ANTIAIRCRAFT GUNS PART 3:

Heavy Guns

 

 

75 mm Zenit-Meller

Calibre:

75 mm x 660 R

Length of weapon:

?

Barrel length:

375 cm aka L/50

Length of rifling:

294 cm

Weight in action:

2556 kg

Weight travelling:

fixed

Fire-rate:

10 - 15/minute

Muzzle velocity:

750 - 806 m/sec

Magazine:

None

Traverse:

360 degrees

Elevation:

- 15 degrees, + 70 or + 75 degrees

Max. range:

Horizontal range 12900 m

Country of origin:

Russia

Ammunition types:

AP

HE (projectile 6,3 kg)

Finnish use: Few captured in Civil War of 1918. These guns were the starting-point of antiaircraft units in Finland.

Imperial Russian Navy had adopted 75-mm Canet gun to its use in 1891. During World War 1 antiaircraft guns were needed and Russians considered 75-mm Canet guns basically suitable as a fixed anti-aircraft guns. However, existing mounts didn't give enough elevation, so new Meller-mount (named after its developer Captain Meller) was designed for antiaircraft-use. First guns with Meller mount were delivered in autumn - winter of 1914. In Russia/Soviet Union 75-mm Zenit-Meller antiaircraft-guns were manufactured until late 1920's and presumably some were still used in World War 2.

The Finns captured about two dozen of these guns in Civil War of 1918. The unofficial starting point of antiaircraft artillery practices in Finnish Armed forces started from Captain Åke Törnroos of Finnish coastal artillery taking command of coastal fort in Kuivasaari Island outside Helsinki. In Kuivasaari Island he noticed two 75-mm Zenit-Meller coastal guns that Russians had left behind in 1918 and got interested about them. Finnish military knew that the guns been intended for shooting zeppelin and aircraft, but not much else. At that time Finnish military didn't yet have antiaircraft weapons or methods for shooting air targets. This got Captain Törnroos excited, the idea of having two weapons but no information how to use them simply didn't suite for him. Törnroos started gathering information from all possible sources. Combining the information with his own mathematical skills he developed the first rudimentary method for shooting air targets and tested it with the guns. Soon he got support from Väinö Valve, who was Commander of Coastal Artillery at that time. This was the starting point for developing antiaircraft-weaponry and methods for shooting air targets in Finnish Coastal Artillery and later lead to establishing of first Finnish antiaircraft-artillery units. In 1920's Finnish Coastal Artillery had 18 of these guns and Navy had 10. The guns saw some use against air targets also during World War 2, but their main influence to history was to be weapons, which started development of antiaircraft-warfare in Finland.

 

75 ItK/97-14 P, Puteaux

(75 mm antiaircraft gun M/97-14 Puteaux)

PICTURE: 75 mm anti-aircraft gun M/97-14 Puteaux. Photo taken in Hanko / Hango autumn of 1942. (SA-kuva photo archive, photo number 108837). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (126 KB).

Calibre:

75 mm x 350 R

Length of weapon:

?

Barrel length:

L/36,3

Length of rifling:

?

Weight in action:

3000 kg

Weight travelling:

fixed

Fire-rate:

15/minute maximum

Muzzle velocity:

530 - 590 m/sec

Magazine:

None

Traverse:

360 degrees

Elevation:

- 15 degrees, + 70 degrees

Max. range:

Effective 3.000 - 4.000 m

Country of origin:

France

Ammunition types:

AP

HE (projectile 6,25 kg), APHE (1942), shrapnel (1942)

Finnish use: 24 guns bought from Germany arrived in June of 1941. They were issued to six 4-gun coastal antiaircraft-gun batteries during Continuation War.

During World War 1 French had developed several antiaircraft-guns based to their 75-mm Schneider M/1897 field gun. Fixed guns of this type mostly located around Paris. By World War 2 French had modernised quite a large number of these guns, but even then they still had bit over 900 unmodified guns of this type in their use when German invaded in 1940. The Germans captured large number of these guns and pressed them in their own use. However as the guns were as old they were they later transferred the guns as weaponry of their Atlantic Wall.

The Finns bought 24 of these guns from Germans during Interim Peace and they arrived 13th of June 1941. They were used to arm six 4-gun coastal anti-aircraft gun batteries and remained in use until end of Continuation War. Relatively little is known about these guns in Finland. The guns were all fixed and considering their elevation their mounts likely were not of the oldest version, but still quite old-fashioned even at year 1941. It seems likely that these guns had sort of a double role in use of coastal artillery - while they offered some air defence capability they were more useful against surface targets. The guns proved outdated and unsuccessful in Finnish use also. Mechanical fire control computer system that Finnish military used with these guns was French Aufiere, which was also quite outdated. Modern aircraft were mostly too fast for Aufiere to track them successfully. As Continuation War ended so did also using these guns in Finnish military.

Only ammunition Finnish military seems to have used with these guns for anti-aircraft use was French made 75 itpkr 24/31-Ra high explosive (HE) shell. This HE-round weight 5.8 kg and contained 675 g of picric. The round came with two varieties of propellant charge - one producing 580 m/sec and another one with 575 m/sec muzzle velocity. However in the role that the coastal artillery used these old anti-aircraft guns shooting surface targets were at least as important and this reflected to their ammunition inventory. Besides that one anti-aircraft round these guns used also the same ammunition as 75 K/97 field gun, this gave them variety of HE, shrapnel and APHE shells. Only ammunition of 75 K/97 field gun, which may not have been used with this anti-aircraft gun were AP-T and HEAT. While these two projectile types were good for antitank-work they were not as good for anti-ship use as HE and APHE, at the same time HE and shrapnel rounds were useful for beach defence against infantry.

 

75 ItK/30 BK, Bofors, "Siamilais-tykki"

(75 mm antiaircraft gun M/30 Bofors, "The Siamese gun")

PICTURE: 75-mm Bofors M/30 AA-gun. (Photo taken in Suomenlinna). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (68 KB).

Calibre:

75 mm x 546 R

Length of weapon:

?

Barrel length:

366 cm aka L/48

Length of rifling:

336 cm

Weight in action:

1775 kg

Weight travelling:

fixed

Fire-rate:

12/minute

Muzzle velocity:

750 m/sec

Magazine:

None

Traverse:

360 degrees

Elevation:

- 5 degrees,+ 80 degrees

Max. range:

Maximum effective range 5000 m

Maximum range 9800 m

Against surface targets 14000 m

Country of origin:

Sweden (made by Bofors)

Ammunition types:

HE (projectile 6,5 kg), AP-T (projectile 6,5 kg)(*)

(*) AP-T round likely introduced around December 1942.

Finnish use: 9 fixed guns intended for Siam (Thailand) bought during Winter War from Sweden. The guns arrived in February of 1940 and two of the three planned (3-gun) AA-gun batteries armed with these guns were operational before Winter War ended. During Winter War and Continuation War these guns were used in home-front air-defence.

Bofors had originally developed this fixed 75-mm gun mainly as dual-use gun for naval use. As a dual-use weapon it was very capable to be used both against surface and air targets. The basic structure of these guns was quite typical to heavy guns used during World War 2 with jacket-tube barrel, liquid buffer and spring recuperator. Breech mechanism used in them was semiautomatic sliding breechblock and giving a good rate of fire vitally important for anti-aircraft use.

By year 1937 it had become clear to the Finns that situation in Europe was getting more hazardous and that developing of Finnish air-defence had been neglected. Because of this Finnish Ministry of Defence sent circular letter to factories and communities offering them possibility to finance purchases of anti- aircraft equipment. The letter included a promise to issue the antiaircraft-equipment financed in this way to military units protecting the particular locality of factory or community. In other words - the communities could help by financing additional air defence materials, which would be used to defend them. The circular letter included also attachment with estimated prices of antiaircraft-weaponry and accessories (like rangefinders and searchlights) to simplify decision process. While the circular letter had been sent too late to make much of a difference before Winter War, it proved useful during the war.

Siam (nowadays Thailand) was among countries that had ordered these guns from Bofors before World War 2. Siamese Royal Navy had intended using them to equip their submarines. When Winter War started Finland needed immediately as many antiaircraft-guns it could buy. That time Swedes had 9 of these guns, which had been ordered by Siam, but had to yet been delivered. In city of Turku the circular letter from Ministry of Defence had inspired private citizens to form Turun Kodinpuolustustoimikunta (Home-defence committee of Turku), which started organising finacing for acquiring of anti-aircraft weapons for defending of their city. Besides official channels the committee was blessed with some serious unofficial contacts. These unofficial contacts included wealthy Finnish industrialist Hans von Rettig, who was a personal friend of Swedish King Gustav V. The Swedish King stopped the delivery of these nine guns to Thailand and after some diplomacy Bofors sold them to Finland. They arrived to Finland in February of 1940 and were issued in air-defence of Turku, but preparations such like building concrete gun pits and training personnel took it time. Hence only two (60th and 61st Heavy Fixed AA-Gun Batteries) of the three planned (3-gun) batteries were ready for action when Winter War ended. The third battery (62nd Heavy Fixed AA-Gun Battery) was completed few days after Winter War had ended in March of 1940. Two of these heavy antiaircraft-gun batteries remained in Turku for whole duration of Continuation War. Also the third Battery spent most of the war in there, but in summer of 1944 it was transferred to Santahamina military base in Helsinki. As these guns had been originally intended for submarines, when they arrived to Finland they had been equipped with sights intended only for shooting surface targets. This was something which the Finns fixed immediately. They were also delivered with Swedish M/30 Äldre mechanical fire control computers, which proved so outdated that during Continuation War they were replaced with Finnish made Juhasz-Gamma were mechanical fire control computers. After World War 2 the guns were used first used by air defence, later they were transferred to Finnish Navy and finally to coastal artillery in early 1970's. Coastal artillery used them for training until year 1978. The three 76/48 28 LT naval guns, that Finnish Navy had in its submarines Vetehinen, Vesihiisi and Iki-Turso, were otherwise similar to these guns, but were in 76.2-mm caliber. However, also 75 ItK/30 guns ended their career with Finnish military in 76.2-mm calibre, because after World War 2 they were modified to that calibre for simplifying ammunition supply.

