After light anti-tank guns, make war, we propose to look through the eyes of modern man into a light anti-aircraft artillery of World War II.
To speak about the relevance of anti-aircraft small caliber today, there is no need. If there is a ground attack aircraft, so, need and flak, able to deal with it. If you look at modern air defense systems, it becomes clear, that even a huge number of missile many different classes of having gun weapons does not change.
Aviation in the First World War has proved its effectiveness if not, the viability. And in the early 30's began its rapid development. Increased speed and range, were all-metal aircraft and aviation reservation. Generally, airplane, so clumsy and frankly ridiculous suddenly turned into a combat aircraft. Very serious weapon.
These circumstances demanded by designers of anti-aircraft weapons urgent solutions. the, than were armed with air defense forces of the First World, already hopelessly out of date. The use of anti-aircraft machine guns caliber rifle sharply limited the affected area of the aircraft in range, and the damaging effects of. The aircraft received a huge number of hits, but returned to the airport and after a short repair was once again ready to perform combat missions.
Set designers task can decide small-caliber automatic anti-aircraft gun (from 20 to 50 mm), or heavy machine guns. It is these installations and anti-aircraft guns have become in the future the main opponents attack aircraft.
paradoxically, but to begin the story of the light anti-aircraft automatic guns must be with guns, which was released not officially involved in the country's war, but nonetheless, used by all the warring countries.
1. 20-mm automatic anti-aircraft gun «Erlikon». Switzerland
Cannon was born in 1927 year. Manufacturer - Swiss group «Oerlikon». But talking about the development of precisely this concern tools will not correctly. «Erlikon» implemented in the metal engineering development company SEMAG.
The designer of this gun is a talented German engineer-designer Reinhold Becker. Yes, and the gun itself was designed back in the days of the First World War. On even issued its own plant in Becker that gun 1914 year. The gun used cartridge caliber of 70 mm × 20, rate reached 300 rounds per minute. Subsequently, it acquired the name of a tool «Oerlikon F».
The new gun has been applied in aircraft and anti-aircraft modifications, but any noticeable influence on the course of fighting the novelty did not have time. In Switzerland, the gun turned out to be because of the Treaty of Versailles. Officially finalize the gun the Germans simply could not.
company SEMAG (Seebach Engineering Joint Stock Company), Using achievements Becker, upgrade your weapons. AT 1924 It was released at a more powerful version of the chuck 20 × 100 mm with slightly increased rate of, reaches Now 350 rounds per minute. This gun was offered as an anti-infantry or light support weapon. But success is not earned gun, and remained in the history as the «Oerlikon L».
And the third attempt to create a gun, engineers have already made «Erlikona», «Oerlikon S». Cartridge again stouter, 20× 110 mm, possessed higher initial velocity of the projectile (830 m / s), accompanied by an increase in weight of the structure and a reduction rate of up to 280 rounds per minute.
Today, it sounds very strange, but the S model was really serious anti-tank weapons at the time. She could hit any existing at the time (1927 year) tank. When this model was used, as the previous, in aviation and air defense.
All guns «Erlikon» and them «descendants» They have the same principle and similar apparatus. This weapon is characterized by, that the mechanism of production of the shot helps the large ring around the barrel spring. Between a gun differ only minor changes in the structure, muzzle velocity and rate of.
«Erlikon» It can be considered the ancestor of all small-caliber anti-aircraft artillery (IAW) and the most massive weapons of this type. According to some experts in the world of these weapons, including modifications, It was released from 500 to 800 thousand units
1. Versatility and ease of use.
2. reliability design.
3. The presence of huge caliber ammunition for this spectrum.
5. Upgradeable for any application.
1. The complexity in the production.
2. Too small caliber, not providing the guaranteed destruction of the aircraft.
3. Range of fire did not provide the required performance with the bombers. Guns fired already spent on aircraft.
2. 20-mm automatic anti-aircraft gun Flak 30 sample 1930 g. Germany
developed by «Rheinmetall». First he fought in Spain as part of the Legion «condor». As anti-aircraft gun, Cannon worked with platform, but also used in an embodiment of a field gun. In this case, shots were fired from the wheels.
The gun was used not only as an anti-aircraft, but also as a field, using a special high-explosive shell. It is on these guns goal position forecasting systems were first used. The truth from them quickly abandoned due to the complexity of application. But even without this it is normal gun provoevali until the end of the war.
