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German Anti-Tank Guns In Wwii


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#21 Rich

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 0952 AM

 

 

The 5cm Pak 38 went into production at that date, not the 3.7cm Pak 36.


From Rich's previous post;
 
"Production of the 3.7cm Pak ended in March 1942 when 15 were completed. Total production was at least 5,628 (production 1 August 1939-end of production)."
 
Did I mis-read this? This sentence appears to me to be related to the 37mm gun?

I does. But it means 5,628 were made after July 39 when the Pak 38 was also made. A quick look at a website that is not Wikipedia says the Pak 36 went into production in 1933 and that 11k of them were in inventory at September 39.

 

Sorry, yes, I should have been more clear. There is extensive production data for the period August 1939 onward, but no so much earlier. They were producing about 300 per month for about three years prior to that. Somewhere I have the inventory for 1 September 1939 and c. 11,000 sound about right.


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#22 seahawk

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 1007 AM

That matches the often given ~16.000 as overall production.


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#23 Rich

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 1054 AM

That matches the often given ~16.000 as overall production.

Not including the American-made ones... :D


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#24 Markus Becker

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 1149 AM

Inspired by but not copies of. ;)
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#25 Rich

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 1223 PM

Inspired by but not copies of. ;)

As always...neither was the .30-06.

 

To be fair though, when you look at what Ordnance was "developing" as a 37mm gun during the late 1920s and early 1930s, you will understand why they turned to Germany for "inspiration". It could've been the Jervey, Baldwin, or McClean gun. Or, worse, the M2A1 or the AAC M-21 gun. :D


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#26 Markus Becker

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 1244 PM

I'll have to Google the AT guns but Ordnance was quite a bit late(or cheap) when inspired to create
.30-03. 7mm was the name of the game at that date but .30 Krag and .30-03 are both .308 calibers. Someone trying to safe money buy keeping the bore diameter identical? Springfield was an R&D and mass production facility, so I get why they made that decision. Less changes on all the tooling that made barrels.
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#27 Rich

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 1409 PM

I'll have to Google the AT guns but Ordnance was quite a bit late(or cheap) when inspired to create

Don't bother, unless you want to undertake the weeks-long research excursion I indulged in. Ordnance is actually pretty quiet about the 17 and 18-year average weapons gestation of the 1920s and 1930s. I cover it in a section of Chapter 3 in For Purpose of Service Test. It's sad and funny at the same time. John Browning essentially completed all the groundwork on his 37mm automatic gun by 1925...and as of 1 May 1940 there were exactly 15 of its standardized version, the M1A2 Gun and Carriage on hand in the U.S. Army. Part of the problem was financial, but it is pretty obvious the hidebound conservatism of Army Ordnance shown through as well. The 37mm M2A1 Gun fitted to the Medium Tank Phase in February 1938? It was essentially the Hotchkiss M1916 Infantry Gun in a twin-mount. The same 65-year-old round. Christ wept.

 

BTW, after more than ten years, For Purpose of Service Test, is essentially finished. I will probably start marketing it to publishers in a few weeks when the various edits are completed. 731 pages in draft, 119 tables, and possibly 559 photographs and illustrations.


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#28 Markus Becker

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 2335 PM

"John Browning essentially completed all the groundwork on his 37mm automatic gun by 1925..."

The one the P-39 and -63 got? That was intended as an AT gun in the 20s or an example of the long time Ordnance took?

I'm looking forward to your book.

Edited by Markus Becker, 02 June 2020 - 2347 PM.

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#29 DougRichards

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 0021 AM

At least the US took the required shortcut and adopted the 6pdr / 57mm without too much delay.


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#30 Rich

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 0031 AM

"John Browning essentially completed all the groundwork on his 37mm automatic gun by 1925..."

The one the P-39 and -63 got? That was intended as an AT gun in the 20s or an example of the long time Ordnance took?

I'm looking forward to your book.

It's complicated. The original gun was offered by Browning in December 1920 to meet a requirement for a 37mm automatic aircraft gun. It was basically an upscaled version of the ..50 BMG firing the Hotchkiss 37 x 97 round. at c. 1400 FPS. Ordnance said great, but can you boast it to 0200 FPS,,,and oh, yeah, how about an AA gun version firing at 2000 to 3000 FPS too? So he built two more guns, the latter of which fired a 37 X 123B round that achieved 2000 FPS. That gun was then rebuilt in 1926 to fire an even more powerful 37 X 224R round that achieved 3000 FPS...and then Browning died.

