Jump to content


Photo

20 mm Hispano as anti-aircraft gun


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 Pachy

Pachy

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 443 posts
  • Location:The City of Light

Posted 19 May 2007 - 0648 AM

Sorry if this has been asked before.

Why wasn't the Hispano 20 mm cannon more used as an anti-aircraft gun during WWII?

FWIW the French air force did have a few ground-based HS.404s in 1940, fitted on a Le Prieur-type carriage (similar with the one used on the 25 mm Hotchkiss mle 39). A quadruple variant existed (see this pic), at least as a prototype... a kind of Flakvierling Ó la franšaise. But since HS.404s were urgently needed for aircraft production (some frontline MS.406s still had the older HS.9 fitted, and Potez 631s often had only one cannon fitted instead of two), there was no widespread use of the ground-based mountings.

But AFAIK allied countries who had a license to build the Hispano did only use it aboard aircraft. Why did Allied navies standardize on the inferior Oerlikon, for example?

#2 Jim Martin

Jim Martin

    Kick me! I'm not allowed to hit back!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,552 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:St. Louis, MO area

Posted 19 May 2007 - 0712 AM

As I understand it, the Germans de-emphasized their 20mm AA's because the round wasn't effective enough.

#3 Tony Williams

Tony Williams

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7,577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Military guns and ammunition (all calibres)

Posted 19 May 2007 - 0716 AM

The Oerlikon was rugged and reliable. The Hispano was much more finicky and fragile. That was enough to outweigh the Hispano's higher rate of fire - and in AA applications, the extra weight of the Oerlikon didn't matter.

#4 Marek Tucan

Marek Tucan

    Powerpoint Ranger, Chairborne

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Versailles, France

Posted 19 May 2007 - 0855 AM

Then there was Hs804 built on the TCM-20 AA mount, no? I gather the later variant was more reliable to allow for this?

#5 DougRichards

DougRichards

    Doug Richards

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7,250 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Looking at Tamarama Beach, Sydney, Aust
  • Interests:Degree in History and Politics. Interests are Military History, military models,

Posted 19 May 2007 - 0910 AM

Chamberlain and Gander's 1975 World War Two Factfiles Anti-Aircraft Guns (Arco Publishing, New York) has an entry, under British guns, that the 20mm Hispano-Suiza Gun, developed from the Birkigt Type 404 cannon, was mounted on a variety of 'free' mountings for ship and harbour defence, but there is also a photo of a Hispano Mark2* on a H.B. Mark 2 mounting, similar to that used for the Polsten.

It appears that the Hispano-Suiza, originally designed for use with a 60 round drum magazine (hence the Westland Whirlwind had the aforementioned 60 rounds per gun), was redesigned for belt feed, and it was the older drum fed models that were released by the British Air Ministry as surface based weapons.

It is further noted that the Hispano-Suiza used a different 20mm round from that of the Oerlikon (and therefore Polsten) gun.

Edited by DougRichards, 19 May 2007 - 0912 AM.


#6 Tony Williams

Tony Williams

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7,577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Military guns and ammunition (all calibres)

Posted 19 May 2007 - 0930 AM

All true, Doug - but the Hisso still saw very little use in the AA role. When tried on shipboard mountings, it was discovered that it was much less reliable than the Oerlikon. And on land - well, it didn't much like dust.

The requirements for a good aircraft gun are rather different from those for a good AA gun.

#7 GdG**

GdG**

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 190 posts
  • Location:Paris, France

Posted 19 May 2007 - 1000 AM

BTW, Tony, while you're still at it, I got a question for you:

Do you know anything about the canister shots used by the 37 mm SA18 gun? (I doubt canister shots were issued to the 37 mm Puteaux Mle 1916 infantry cannon).

#8 Yama

Yama

    The only honest Scorpion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 5,742 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Yogo Shiro

Posted 19 May 2007 - 1016 AM

As I understand it, the Germans de-emphasized their 20mm AA's because the round wasn't effective enough.


Hmm, I don't know, they had many different 20mm guns and installations, through the war. They were good guns - we used them well into the '60s and maybe beyond.

#9 Chris Werb

Chris Werb

    In Zod We Trust

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,699 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Orkney, Scotland, UK
  • Interests:But it's got electrolytes! They're what plants crave!

Posted 19 May 2007 - 1344 PM

And on land - well, it didn't much like dust.


In which case why did the Israelis use it on their TCM-20 (converted Maxson mounts on AAHTs)?

#10 Marek Tucan

Marek Tucan

    Powerpoint Ranger, Chairborne

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Versailles, France

Posted 19 May 2007 - 1409 PM

In which case why did the Israelis use it on their TCM-20 (converted Maxson mounts on AAHTs)?


Odd, thought that TCM used HS.804 guns but now found sources claiming 404's taken from Ouragan planes...
So... What's correct? And how did they manage to dustproof them?

#11 Chris Werb

Chris Werb

    In Zod We Trust

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,699 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Orkney, Scotland, UK
  • Interests:But it's got electrolytes! They're what plants crave!

Posted 19 May 2007 - 1558 PM

Odd, thought that TCM used HS.804 guns but now found sources claiming 404's taken from Ouragan planes...
So... What's correct? And how did they manage to dustproof them?


I also read somewhere that the Irish government used Hispanos taken from retired Dh Vampire aircraft to arm Swedish Landsverk(sp?) armoured cars used to escort explosive shipments to quarries etc.

