ARTILLERY PART 3:

Light Field Guns (75 mm - 84 mm)

Most of the light field guns used by Finnish Army in World War 2 originated from turn of the 19th and 20th century. This meant that originally they had been designed as horse-towed guns with main mission of firing direct fire against enemy infantry and cavalry on the open typically with shrapnel with as high rate-of-fire as possible - doctrine which fast became obsolete in beginning of 20th century. Already Boer War and Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 proved that future of field artillery lay in indirect fire. Later experiences in western front of World War 1 further revealed that shrapnel was pretty useless for most situations and light artillery quite ineffective against enemy, which had well-dug trenches. However, a certain niche still existed for light field guns - to attack enemy infantry had leave its trenches and get through open no-mans land. This moment of enemy infantry on the open allowed light field guns to use their considerable rate-fire-fire for maximum effect with high-explosive shells. The further effectiveness for light field guns might have been debated after World War 1, but as they had been manufactured in huge numbers before and during World War 2 the shear number of these guns demanded keeping them on use for cost-benefit reasons alone. In some cases the light field guns went through modifications during this inter-war period. Some countries kept developing also new designs and during World War 2 these new designs often were designed from the start in such manner, that they could also be used as antitank guns.

When it came to keeping old artillery pieces in inventory, just because they already existed, Finland was not an exception. The most common guns the Finns had captured in Civil War of 1918 were light 76-mm Russian field guns. They might have not been ideal for Finnish terrain full of forest-covered hills of various sizes and got criticised in 1920's due to being heavier than light field guns of many other countries, but there were no finances available for acquiring anything better in real numbers. So light Russian 76-mm field guns remained as main weaponry of Finnish field artillery until World War 2. Few French guns were acquired for tests in early 1920's, but as the tested guns failed to prove substantially better and as the financing for purchasing large amounts of artillery did not exist, the captured Russian 76-mm field guns remained main weaponry of Finnish artillery until World War 2. During Winter War Finland hastily had to try to acquiring any field artillery pieces from anyone willing to sell. As a result Finnish artillery weapons inventory became very mixed indeed, making ammunition supplies a demanding task. The availability and quality of fuses proved another problem during Winter War, but these problems got mostly solved before Continuation War.

Some of the old field guns had problems with their box- and pole-trails, which considerably limited the elevation, which could be used thus having negative effect to the maximum range. Finnish military solved this problem quite simply, but effectively - always when possible the guns trail was dug in and a slope created in this way allowed the gun to achieve larger elevation than normally possible. This increase of range is typically visible in maximum range information used in this page. As a rule: Finnish field artillery seldom used shrapnel ammunition, this was because it was considered too ineffective. The most used ammunition type for the light field guns were high explosive (HE) shells filled with high explosives. During Finnish Civil War in year 1918 direct fire was used frequently as troops often lacked more professional training needed for effective indirect fire and number of guns was typically quite small. During World War 2 Finnish field artillery fired almost exclusively indirect fire and direct fire missions were rare occasions. Coastal artillery used their light field guns for direct fire tasks much more often. Light field guns were quite rarely intentionally used as antitank weapons, even if some of them would have ballistics-wise been quite suitable for this sort of use. While some of these guns saw some use as antitank-guns during Winter War, such use was apparently even rarer during Continuation War.

 

75 K/97 "Marianne"

(75 mm cannon model 1897)

(Materiel de 75, Modele 1897)

PICTURE: 75 K/97 field gun. Notice the roller system near tip of the gun barrel, it is unique to this gun. (Photo taken in Tykistömuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (125 KB).

Calibre:

75 mm x 350 R (fixed ammunition)

Barrel length:

L/36,3

Weight in action:

1140 kg

Muzzle velocity:

550 m/sec

Traverse:

3 degrees

Elevation:

- 11 degrees, + 18 degrees

Max. range:

7900 m

Ammunition weight:

6,3-7,8 kg (HE), 6,4 kg /6,1 kg (AP)

Ammunition types:

HE, APHE (*), APC-T (**), HEAT (***), shrapnel (1942)

Country of origin:

France

(*) French Mle 1910 armour piercing high explosive round. Apparently introduced around March of 1942.

(**) Armour piercing capped tracer round apparently introduced around November 1943.

(***) High expolosive antitank round, projectile weight 4.66 kg, muzzle velocity about 400 m/sec.

Finnish use: 48 guns purchased from France in 1940. Only 12 arrived during Winter War and even them too late to be used in it. Used by fortification artillery units during early Continuation War. Year 1942 the guns were returned to storage. Year 1943 their gun barrels were sent to Germany to be used as raw material for manufacturing of 75 PstK/97-38 antitank-guns, which Finland had ordered.

This French gun was the first field gun equipped with modern recoil system and first field gun fitting to quick-fire concept. At the time France and Germany were having arms race of sort. So, when the French got (false) intelligence data claiming that the Germans had developed field gun with successful recoil system they also had to get their own and fast. The vital buffer/recuperator system using oil and compressed air was based to earlier design of Colonel Locard. Otherwise the gun can be credited to Colonel Albert Deport and Captain Sainte-Claire Deville. In recoil the gun barrel run on top of 6 pairs of rollers with bronze sleeve being used as sliding surface. The gun had a shield with top section, which could be folded. The gun also had the typical wooden wheels with steel hoops and Nordenfelt screw breech. The wheel anchors were used to lock the wheels during firing and removed the last bit of recoil - because of this the gun could achieve rate-of-fire as high as 20-shots/minute. The gun proved excellent direct fire weapon and became pride of the French field artillery before World War 1. However, it was not exactly easy to manufacture as some parts demanded very exact fit, but still Schneider factory manufactured succeeded manufacturing estimated 16,000 - 17,000 guns. Normal ammunition had maximum range of about 7,900 meters, while reduced charge ammunition had maximum range around 6,300 - 6,400 meters. As with many light field guns of pre World War 1 era, the actual maximum range of this gun was considerably limited by the maximum elevation allowed by gun carriage. When trail of the gun carriage was placed in a hole dug for it, the gun became capable of reaching maximum shooting range of about 10,700 meters. The gun was designed as horse-towed (but the Finnish troops sometimes transported it also on motor truck body) with maximum speed of about 8 km/h. Gun limber used with the gun when horse-towed, weight 830 kg loaded and carried 27 shots for the gun.

PICTURE: Closer look behind the gun shield of 75 K/97. Notice the interesting structure of Nordenfelt screw breech. (Photo taken in Tykistömuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (155 KB).