Besides typical TNT-filled high explosive (HE) shells designed for anti-aircraft use this gun had also armour piercing tracer shells (AP-T). The HE-shells used with these guns originated from Finland and Sweden. The Finnish made TNT-loaded version of HE-shell had electron (mix of magnesium containing 95 % of magnesium, 4.5 % of zinc and 0.5 % of copper) added to it for enhancing flash of the exploding shell - the purpose was to make barrage of these guns look more dangerous for enemy pilots. The AP-T round was called 75 psa B Vj4, its projectile weight 6.5 kg and like rest of the round it was Finnish made. While anti-aircraft ammunition manuals do not provide date for introduction of this ammunition, it seems likely to have been introduced around same time, that ammunition with similar projectiles was introduced to field artillery - around December 1942.

 

75 ItK/37 SK, Skoda

(75 mm antiaircraft gun M/37 Skoda)

(7.5 cm kanon PL vz. 37)

PICTURE: 75-mm Skoda M/37 AA-gun. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (70 KB).

Calibre:

75 mm x 657 R

Length of weapon:

?

Barrel length:

L/48

Length of rifling:

?

Weight in action:

2800 kg

Weight travelling:

4150 kg

Fire-rate:

15/minute / 10-12/minute constant

Muzzle velocity:

750 - 775 m/sec

Magazine:

None

Traverse:

360 degrees

Elevation:

- 0 degrees,+ 85 degrees

Max. range:

Maximum effective range 4000 - 6000 m

Maximum vertical ceiling 9200 m

Maximum range 14600 m

Country of origin:

Czechoslovakia (Skoda)

Ammunition types:

HE (projectile 5,5 kg), AP-T (projectile 6,5 kg) (*)

(*) AP-T round likely introduced around December 1942.

Finnish use: 20 guns bought from Germany arrived in November of 1940. During Continuation War they were used to arm five 4-gun batteries. The guns were all mobile (towed).

Skoda (Skodovy Zavody Plzni) started its work with anti-aircraft guns in typical way - by modifying existing field guns to anti-aircraft guns during World War 1. Year 1919 the factory started manufacturing copy of German 7,7 cm Flak 18 in co-operation with Schneider. Skoda kept manufacturing guns for Czechoslovakian military and for export in 1920's and 1930's. Year 1937 Skoda introduced new 75-mm anti-aircraft gun, which was based to its earlier model 1932 design. When Germans invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938 they naturally took over the guns taking them to their own use, but sold most of them to Italy. German military knew the guns as 7,5 cm Flak M.37(t) and the Italians knew them as Cannone da 75/49 or 75/50. They were quite modern mobile AA-guns at that time. Two-axle 4-wheeled trailer was used for transporting them. After Mussolini lost his power in Italy German troops took some of the guns earlier sold to the Italians to their own use.

Structurally the gun was rather typical heavy anti-aircraft gun of its time. It had cruciform gun mount and breech system vertical sliding breechblock. As usual the breech mechanism was semi-automatic in that sense that after firing a shot it removed used cartridge case and remained open for the next cartridge, which was inserted to breech by hand. Recoil system had hydraulic buffer, gas recuperator and spring stabilisers. The gun was unusually low as the mount didn't contain the usual column-like part under the actual gun. Another unusual part of the design was muzzle brake, which was quite similar as in 105 H/41 howitzer, which was also Skoda design. Transporting equipment for the gun was the typical axle with tires-type. Its maximum towing speed was 60 km/h. The gun had been designed to be towed with motor vehicles, but if needed could also be towed with horses. The gun had been equipped also for direct fire use against surface targets.

PICTURE: 75-mm Skoda M/37 AA-gun. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (72 KB).

Finland bought 20 of the Skoda anti-aircraft guns from Germany during Interim Peace and they arrived 20th of November 1940. The guns were used but in relatively good condition. They were used to arm 5 heavy antiaircraft-gun batteries (which each had 4 guns) during Continuation War. The guns proved to be not quite as good as heavy Bofors guns and especially old-fashioned fuses with gunpowder channels used in their ammunition decreased effectiveness as because of dispersion in their burning time fuse settings didn't function accurately. The 5 heavy batteries armed with these guns moved around a lot during Continuation War and they took new positions over 100 times. Three out of five batteries even served also in Lapland War. The guns were used with M/37 Skoda T 7 n mechanical fire control computer. The Skoda-guns nowadays remaining in Ilmatorjuntamuseo (Finnish Antiaircraft Museum) were used to shoot fire salutes in funeral of Marshal Mannerheim.

This gun had high explosive (HE) shells loaded both with TNT (trotyl, trinitrotoluene) and amatol for anti-aircraft use. The HE-ammunition used with it contained both Finnish and German made ammunition. HE-shells contained 640 g of explosive and Finnish made TNT-loaded version contained also electron (magnesium-mix used to enhance flash produced by exploding shell and make them look more dangerous). In addition to these its ammunition inventory included also armour piercing tracer (AP-T) ammunition 75 psa Sk Vj4, which had 6,5 kg projectile and muzzle velocity of 775 m/sec. While anti-aircraft ammunition manuals do not provide date for introduction of this ammunition, it seems likely to have been introduced around same time, that ammunition with similar projectiles was introduced to field artillery - around December 1942.

 

76 ItK/14, Putilov

76/30 P

(76 mm antiaircraft gun M/14 Putilov)

PICTURE: 76-mm Putilov M/14 AA-gun. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (69 KB).

Calibre:

76,2 mm x 385 R

Length of weapon:

?

Barrel length:

L/30,5

Length of rifling:

1790 mm

Weight in action:

1300 kg

Weight travelling:

fixed

Fire-rate:

12/minute

Muzzle velocity:

588 m/sec

Magazine:

None

Traverse:

360 degrees

Elevation:

- 5 degrees,+ 65 degrees

Max. range:

Maximum effective range 5000 m

Country of origin:

Russia

Ammunition types:

HE (projectile 6,5 kg)

Finnish use: 2 guns captured in Civil War in year 1918 with Ukrainski Revolutsija / Putilovian artillery wagon used in one of the armoured trains used by Finnish Red Guards. These guns were forgotten until found in mid 1920's and become first anti-aircraft guns of first Finnish anti-aircraft artillery unit in 1926. Still used by anti-aircraft artillery units during Winter War. During Continuation War they were used by Coastal Artillery. Both of these guns were fixed version.

First guns Russians used as antiaircraft-guns during World War 2 had been 76-mm model 1902 field guns installed to AA-platform, the platform were fixed wood structures that on top of which the whole field guns was place. The mounts allowed circling the whole point around central point giving the gun 360-degree traverse and higher elevation adjustable with field guns own elevation adjustment system. The system was rudimentary and had little chance of hitting anything but slow moving zeppelin or fixed observation balloon, so better anti-aircraft gun was desperately needed. During World War 1 the French developed anti-aircraft gun version from their 75-mm model 1897 field gun, that gave idea to Russians for developing similar kind of weapon. In other words: This gun, called model 1914 Putilov, has basically Russian 76-mm field gun m/1902 barrel equipped with half-automatic breech with sliding breechblock and installed on top of column mount suitable for antiaircraft-use. Even ammunition of this gun used same cartridge cases as Russian/Soviet field guns of this calibre. Designers of the gun were by Captain V.V. Ternovskij and Engineer F. F. Lender, after who Soviets later called these guns also as "Lender's guns". It was manufactured in Putilov artillery factory (later renamed as Kirov artillery factory by the Soviets) starting March of 1915. However Russians also soon developed improved version already that same year. Official Russian/Soviet name for the gun was 8-K. They installed it to fixed gun positions, ships, horse-drawn carts, on top of trucks and also to railway cars of armoured trains. Soviets also modernised their 8-K guns in 1920's were still using them during World War 2. During that war the Germans knew these guns as 7.6 cm Flak M1915 L/30 Behefsflak.