For its time, the gun was good. However, by 1940 the ninth year ahead aviation guidance system. Increasing the speed of aircraft created problems with aiming. There was another serious problem. Ammunition submitted a 20-round magazine, where very often there is a delay in the supply of shells.
1. Versatility, the possibility of using as an anti-tank gun.
2. shooting stability.
3. It became the basis for the production of a tank cannon KwK 30.
1. low rate.
2. The complexity of the production and operation.
3. Massive delays in the submission of shells.
3. 37-mm anti-aircraft gun Flak 36. Germany
also to develop «Rheinmetall», but a little later, at 1936 year. This gun has already belongs to medium AAAs.
The history of the development is very interesting. «Rheinmetall» developed anti-aircraft gun Flak 18 in Switzerland in the early 30s. Development tools carried out by order of the USSR. We even produced 44 guns (2K index) German drawings of the plant in Podlipki.
А Flak 36 - a further modernization Flak 18. The design of the mast have entered hydraulic brake, two-axle wagon replaced by uniaxial, We set a new sight. The gun actually become more versatile, although it had the same combat characteristics, that Flak 18. Ammunition for anti-aircraft guns were served in 6 of shell cage.
The gun was issued before the end of the war. Lesions were the primary means of low-flying aircraft. Used on different chassis, installed aboard, including submarines. The main drawback of the system has a tendency to turn the mechanism of seizure. Therefore, the calculation should have sufficient force to work on this gun.
1. Large enough effective ceiling.
3. Ability to use on different chassis.
4. shells Efficiency.
1. Complex in the manufacture of.
2. large calculation (7 pers.).
3. low rate.
4. 20-mm anti-aircraft gun Flak 38. Germany
Most researchers consider it as an instrument of modernization of the already mentioned contact Flak 30. but, it is still another gun, despite the external similarity.
Speaking of Flak 30, we mentioned the fact, that by 1940 the Germans realized, that the 30 th is not effective against high-speed aircraft. It was necessary to increase the rate of gun. business «Rheinmetall» at this time engaged in other instruments, so the solution gave the company «Mauser».
When external similarity guns, Flak 38 inside was a completely new. «Mauser» I solved the problem of jamming shells feeder and increased rate of fire guns. At the same time upheld the machine frame and the aiming system. 38-I had a rate of fire in 420-480 rounds per minute. The gun was produced in large quantities (more 100 thousand units) and was paired and quad modification.
1. High rate of fire.
3. The possibility of easy disassembly and reassembly for transportation, eg, riding.
1. The use of old ammunition feed systems and the frame.
2. weak shell.
5. 20 mm/65 Breda Mod. 1935. Italy
As the name implies, creator of the Italian anti-aircraft gun «Cannon Mitralera 20/65 Model 35 "was the company «Breda» from Brescia.
If the Italians wanted to create a universal tool, admittedly, they did. The gun was originally designed to fire both on ground, and air targets. AT «Brede» We created a tool, which could move almost anything, that drove, swim or hodilo.
It was placed on a gun carriage biaxial and easily transported even light trucks. In a combat situation the calculation (3 man) rolled cannon on positions without much effort on their own. Even the gun carriage horses was provided. Besides, Like all Italian, the gun is normal versed on 4 site and transported to his pack, or hands.
Ammunition were located in the 12-slug tray, Where to File Charges. And the gun fired, not only high-explosive, but the armor-piercing projectiles. sensitive fuzes used for anti-aircraft explosive shells, guarantee that the ammunition gap even with a light touch with the aircraft. In the event of a miss missile was equipped with a self-killer.
Gun loved the soldiers of several armies: Italian, German, American, British, French… Many army gladly used the captured guns to be mounted on armored vehicles. And the Italian coast guard gun modernized 35th model, more commonly known as a model 39. different model 39 fixed pedestal.
1.Versatility (PHE and air defense).
2. Low weight, ease of handling and transportation.
3. Possibility to disassemble components for manual or pack-transport.
4. Reinforced missiles for air defense, and for PTO.
We consider, that they are not.
6. 20-mm Cannon "Type 98". Japan
When the normal European sees adopting in 1938 , 20-mm gun "Type 98", he has a sense of unreality seen. One side, archaic on wooden wheels, strange for a normal gun frame, strange «machine-gun» on top of the barrel store. On the other hand? Excellent combat characteristics, versatility and ability to work in virtually any environment.