 

The upshot was both guns were tested in 1927 and it was found that the high Mv caused excessive wear at the muzzle and it also suffered frequent stoppages...and with Browning dead everyone basically stood around with thumbs up bums while they argued about the carriage design and tried to figure out a way to reduce wear. The Air Corps backed out of the program, but Colt and Ordnance redesigned to cartridge to 37 x 223R with a slightly lower Mv.and the gun - with a water jacket added apparently because it would look cool, but without a carriage - was standardized as the Antiaircraft Gun M1927 and then immediately changed to M1, because, well it was Ordnance and they decided to redesignate everything standardized in 1927 and beyond under a new system. Yay!

 

They completed three guns. They were then used to test and almost infinite number of carriage ideas. Over the next twelve years. Oh, they also dropped the water jacket, apparently because it no longer was cool. The real problem was the gun was inaccurate, suffered frequent stoppages from failure to eject, continued to suffer excessive wear, so they dropped the Mv to 2600 FPS and redesigned the rifling and eventually had a working gun, the M1A2. Yay!

 

Meanwhile, the Air Corps also decided to revive the 37mm aircraft gun and went back to the original Browning 1400 FPS design in 1935...15 years after Browning delivered the original pilot. That got tweaked and became the 37mm Aircraft Cannon M4.  In December 1939. They then came full circle again, and decided to adapt the 37mm Antiaircraft Gun M2A1 as an aircraft cannon, which eventually became the M9 a few years later.

 

And all during this time they periodically jury-rigged one of the pilot guns into one of the Ordnance tank experiments, without much success, which is what led the Army to buy the two Rheinmettal 3.7cm TAK in 1935. So no, neither the Aircraft Cannon M4 or the AA Gun M2A1 was ever intended as a tank gun.

 

BTW, Ordnance never did manage to correct the ejection stoppage problem in the 37mm Antiaircraft Gun M2A1, which was the reason the Army eventually decided to go with the 40mm Bofors.


Edited by Rich, 03 June 2020 - 0032 AM.

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#31 Markus Becker

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 0348 AM

What an "interesting" process. Was the M1A2 AA gun the 37mm AA gun that the army widely used during WW2 or was that yet another design?

https://en.m.wikiped...ki/37_mm_gun_M1

Looks like it. Seems to have been a decent medium AA gun, so all was well in the end.

Edited by Markus Becker, 03 June 2020 - 0351 AM.

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#32 Rich

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 1020 AM

What an "interesting" process. Was the M1A2 AA gun the 37mm AA gun that the army widely used during WW2 or was that yet another design?

https://en.m.wikiped...ki/37_mm_gun_M1

Looks like it. Seems to have been a decent medium AA gun, so all was well in the end.

Yep, "interesting" is pretty accurate. It was a decent medium AA gun, it just wasn't as good as the Bofors 40mm.


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#33 arcweasel

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 1026 AM

I have a few notes on the subject I pulled from various Field Artillery Journals.  The dates shown are what are claimed, not the issue of FAJ.

Apr1924 - tested both 1400fps and 2000fps cannon

Jan1925  - tested Browning 3000fps cannon

Jun1925  - tested Browning 3000fps cannon

Summer1925 - tested 37mm Browning 3000fps cannon on M1925E1 carriage

 

From those it looks like the 3000fps may have existed a year earlier, though the FAJ can be hard to interpret with dates sometimes (and many errors/typos), and definitely not a primary source which Rich is using.

 

 Jay


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#34 Rich

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 1115 AM

I have a few notes on the subject I pulled from various Field Artillery Journals.  The dates shown are what are claimed, not the issue of FAJ.

Apr1924 - tested both 1400fps and 2000fps cannon

Jan1925  - tested Browning 3000fps cannon

Jun1925  - tested Browning 3000fps cannon

Summer1925 - tested 37mm Browning 3000fps cannon on M1925E1 carriage

 

From those it looks like the 3000fps may have existed a year earlier, though the FAJ can be hard to interpret with dates sometimes (and many errors/typos), and definitely not a primary source which Rich is using.