Finnish White Army captured 2 guns used in Red armoured artillery wagon of armoured train named Ukrainski Revolutsija (Revolution of Ukraine) during Finnish Civil War of 1918. After War of 1918 the armoured artillery railway wagon equipped with these guns was dismantled and the guns were forgotten to Fredriksberg Engineering Works. 26th of July 1926 they were found from there and become first anti-aircraft guns issued to first Finnish anti-aircraft artillery unit, which had been established 18th of June 1926. The ammunition used in these was the same as in 76 K 02 field guns, so there was very little problem in getting ammunition for them. They were transferred to Coastal Artillery (part of Finnish Navy) in October of 1939 and during Winter War were in use of coastal anti-aircraft battery located in Lapinniemi Cape near Viipuri/Viborg. Their aiming systems were also improved at that time by adding reference system that visually showed exact mil-measurement, towards which the gun was pointing. Coastal artillery referred these guns as 76/30 P (76-mm cannon with 30 caliber barrel, model Putilov). During Continuation War they remained in use of coastal artillery and in 1945 they were finally warehoused for possible further use, which never came. The two guns now belong to collections of Anti-aircraft Museum in Tuusula.

 

76 ItK/02/34 OH

(76 mm antiaircraft gun M/02/34 with Obuhov sea howitzer mount)

PICTURE: 76-mm ItK/02/34 OH anti-aircraft gun in the bushes. This is not the guns standard colour. ;-) The paint is probably a base paint on which the correct paint is about be added. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (224 KB).

Calibre:

76,2 mm x 660 R

Length of weapon:

?

Barrel length:

L/49

Length of rifling:

294 cm

Weight in action:

?

Weight travelling:

fixed

Fire-rate:

4 - 5/minute

Muzzle velocity:

750 - 775 m/sec

Magazine:

None

Traverse:

360 degrees

Elevation:

- 2 degrees,+ 80 degrees

Max. range:

Maximum effective range 5000 m

Country of origin:

Finland

Ammunition types:

HE (projectile 5,4 kg / 5,5 kg), AP-T (projectile 6,5 kg) (*)

(*) AP-T round likely introduced around December 1942.

Finnish use: Eight of these guns were made in 1930's by modifying them from existing 75/50 OH coastal guns. They were used in Winter War and Continuation War even if they proved unsatisfactory. Issued to home front anti-aircraft artillery units during Winter War. Two of these guns were used in larger artillery wagons of armoured trains around 1941 - 1943. Finally these guns were transferred to coastal artillery during Continuation War.

Finnish defence funding in 1930's was terribly tight and getting funding for new weapons was very difficult. At the same time Major General Nenonen made the decision about making 76.2-mm as standard calibre for heavy anti-aircraft guns. In usual Finnish spirit of improvisation Finnish military decided to try developing gun suitable for antiaircraft-use from existing weapons. The solution that Finnish Army come up was to modify eight existing 75/50 OH coastal guns to 76.2-mm caliber. 75/50 OH was version of 75-mm Canet naval/coastal gun, which Finnish military had equipped with pedestal-type gun mounts taken from captured Russian 122-mm and 152-mm sea howitzers to give the guns larger maximum elevation. These Russian sea howitzers captured year 1918 had been found useless, which resulted them being about to be scrapped and due to this their gun mounts becoming available to other projects. While the resulting gun may have looked suitable as anti-aircraft gun due to its large maximum elevation and good muzzle velocity, the later experiences were to prove otherwise.

PICTURE: 76-mm ItK/02/34 OH anti-aircraft gun. The same individual gun as earlier photo, but now with the correct paint. (Photo taken in Anti-aircraft Museum). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (207 KB).

Inventing the name of this new gun also gave reason for more thinking than with most guns. Numbers 02 originated from the production year of the oldest 75-mm Canet gun found in Suomenlinna fort - which was from year 1902. When manufacturing the improvised guns started in year 1934 that gave /34 as second set of numbers. Since Obuhov factory was the main manufacturer of 75/50 Canet gun the letter O was added. Another added letter was H, which was included due the use of sea howitzer (meri Haupitsi gun mount. Hence as result this new gun got named as 76 ItK/02/34 OH.

Only 8 of these guns were made with all them being completed before Winter War. As the barrels had been modified to 76.2-mm calibre the same ammunition as in 76.2-mm Bofors guns could be used. During Winter War the guns were used to arm two heavy anti-aircraft batteries (with 4 guns each). These two aa-batteries were placed to Suomenlinna islands just outside Helsinki and another to town of Jyväskylä, town which among other things was home to State Rifle Factory (VKT) and State Artillery Factory (VTT). The resulting gun design proved unsuccessful, but due to shortage of heavy anti-aircraft guns they remained in use anyway. The guns had screw breech, which allowed considerably lower rate of fire compared to half-automatic sliding wedge breech typically used in heavy anti-aircraft guns. The gun laying system was also quite primitive and the guns had no mechanical computer for calculating the correct fire control data. During Winter War these guns were used with 3T shooting method, which was slow and needed lot of people, but did not require the mechanical fire control computer. In Continuation War two of these guns were shortly used in Finnish armoured trains before being replaced with 40-mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns. Later during Continuation War they were issued to coastal artillery and remained to be used there until being declared obsolete in 1967. During World War 2 only two aircraft were downed with these guns. Even if constructed in 1930's these guns were among the worst anti-aircraft guns used by Finnish military during the war - making them one of them one the least successful Finnish weapons modification ever.

Ammunition inventory for these guns contained three kind of high explosive (HE) shells intended for anti-aircraft use: 76 ittkr 53/60-B, 76 ittkr 53/60-TS/38 and 76 itetkr 53/60-TS/38. All these three shells were Finnish made and filled with TNT (trotyle). The first of these three contained 440 g of TNT while the other two had 470 g of the same explosive. Last of the three (76 itetkr 53/60-TS/38) had also electron (magnesium-mix) added into it to enhance flash of the exploding shell. In addition to these the gun had also armour piercing tracer (AP-T) ammunition 76 psa Vj4, which had projectile that weight 6.5 kg with 4 second tracer and muzzle velocity of 775 m/sec. While anti-aircraft ammunition manuals do not provide date for introduction of this ammunition, it seems likely to have been introduced around same time, that ammunition with similar projectiles was introduced to field artillery - around December 1942.

 

76 ItK/27 BK, Bofors

(76 mm antiaircraft gun M/27 Bofors, fixed version)

PICTURE: 76-mm Bofors M/27 fixed anti-aircraft gun. Many of the instruments are missing. Photo taken in middle of kite-flying competition, so there are two on the background. (Photo taken in Suomenlinna). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (58 KB).

Calibre:

76,2 mm x 605 R

Length of weapon:

?

Barrel length:

388,6 cm aka L/51

Length of rifling:

?

Weight in action:

2850 kg

Weight travelling:

fixed

Fire-rate:

12 - 15/minute (constant fire)

Muzzle velocity:

750 m/sec / 810 m/sec

Magazine:

None

Traverse:

360 degrees

Elevation:

- 3 degrees,+ 90 degrees

Max. range:

Maximum effective range 5000 - 6000 m

Country of origin:

Sweden (made by Bofors)

Ammunition types:

HE, AA-shrapnel

Finnish use: 8 bought from Sweden, from these the first 4 guns arrived in 1927 and the other 4 guns in 1929. These guns were used in Helsinki air-defence during World War 2. All of these guns were fixed.

PICTURE: 76-mm Bofors M/27 fixed AA-gun. Again many of the instruments are missing. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (75 KB).

In the typical World War 1 era fashion Bofors started its production of anti-aircraft guns by modifying existing Swedish 75-mm naval gun to anti-aircraft use in 1914. After this the company modified more 75-mm naval guns suitable for anti-aircraft use for Norway starting 1915. This was followed by deal to manufacture some earlier ordered but not delivered Krupp-designed anti-aircraft guns for Netherlands in 1919. But still in mid 1920's Bofors had no heavy anti-aircraft gun design of its own. Year 1926 the things started to change, when orders for test-guns arrived from Swedish Royal Ordnance Administration and Netherlands. However the biggest heavy AA-gun order for that year was Finnish order of eight 76.2-mm anti-aircraft guns. From these 8 guns 4 were to be fixed guns (later named 76 ItK/27 BK) and other four were mobile guns (later named 76 ItK/28 B), which could be towed. All the eight guns were rather traditional and obviously based to earlier Krupp designs. However as these small production could well be considered test-series of sort, both gun models had some notable differences. Later Finland ordered second patch of four 76 ItK/27 BK and additional four mobile (towed) 76 ItK/29 B. The first purpose-build Bofors-designed heavy AA-gun was 75-mm anti-aircraft gun m/30, which was further development based to guns bought in small numbers by China, Finland, Hungary and Persia in late 1920's.

Lets now go back to 76 ItK/27BK. This gun was fixed version of heavy Bofors anti-aircraft gun, which had column mount bolted to concrete structures of ready fire-position. Breech mechanism of the gun was the typical semi-automatic (after firing the gun the breech would automatically remove cartridge case and stay open for loading of the next shell) vertical sliding block breech. The guns were also equipped with equipment for setting correct fuse settings fast. Well trained crew could achieve rate-of-fire as high as 25 shots/minute for a short while, but long-term rate of rate-of-fire was only about 12 - 15 shots/minute. Both buffer and recuperator of the recoil system were located above barrel. Finland bought eight of these guns from Bofors. The first four were ordered in December of 1926 and arrived December of 1927. The other four guns were ordered in June of 1928 arrived in September of 1929. During Winter War and Continuation War the guns were used with Vickers M/34 (subversion Vb) mechanical fire-control computer and were located in air-defence of Finnish capital Helsinki. 76-mm Bofors AA-guns proved very well and remained in use until end of World War 2.