The gun was originally designed as a universal. Constructors have laid in plenty of opportunities. Even the wooden wheel carts had its meaning. Gun could carry horse-drawn, not to mention the light trucks and passenger cars. Besides, was provided and the possibility of disassembly tools on the part of the calculation of the carrying or transporting horses.
understanding, that the main drawback of the gun is a low rate of, Japanese air defense guns have created this model Spark. But their number was not great.
Ammunition, reinforced shells, with a high for this caliber armor piercing, located in the store at 20 pcs. The store was located on top of the gun barrel. Calculation, depending on your needs, 2-3 man.
1. Easily transported to any tractor or a horse.
2. Could change its position in the battle without the use of tractors forces calculation.
3. The possibility of shooting with both wheels, and the platform.
4. Versatility (PHE and air defense).
5. Large ceiling effective fire by a powerful projectile.
6. It is easy to disassemble the components and calculation going.
1. obsolete carriage.
2. low rate.
7. 25-mm automatic gun Hotchkiss Mle 1938. France
The French were all sad. Hard to tell, basis of which, but the French Defense Ministry has decided to, that all the problems of air defense able to solve large-caliber machine guns of 13.2 mm and 75-mm guns of the sample 1897 g.
Nevertheless, Hotchkiss company still developed automatic anti-aircraft guns in 1932 year. true, they were exported. Only the war in Spain, more precisely, its results, It prompted the French military to purchase anti-aircraft guns. AT 1938 year «Hotchkiss» They began to come into the army.
25-mm automatic gun Hotchkiss Mle 1938 (Machinegun 25-mm universal lookout Hotchkiss Model 1938) He established and was transported to a uniaxial carriage. Hotchkiss Mle 1939, It is a more serious and sustainable tool for use in stationary positions. Both samples had the same ballistic characteristics and fully meet the requirements of the military.
Guns were universal, ie. They could be used as anti-aircraft guns and anti-tank like. Respectively, They were created and different ammunition: splinter, fragmentation-incendiary, piercing and armor-piercing tracer. Since armor-piercing shell (weight 0,28 kg, starting speed 870 м/c) normal punching 30 mm at a distance of armor 300 m. It is enough to deal with any problems the pre-war time.
Then we just have to make a slight digression. The thing is, that many readers confused Hotchkiss Mle 1938 and anti-tank gun Hotchkiss SA34 / SA37. This is a completely different tools, use different ammo. SA34 / SA37 is used much more powerful projectile 25h194R.
The gun has been limited in practical use rate of carob store on 15 shells. The store is positioned on top of the barrel.
In 1940 he was released and coaxial installation option - Mle 1940J. But in general, France lost time. At the time of the German invasion in 1940, the troops were 1103 guns of all modifications. Stop the German aviation or even really to resist this defense simply could not. maybe, if these very good guns were more, Luftwaffe advantage would be offset.
1. Easy to transport the light trucks.
2. universal (PHE and air defense).
3. good ceiling.
4. Double-barreled version of the gun, quite significantly raising combat characteristics.
1. Rate artificially limited by the use of the store.
2. Short barrel length.
8. «Kolyo-Browning» M1A2. USA
To be historically true, the forerunner of all automatic anti-aircraft guns automatic anti-aircraft guns was an American gunsmith John Browning. After all, in fact, he developed the first anti-aircraft machine gun still in 1924 year. weapon, manufactured by Colt's Patent Firearms Mfg Co (g. Garford) Browning even personally delivered. What was the reason, that in spite of the resistance of the military, gun had adopted in 1927 year (37-mm M1 to M3 Carriages).
by the way, hence some confusion of gun title. In various sources referred to an instrument and a 37-mm "Browning" M1A1, 37-mm «Nikola» M1A1 and even 37 mm «Kolyo-Browning» M1A1.
This happened because, after Browning's death (1926 g) an instrument almost forgotten. And remember only 1938 year. It was then that the company was transferred to the production of «Colt», which has made some changes in design.
Upgrade your weapons M1A2 received index. And already in the predecessor 1940 he was replaced by the 40 mm M1 "Bofors".
so, What it represents «Kolyo-Browning» M1A2.
Automation tools created «colt» using Browning ideas. Barrel movable with a vertical wedge gate. The ammunition supply of the cage (10 shells) continuous. Cooling water barrel, via a special pump. With air cooling weapon could make up as much as possible 100 shots.