Another large manufacturer of these guns was United States, which acquired some 4,300 of them during World War 1 and kept using their own made versions 1897A2 and 1897A4 also during World War 2, even if the gun did not serve US military long as actual field gun in that war. The other users included Estonia, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Romania. During its versatile career the gun got adapted to self-propelled artillery pieces, aircraft (B-25 bomber) and antiaircraft-gun. During World War 1 the admiration and trust that the French had set to their excellent Materiel de 75, Modele 1897 proved to have its downside - the French had neglected developing heavier artillery, which proved vital against the trenched enemy. As the French Army also lost their 75-mm guns in large numbers during early part of the war they had to reintroduce the old guns without recoil systems to battle use. After World War 1 the largest modification the French introduced for these guns was replacing the original wheels with ones that had rubber tires and but even improvement was not done for all guns. The French did introduce the modernised split-trail version Canon de 75 mle 97/33 in 1930's, but only in relatively small numbers. During World War 2 the Germans captured French 75mm model 1897 in many countries, the biggest numbers being about 1,000 guns from Poland and estimated 3,000 - 4,000 guns from France. The Germans also sold some of the captured guns to Romania. After facing KV-1, KV-2 and T-34 tanks in Eastern Front the Germans found immediate need for large-calibre antitank-guns. So in 1942 they manufactured about 600 7,5 cm Pak 97/38 (75 PstK/97-38) antitank-guns by combining re-chambered barrel of French 75-mm model 1897 with gun carriage of 5,0 cm Pak 38 (50 PstK/38). Names used by some users:

  • Poland: 75 mm armata wz. 1897
  • Great Britain: Ord. QF 75 Mk 1
  • USA: 75 Gun M 1897
  • Germany: 7,5 FK 231 (f) and 7,5 FK 97 (f)
  • The gun remained in French use until 1960's and even longer in some third world countries. It has been estimated that this gun might be the most numerous field gun model ever manufactured anywhere.

    Finland purchased 48 of these guns from France during Winter War, but only 12 guns arrived during it. Another 6 guns arrived in April of 1940. The remaining 30 guns were captured by the Germans, when they occupied Norway and were only delivered to Finland after some delay. None of the 12 guns that arrived during Winter War saw any action during that war. The guns had been very cheap, but their condition was also poor. The gun barrels were found to be so worn, that they caused dangerously poor shooting accuracy when used for indirect fire from long range. Because of this 38 guns of the acquired 48 guns were in 1940 issued or reserved to fortification artillery battalions, which issued them to artillery units largely intended for direct-fire missions. Fortification artillery kept using the guns until they were returned to depots in year 1942. Year 1943 Finnish military decided to sent gun barrels of these guns (and some spare barrels, the total number of gun barrels sent was 60) to Germany, where they were used to build 46 pieces 75 PstK/97-38 antitank guns for Finnish Army. This marked the end of 75 K/97 field guns in use of Finnish Army.

    When France delivered the guns to Finland, they arrived disassembled. The French sent two teams of advisors to help Finns with them during Winter War. The first one, "artillery equipment team" lead by Captain Garnier was quite small (2 officers + 3 NCO) and had task of assisting the Finns with assembling the guns and preparing them for use. The second, "artillery training team" by Lt.Col Dion was much larger (25 officers + 27 NCO) and had mission of training Finnish troops for using the French guns (presumably also the older guns without recoil systems), but unfortunately this team arrived only just before ending of Winter War. Both of these teams returned to France in May - June of 1940.

    The direct fire range of the gun was about 5,500 meters. This was one of the field guns, whose gun carriage trail usually dug a hole to get more elevation, since ballistics-wise it was capable for longer shooting range, but small maximum elevation limited this. As usual with the light field guns the ammunition was cartridge-cased fixed type and came in two basic versions: One loaded with full propellant charge and another with reduced propellant charge. The gun had large variety of ammunition and it is not totally sure which high explosive (HE) ammunition models saw Finnish use. The oldest French HE-projectiles weight less than 6 kg, but presumably they were not used by Finnish military. Fuses commonly used the ammunition in Finland were French made and included plenty of sentitised fuses, which worked very well in Finnish conditions (making HE-ammunition effective when fired on trees or thick snow). Finnish military had three kind of ammunition suitable for antitank-use for these guns:

  • 75 pspkrv 59/66-ps (French M/1910 APHE projectile filled with picric).
  • 75 psa - Vj4 (APC-T projectile with 4 second tracer).
  • 75 hkr 42-18/24-38 (probably German Gr.38 Hl/B HEAT-projectile or its locally made copy).
  • Projectile of 75 pstpkrv 59/66-ps ammunition weighted 6.4 kg and had muzzle velocity of 570 m/sec. The additional page concerning this ammunition was added to Finnish military manuals in 1st of March 1943 (but likely acquired already earlier). This French pre World War 1 APHE-shell achieved about 60-mm armour penetration when fired from the close range. The another AP-shell - 75 psa - Vj4 was more modern AP-tracer design, which also used with 75 PstK/97-38 antitank guns. It had projectile weighting bit under 6.1 kg and muzzle velocity of 590 metres/second when fired from 75 K/97 gun. Page containing information about this ammunition was added to Finnish military manuals in 20th of November 1943. 75 hkr 42-18/24-38 projectile weight 4.66 kg and had about 400 metres/second muzzle velocity, it was added to Finnish ammunition manuals 20th of November 1943, but once again could have been introduced bit earlier.

    War:

    Shots fired:

    Winter War (1939-1940)

    0

    Continuation War (1941-1944)

    12000

    Total

    12000

     

    75 K/02

    (75 mm cannon model 1902)

    (7,5 cm kanon M/02)

    PICTURE: 75 K/02 field gun. (Photo taken in Santahamina military base). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (193 KB).

    Calibre:

    75 mm x 278 R (fixed ammunition)

    Barrel length:

    L/30

    Weight in action:

    1000 kg

    Muzzle velocity:

    484-493 m/sec

    Traverse:

    3 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 3 degrees, + 15 degrees

    Max. range:

    8,3-9,3 km

    Ammunition weight:

    6,4 kg (HE)

    Ammunition types:

    HE, shrapnel

    Country of origin:

    Sweden

    Finnish use: Total number of 60 in Finland during Winter War. First batch of 12 guns arrived in October 1939, the rest arrived during Winter War. The guns loaded by Sweden were returned after Winter War and remaining 36 guns were used by field artillery until end of 1941. After that some were used by coastal artillery until end of World War 2.