The ammunition introduced for this gun before Winter War came it two basic varieties:

  • 76 it.kr 53/60-IBp
  • 76 it.kr 53/60-as T-IBp
  • The only difference between these two rounds was in their fuses. As typical the ammunition was fixed type. The whole cartridge cased shot weighted some 11,8 kg. This included projectile (6,5 kg, with 0,45 kg of TNT filling) and its fuse (0,8 kg).

    However during World War 2 their ammunition inventory became much more versatile containing:

  • 76 ittkr 53/60-B (HE shell containing 440 g of TNT, projectile weight 5.5 kg, 810 m/sec)
  • 76 itmkkr 53/60-B (HE shell containing black powder, projectile weight 5.5 kg, 810 m/sec)
  • 76 ittkr 53/60-TS/38 (HE shell with 470 g of TNT, projectile weight 5.4 kg, 810 m/sec)
  • 76 itetkr 53/60-TS/38 (the same as previous, but electron added for psychological effect)
  • 76 akr 24/31-Ra (HE shell containing 415 g of amatol, projectile weight 6.03 kg, 750 m/sec (**)
  • 76 tkr 24/31-Ra (HE shell containing 415 g of TNT, projectile weight 6.03 kg, 750 m/sec (**)
  • 76 itsrv 35/64 (anti-aircraft shrapnel shell, shell weight 6.27 kg, fuse readily set to certain firing distance in meters, the firing distance marked to side of the shell
  • (**) These the two shells, which had only 750 m/sec muzzle velocity could not be fired with larger muzzle velocity because of their structural weakness.

    During World War 2 the ammunition chosen for these guns caused additional problems for their ammunition supply. The cartridge cases used for them were unique - in other words not used in any other guns or any other country anywhere. As the number of these cartridge cases had been rather limited to begin with once used they needed to be sent for reloading without delay.

     

    76 ItK/28 B, Bofors

    (76 mm antiaircraft gun M/28 Bofors, mobile version)

    PICTURE: 76-mm Bofors M/28 anti-aircraft gun. Again many of the instruments are missing. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (88 KB).

    Calibre:

    76,2 mm x 505 R

    Length of weapon:

    ?

    Barrel length:

    L/51 (?)

    Length of rifling:

    ?

    Weight in action:

    2600 kg

    Weight travelling:

    3750 kg

    Fire-rate:

    12 - 25/minute

    Muzzle velocity:

    770 m/sec

    Magazine:

    None

    Traverse:

    360 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 3 degrees,+ 90 degrees

    Max. range:

    Maximum effective range 5000 m

    Country of origin:

    Sweden (made by Bofors)

    Ammunition types:

    HE, AA-shrapnel, AP-T (*)

    (*) AP-T round likely introduced around December 1942.

    Finnish use: 4 guns bought from Sweden, they arrived December of 1928 and were used in home-front air-defence during World War 2. All these guns were mobile (towed).

    These guns were 76.2-mm antiaircraft-guns Bofors Ab manufactured for Finland. Just like fixed 76 ItK/27 BK and 76 ItK/29 B the belonged to number of small production series Bofors manufactured also for China, Greece, Hungary and Persia in late 1920's. Finland ordered 4 of these guns in December of 1926 (at the same time with four 76 ItK/27 BK), but they were not delivered until December of 1928. They were the first mobile heavy anti-aircraft guns in Finnish use. For transporting them a heavy one axle and two wheeled driving device was used. The mount type used is column mount with four legs (cruciform-mount) typical to mobile anti-aircraft guns of that time. The gun had semi-automatic (which after firing a shot removed the cartridge case and remained open for reloading) horizontal sliding wedge breech. In recoil systems of these guns both buffer and recuperator were located below barrel. Year 1931 these four guns were transferred to Helsinki Suojeluskunta (Civil Guard), which used them to train anti-aircraft gun crews before Winter War. During Winter War and Continuation War they were used in home front with Vickers M/34 (subversion Va) mechanical fire control computers. These guns proved very well and remained in use until end of World War 2.

    These guns used exactly the same ammunition as 76 ItK/29 B and 76 ItK/34 V. Early on these guns used the following two high explosive projectile types intended for anti-aircraft use:

  • 76 it.kr 53/60-Ip
  • 76 it.kr 53/60-as T-Ip
  • Even if the cartridge cases of the ammunition used this gun were shorter than the ones used with 76 ItK/27 BK later during the war this gun used the same projectiles as listed for 76 ItK/27 BK. These similar projectiles included the same six types of high explosive (HE) projectiles plus the same anti-aircraft shrapnel round. Only exception to this was was 76 psa Vj4 armour piercing tracer (AP-T), which was not used with fixed 76 ItK/27 BK anti-aircraft-guns. The AP-T projectile weight 6.5 kg and it had muzzle velocity of 750 - 790 m/sec. While anti-aircraft ammunition manuals do not provide date for introduction of this AP-T round, it seems likely to have been introduced around same time, that ammunition with similar projectiles was introduced to field artillery - around December 1942.

     

    76 ItK/29 B, Bofors

    (76 mm antiaircraft gun M/29 Bofors, mobile version)

    PICTURE: 76-mm Bofors M/29 anti-aircraft gun. As usual many of the instruments are missing. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (80 KB).

    Calibre:

    76,2 mm x 505 R

    Length of weapon:

    ?

    Barrel length:

    L/51

    Length of rifling:

    ?

    Weight in action:

    2500 kg

    Weight travelling:

    3350 kg

    Fire-rate:

    12 - 25/minute

    Muzzle velocity:

    810 m/sec

    Magazine:

    None

    Traverse:

    360 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 3 degrees,+ 90 degrees

    Max. range:

    Maximum effective range 5000 m

    Country of origin:

    Sweden (made by Bofors)

    Ammunition types:

    HE, AA-shrapnel, AP-T

    Finnish use: 4 guns bought from Sweden, they arrived in November of 1929. During World War 2 they were used in home front air-defence. These guns were mobile (towed).

    PICTURE: 76-mm Bofors M/29 AA-gun seen from another angle. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (85 KB).

    Just like 76 ItK/27 BK and 76 ItK/28 B, Bofors Ab manufactured also these guns by for Finland. All the three gun models can be considered as part of the test-series manufactured by Bofors in late 1930's. Finland bought 4 of these guns and they were delivered in November of 1929. For transporting the guns a heavy one axle and two wheeled driving device was used. The mount type used is column mount with four legs typical (cruciform mount) to mobile anti-aircraft guns of that time. The gun also has semi-automatic horizontal sliding wedge breech (which after firing the shot removed used cartridge case and remained open for reloading). In recoil system of these guns the buffer was located below barrel and recuperator above it. During Winter War and Continuation War the guns were used with Vickers M/34 (subversion Vc) mechanical fire control computers. They proved very well and remained in use until end of World War 2.

    These guns used exactly the same ammunition as 76 ItK/28 B and 76 ItK/34 V. Early on these guns used the following two high explosive projectile types intended for anti-aircraft use:

  • 76 it.kr 53/60-Ip
  • 76 it.kr 53/60-as T-Ip
  • Even if the cartridge cases of the ammunition used this gun were shorter than the ones used with 76 ItK/27 BK later during the war this gun used the same projectiles as listed for 76 ItK/27 BK. These similar projectiles included the same six types of high explosive (HE) projectiles plus the same anti-aircraft shrapnel round. Only exception to this was was 76 psa Vj4 armour piercing tracer (AP-T), which was not used with fixed 76 ItK/27 BK anti-aircraft-guns. The AP-T projectile weight 6.5 kg and it had muzzle velocity of 750 - 790 m/sec. While anti-aircraft ammunition manuals do not provide date for introduction of this AP-T round, it seems likely to have been introduced around same time, that ammunition with similar projectiles was introduced to field artillery - around December 1942.

     

    76 ItK/34 V, Vickers

    (76 mm antiaircraft gun M/34 Vickers)

    (76 mm Vickers model 1931)

    PICTURE: 76-mm Vickers M/34 AA-gun. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (76 KB).

    Calibre:

    76,2 mm x 505 R

    Length of weapon:

    ?

    Barrel length:

    L/45

    Length of rifling:

    298 cm

    Weight in action:

    2900 kg

    Weight travelling:

    3500 kg

    Fire-rate:

    12/minute

    Muzzle velocity:

    750 m/sec

    Magazine:

    None

    Traverse:

    360 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 0 degrees,+ 90 degrees

    Max. range:

    Maximum effective range 5000 m

    Country of origin:

    Great Britain (made by Vickers)

    Ammunition types:

    HE, AA-shrapnel, AP-T (*)

    (*) AP-T round likely introduced around December 1942.

    Finnish use: 12 guns bought from Great Britain in 1936. Finnish Army used them during World War 2. These guns were all mobile (towed).

    British War Office had first ordered and then rejected 75-mm Vickers aircraft-gun. As Vickers-Armstrong Ltd had the gun ready it decided to offer it abroad and achieved reasonable success by selling it for example to Belgium, Denmark, Holland, China, Portugal, Romania, Turkey and Lithuania in 1930's. In addition to this the gun was also manufactured under license in Denmark and the guns manufactured under license used by Danish military. They saw also relatively small-scale use with British (in barrage-units between 1940 - 1943), Germans (captured guns from Belgium, Denmark and Holland) and Soviets (captured guns from Lithuania) during WW2. As typical to mobile heavy anti-aircraft guns of that era their transportation equipment was one axle and two-wheel type, which allowed them to be towed.