Pointing guns carried out either manually, libo GIDROPRIVOD. Hydraulic automatic guidance exercised according PUAZO.
Since the gun was heavy enough, wagon had disc wheels with pneumatic tires. Transport carried out a triaxial truck. Bring a weapon into the firing position can be through 2 minutes. but, to restore the instrument needed to have 12 minutes.
Practical rate of gun 110-120 rounds per minute. Cannon took the entire Second World War. by the way, it is a tool resisted Japanese aircraft at Pearl Harbor. it was released 7200 units 1938-42 years.
2. Good maximum ceiling.
3. Not a bad firing range.
1. Weak PF shell.
2. A complex system of manual guidance.
2 low rate.
9. 20-mm gun «Polsten» sample 44 g. Poland - United Kingdom
Readers will treat the next artdetektivom. We love this business. The thing is, that the anti-aircraft gun was set up in Poland, but put into service in the UK. It will focus on English (Polish) automatic anti-aircraft gun «Polsten».
Describe the design itself of the tools no sense. It is already recognized and described above «Erlikon». But «Erlikon» so technologically advanced, sometimes amazes even weapons designers. It is their adaptability in production.
The history of this gun really started in Poland. excellent gun «Erlikon» It was impossible to produce in the Polish factories. It interferes with the design complexity and the large number of necessary parts (Oerlikon consisted of 250 parts). Therefore, the designers were tasked to make the production possible.
The project was almost finished, But the beginning of the occupation. Not a secret, there is always in these situations, people, able to evacuate the right people, no matter what. In short, developers tools, together with documentation, It appeared in Britain. Where for some fluke met even with the Czech armourers, also miraculously appeared on the shores of Albion. Furthermore, meeting took place in the office of the famous British firm weapons «wall», It is known for its good enough submachine gun.
-So now this international team and finalized the Polish project. «Erlikon» in tech and low-cost options become «Polstenom». To understand the scope of, made by designers, suffice it to say only one digit. Cannon, while maintaining all of the advantages and characteristics of the combat «Erlikona» It consisted of only 119 parts instead 250!
Yes, about gun title. Why «Polsten»? The answer is simple - the Polish Sten.
Cannon launched into production in March 1944 of the year. Immediately after that, Britain stopped release «Oerlikon». many elements, especially support, They were similar erlikonovskim. And the use of the gun is fully consistent with «Erlikonu».
visually «Polsten» differs from «Erlikona». Designers abandoned drum shop. We have already mentioned the problems with the loading of the store and use it in battle. AT «wall» constructed a new shop. Now the shells are in a vertical box magazine 30 shells. And shells in the shop located in two piles.
In this way, in the British army were at once two similar guns -«Erlikon» and «Polsten», and that ended the war.
Advantages and disadvantages are almost the same, like «Erlikona» except for high technological production process.
10. 40-мм Bofors L60. Sweden
Write about this gun is difficult for two reasons:. At first, I fought this gun all the armies, on both sides of the front. Secondly, personal love authors precisely this gun. Indeed one of the greatest successes of the designers of that time was the 40-mm gun Swedish concern «Bofors».
The gun was commissioned by the Swedish government in concern 1928 year after tests purchased from British «Vykers» guns «Pom-pom». guns «Vykersa» were quite finicky and thin. And the firing range was not satisfied Swedes.
First option «Bofors L-60», presented in the concern 1929 year, not too impressed with their performance. The problem was the shutter mechanism. Too heavy and does not allow to maintain a high rate of fire. But in 1930, the designers solved this problem by dividing mechanism for two. The first to extract the spent cartridge, a second supply of the next projectile.
The gun was «brought to mind» at 1932 year. All customer requirements have been met. Cannon initially produced in two versions - maritime, double-barreled, and onshore (for mounting on the chassis), single-barreled.
paradoxically, but the first installation Bofors L60 were not established on the Swedish ships, and on the light cruiser in the Netherlands (HNLMS "De Ruyter»). After the first batch (5 installations) Dutch bought a few more. Thus began a triumphal procession of these guns on the armies of the world.
AT 1935 by guns adopt the Belgian Army, Poland, Norway and Finland. AT 1936 year - Sweden (nevertheless). And can I say lack of production facilities in Sweden and the production of more organized and in Poland.