#12 Bob B

Bob B

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,954 posts

Posted 19 May 2007 - 1627 PM

The US did build a prototype system using six Hispano-Suiza guns on a modified .50 caliber MG M55 mount late in WW2 for use against Kamikazi aircraft. It was nick named the "Blizzard Buggy", and the technical name was 20mm Gun Multiple Mount T34. I don't have any more info on it other than this. It was in a caption under a picture in Schreier's Guide To United States Machine Guns. The development ended with the Prototype.

For the most part the WW2 history of the Hispano-Suiza in US service was a real mess.

#13 Pachy

Pachy

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 443 posts
  • Location:The City of Light

Posted 19 May 2007 - 1640 PM

Thanks all.

#14 Chris Werb

Chris Werb

    In Zod We Trust

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,699 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Orkney, Scotland, UK
  • Interests:But it's got electrolytes! They're what plants crave!

Posted 19 May 2007 - 1702 PM

B)-->
QUOTE(Bob B @ Sat 19 May 2007 2227) View Post
The US did build a prototype system using six Hispano-Suiza guns on a modified .50 caliber MG M55 mount late in WW2 for use against Kamikazi aircraft.[/quote]

Earlier they had apparently actually built AAHTs with two Hispanos on a modified Maxson mount - the whole system designated T10E1 - the ones built were converted to use 0.50s as regular M16s.

#15 Tony Williams

Tony Williams

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7,577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Military guns and ammunition (all calibres)

Posted 19 May 2007 - 1932 PM

In which case why did the Israelis use it on their TCM-20 (converted Maxson mounts on AAHTs)?

I suspect, because it was available...so they just had to worker harder to keep the actions clean.

There was very little difference between the HS 404 and HS 804: the latter was a Swiss rather than French development, and was basically a "product improved" 404.

#16 Jim Martin

Jim Martin

    Kick me! I'm not allowed to hit back!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,552 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:St. Louis, MO area

Posted 20 May 2007 - 0040 AM

Hmm, I don't know, they had many different 20mm guns and installations, through the war. They were good guns - we used them well into the '60s and maybe beyond.


It's been years, and I couldn't tell you the source. I just recall reading that the Germans decided fairly early on that the 20mm was inadequate to the AA role, and decided to go to larger calibers. Certainly they retained 20mm in service--that's why I said "de-emphasized", I don't think the Germans retired a single weapon during the course of the war.

#17 Tony Williams

Tony Williams

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7,577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Military guns and ammunition (all calibres)

Posted 20 May 2007 - 0144 AM

It's been years, and I couldn't tell you the source. I just recall reading that the Germans decided fairly early on that the 20mm was inadequate to the AA role, and decided to go to larger calibers. Certainly they retained 20mm in service--that's why I said "de-emphasized", I don't think the Germans retired a single weapon during the course of the war.

The "Flakvierling" quad-20mm remained a formidable close-in AA system to the end of the war (and beyond). It was a deadly threat to the Allied P-47 and Typhoon fighter-bombers in Europe. However, it had limited altitude capability so they also produced 37mm AA guns and tried to produce 50-55mm to plug the defensive gap between 20mm and 88mm coverage. At the end of the war they produced a few 30mm FlaK mountings (using the aircraft MK 103 cannon) but these were not entirely satisfactory (too much vibration).

#18 Gorka L. Martinez-Mezo

Gorka L. Martinez-Mezo

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,356 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Malaga, Spain
  • Interests:military history

Posted 21 May 2007 - 0422 AM

Then there was Hs804 built on the TCM-20 AA mount, no? I gather the later variant was more reliable to allow for this?


The Spanish Army and Air Force used license built Hispano guns as light AA guns from the 1940s to well into the 70s in CETME mounts. They were replaced by Oerlikons 5TG 20/120mm guns from the 60s.

#19 Tony Williams

Tony Williams

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7,577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Military guns and ammunition (all calibres)

Posted 21 May 2007 - 0802 AM

Yugoslavia also made a triple Hispano AA mounting.

#20 Guest_bojan_*

Guest_bojan_*
  • Guests

Posted 22 May 2007 - 0812 AM

Yugoslavia also made a triple Hispano AA mounting.


All versions:

M65 - (mid-'60s) - twin mount for ships, based on the Maxton .50 Quad mount. Used only on few river ships.

M75 - (mid-'60s) - single mount.
http://elektron.tmf....20mm_m75_01.jpg

M55A1 - (mid-'60s) - single mount, same as M55A3 with middle gun only. Not produced

M55A2 - (mid-'60s) - twin mount, same as M55A3 but w/o middle gun. Produced for export only.

M55A3 - (1971) - tripple mount, copy of the Swiss version
http://elektron.tmf...._m55a4b1_02.jpg

M55A4 - (1980) - new (Italian IIRC) sights, APU
http://elektron.tmf...._m55a3b1_01.jpg
(both M55A3 and M55A4 pictures are mislabeled)

M71 - (1971) - single ship mount
http://elektron.tmf....hips/rpc_02.jpg

M71 - (1971) - twin ship mount, basicly ship version od M55A3 w/o middle gun

M75 - (1980) - quad ship mount.
http://elektron.tmf..../neshtin_03.jpg

Edited by bojan, 23 May 2007 - 0520 AM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users