    In early 1930's the Finns had exported butter in large amounts to Great Britain. By mid 1930's this export business had created quite a bit of debt. The British offered to pay this debt with modern Vickers made antiaircraft-guns and mechanical fire-control computers. Bofors Ab, who was bitter competitor of Vickers-Armstrong, tried its best to stop the Finns from buying these guns. It even tried spreading rumours and making false claims, but ultimately failed. The Finns agreed to British proposal and got 12 of these guns in year 1936. Due to Finnish decision for using 76.2-mm calibre as standard calibre of also heavy anti-aircraft artillery (as it already standard calibre of Finnish light field guns) Vickers delivered the guns in Finnish 76.2-mm calibre instead of more common 75-mm calibre, in which they were usually sold internationally. The ammunition that the Finns picked for this gun was the same as used in 76 ItK/28 B and 76 ItK/29B, which Bofors had delivered to Finnish military already few years earlier. The cruciform mounts for these guns were not Vickers standard materiel either, as Crichton-Vulcan manufactured them in Finland. Along the guns Finland bought also 9 Vickers M/34 mechanical fire control computers, which were first the fire control systems for heavy antiaircraft guns in Finnish use that really worked reliably. The Vickers M/34 (subversion Vc) mechanical fire control computers proved very reliable, but unfortunately these antiaircraft-guns were not as reliable and especially cold weather made them malfunction quite often. They were used with Vickers mechnical fire control computers and remained in Finnish use until end of World War 2.

    These guns used exactly the same ammunition as 76 ItK/28 B and 76 ItK/29 B. Early on these guns used the following two high explosive projectile types intended for anti-aircraft use:

  • 76 it.kr 53/60-Ip
  • 76 it.kr 53/60-as T-Ip
  • Even if the cartridge cases of the ammunition used this gun were shorter than the ones used with 76 ItK/27 BK later during the war this gun used the same projectiles as listed for 76 ItK/27 BK. These similar projectiles included the same six types of high explosive (HE) projectiles plus the same anti-aircraft shrapnel round. Only exception to this was was 76 psa Vj4 armour piercing tracer (AP-T), which was not used with fixed 76 ItK/27 BK anti-aircraft-guns, but it was with this gun. The AP-T projectile weight 6.5 kg and it had muzzle velocity of 750 - 790 m/sec. While anti-aircraft ammunition manuals do not provide date for introduction of this AP-T round, it seems likely to have been introduced around same time, that ammunition with similar projectiles was introduced to field artillery - sometime around December 1942.

     

    76 ItK/16-35 Br, Breda "Posetiivi"

    (76 mm antiaircraft gun M/16-35 Breda "Barrel Organ")

    (Cannone da 76/40 modificata 35)

    PICTURE: 76-mm Breda M/16-35 antiaircraft-gun. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (89 KB).

    Calibre:

    76,2 mm x 440 R

    Length of weapon:

    ?

    Barrel length:

    L/41

    Length of rifling:

    259 cm

    Weight in action:

    2680 kg

    Weight travelling:

    ?

    Fire-rate:

    Theoretical: 20/minute, Practical-one was much lower

    Muzzle velocity:

    690 m/sec

    Magazine:

    None

    Traverse:

    360 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 6 degrees,+ 81 degrees

    Max. range:

    Maximum effective ceiling 5900 m

    Maximum range 7900 m

    Country of origin:

    Italy (made by Breda)

    Ammunition types:

    HE (projectile 5,65 kg / 5,67 kg)

    Finnish use: 12 guns bought from Italy during Winter War, they arrived in February of 1940. After that they saw use in hands of Finnish Army during rest of Winter War and Continuation War. They were used to equip four fixed 3-gun anti-aircraft gun batteries in home front. Starting 1944 the guns were transferred to Coastal Artillery.

    This gun was modernised version of earlier 76-mm gun model 1916. 76-mm Breda model 1916 had not actually been designed by Breda-company, but Armstrong (to be exact "Sir W.G. Armstrong, Mitchell and Co Ltd." at that time) and had been used by Italians as coastal and anti-aircraft gun since World War 1. In mid-1930's they introduced this modernised version, which was more suitable for anti-aircraft use. The easiest identifying difference between the old version and this modernised version was the new column mount, which allowed the gun more elevation and was more practical to use. Unfortunately the modernisation didn't include guns breech, which was screw-breech type and lowered the rate of fire. They had hydraulic buffer and spring recuperator. Besides typical aiming instruments the guns had also optical sights for direct fire use against surface targets. Italian military used these guns during World War 2 in home front and coastal defence. Starting September of 1943 also some German units stationed in Italy used them. German military knew the gun as 7,62 cm Flak 266/2(i).

    PICTURE: 76-mm Breda M/16-35 AA-gun. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (113 KB).

    The new column mount used in these guns had cavities with which wind often made a whistling sound, this made Finnish soldiers to nickname the gun as "Posetiivi" (barrel organ). During Winter War Italy offered antiaircraft-weaponry to Finland and after some negotiations the deal was signed in January of 1940. The deal included 12 guns of this type and 24,000 shots for them. However transporting guns to Finland proved difficult as Germany following its treaties with Soviet Union didn't allow any transport of war-materials through its areas to Finland at that time. This delayed the transport and the guns didn't arrive until February of 1940. With the guns from Italy arrived also Captain C. Pignalle, who helped the Finns to press the guns in service by training first Finnish soldiers to use them. 76-mm Breda wasn't a success story in Finnish use. Early on the guns were used to equip for 3-gun heavy anti-aircraft gun batteries, two of which were located in Helsinki and another two in Tampere. During Continuation War 76-mm Breda of the two batteries in Helsinki were replaced with more effective Soviet 76 ItK/31 ss. Typically in Finnish Armed Forces the guns that Army no longer finds useful may be transferred to coastal defence. This is exactly what happened with these guns. Coastal Artillery received guns for one 4-gun battery already in 1944. Soon after the war it received enough guns to equip another two batteries. The guns were already old-fashioned when the Finns received them in 1940. In addition it seems that the Italians sold Finland also old-fashioned ammunition (international sources mention ammunition with 770 m/sec muzzle velocity), which further reduced their effectiveness. If the guns were not that good as anti-aircraft weapons their command devices (mechanical fire control computers) used them certainly didn't excel either. Gala-Borletti M/34 mechanical fire control computers, which Italians sold with these guns (and the Finns used with them) demanded 11-men crew to use while proving old-fashioned and complicated. These two less-satisfactory pieces of equipment combined were among one of the less effective air-defence weapons in Finnish use during World War 2. Coastal artillery found the guns quite useful as they could be easily installed to existing coastal fortifications. They remained in use of Coastal Artillery until 1972.

    Only ammunition type Finnish military used with this gun were two kind of Italian made high explosive (HE) shells designed to be used against aircraft. These shells were Italian made and had muzzle velocity of 690 m/sec. They each contained 480 g of TNT (trotyle).

     

    76 mm ItK/16 V, Vickers

    (76 mm antiaircraft gun M/16 Vickers)

    (Ordnance QF 3in 20cwt QF Mk 3 AA-gun)

    PICTURE: 76-mm Vickers M/16 anti-aircraft gun. (Photo taken in Ilmatorjuntamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (83 KB).

    Calibre:

    76,2 mm x 420 R

    Length of weapon:

    ?

    Barrel length:

    343 cm aka L/45

    Length of rifling:

    298 cm

    Weight in action:

    6040 kg

    Weight travelling:

    4800 kg

    Fire-rate:

    5 - 6/minute

    Muzzle velocity:

    630 - 640 m/sec

    Magazine:

    None

    Traverse:

    360 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 10 degrees,+ 89 degrees

    Max. range:

    7200 m

    Maximum effective range 4000 m

    Maximum vertical ceiling 7160 m

    Against surface targets 11600 m

    Country of origin:

    Great Britain (manufactured by Vickers)

    Ammunition types:

    HE-incendiary, AA-shrapnel-tracer

    Finnish use: Great Britain donated 24 guns during Winter War, but as the guns arrived not earlier than March of 1940 they were not issued during Winter War. In Continuation War they were used by 7 heavy AA-batteries serving in home front. All of these guns were fixed version.

    Like all countries in beginning of World War 1 also the British had no real anti-aircraft weaponry when the war begun. This gun was first British gun originally manufactured as anti-aircraft gun. Originally it had been intended for the British Navy, but as Great Britain had no anti-aircraft gun at all in beginning of the war Churchill arranged the guns to be transferred to air-defence of London, which was threatened by German zeppelins. The first QF 3in 20 cwt were issued by the British in 1914. This gun was known as model 1916 after the one-axle trailed introduced for transporting it that particular year. Several versions of the gun were developed, one of them was Mk 3 in question. Unlike earlier versions (which had sliding breechblock) it had interrupted screw breech. They had hydraulic buffer and spring recuperator. These guns were equipped with several mount types: The first and most basic was simple fixed mount for bolting the gun to ship, concrete floor or steel bed, later ones included two and four wheeled carriages and even installations on top of trucks. By end of World War 1 the British had manufactured 541 of these guns. During that war the guns saw lot of use in British hands, later during early part of World War 2 they were also used by several other countries. British military didn't declare them obsolete until year 1946. The Germans also captured these guns from several countries and called them 7.5 cm Flak Vickers (e).