 

 Jay

Yes, FAJ and Army Ordnance are primary sources and highly valuable as such, since the Ordnance files for this period are a bit of a mess...those records - and there are hundreds of boxes - are almost totally uncatalogued.

 

Part of the confusion is the after the fact designation of the pieces by Ordnance.

 

For example, Captain Thomas Jervey's 37mm automatic gun, developed in competition with Browning's was designated the T1. Browning's M1925 the T2, and his M1924 the T3. The original March 1921 1400 FPS Browning gun was never assigned a T number or an M number AFAIK (Mellinchamp in A Gun for All Nations states the T1 was the designation assigned to the M1923, which was the reworked 37mm Infantry Gun M1916, but that was Jervey's gun. I speculate that the M1923 Infantry Gun was actually the T4). It was re-worked by Browning to become the M1924 2000 FPS gun, while the M1925/T2 gun was also reworked and tested again in 1926 with the much larger 37 x 224R casing. However, it is unclear if it was assigned a new T number, but it may have been the T5? Note that the gun standardized as the Aircraft Cannon M4 was the T9 and the Rheinmettal 3.7cm TAK-derived design standardized as the 37mm Antitank Gun M3 was the T10. What exactly the T5, 6, 7, and 8 were remains speculation.


Edited by Rich, 03 June 2020 - 1117 AM.

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#35 Nobu

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 1118 AM

Ordnance said great, but can you boast it to 0200 FPS,,,and oh, yeah, how about an AA gun version firing at 2000 to 3000 FPS too? So he built two more guns, the latter of which fired a 37 X 123B round that achieved 2000 FPS. That gun was then rebuilt in 1926 to fire an even more powerful 37 X 224R round that achieved 3000 FPS...and then Browning died.

 

I am hoping not of frustration with the bureaucracy and its processes. The paper trail left behind by it must have been awesome in its bulk. It would also indicate the power behind it. 

 

*Edit: Did not see "hundreds of uncatalogued boxes" until now. Hopefully located in a climate-controlled library environment, and not in a hangar somewhere.

 

Looking forward to the book as well.


Edited by Nobu, 03 June 2020 - 1153 AM.

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#36 arcweasel

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 1136 AM

 

 

 

From those it looks like the 3000fps may have existed a year earlier, though the FAJ can be hard to interpret with dates sometimes (and many errors/typos), and definitely not a primary source which Rich is using.

 

 Jay

Yes, FAJ and Army Ordnance are primary sources and highly valuable as such, since the Ordnance files for this period are a bit of a mess...those records - and there are hundreds of boxes - are almost totally uncatalogued.

 

Definitely quibbling, but I see FAJ as a mix of primary and secondary source material.  In the case of reporting on other areas (Ordnance tests, armor, aviation, etc.) they'd be a secondary source.   As you say though, in many cases it's the best there is available.


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#37 Rich

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 1153 AM

 

 

 

 

From those it looks like the 3000fps may have existed a year earlier, though the FAJ can be hard to interpret with dates sometimes (and many errors/typos), and definitely not a primary source which Rich is using.

 

 Jay

Yes, FAJ and Army Ordnance are primary sources and highly valuable as such, since the Ordnance files for this period are a bit of a mess...those records - and there are hundreds of boxes - are almost totally uncatalogued.

 

Definitely quibbling, but I see FAJ as a mix of primary and secondary source material.  In the case of reporting on other areas (Ordnance tests, armor, aviation, etc.) they'd be a secondary source.   As you say though, in many cases it's the best there is available.

 

In a sense yes, but only because the various Journals - Army Ordnance, Field Artillery, Coast Artillery, Infantry, and Cavalry heavily cross-published articles. Sadly, Army Ordnance is the most difficult to track down, but much of what is missing can be found in the others.

 

I forgot to mention it didn't help that Ordnance was anything but consistent in designating items. For example, all guns 37mm, 75mm, 105mm, and so forth - Infantry, Antiaircraft, Aircraft, and Tank followed the same series within calibers, while the Tank T-series were separate for Light, Medium, and Combat Car through the T7, when they apparently threw up their hands and just ran them sequentially. Meanwhile, of course the Tank M-series got "rationalized" when they decided to call the redesigned M3 the M5 instead of the M4.