    This gun was a Krupp design manufactured in Sweden under license. It also was the first Swedish field gun with modern recoil system, which was the typical buffer/recuperator type located under the barrel. The guns supplied to Swedish military were manufactured by Krupp in Germany (104 guns) and factories of Finspång (106 guns), Bofors (68 guns) and Stockholms Vapenfabrik (36 guns) in Sweden. First deliveries to Swedish Army started in year 1903. The Swedes modernised large number of these guns as model 02-10 and later dozen as model 02-33, which had split trail. Basically the gun was quite typical Krupp design of that time. It had pole trail, gun shield with foldable upper section, wooden wheels with steel hoops, wheel anchors (which handled the last fraction of recoil, which buffer/recuperator and spade in end of trail did not remove) and Krupp horizontal sliding wedge breech. Main aiming equipment was dial sight, but also simple iron sights for direct fire use were included. Ammunition was typical one-piece cartridge fixed ammunition. Even if the cartridge cases of ammunition used in these had same length as in ammunition used with Norwegian 75 K/01 their ammunition was not totally interchangeable. The original maximum shooting range (because of very limited elevation) was only 5.8 km, but by digging in trail of the guns range could be increased to about 7.0 km. Using of both traverse wheel under the gun and digging in the trail of the gun allowed achieving elevation of 35 degrees and reacing the maximum range of almost 10 kilometers.

    PICTURE: Peak behind the gun shield of 75 K/02 field gun. (Photo taken in Santahamina military base). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (212 KB).

    Finland acquired the first 12 guns already just before Winter War in October of 1939. Finland purchased another 12 guns during the war from Sweden. Also Swedish volunteer unit SFK (whose weaponry was financed with donations gathered in Sweden for Finland) arrived with 12 guns. When Sweden loaned further 24 guns to Finland during Winter War the total number of these guns used in Winter War reached 60, but all of them did not saw use in battle. Sweden also gave export licenses for larger number of 75 K/02 guns, but not all them ever saw Finland. Soon after Winter War the loaned 24 guns were returned to Sweden and only 36 guns remained in Finland. The guns saw use with field artillery in Winter War and 1st Battalion of Field Artillery Regiment 9 also managed to destroy 3 Soviet tanks with them. Year 1941 16 of these remaining guns were used by Finnish field artillery. However by end of that year Finnish field artillery replaced them with other field guns and howitzers, which did not have gun barrels so worn and had more plentiful ammunition. Some of the guns were issued to coastal artillery, which used them as 2-gun artillery sections. They remained in this role with coastal artillery until end of World War 2.

    War:

    Shots fired:

    Winter War (1939-1940)

    15848

    Continuation War (1941-1944)

    39006

    Total

    54854

     

    75 K/17 "Betlehem"

    (75 mm cannon model 1917 "Bethlehem")

    (75 mm Field Gun M1917 (British))

    (Ord. QF 75 mm Converted M-01)

    (Ord. Q.F. 75 mm / 18 pr. Mark 1PA)

    PICTURE: 75 K/17 field gun with both upper and lower parts of gun shield opened. Notice also recoil system on top of the gun barrel. (Photo taken in Tykistömuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (46 KB).

    Calibre:

    75 mm x 350 R (fixed ammunition)

    Barrel length:

    L/30

    Weight in action:

    1340 kg

    Muzzle velocity:

    571 m/sec

    Traverse:

    3 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 5 degrees, + 16 degrees

    Max. range:

    10,6-10,7 km

    Ammunition weight:

    6,3-7,8 kg (HE), 6,4 kg (AP), 6,1 kg (AP-T)

    Ammunition types:

    HE, APHE (*), APC-T (**), HEAT (***), shrapnel (1942)

    Country of origin:

    USA

    (*) French Mle 1910 armour piercing high explosive round, apparently introced around March of 1942.

    (**) Armour piercing capped tracer round apparently introduced around November 1943.

    (***) High expolosive antitank round, projectile weight 4.66 kg, muzzle velocity about 400 m/sec.

    Finnish use: 200 purchased from USA in 1940. The guns arrived too late to be used in Winter War and were in very poor shape. During early part of Continuation War the guns were mostly used by field artillery and in smaller numbers by coastal artillery and fortification artillery. But during Continuation War more and more were transferred to coastal artillery and fortification artillery.

    Armour Penetration:

    - Finnish live fire testing year 1943 ("75 psa-Vj4", Finnish APC-T, 396 m/sec, version with reduced propellant charge?):

    - Finnish live fire testing year 1943 ("75 psa-Vj4", Finnish APC-T, 575 m/sec):

    When United States joined World War 1 in 1917, the field artillery weapons used by the small Army it had, were almost all outdated. Only somewhat modern field artillery piece in its disposal was US designed 4.7-inch field cannon M1906. To equip their fast increasing artillery US decided to acquire large number of new field artillery, which were either manufactured abroad or were foreign designs, which US industry started manufacturing. One of these foreign designs manufactured in the US was 75 mm Field Gun M1917 (British), which essentially was British 84-mm Ord. QF 18-pdr Gun Mark I field gun modified to use same ammunition as the French 75-mm Materiel de 75, Modele 1897 field gun. This combination offered US troops fighting in Europe readily available, reliable and proven gun design with ammunition easily available in large amounts from local sources. US manufacturers (from which Bethlehem Steel was the largest) made about 1,000 guns, which remained in use of US military until World War 2. Year 1941 US military replaced the original wooden wheels with steel hoops of those guns still remaining in use with new ones, which had pneumatic tires. During early part of World War 2 United States delivered these guns to many friendly states (such as Great Britain and Philippines) and the guns also saw some use in Pacific with US troops until rest of the guns were issued to training use only.

    PICTURE: Peak behind guns shield of 75 K/17 field gun. Notice the wheel anchors. (Photo taken in Museo Militaria). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (122 KB).

    As mentioned the basic structure was similar as in British 18-pounder of that time. The gun had pole trail, recoil system on top of the barrel, gun shield (whose upper and lower parts could both be folded), screw breech and wheel anchors (used to remove last of the recoil). The sight used was dial sight. Unfortunately the design did not include improvements, which the British introduced later, so the recoil system still had hydro/spring buffer/recuperator system.

    Finland purchased 200 of these guns and almost 209,000 shots for them from United States during Winter War. The acquired ammunition included at least high explosive (HE) shells, HE-shells with reduced propellant charge and armour piercing (AP)shells. However the guns were not delivered until after the Winter War in summer of 1940. Again the guns were very cheap, but they also proved to be in very poor shape. Practically all were in desperate need of repairs and maintenance before they could be issued, which delayed issuing them to various artillery units. During the peace between Winter War and Continuation War 33 guns were issued to fortification artillery units. Once Continuation War, which had begun in June of 1941 majority of the guns were used by field artillery (128 guns), while smaller numbers were used by coastal artillery (42 guns) and fortification artillery (16 guns). As Continuation War went on the many field artillery units received howitzers, so when time passed more and more of these guns got transferred to coastal artillery. When it comes to these guns being used in field artillery, the guns were horse-towed. Summer of 1944 Finnish troops lost 16 of these guns. 14 of these lost guns belonged to coastal artillery. Finnish soldiers considered the gun as durable and accurate, but the gun carriage severely limited guns maximum range and springs in the recoil system were clearly a weak spot of the design. Finnish soldiers also nicknamed the gun as "Betlehem" (as place name Bethlehem is traditionally written in Finnish language) after its manufacturer.