AT 1937 namely, the British upgraded the Polish guns and have adopted their own licensed version - QF 40-mm Mark I. This gun was manufactured in the UK, Canada and Australia.
In the US weapon also liked. However, take it on board without a proper «finishing» there could not. Prevented the metric system and manual assembly. American engineers have made a lot of changes in the design of weapons and ammunition, to adapt them to a truly mass production, and replacing the air cooling scheme of the water and added electric drive for rapid rotation Fitting. The official designation of the US version «Boforsa» — 40-mm Automatic Gun.
One can endlessly write about this gun. enough, what, for example, US ground units support aircraft «Lockheed» AC-130, destroyers and boats are still armed with guns L60. Furthermore, the US military has a tradition - about every downed «Bofors» airplane necessarily reported to the Chrysler Corporation with the serial number of guns!
What is so loved weapon Victor Hammar and Emanuel Jansson (Design firm Bofors) military? First of all, automation. Automatic gun is based on the recoil force of the scheme with a short back trunk. by the way, It was available for quick change barrel in case of overheating.
L60 was equipped with modern at the time of aiming system. Horizontal and vertical gunners had reflex sights, the third member of calculation was behind them and worked with a mechanical computing device. The sight is powered by a 6V battery.
Towing guns usually carried by truck.
Ending a brief story about this gun say — during World War II, the total number of issued guns «Bofors L60» various modifications exceeded 100 000 units.
1. beautiful equipment.
3. damage done.
should look, probably…
11. 37-61 mm cannon-K sample 1939 of the year. the USSR
Continuing the theme of "Bofors". Soviet 37mm cannon sample 1939 year, was developed using the technical basis of the Swedish REC «Bosfors L60». An instrument created by the decision of the GAU RKKA designer MN. Loginov. During the Great Patriotic War, it is an instrument was a major in the air defense system. Besides, especially in the first period of war, 61-It is often used as an effective anti means.
37-REC mm 61-K is a single-fully automatic small-caliber weapon. All processes are automated as well, as well as the base model. Manually produced only feed cartridges in the store, aiming and pointing guns. Automatic is powered by the movement of the barrel.
Instrument transported via truck or any other towing vehicle at speeds up to 60 kmh. Calculation 7 human. Total production 22 600 guns.
The gun was held to honor the war and ended its participation in a victory salute in Berlin. Soviet anti-aircraft gun belonged to this with great respect. A gun battle path 61K lasted for a long time in the postwar period.
1. high frequency repeated bursts.
2. good ceiling.
3. Ease of use.
1. The absence of non-contact fuze in the projectile.
12. 25-72 mm cannon-K sample 1940 of the year. the USSR
Next Soviet anti-aircraft gun can be called a grandson «Bofors L60». It's about a 25-mm gun 72-K or (second name) a 25-mm automatic anti-aircraft gun of the sample 1940 of the year.
Many researchers have anti-aircraft guns of World War II is often criticized is the instrument by the use of a sufficiently heavy mast and rather late (time) appearance. to be honest, even reply to these accusations do not want. Just look at the way this gun combat and service time.
The necessity arose because of the guns, in defense of the Red Army there «hole» at the regimental level. Heavy machine gun DSK - gun 61K. Need smaller caliber gun was. And it was the 72-K. It is this gun with success «land» low-flying German planes and dive.
Structurally the new 25 mm gun which is a miniature 37 mm 61-K. Modernization of the gun continued almost constantly. That eventually resulted in the creation of quite a perfect sample.
All were released 4 860 units of this weapon. Calculation 6 human. The gun was on the CA service until receiving adopted SoL -23-2 (the first half of the 60s).
1. Good initial velocity of the projectile.
2. Reliability and dependability.
3. high frequency repeated bursts.
1. heavy carriage.
Small-caliber antiaircraft artillery played a huge role during the Second World War. Already during the war implements improved and modified in response to the emergence of new aircraft. The majority of samples, created at a time, either in its original, or in a modernized form of continued military service, and today.
If we consider the loss of aircraft during the Second World, it turns out an interesting fact. Most of the warring countries aircraft were destroyed was a small-caliber antiaircraft artillery! Gunners eventually (in our opinion) beat aviators.
We are looking forward to your opinion about the fact, what guns were the best. Yes, there are plenty to choose.
/Roman Skomorokhov, Alexander Staver, topwar.ru/