    During Winter War Great Britain donated 24 of these guns and plenty of ammunition to Finland. Along these guns came 7 Vickers M/34 (subversions Va and Vb) mechanical fire control computers, which the Finns used with these guns during Wolrd War 2. As the guns arrived in March of 1940 they were not issued during Winter War. When Continuation War started they were used to arm 7 heavy AA-batteries, which were used in air-defence of home front. Age of these fixed guns was showing in Finnish use in amount of wear they had. Screw-breech limited rate-of-fire and old-fashioned ammunition, which had arrived with the guns limited rate-of-fire and caused large dispersion in detonation times of shells. As World War 2 ended so did using of these guns as anti-aircraft weapons in Finland. However, this didn't mean that they would not have been used, sice the they were still perfectly capable for shooting surface targests. The last of them remained in use of Finnish Coastal Artillery until late 1980's.

    Finnish military used two ammunition types with these guns, both of these types were British-made. 76 itftkrv 51/61-199E was high explosive incendiary (HE-incendiary) shell loaded with TNT (trotyl), but containing also 60 g of white phosphorus. Its projectile weight 6,15 kg and had muzzle velocity of 633 m/sec. 76 itsrv Vj8 - 51/61-199E was anti-aircraft shrapnel shell with 8 second tracer. Its projectile weight 6.15 kg and had muzzle velocity of 637 m/sec. The whole concept of using shrapnel-like ammunition (shell containing metal balls which burst outside it when the shell exploded and did the damage) for anti-aircraft use was rather typical during World War 1, but was seriously outdated by World War 2.

     

    76 ItK/31 ss and 76 ItK/31-40 ss

    (76 mm antiaircraft gun M/31 and 76 mm antiaircraft gun M/31-40)

    (76.2 mm Zenitnaya Pushka obr. 1931 g.)

    (76.2 mm Zenitnaya Pushka obr. 1938 g.)

    PICTURE: 76-mm AA-gun M/31. Towing system visible behind gun. (Photo taken in Kuivasaari). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (77 KB).

    Calibre:

    76,2 mm x 558 R

    Length of weapon:

    ?

    Barrel length:

    L/55

    Length of rifling:

    337 cm

    Weight in action:

    3650 kg (ItK/31) / 3750 kg (ItK/31-40)

    Weight travelling:

    4970 kg

    Fire-rate:

    Practical: 15/minute Theoretical: 20/minute

    Muzzle velocity:

    800 - 815 m/sec

    Magazine:

    None

    Traverse:

    2 x 360 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 3 degrees,+ 82 degrees

    Max. range:

    7500 m

    Country of origin:

    Soviet Union

    Ammunition types:

    HE, AA-shrapnel, AP-T (*)

    (*) AP-T round likely introduced around December 1942.

    Finnish use: 46 captured in second half of 1941. Additional 72 guns bought from Germany in 1944 for Coastal Artillery. The ones captured in 1941 used by Finnish Army and the ones bought used by Coastal Artillery during Continuation War. All of these guns were mobile and ItK/31 was the more numerous one of the two in Finnish use.

    Armour Penetration:

    - "Guns vs Armour website" by D.M. Honner (likely either BR-361 APHE or BR-361SP AP, 6.5-kg projectile with muzzle velocity of 813 m/sec):

    Finnish live fire testing year 1943 (76 psa - Vj4, Finnish AP-T, 828 m/sec, introduced 12/1942):

    For Soviets these guns were 76 mm model 1931 and model 1938. Model 1931 has been credited as design of G. P. Tagunov and was based to German 75-mm antiaircraft-gun made by Rheinmetall mainly for export. On the other hand the Soviets also received assistance from Rheinmetall and in addition they had acquired also one of the heavy Bofors anti-aircraft guns, so also Bofors designs might have impacted the development. The gun was approved to Red Army use in year 1931 and the Soviets issued first guns in 1932. Already in 1938 they introduced improved version called model 1938. The main difference between the two models was introduction of new driving device named ZU-8, but smaller improvements were made also to the actual gun. While transport equipment of model 1931 was the usual one axle with 2 wheels type new ZU-8 had two axles with four wheels, which made transporting these guns considerably easier. Likely this two-axle ZU-8 driving device was based to Bofors design introduced with Swedish 75-mm anti-aircraft gun m/37 (7,5 cm luftvärnskanon m/37). These guns were manufactured in Red Putilov factory (previous Putilov artillery factory) in Leningrad. The maximum towing for m/1931 gun was only 20 km/h. During World War 2 both of these guns saw lot of use with Soviet military. The Germans also captured these guns in large numbers and armed large number of their anti-aircraft gun units in air-defence of home front with them. German names for these guns were 7.62 cm Flak M 31 (r) and 7.62 cm Flak M 38 (r), after running out of captured ammunition Germans modified the guns to 88-mm calibre. In that new calibre these guns were known as 7.62/8.8 cm Flak M 31 (r) and 7.62/8.8 cm Flak M 31 (r). They used two methods for this modification process: Relining the barrel or replacing it with barrel from German 8,8 cm Flak 18. In either case the process was relatively simple as besides barrel the largest change required was replacing recuperator spring with stronger version, which could take the increased recoil.

    PICTURE: 76-mm AA-gun M/31 guns ready for transport. (Photo taken in Kuivasaari). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (58 KB).

    The Germans were not the only ones to capture these guns. Also the Finns captured 42 of 76 ItK/31 ss and 4 of 76 ItK/31-40 ss during year 1941. Finnish military used them to equip several heavy antiaircraft-gun batteries during early part of 1942. Year 1944 Finns bought additional 72 guns from Germany and issued them to heavy anti-aircraft batteries of Coastal Artillery. The abbreviation "ss" in end of the guns official Finnish names means "sotasaalis" (captured). The Soviets used these guns also as antitank-weapons when needed and also the Finns prepared for this possible use by equipping them with suitable ammunition. Maybe because of this these guns went to history being the only exception of the Finns ever using heavy antiaircraft-guns also as antitank weapons. Early 1942 Finnish troops near Svir (Syväri) power plant had repeatedly trouble with Soviet KV-1 tanks, which were basically immune to all antitank-guns that Finnish Army had in those days. So in that situation very unusual decision was made and one of these captured Soviet 76-mm antiaircraft-guns was sent to area and used against Soviet KV-1 tanks in battle.

    Finnish military used fire control command system combination called Puazo-Aufiere M/35 with these guns. This combination included captured Soviet Puazo 3 mechanical fire control computer used together with aiming pole of French Aufiere mechanical fire control computers (the actual fire control computer of Aufiere was totally outdated, but aiming pole worked great with Puazo 3, the Germans also used same combination). Puazo 3 fire control computer was Soviet made version based to Czechoslovakian M/37 Skoda T 7 and was so similar that manuals of Skoda T 7 could be used with Puazo 3. Captured Soviet 76-mm AA-guns and their fire control system served the Finns well. When heavy AA-guns become outdated in antiaircraft-use the remaining 45 of these guns were transferred to Coastal Artillery. In Finnish Coastal Artillery they (along the guns of similar type bought in 1944) remained in wartime-weaponry until 1970 and are still used as training weapons of direct fire today (year 2005). Situation being so, they are now the only WW2-era anti-aircraft guns still in active use of Finnish Armed Forces.

    Ammunition inventory Finnish military used with captured Soviet 76-mm anti-aircraft guns was quite versatile. It contained following high explosive shells intended for anti-aircraft use:

  • 76 ittkr 52/64-T5 (Soviet made, contains 180 g of TNT, weight 5.89 kg, muzzle velocity 820 m/sec)
  • 76 itpkr 52/64-T5 (Soviet made, contains 445 g of picric, weight 5.9 kg, muzzle velocity 820 m/sec)
  • 76 ittkr 53/60-TS/38 (Finnish made, contains 470 g of TNT, weight 5.4 kg, muzzle velocity 812 m/sec / 837 m/sec) (**)
  • 76 itetkr 53/60-TS/38 (Finnish made, contains 470 g of TNT and additional electron, weight 5.4 kg, muzzle velocity 812 m/sec / 837 m/sec) (*)
  • 76 akr 24/31-Ra (Finnish made, contains 415 g of amatol, weight 6.03 kg, muzzle velocity 750 m/sec)
  • 76 tkr 24/31-Ra (Finnish made, contains 415 g of TNT, weight 6.03 kg, muzzle velocity 750 m/sec)
  • 76 akr 32/41-35 (Finnish made, contains 415 g of amatol, weight 6.03 kg, muzzle velocity 750 m/sec)
  • 76 tkr 32/41-35 (Finnish made, contains 415 g of TNT, weight 6.03 kg, muzzle velocity 750 m/sec)
  • In additition Finnish military used following special ammunition types with these guns:

  • 76 itsr 52/64-T5 (Soviet made anti-aircraft shrapnel, weight 5.89 kg, muzzle velocity 820 m/sec)
  • 76 psa Vj4 (Finnish made armour piercing tracer, projectile weight 6.5 kg, muzzle velocity 812 m/sec / 837 m/sec) (**)
  • (**) Ammunition loaded with two kind of propellant charges, which produce different kind of muzzle velocities. While anti-aircraft ammunition manuals do not provide date for introduction for 76 psa Vj4 AP-T rounds, they seem likely to have been introduced around same time, that ammunition with similar projectiles was introduced to field artillery - sometime around December 1942. Even if these guns were very rarely used against tanks, when equipped with these AP-T rounds, they were capable of knocking out Soviet medium and heavy tanks. In fact, until introduction of 75 PstK/40 (7.5 cm Pak 40) in May of 1943, these anti-aircraft guns were armour-penetration capability wise the most powerful antitank-weapons in Finnish inventory.

