against them, aim the 85 mm onto weakpoints on their front armour, or flank around and attack them on their side armour. Though most medium tanks will be able to be destroyed by an 85 mm shot, some medium tanks could resist the 85 mm shot by a high degree such as Panthers.

  • M4A3E2 (76) W Jumbo: Engage with caution. The 76 mm could penetrate through the front hull with ease at average combat ranges. The front hull armour is impervious to APCR in most cases, and could bounce most AP shots if angled correctly. Focus on weak spots such as the lower side armour and the turret ring, or even the shot trap on the lower sections of the gun mantlet.
  • Sturer Emil: Picking a long-range fight with Sturer Emil from the front is suicide, the Emil's 128 mm will reach and penetrate the SU-85M before it is in position to fire back. Only engage if certain the Emil is unaware of the SU-85M's presence on its flanks, or point it out to allies for more mobile friendlies to engage and destroy it. Allies could also divert its attention from the SU-85M to allow for an 85 mm shot into the thin armour on it.

Pros and cons


  • Modest Armour.
  • 85mm gun is still effective for all vehicles at close range (except, in some cases, the IS-2).
  • Access to APCR ammunition.
  • Good speed of 40 km/h with great maneuverability on most angles and surfaces.


  • Gun depression is painful, even on a gentle slope.
  • Turret turning time is enough for an enemy for to aim and do a point blank shot (from 250m).
  • Like most tank destroyers, it comes without a turret.



The development for this vehicle began in 1943 to supplement the firepower the T-34 and KV-1 has. Before then, the T-34 and KV-1 tanks are more than adequate to deal with the German Panzer forces, but by the end of 1942, the appearance of the Tiger I revealed that the German armoured forces were becoming more developed and more armoured. This reveal showed the Red Army that needed better guns in order to deal with the rising threat of these new German vehicles.

The search for a better gun led to the deelopment of the D-5 85 mm gun, which was a modified anti-aircraft gun made by design bureaus of Vasiliy Grabin and Fyodor Petrov. It was found that the new gun was unable to be mounted on the current T-34 or KV-1, so it was to be mounted as a self-propelled gun like the SU-122, which is a self-propelled gun made on a T-34 chassis. The vehicle to be produced was designated the SU-85 and was similar to the SU-122, just replacing the 122 mm gun with a 85 mm one. The gun that was to be mounted in the self-propelled configuration was designated the D-5S (S for self-propelled) and the vehicle was produced at the Uralmash factory. Modifications were made overtime during its production such as a telescopic sight and a new ball gun mantlet, these modified vehicles were designated the SU-85-II. Up to 2,050 units were produced from mid-1943 to late 1944.

Combat usage

The SU-85 saw service in August 1943 in Soviet service, which coincides the time the Soviets engage in a counteroffensive against the the Battle of Kursk. It was praised for its low profile to be able to conceal itself and its excellent mobility. The initial production batch had low visibility due to lack of optics, with only four periscopes in the design, but this was improved on the SU-85M with a commander's cupola seen on the later variants of the T-34. The 85 mm gun was able to destroy a Tiger tank from 1000 meters out, proving much capable against the newer German tank designs. Though capable, its firepower was still seen as lacking considering the Tiger could still destroy it and T-34s from up to 2,000 meters away. The lack of range on the SU-85, plus the uparming of T-34s from the 76.2 mm F-34 gun to the same 85 mm gun as well in the T-34-85 caused the production of the SU-85 to be cancelled in late 1944 as it no longer provided any beneficial firepower over the standard tank unit.

Even after it was retired from Soviet service, replaced by the more powerful SU-100, it was exported to Soviet allies in the Warsaw Pact after World War II. The SU-85s were either kept as tank destroyers, or converted into armour recovery or command vehicles. These vehicles saw service in North Korea, Vietnam, and may still be in service today by Central European countries like Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Romania.


An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

Read also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example,

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.



Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

USSR tank destroyers
Light  SU-5-1 · ZiS-30 · SU-57 · SU-57B · SU-76D · SU-76M · SU-76M (5th Gv.Kav.Corps) · YaG-10 (29-K) · SU-85A · Khrizantema-S
Medium  SU-122 · SU-85 · SU-85M · SU-100 · SU-100P · SU-122P · SU-122-54 · IT-1 · Shturm-S
Heavy  SU-100Y · ISU-122 · ISU-122S · SU-152 · ISU-152 · Object 268 · Object 120
Rocket  BM-8-24 · BM-13N
Airborne  ASU-57 · ASU-85