    War:

    Shots fired:

    Winter War (1939-1940)

    0

    Continuation War (1941-1944)

    705495

    Total

    705495

    After World War 2 the guns were equipped with sponge-rubber tires and because of large existing ammunition stock some of the guns were used to train artillery crews until early 1990's. Ammunition used in the guns contained same two AP-shells and one HEAT-shell as with 75 K/97. AP-shells were old 75 pspkrv 59/66-ps (French M/1910 APHE-round containing 90-grams of picric, projectile weight 6,4 kg, muzzle velocity 537 m/sec) and more modern 75 psa - Vj4 (AP-tracer shell with 6,1-kg projectile and 571 m/sec muzzle velocity). The older APHE-round was added to Finnish manuals at March of 1942 and the more modern AP-T at November of 1943. HEAT-shell had German 7.5 cm Gr. 38 Hl/B warhead, 4,66 kg projectile and muzzle velocity around 400 metres/sec. Armour penetration of this HEAT-projectile was around 75-mm with impact angle of 60 degrees. The HEAT-projectile was added to Finnish military manuals in November of 1943 (but as usual the shell might have been introduced earlier).

     

    76 K/00

    (76 mm cannon model 1900)

    (Trehdjumovaja poljevaja pushka obr. 1900)

    PICTURE: 76 K/00 field gun. Notice the recoil system build inside the gun carriage and the frame seats on both sides of the barrel. (Photo taken in Tykistömuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (88 KB).

    Calibre:

    76,2 mm x 385 R (fixed ammunition)

    Barrel length:

    L/30

    Weight in action:

    1040 kg

    Muzzle velocity:

    590 m/sec

    Traverse:

    2,5 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 6 degrees, + 17 degrees

    Max. range:

    6,7-8,8 km

    Ammunition weight:

    6,6-6,7 kg (HE).

    Ammunition types:

    HE, AP, APC-T (1942), APHEBC-T (1940/1941), HEAT (1944), shrapnel, incendiary

    Country of origin:

    Russia

    Finnish use: Used mostly by Red Guards during Civil War. 34 captured in 1918, 21 of these in usable shape. During Winter War 16 used by field artillery and the rest used for training. During Continuation War fortification artillery and coastal artillery used these guns in some extent.

    Armour Penetration:

    - "Guns vs Armour" website by D.M. Honner (Soviet BR-350A APHEBC-T):

    distance

    hitting angle

    penetration

    100 m

    90 degrees

    80 mm

    500 m

    90 degrees

    73 mm

    1000 m

    90 degrees

    64 mm

    1500 m

    90 degrees

    55 mm

    2000 m

    90 degrees

    48 mm

    100 m

    60 degrees

    65 mm

    500 m

    60 degrees

    59 mm

    1000 m

    60 degrees

    51 mm

    1500 m

    60 degrees

    43 mm

    2000 m

    60 degrees

    39 mm

    This gun designed by Russian General Engelhardt was the first modern Russian designed field gun. The structure of recoil mechanism was such which one could expect from mountain gun. Somewhat unusually the parts of recoil system had been inbuild in the gun carriage and the gun carriage had upper part, which slide on rails on top of the lower part. The gun had hydraulic buffer and bar was used to transmit rest of the recoil energy to recuperator, which consisted from steel and rubber plates. Between 1901 - 1903 some 2,400 guns were manufactured in Putilov, Sankt Peterburg, Obuhov and Perm artillery factories. During Russo-Japanese War of 1904 - 1905 this gun saw large-scale use with Russian Army. It had wooden wheels with steel hoops typical to the period, screw breech, box trail and seats for two crewmembers to sit on during transport. Originally the gun had only iron sights (suitable just for direct fire use), but later simple optical dial sight was added. The gun used only wheel anchors (in addition of recoil system) to keep it in place when fired, so slight corrections to aim were often needed between shots.

    PICTURE: 76 K/00 seen from another point of view. Notice trail structure. (Photo taken in Museum Militaria). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (114 KB).

    During Civil War of 1918 White Army used only one of these guns, while the Finnish Red Guards used them in rather substantial numbers. Total number of guns captured in 1918 was 34 guns, but only 21 of them were captured even in somewhat usable condition. During the time before World War 2 few guns were used by Civil Guard (Suojeluskunta) artillery. During Winter War 16 guns saw frontline use and the rest served as training equipment in the home front. During Continuation War 16 of the guns issued to coastal artillery, but seemed to have spent most of time in coastal artillery depots.

    List of ammunition suitable for antitank-use used with 76 K/00 field gun (and other Russian/Soviet 76-mm field guns):

  • 76 psav: Old (likely pre-WW2) solid-shot capped armour piercing round with 6,26 kg projectile and about 630 metres/sec muzzle velocity. This may have been old Russian ammunition captured in 1918, it is not listed in oldest Finnish ammunition manuals, but does appear in manuals introduced in 1941.
  • 76 l vpstkr 23/29-ps MD-5: Captured Soviet round with BR-350 armour piercing high explosive ballistic capped tracer (APHEBC-T) projectile, which weight 6,4 kg projectile and had 611 m/sec muzzle velocity from this gun. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of May 1942 (probably captured earlier). Probably first captured in 1940 or 1941.
  • 76 vpstkr 23/29-ps MD-5: Captured Soviet round with BR-350A armour piercing high explosive ballistic coned tracer projectile with ballistic cup (APHEBC-T). Projectile weight 6,4 kg projectile and 611 m/sec muzzle velocity from this gun. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of May 1942 (probably captured earlier). First captured in 1940 or 1941.
  • 76 pstkr 23/29-ps MD-5: Captured Soviet round with BR-350B armour piercing ballistic coned high explosive tracer projectile with ballistic tip (APHEBC-T). Projectile weight 6,4 kg projectile and 611 m/sec muzzle velocity from this gun. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of May 1942 (but almost certainly captured in 1941 or earlier). First captured in 1940 or 1941.
  • 76 psa - Vj4: Finnish armour piercing capped round with 4-second tracer (APC-T). Projectile weight 6,325 kg. Reduced propellant charge version had 403 m/sec muzzle velocity, while full propellant charge version achieved 595 m/sec. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of December 1942.
  • 76 hkr 42-18/24-38: HEAT shell with German Gr. 38 Hl/B warhead. Projectile weight 4,8 kg and muzzle velocity 400 m/sec. Added to Finnish ammunition manuals 1th of July 1944.
  • 76 hkr Vj 42/C-18/24-38: High explosive antitank tracer (HEAT-T) round with German Gr. 38 Hl/C warhead. Projectile weight 4,8 kg and muzzle velocity 400 m/sec. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of July 1944.
  • Finnish military also had incendiary ammunition for 76,2 mm x 385R calibre field guns. Both incendiary shells used by the Finns were captured Soviet equipment containing thermite and blackpowder.