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#38 Rich

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 1232 PM

BTW, I forgot to mention that NONE of the AAC 37mm gun designs have ANYTHING to do with the standardized 37mm Aircraft Cannons M4 and M9, the M1A2 Antiaircraft Gun, the M3 Antitank Gun, and the M5/6 Tank Gun, even though Wiki and god knows how many other lame sites claim they did, based on zero evidence.

 

The Miranda Brothers and their American Armaments Corporation were marketers and promoters, they did zero design work that I could find. They and the companies they were affiliated with did own various patents through Driggs Engineering and National Forge for a bunch of pretty crappy automatic 37mm guns firing at least four or five different cartridges, but they had nothing to do with the M4 and M9 Aircraft Cannon, the M1A2 Antiaircraft Gun, the M3 Antitank Gun, and the M5/6 Tank Gun. The M4 and M9 were essentially Browning/Colt/Ordnance designs later manufactured by Oldsmobile.


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#39 Markus Becker

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 1343 PM

What an "interesting" process. Was the M1A2 AA gun the 37mm AA gun that the army widely used during WW2 or was that yet another design?https://en.m.wikiped...ki/37_mm_gun_M1
Looks like it. Seems to have been a decent medium AA gun, so all was well in the end.

Yep, "interesting" is pretty accurate. It was a decent medium AA gun, it just wasn't as good as the Bofors 40mm.
It came to my attention first on the long defunct website antiaircraft.org. The 37 and the Bofors stuck me as complementary*. One going almost exclusively to the navy(until late in the war) and the other to the army. Of course either could have done both as land based Bofors show. I guess it was a case of mounts/carriages and availability. The 37 was available in the army configuration and from the Dutch the Allies got a good naval mount.


Being credited with the same effective RoF and altitude(?). .. No, AA ceiling. That was the phrase.

Edited by Markus Becker, 03 June 2020 - 1409 PM.

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#40 Rich

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 1431 PM

 

 

What an "interesting" process. Was the M1A2 AA gun the 37mm AA gun that the army widely used during WW2 or was that yet another design?https://en.m.wikiped...ki/37_mm_gun_M1
Looks like it. Seems to have been a decent medium AA gun, so all was well in the end.

Yep, "interesting" is pretty accurate. It was a decent medium AA gun, it just wasn't as good as the Bofors 40mm.
It came to my attention first on the long defunct website antiaircraft.org. The 37 and the Bofors stuck me as complementary*. One going almost exclusively to the navy(until late in the war) and the other to the army. Of course either could have done both as land based Bofors show. I guess it was a case of mounts/carriages and availability. The 37 was available in the army configuration and from the Dutch the Allies got a good naval mount.


Being credited with the same effective RoF and altitude(?).

 

Not exactly...the Bofors story is also complicated. It originated with Krupp, before the Versailles Treaty forced it to Sweden and Bofors. It first came to USN attention in the fall of 1939 as a possible replacement for the .50 caliber BMG/1.1-inch, which were already perceived as inadequate against modern aircraft. York Safe & Lock representatives were in Stockholm in April 1940 negotiating the first leases and the first examples arrived in New York in August 1940.

 

The Army expressed some interest in the Bofors gun as early as 1937, but happily did nothing about it as Ordnance continued to tinker with the M1A2. However, probably unwilling to be left behind by the Navy, the Army finally acquired one gun in November and completed testing it on 31 December 1940. However, the Army sourced its sample from the British Army. On 29 May 1940 the 40mm Antiaircraft Gun M1 on Carriage M1 was standardized and concurrently the 37mm Antiaircraft Gun M1A2 was classified substitute standard. As production of the 40mm grew, use of the 37mm was relegated to the M15 and M15A1 SP mount.

 

Two very good sources for the American Bofors are:

 

https://www.ibiblio..../075-Ord6R.html

https://www.allpar.c...ary/bofors.html

 

Although the latter is more concerned with the manufacturing aspects of the gun. Production of the Army 40mm began in March 1942. Production of the Navy twin mount began in June 1942 and the quad mount in April 1942. Production of the Army 37mm M1A2 ended in July 1943, but conversion of the M1A2 to the M15A1 SP mount continued through March 1944. Production of the Navy 1.1 mount ended in November 1942.


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