     

    88 ItK/37 RMB and 88 ItK/37 RMBK "Rämäpää"

    (88 mm antiaircraft gun M/37 RMB mobile and fixed version)

    (8, 8 cm Flak 37)

    PICTURE: Fixed version of 88-mm AA-gun M/37 . (Photo taken in Hyrylä). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (68 KB).

    Calibre:

    88 mm x 571 R

    Length of weapon:

    762 cm (in battle-station) aka L/56

    Barrel length:

    493 cm

    Length of rifling:

    412 cm

    Weight in action:

    5000 kg

    Weight travelling:

    7200 kg

    Fire-rate:

    15 - 20 shots/minute

    Around 12/minute in long lasting firing

    Muzzle velocity:

    820 - 850 m/sec (HE) (*)

    Magazine:

    None

    Traverse:

    2 x 360 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 3 degrees,+ 85 degrees

    Max. range:

    Against air targets 10600 m

    Effective range against air targets 6000 m

    Against ground targets 14860 m

    Country of origin:

    Germany

    Ammunition types:

    HE, APHE

    Finnish use: 18 guns of mobile version bought in spring of 1943. 72 fixed guns bought in summer of 1944. All of these guns were used in air-defence of Finland's most important cities. Unlike the Germans, the Finns didn't use 88mm anti-aircraft guns as antitank-weapons, even if some APHE-ammunition had been reserved for this.

    PICTURE: Fixed version of 88-mm AA-gun M/37 seen from another angle. As usual many of the istruments are missing. (Photo taken in Hyrylä). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (66 KB).

    This was one version of the world-famous German "88". First version called 8.8 cm Flak 18 was designed for Rheinmetall by German engineers, which worked for Bofors earlier so the gun had clear similarities to 75 mm Bofors M/29. The calibre itself wasn't new in German AA-weaponry as Krupp and Rheinmetall had already tested specially made AA-gun of that calibre during WW1. Germans started production of Flak 18 in 1933 and introduced it to large-scale military use in 1935. Just next year they introduced improved Flak 36-version with rectangular mounting platform (Flak 18 had octagonal one) and new kind of barrel, which made replacing too worn-down barrel-parts easier. Some parts of Flak 36 had also been modified to make them easier and cheaper to mass-produce and to make maintenance easier. Fuse setters and aiming system of Flak 36 had also improvements, which made using the gun easier and more effective. Development continued as only year later Flak 37 version was introduced, its changes were smaller but still important as it came with new improved direction indicator system, which was connected to mechanical fire control computer with 108-strand cable. With its new direction indicator system Flak 37 could be aimed more precisely than previous versions. All previously mentioned versions (Flak 18, Flak 36 and Flak 37) used same ammunition and largely shared the same spare-parts. Mobile versions of all of them also used 2 axle and 4-wheeled limber used for transporting them. When set to fire position they had the usual column mount on top of a cruciform platform. One could have expected development of German 88-mm AA-gun to stop after Flak 36, but it didn't: At 1941 Germans introduced Flak 41 version, which used more powerful ammunition, had longer barrel and also considerably larger range. But Flak 41 was never produced in such numbers as earlier 88-mm AA-guns. 8,8 cm Flak was tested in Spanish Civil War and proved there equally effective against ground targets also, this marked the beginning its dual role. After being issued with new Pzgr. 40 AP-rounds and gun shields in 1940 the guns was ready for the fame of being fearsome antitank-weapon, which it gathered in the desert of North Africa. Germany manufactured 88-mm AA-guns to its use in very large numbers and used them until end of WW2. "German 88" gathered itself legendary reputation during World War 2 and remained in use of several countries even long after it.

    PICTURE: Mobile (towed) version of 88-mm AA-gun M/37 on its trailer. (Photo taken in Ilmailumuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (97 KB).

    PICTURE: Meters of transmission device 36 used in 88 ItK/37. Wheel on the left is for traverse and the one on the right is for elevation.(Photo taken in Maneesi of Sotamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (35 KB).

    First batch, which Finland bought in spring of 1943, had 18 guns of mobile M/37 version. Another batch containing 72 guns of fixed M/37 version was delivered in June of 1944. The guns of first batch were all stationed as three 6-gun batteries in air-defence of Helsinki while half of the second batch was located in Helsinki and the another half divided to 3 different cities. More precisely: From second batch 36 guns were located to Helsinki where they armed four 6-gun batteries and one 12-gun battery, the another 36 guns went to cities of Turku, Tampere and Kotka, which each got two 6-gun batteries. Finnish soldiers nicknamed 88-mm ItK/37 as "Rämäpää" (daredevil) after its manufacturer RMB (Rheinmetall-Borsig). The Finns never used 88 against ground targets during WW2 because as previously told all the guns were used in air-defence of most important Finnish cities. The guns were used with Lambda M/40 (German Kommando Gerät 40" aka "Kappa-Gerät) and Delta M/35 (German Kommando Hilfs Gerät 35) mechanical fire control computers. In the same delivery with first batch of these guns arrived also first Finnish radar: Two M/40 "Raija" (German FuMG "Freya" A1) for spotting incoming enemy aircraft and six M/39 Wurtzberg C "Irja" (German FuMG 62 Wurtzberg 39 T, version C) for fire control of heavy antiaircraft-gun batteries. 88 ItK/37 was the best heavy AA-gun in Finnish use. First batch these excellent guns and radar delivered with them proved excellent help during massive Soviet air-attacks to Helsinki in February of 1944. These guns were also the last ones of the heavy AA-guns being used as AA-weapons, crews for them were trained until 1967 and they remained reserved in Finnish AA-weaponry until 1977. After this the remaining guns were transferred to coastal artillery and remained reserved to be used as coastal-defence guns until late 1990's.

    PICTURE: Fixed version of 88-mm AA-gun M/37 photographed in Tampere. The concrete structure visible in this photo is what the Finns used in Tampere area with these guns during World War 2. (Photo taken in Tampere). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (187 KB).

    Finnish military used five kind of ammunition with its 88-mm anti-aircraft guns:

  • 88 itakrv 50/60-RMB (German made HE-shell with 900 g of amatol, projectile weight 9.0 kg, muzzle velocity 837 m/sec)
  • 88 itakrv rj 50/60-RMB (German made HE-shell with 900 g of amatol, projectile weight 9.0 kg, muzzle velocity 837 m/sec)
  • 88 psakrv 54/65-K (German made APHE-shell with 117 g of amatol and 31 g of penthrit, projectile weight 9.5 kg, muzzle velocity 820 m/sec)
  • 88 psakrv rj 54/65-K (German made APHE-shell with 117 g of amatol and 31 g of penthrit, projectile weight 9.5 kg, muzzle velocity 820 m/sec)
  • 88 pshkrv 54/65-K (German made APHE-shell with 64 g of RDX, projectile weight 10.2 kg, muzzle velocity 820 m/sec)
  •  

    88 ItK/39/43 ss

    (88 mm antiaircraft gun M/39/43, captured)

    (85 mm Zenitnaya Pushka obr. 1939 g. KS-12)

    (8,5/8,8 cm Flak 39 (r))

    PICTURE: 88 mm anti-aircraft gun model 1939/1943. Photo taken in Kouvola October of 1944. (SA-kuva photo archive, photo number 167125). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (163 KB).

    Calibre:

    88 mm x 571 R

    Length of weapon:

    ?

    Barrel length:

    469 cm aka L/55.2

    Length of rifling:

    349 cm

    Weight in action:

    3057 kg

    Weight travelling:

    4360 kg

    Fire-rate:

    15 - 20/minute

    Muzzle velocity:

    790 - 820 m/sec (HE)

    Magazine:

    None

    Traverse:

    2 x 360 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 3 degrees,+ 82 degrees

    Max. range:

    Against air targets 10500 m

    Effective range against air targets 6000 m

    Country of origin:

    USSR, modified in Germany

    Ammunition types:

    HE, AP

    Finnish use: 18 relined by Germans to 88-mm calibre bought in 1944. Finnish military used them in home front air-defence in 1944.