    Notice: Finnish military used mostly the same ammunition in all 76,2 mm x 385R calibre field guns, but some of the details (such as muzzle velocities) obviously varied depending in which model they were fired from, due to differences in lengths of gun barrel.

    War:

    Shots fired:

    Winter War (1939-1940)

    22544

    Continuation War (1941-1944)

    5953

    Total

    28497

     

    76 K/02

    (76 mm cannon model 1902)

    (3-djujmovaja pushka obr. 1902)

    PICTURE: 76 K/02 field gun with upper and lower parts of gun shield folded. Notice gun shield structure. (Photo taken in yard of Sotamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (107 KB).

    Calibre:

    76,2 mm x 385 R (fixed ammunition)

    Barrel length:

    L/30

    Weight in action:

    1100 kg

    Muzzle velocity:

    460-605 m/sec

    Traverse:

    3 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 6 degrees, + 17 degrees

    Max. range:

    7,9-10,6 km

    Ammunition weight:

    6,4 kg (HE), 6,3 kg (AP-T).

    Ammunition types:

    HE, AP, APC-T (1942), APHEBC-T (1940/1941), HEAT (1944), HEAT-T (1944), shrapnel, incendiary

    Country of origin:

    Russia

    Finnish use: 179 guns acquired (captured + bought) in year 1918. 11 additional guns bought in 1931. Five guns captured during Winter War. 54 guns bought from Germany inlate 1940 were delivered in November - December of 1940. The most numerous field gun in use of Finnish field artillery during World War 2.

    Armour Penetration:

    - Finnish live fire testing year 1943 (76 psa - Vj4, Finnish APC-T, 590 m/sec, added to Finnish Army ammunition manuals 1st of December 1942):

    This gun was based to earlier designs of improved 76 K/00 made by General Engelhardt and designed in Putilov factory by L.A. Bishjakov, K.I. Lipinskij and K.M. Sokolovskij. But some ideas also seem to have originated from French 75-mm field guns model 1897. The gun had box trail, wooden wheel with steel hoops, recoil system with hydro buffer and spring recuperator under the barrel, screw breech and no wheel anchors. Early it did not have gun shield, but had seats for two crewmembers instead. Later straight vertical gun shield with foldable upper and lower sections was introduced and seats removed. Several sight models existed, the last and most common being Goertz dial sight. As quite typical the elevation and thereby also maximum range of the gun were severely limited by box trail, which in normal circumstances allowed maximum elevation less than 17 degrees limiting maximum range of the gun to about 7.9 kilometres. So, these guns belonged to ones, which usually got their trails routinely dug in to achieve more elevation and range. Maximum range in direct fire use was about 4 kilometres. Ammunition was typical cartridge loaded fixed ammunition. Originally only high explosive (HE) shell type rounds loaded with full propellant charge existed, but already in year 1918 Finnish military developed and introduced also HE-shell with reduced propellant charge (which during World War 2 proved suitable to captured 76 RK/27 and 76 RK/27-39 infantry guns). The reason for developing such round with reduced propellant charge was Finnish conditions - artillery ammunition with high muzzle velocity and low trajectory was poorly suited to Finnish terrain of forest covered hills of various size. While same round with smaller projectile charge provided higher trajectory and allowed more versatile possibilities for shooting targets in such terrain. The Soviets on the other hand went and developed HE-shells with better ballistics and even more powerful propellant charge before World War 2 in attempt of increasing maximum shooting range. Because of recoil system and lack of wheel anchors some of the recoil energy was not always completely dampened - in these cases aim of the gun had to be corrected after each shot. Hence how well trained the crew was and if the gun was well laid had large impact to practical rate-of-fire - which varied between 8 - 15 shots/minute. When compared to standard of that time, French 75-mm model 1897, this gun was not quite as effective due to its slower maximum rate of fire, but it was notably easier to manufacture. During World War 1 this field gun was the most numerous field artillery piece used by Russian Army. After World War 1 outside Russia/Soviet union the largest user of these guns was probably Poland, where over 400 guns were modified starting from year 1926 to use same 75-mm ammunition as French model 1897 and renamed as 75mm wz. 02/26. Other countries also using these guns at that time included Lithuania and Romania (from which also Romania got their guns modified as 75-mm field gun model 1902/36). In Soviet Union the large majority of these guns modified in 1930's as 76,2 mm Pushka obr. 1902/30 g. but relatively small number of unmodified guns also saw use with Soviet Red Army during World War 2.

    PICTURE: Even if this picture did not get quite all the light it would have needed it gives good idea about basic structure of 76 K/02 field gun. (Photo taken in Maneesi of Sotamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (76 KB).

    28th of January 1918 (2nd day of Finnish Civil War) Finnish White Army captured its first 76 K/02 field guns in Ilmajoki. The artillery battery of six guns that it captured that day belonged to 106th Field Artillery Brigade of Russian Army. Two of those six guns captured were captured with their breech system intact and were sent to city of Oulu, where they took part in battle against Russian garrison in 3rd of February 1918. The shots they fired that way are considered to be the first shots fired by field artillery of independent Finland. The particular battle was also the first battle in which Finnish White Army had artillery support. During Finnish Civil War the gun was among most modern artillery equipment available and saw large-scale use with both sides. White Army had more than half-a-dozen artillery batteries armed with them during the war. After the Civil War 76 K/02 was selected as main light field gun for Finnish Army for very simple reason: It was the most numerous of captured modern field guns and already at hand. Improved versions of the gun (the main concern seemed to have been in increasing elevation) were tested in 1930's and also changing their calibre to 75-mm was considered, but these development projects did not get beyond few prototypes. Hence the guns served Finnish military non-modernised through World War 2. Two of the guns served (originating from Russian heavy armoured train captured during Civil War) as main guns of Finnish armoured trains in 1920's and 1930's, but before World War 2 they were replaced in gun turrets of these armoured trains with 76 VK/04 mountain guns. Originally 76 K/02 field gun had been designed as horse-towed, but could also be towed with trucks or transported on motor truck body. Maximum speed when horse-towed around 10 km/h. When the gun was towed with horses limber carrying 40 shots was used with it.

    PICTURE: Peak behind gun shield of 76 K/02. Notice dial sight, screw breech and inner part of the gun shield in the middle. (Photo taken in Maneesi of Sotamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (112 KB).

    During Civil War 159 of these guns had been captured and additional 20 guns bought from Germany arrived April of 1918. Since 76 K/02 became de facto standard light field gun of Finnish Army for 1920's and 1920's, Finland tried to acquire more of them when possible. Year 1931 Transbaltic Oy traded in exchange ten old 75 VK L14 mountain guns and their ammunition to eleven 76 K/02 field guns and two 76 LK/13 infantry guns. Five more guns were captured among other artillery weapons during Winter War. After that war Finland bought 54 guns from Germany in late 1940, they were guns which German military had captured in Poland the previous year. From those 54 guns 32 arrived in November of 1940 and 22 arrived the next month. During World War 2 76 K/02 was the most numerous field gun in Finnish use and well liked by Finnish soldiers, who considered it to be simple and strong to operate. However, considering the age of these guns by that time, it was not unusual for them to be quite a bit of wear and tear. Field artillery was their largest user, but small number was also used by coastal artillery and fortification artillery. During summer of 1944 losses of these guns were high: Total number of guns lost was 29, from which 18 were lost in IV AK (4th Army Corps) sector in Carelian Isthmus, 8 of the lost guns belonged to Ladoga Coastal Brigade and 3 guns to Aunus Army Group.

    War:

    Shots fired:

    Winter War (1939-1940)

    265050

    Continuation War (1941-1944)

    1316568

    Total

    1581618

    (Notice: Also ammunition used by 76 K/02-30 and 76 K/02-30/40 field guns are included to these numbers).

    In post-war era the old 76 K/02 guns were equipped with rubber tires. Even if the guns were quite outdated they remained warehoused for reserves for a very long time. At least partly thanks to large stockpile of ammunition left from the war they also served in training use all the way to 1990's. Field guns 76 K/00, 76 K/02 and 76 K/02 shared in Finnish use same ammunition and had similar ballistics. Hence the information about ammunition used in 76 K/02 can be found here.

     

    76 K/02-30

    (76 mm cannon model 1902, modernised 1930)

    (76,2 mm Pushka obr. 1902/30 g. L/30)

    PICTURE: 76 K/02-30 field gun. Notice recoil systems under the gun barrel. (Photo taken in Museum Militaria). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (159 KB).

    Calibre:

    76,2 mm x 385 R (fixed ammunition)

    Barrel length:

    L/30

    Weight in action:

    1320 kg

    Muzzle velocity:

    424-625 m/sec

    Traverse:

    3 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 6 degrees, + 35 degrees

    Max. range:

    3,0-10,6 km

    Ammunition weight:

    6,35-4,82 kg (HE).

    Ammunition types:

    HE, AP, APC-T (1942), APHEBC-T (1940/1941), HEAT (1944), HEAT-T (1944), shrapnel, incendiary

    Country of origin:

    Soviet Union

     

    76 K/02-30/40

    (76 mm cannon model 1902, modernised 1930, with L/40 barrel)

    (76,2 mm Pushka obr. 1902/30 g. L/40)

    PICTURE: 76 K/02-30/40 field gun. Notice the L/40 barrel. (Photo taken in Tykistömuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (153 KB).

    Calibre:

    76,2 mm x 385 R (fixed ammunition)

    Barrel length:

    L/40

    Weight in action:

    1350 kg

    Muzzle velocity:

    424-625 m/sec

    Traverse:

    3 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 5 degrees, + 37 degrees

    Max. range:

    13,5 km

    Ammunition weight:

    6,35-4,82 kg (HE)

    Ammunition types:

    HE, AP, APC-T (1942), APHEBC-T (1940/1941), HEAT (1944), HEAT-T (1944), shrapnel, incendiary

    Country of origin:

    Soviet Union

    Finnish use: Total of 125 guns 76 K/02-30 were captured during Winter War and Continuation War and saw large scale use with Finnish field artillery. 10 longer barrelled 76 K/02-30/40 were captured in Continuation War and issued to coastal artillery.

    After collapse of imperial Russia in 1917 and Russian Civil War (1917 - 1922) Soviet Red Army ended up with most of remaining 76-mm field guns model 1902. Just like Finnish military also Red Army noticed the shortcomings of the original model 1902 gun, but unlike Finland had notably more resources, so they got grand majority of the guns modernised. The modernisation program continued long to 1930's and had the main goal on improving maximum shooting range. This modernisation was only a partial success. Modified gun carriage had a wider box trail, which had a hole in the middle and allowed higher elevation than before. This box-trail reminding the ones used in howitzers worked fine, but some other improvements proved less successful. New ammunition had with same cartridge shape and size as before, but besides slightly more powerful propellant charge failed to make much of a difference to muzzle velocity. Later a version with L/40 gun barrel (original gun had L/30 barrel) was introduced. The longer barrel improved muzzle-velocity and range, but with the new long barrel the gun no longer was as compact and easy to operate as before. The new gun carriage allowing higher elevation certainly made the L/30 version somewhat more practical to use, but considering how well the non-modernised 76 K/02 served Finnish military, rationality of the whole modernisation program can be questioned. Before World War 2 the Soviets delivered these guns to the Chinese communists and Republican Spain. During World War 2 they also saw large scale use with Soviet military as well as with the Germans, who called the captured guns 7,62 cm FK 295/1(r) (L/30 version) and 7,62 cm FK 295/2 (r) (L/40 version).

    Finnish military adopted the captured guns of these types immediately to its own use. As the basic structure of the gun was very similar to original 76 K/02 and the same ammunition was used, Finnish artillery crews felt right in home with them. Finnish troops captured total 125 field guns 76 K/02-30, from these 32 were captured in Winter War and 93 in Continuation War. The number of captured 76 K/02-30/40 was much smaller, only 10 guns were captured and all of them in Continuation War. Finnish military issued these two field gun models to variety of units. The large majority of 76 K/02-30 were issued to field artillery and few to training centres located to home front, while all 76 K/02-30/40 were issued to Lake Ladoga Coastal Brigade (Laatokan Rannikkoprikaati)belonging to coastal artillery. Like 76 K/02 Finnish soldiers considered these guns also simple and durable, even if getting enough elevation was no longer a problem the age of these guns was also often visible in level of wear and tear. In August of 1944 Germany offered to sell 46 of captured 76 K/02-30 guns to Finland, but the delivery seems to have never happened - it is possible that something happened to the ship they were in or the delivery was postponed until Finland signing peace with Soviet Union stopped all German deliveries in September of 1944.

    PICTURE: Another view to 76 K/02-30 field gun. Notice structure of gun carriage and the hole in middle of it for increased elevation. (Photo taken in Museum Militaria). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (163 KB).

    Like the non-modernised 76 K/02 also last of these guns served Finnish military until early 1990's. Some of them had been equipped with rubber tires after the war and thanks to large ammunition stocks they remained as training equipment till end of their career.

    Finnish military used mostly the same ammunition for all 76,2 mm x 385R calibre field guns. Field guns 76 K/00, 76 K/02 and 76 K/02 all shared in Finnish use same ammunition and had similar ballistics. Hence the information about ammunition used in 76 K/02 can be found here.