    As 1930's progressed Soviets realised aircraft developed Soviets realised that they needed antiaircraft-gun with longer range and heavier than what the existing 76.2-mm guns had. Design of this gun has been credited to G. D. Dorohin and I. V. Ljuljev. The basic structure didn't have any real new innovations and could be described basically just as scaled up version of earlier 76-mm anti-aircraft gun model 1938. The increase of calibre from 76.2-mm to 85-mm increased weight of the shell from 6.5-kg to 9.2-kg. While the gun resembles considerably 76 ItK/31-40 (aka 76.2 mm Zenitnaya Pushka obr. 1938 g.), which it was based, but unlike it this gun has muzzle brake. The gun proved successful in Soviet use equally against aircraft and ground targets. Just like 76.2-mm antiaircraft-guns Soviets issued these guns with plenty of AP-ammunition and used them as antitank-guns in this role also when needed. In fact most of the World War 2 these guns were the most powerful weapon available to be used as antitank-gun for the Soviets. This gun was also the starting point for developing 85-mm guns to SU-85 assault gun and T-34/85 medium tank. The 85-mm anti-aircraft gun was manufactured in Artillery Factory number 8 located in Kalingrad (near Moscow), in 1941 this factory as part of transferring artillery behind Urals was transferred to Sverdlovsk (nowadays Jekaterinburg). Year 1944 the Soviets introduced improved version with slightly longer barrel, new kind of muzzle brake and more powerful ammunition, this improved gun model was called 85 mm Zenitnaya Pushka obr. 1944 g., or more simply KS-18. Soviet 85-mm antiaircraft guns spread to use of almost all Communist states in 1950's and even manufactured in Hungary. The Germans captured these guns in quite a large numbers and issued them to their own units in air-defence of home front. Just like with Soviet 76-mm AA-guns they run out of captured ammunition and decided to reline them to more easily available 88-mm calibre, the relined guns were called 8,5/8,8 Flak 39 (r).

    Year 1941 Finnish Army captured two guns of this type in Hanko (Hango / Gangut) peninsula, but they were seriously damaged. Year 1944 Finland bought 18 guns relined to 88-mm calibre from Germany. They were used to arm three 6-gun heavy anti-aircraft batteries, which served in the home front - just like 88 ItK/37 anti-aircraft guns. Finnish military called them as "88 ItK/39/43 ss" (ss = sotasaalis = captured / war booty). These guns were used with Puazo-Aufiere fire-control system, which was combination of captured Soviet Puazo 3 mechanical fire control computer and aiming pole of French Aufiere fire control computer. Just the German 88 ItK/37, also these guns remained reserved as anti-aircraft weapons until 1977. But it doesn't look like they would have been transferred to coastal artillery after that. Likely they were scrapped around that time.

     

    OTHER HEAVY ANTIAIRCRAFT GUNS:

    Dual-use naval and coastal guns as heavy antiaircraft-guns: Finnish naval and coastal artillery units had number of dual use guns, which could also be used against air targets. Some of these guns were better suitable for being used against air targets than others. However, typically fire control used with these guns was not designed for shooting air targets. Many of the naval and coastal guns didn't have the elevation necessary for antiaircraft-use, but some had. For example some of the 75-mm Canet coastal/naval gun versions (like 75-mm Zenit-Meller) and 105-mm double guns of coastal defence ships and single-mount 105-mm naval guns issued to two of Finnish gunboats were quite suitable in this regard. For example 105/50 B2 guns (105-mm Bofors Naval guns) in coastal defence ships Ilmarinen and Väinämöinen had maximum elevation of 85 degrees. But from all Finnish war-ships of World War 2 only coastal armour ships can be considered having FC-system, which allowed using their dual-use heavy guns somewhat effectively against air targets. All other Finnish war-ships lacked centralised FC-system or some other needed elements.

    Another type of dual-use happened with 76/48 28 LT naval guns, which Crichton-Vulcan had ordered from Bofors Ab for three submarines it was building for Finnish Navy. The submarines finished in 1930 - 1931 were named Vetehinen, Vesihiisi and Iki-Turso. Each of the three submarines had one of these 76-mm naval guns in their front deck. In proper dual-use manner these guns had been equipped also for shooting air targets, but as they lacked mechanical fire control computers they fire against aircraft would have been rather ineffective. As name suggests Winter War was fought in winter of 1939 - 1940, which means that the Baltic Sea was frozen and Finnish Navy was unable to operate the submarines during it. When Finnish military had serious shortage of AA-guns during Winter War the Finns decided to improvise a bit - the guns were removed from submarines and temporary anti-aircraft gun battery on shore was armed with them. In addition to this two of the guns seem to have also seen some use with Finnish Army in Karelian Isthmus during Continuation War. Besides calibre these guns were almost exactly the same as 75 ItK/30 BK anti-aircraft guns.

    Development of methods for using antiaircraft artillery started within Coastal Artillery. While the actual anti-aircraft artillery units once created belonged to the Army also Coastal Artillery needed to defend its fortifications against aircraft. While it did not have enough suitable guns it did its best to develop methods, which allowed its existing guns to be used also for anti-aircraft use. This development work for these dual-use guns was quite improvised by nature as these guns, which most certainly had not been originally designed for antiaircraft use. Two coastal gun models were adapted to such use - 75-mm Canet gun and 152-mm Canet gun. When it came to 75-mm Canet only some gun mount versions used with it had enough elevation for anti-aircraft use and the most important of these was Zenit-Meller version more closely described above. The another gun, 152-mm Canet coastal gun, was the largest calibre Finnish gun known to have succeeded intentionally downed enemy aircraft during World War 2. And this was no accident - it was also the largest calibre gun used by Finnish military for anti-aircraft use. 152-mm L/45 Canet coastal gun originally introduced to Russian use year 1895. Due to Finnish improvements made to 152-mm Canet coastal guns the elevation achieved with certain mount versions was high enough for anti-aircraft use and in their new Finnish-build positions had 360-degree firing sector. At the same time the changes made by the Finnish military for these guns also increased their maximum rate of fire considerably. Even if their anti-aircraft fire was not terribly accurate their over 40-kg high-explosive shells equipped with time fuses packed such a punch, that their fire was dangerous to any bomber formation, which came within range of the time fuses used in their shells for this use. The anti-aircraft shooting method for these guns were developed in early 1930's and during World War 2 in common use for those 152-mm Canet batteries, which had mounts giving their guns enough elevation for this kind of use. During WW2 these heavy coastal guns succeeded downing several Soviet bombers and also at least one fighter aircraft.

     


    SOURCES:

    Raimo Vehviläinen, Ahti Lappi and Markku Palokangas: Itsenäisen Suomen Ilmatorjuntatykit 1917 - 2000 / The Anti-aircraft Guns of Independent Finland 1917 - 2000.

    Terry Gander and Peter Chamberlain: Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the third reich.

    Ian Hogg: Twentieth-Century Artillery.

    Ian V. Hogg: British & American Artillery of World War 2.

    Chris Chant: Artillery of World War II.

    Stig A. Fransson: Bofors 350 Śr.

    Raimo Vehviläinen: Ilmatorjuntamuseo-opas.

    Ove Enqvist: Itsenäisen Suomen rannikkotykit.

    Pentti Palmu: Yön yli päivään, Suomen Ilmatorjunnan vaiheita 1925 - 1990.

    Ilmatorjuntajoukot 1925 - 1960 by E. Peura, Niilo A. A. Simojoki, J. Lapinleimu, O. Ranta, V. Rantalainen and L. Pamppunen.

    Ahti Lappi: Ilmatorjunta ilmasodassa 1794 - 1945.

    Talvisodan historia series, parts 1 and 4.

    Jatkosodan historia series, parts 1 and 6.

    Pekka Kiiskinen and Pasi Wahlman: Itsenäisen Suomen laivaston laivatykit 1918 - 2004.

    Markku Palokangas: Sotilaskäsiaseet Suomessa 1918 - 1988.

    Antti Honkala: Mikkolanmäki - Uittamo - Ruohonpää, Siamilaistykkipatterit Turussa

    Heikki Tiilikainen and Ilmari Pusa: Talvisodan jäinen loppunäytös

    Suomen Rannikkotykistö 1918 - 1958 by Rannikkotykistön upseeriyhdistys Ry

    Werner Müller: German medium flak in combat - 20mm-88mm FLAK.

    Military manual: Ilmatorjuntamies 1950.

    Alex Buchner: Deutche und alliierte heereswaffen 1939 - 1945.

    Pentti Toivonen: Salpauselän ilmatorjuntapatteristo 1928 - 1988.

    Military manual: Ilmatorjuntatykistön Ampumatarvikkeet by Ilmavoimien Esikunta, Ilmatorjunta Osasto.

    Military manual: Kiinteä ilmatorjuntakanuuna vv:lta 1927 ja 1929. (printed 1939)

    Military manual: It-joukkojen erikoisohjeita (30th of December 1939) by Ilmapuolustuksen Esikunta.

    Article: Ilmatorjuntatykistömme 1925 - 45 by Jalmari Lapinleimu in Kansa Taisteli magazine vol. 11/1976.

    Military manual: Ampumatarvikenimikkeistö by Puolustusvoimien Pääesikunta Taisteluvälineosasto (printed 1941).

    Military manual: Lyhennetty tykistön ampumatarvikenomenklatuuri (printed 1939).

    Finnish military archives, archive references T20206/F9, /F10 and /F11

    Special thanks to Ilmatorjuntamuseo (Finnish Antiaircraft Museum), Tuusula.

    Special thanks to Ilmailumuseo (Finnish Aviation Museum), Vantaa.

    Guns vs Armour by D.M. Honner


    Last updated 9th of September 2013
    Webmaster: JTV jtvalias@hotmail.com
    Copyrights (pictures, text and graphics): Jaeger Platoon Website.