    However due to its longer gun barrel 76 K/02-30/40 field gun had different ballistics. List of ammunition suitable for antitank-use with 76 K/02-30/40 changed to fit into its ballistics:

  • 76 psav: Old (likely pre-WW2) solid-shot capped armour piercing round with 6,26 kg projectile and about 640 metres/sec muzzle velocity. This may have been old Russian ammunition captured in 1918, it is not listed in oldest Finnish ammunition manuals, but does appear in manuals introduced in 1941.
  • 76 l vpstkr 23/29-ps MD-5: Captured Soviet round with BR-350 armour piercing high explosive tracer (APHE-T) projectile, which weight 6,4 kg projectile and had 655 m/sec muzzle velocity from this gun. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of May 1942 (probably captured earlier).
  • 76 vpstkr 23/29-ps MD-5: Captured Soviet round with BR-350A armour piercing high explosive tracer projectile with ballistic cup (APHEBC-T). Projectile weight 6,4 kg projectile and 655 m/sec muzzle velocity from this gun. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of May 1942 (probably captured earlier).
  • 76 pstkr 23/29-ps MD-5: Captured Soviet round with BR-350B armour piercing high explosive tracer projectile with ballistic tip (APHEBC-T). Projectile weight 6,4 kg projectile and 655 m/sec muzzle velocity from this gun. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of May 1942 (but almost certainly captured in 1941 or earlier).
  • 76 psa - Vj4: Finnish armour piercing round with 4-second tracer (AP-T). Projectile weight 6,325 kg. Reduced propellant charge version had 403 m/sec muzzle velocity, while full propellant charge version achieved ? m/sec. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of December 1942.
  • 76 hkr 42-18/24-38: HEAT shell with German Gr. 38 Hl/B warhead. Projectile weight 4,8 kg and muzzle velocity 400 m/sec.
  • 76 hkr Vj 42/C-18/24-38: High explosive antitank tracer (HEAT-T) round with German Gr. 38 Hl/C warhead. Projectile weight 4,8 kg and muzzle velocity 400 m/sec. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of July 1944, but probably bought month or two earlier.
  • Finnish military also had incendiary ammunition for 76,2 mm x 385R calibre field guns. Both incendiary shells used by the Finns were captured Soviet equipment containing thermite and blackpowder.

     

    76 K/36 "Rotanhäntä"

    (76 mm cannon model 1936 "Rats tail")

    (F-22, model 1936)

    PICTURE: 76 K/36 field gun. Notice the long barrel and folded upper corner of gun shield. This field gun has been painted with post-war Finnish Army "shrapnel" camo pattern. Also red reflectors are post-war addition made due to Finnish road traffic legislation. (Photo taken in yard of Sotamuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (164 KB).

    Calibre:

    76,2 mm x 385 R (fixed ammunition)

    Barrel length:

    L/51,1

    Weight in action:

    1620 kg

    Muzzle velocity:

    424-625 m/sec

    Traverse:

    3 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 5 degrees, + 75 degrees

    Max. range:

    3,0-13,6 km

    Ammunition weight:

    6,4 kg (HE)

    Ammunition types:

    HE, AP, APC-T (1942), APHEBC-T (1940/1941), HEAT (1944), HEAT-T (1944), shrapnel, incendiary

    Country of origin:

    Soviet Union

    Finnish use: 37 captured during Winter War and 49 captured during Continuation War. Used by Finnish field artillery during Winter War and Continuation War.

    Armour Penetration:

    - Finnish live fire testing year 1943 (76 psa - Vj4, Finnish APC-T, 688 m/sec, added to Finnish Army ammunition manuals 1st of December 1942):

    This gun was exceptional among light field guns used by Finnish Army, in that sense, that it was still a brand new design during World War 2. In 1930's the Soviets had spent considerable effort in developing new 76.2 mm x 385R caliber field gun, which would have considerably longer shooting range than old guns originating from imperial era or their modernised versions. The project had begun in year 1934, the first prototypes saw light in year 1935 and the mass production followed in year 1936. The structural design had characteristics, which indicated that the gun was originally intended to be used also as antiaircraft-gun, even if the gun carriage was not really that well suited for such use. The mass production gun also lacked sights needed for anti-aircraft use. Recoil mechanism was under the very long and thin barrel, which inspired Finnish soldiers to nickname the gun as "Rotanhäntä" (Rats tail). Gun had excellent ballistic properties, split trail, wheels with sponge rubber tires (some were also manufactured with wooden wheels, but apparently there were none among the Finnish-captured guns) and gun shield with foldable upper section. The gun laying system however was not too practical: It had separate wheels for elevation and traverse located in such a manner that two soldiers were needed to use them, which made aiming the gun fast far more complicated than necessary. The ammunition was typical cartridge of fixed ammunition type and gun had the typical dial sight. While in Finnish use explosive (HE) shells used with the gun were available with two propellant charge sizes (full charge and reduced) and as the Soviets also used these guns as antitank weapons when needed, they had also readily available anti-tank ammunition for them. Problems of the structural design were painfully obvious when it came to towing the gun. Exceptionally low ground clearance made towing the gun off-road difficult and maximum towing speed off-road was only 18 km/h. Semiautomatic breech system with vertical sliding breech block allowed good rate of fire (12 - 15 shots/minute have been mentioned, but some sources claim even 25 shots/minute could be achieved) when it was working properly. Soviet military was not happy with the gun and further development lead to introduction of 76-mm model 1939 aka F-22 USV field gun. During World War 2 German military captured these guns in large numbers and found them so good that they not only took the gun in large scale use, but typically modified the captured guns to use more powerful ammunition, equipped the guns with muzzle brake. The Germans also developed AP (PzGr. 39), APCR (PzGr. 40), HEAT and HE-ammunition for their captured guns. While in German use the gun achieved reputation especially as antitank gun and was used in both German and Romanian tank destroyers. The gun could be either horse-towed and motor-towed. Maximum speed in motorised towing was 30 km/h. When horse-towed the gun was used with limber, which carried 24 shots.

    PICTURE: 76 K/36 field gun. (Photo taken in Tykistömuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (123 KB).

    Also Finnish Army found captured 76 K/36 guns very useful and pressed them immediately in use already during Winter War. The great majority of captured guns were used by field artillery, but four guns also saw service with coastal artillery during Continuation War. During Winter War 37 guns were captured (most of them in north side of Lake Ladoga) with 49 additional guns being captured during Continuation War. Finnish soldiers found the gun to be otherwise excellent, but the semi-automatic breech system with vertical sliding breech block proved somewhat unreliable and malfunctioned every now and then. The Finns seldom used the antitank-capacity, which these guns possessed, instead they were used like ordinary field guns. The Soviets recaptured four guns because of carelessness near Viipuri during Winter War. Two guns were lost year 1941 in Kiestinki sector and another two belonging to Ladoga Coastal Brigade in summer of 1944. Not included to these numbers is one gun, which 3rd Battalion of Field Artillery Regiment 4 tried to use as antitank gun against Soviet heavy tank (presumably KV-1). The Soviets managed to capture the gun after it had been damaged by the tank and gun crew had abandoned it, but the Finns re-captured it only few days later.

    War:

    Shots fired:

    Winter War (1939-1940)

    3171

    Continuation War (1941-1944)

    168274

    Total

    171445

    After World War 2 the guns remained warehoused for reserves well to 1990's. Only large-scale acquisition of more modern ex East-German field artillery pieces in early 1990's finally retired them.

    PICTURE: Rear view to 76 K/36 field gun. (Photo taken in Museum Militaria). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (165 KB).

    As noted Finnish military mostly used same ammunition was used for antitank use in all 76.2 mm x 385R calibre field guns, but some of the details (such as muzzle velocities) varied from one gun model to another. 76 K/36 had the longest barrel from all 76.2-mm field guns used by the Finns, which is also quite evident in muzzle velocities produced by this gun with most available ammunition. Information about antitank-ammunition for this gun:

  • 76 psav: Old (likely pre-WW2) solid-shot capped armour piercing round with 6,26 kg projectile and about 650 metres/sec muzzle velocity. This may have been old Russian ammunition captured in 1918, it is not listed in oldest Finnish ammunition manuals, but does appear in manuals introduced in 1941.
  • 76 l vpstkr 23/29-ps MD-5: Captured Soviet round with BR-350 armour piercing high explosive ballistic capped tracer (APHE-T) projectile, which weight 6,4 kg projectile and had 677 m/sec muzzle velocity from this gun. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of May 1942 (probably captured earlier).
  • 76 vpstkr 23/29-ps MD-5: Captured Soviet round with BR-350A armour piercing high explosive ballistic capped tracer projectile with ballistic cup (APHEBC-T). Projectile weight 6,4 kg projectile and 677 m/sec muzzle velocity from this gun. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of May 1942 (probably captured earlier).
  • 76 pstkr 23/29-ps MD-5: Captured Soviet round with BR-350B armour piercing high explosive ballistic capped tracer projectile with ballistic tip (APHEBC-T). Projectile weight 6,4 kg projectile and 677 m/sec muzzle velocity from this gun. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of May 1942 (but almost certainly captured in 1941 or earlier).
  • 76 psa - Vj4: Finnish armour piercing capped round with 4-second tracer (APC-T). Projectile weight 6,325 kg. Reduced propellant charge version had 403 m/sec muzzle velocity, while full propellant charge version achieved 695 m/sec. Added to Finnish manuals 1st of December 1942.
  • 76 hkr 42-18/24-38: HEAT shell with German Gr. 38 Hl/B warhead. Projectile weight 4,8 kg and muzzle velocity 400 m/sec. Added to Finnish ammunition manuals 1th of July 1944, but may have arrived bit earlier.
  • 76 hkr Vj 42/C-18/24-38: High explosive antitank tracer (HEAT-T) round with German Gr. 38 Hl/C warhead. Projectile weight 4,8 kg and muzzle velocity 400 m/sec. Added to Finnish ammunition manuals 1st of July 1944, but probably arrived few weeks earlier.
  • Finnish military also had incendiary ammunition for 76,2 mm x 385R calibre field guns. Both incendiary shells used by the Finns were captured Soviet equipment containing thermite and blackpowder.

    As shown by test results 76 psa - Vj4 AP-T tracer round had much more armour penetration capability than previous AP and APHE rounds. This AP-T round was added to Finnish military manuals in 1st of December 1942 and with it 76 K/36 would have been effective weapon against Soviet T-34 tanks, even if it was very rarely used for antitank use. Until introduction of 75 PstK/40 (7.5 cm Pak 40) to Finnish inventory in May of 1943, this field gun and 76 ItK/31 ss and 76 ItK/31-40 ss anti-aircraft guns were armour-penetration wise most powerful guns in inventory of Finnish Army available for antitank-use. Finnish military also had incendiary ammunition for 76,2 mm x 385R calibre field guns. Both incendiary shells used by the Finns were captured Soviet equipment containing combination of thermite and blackpowder.

     

    84 K/18

    (84 mm cannon model 1918)

    (Q.F. 18 pdr Field Gun M 2 Mk II PA)

    PICTURE: Sideview of 84 K/18 field gun. Notice recoil system on top of the gun barrel (Photo taken in Tykistömuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (170 KB).

    Calibre:

    83,8 mm x 294 R (fixed ammunition)

    Barrel length:

    L/29,4

    Weight in action:

    1519 kg

    Muzzle velocity:

    485-583 m/sec

    Traverse:

    4 degrees

    Elevation:

    - 5 degrees, + 16 degrees

    Max. range:

    6,5-10,7 km

    Ammunition weight:

    8,16-8,40 kg (HE).

    Ammunition types:

    HE, AP-T (1942), shrapnel

    Country of origin:

    Great Britain

    Finnish use: 30 guns bought from Great Britain during Winter War, they arrived in March of 1940 and did not yet see battle use in that war. Used by field artillery during Continuation War.

    During the 2ndBoer War (1899 - 1902) British field artillery pieces proved less than impressive. Because of this British Army introduced several new field artillery designs soon after that war. One of them was first version of this quick-fire light field gun. Manufacture of British quick-firing 18-pounder field Mark I gun started in 1904 and the Mark II was introduced in year 1915. Both Mark I and Mark II were pole trail designs. Mark IV introduced in year 1919 was box-trail design and Mark V introduced later had split trail. Before World War 2 most of the guns in British use were modernised with Martin-Perry modernisation (hence the Mk PA), in which the gun carriage was improved. Other modifications made in large scale before World War 2 included replacing original wooden wheels with pneumatic rubber tires and modifying the guns suitable for motorised towing. The gun had pole trail (which limited elevation), recoil system on top of the barrel, gun shield with foldable upper section and a hole, which could be opened when needed. Originally the recoil mechanism had been hydro/spring combination, but around 1916 this was changed as liquid/gas system. The gun carriage also had seats for two crewmembers. The quick-firing 18-pounder was probably the most successful of British field guns during World War 1. The guns still saw use with British and Commonwealth Armies during early part of World War 2, until being withdrawn to training and ceremonial use only around 1941 - 1942. According some sources typical maximum rate of fire was around 10 - 12 shots/minute. The Germans also captured some of the guns and used them mostly in coastal defence role with name 8,38 cm FK 271 (e). Other countries using them included China, Estonia, Latvia and Ireland.

    PICTURE: 84 K/18 field gun seen from another point of view. (Photo taken in Tykistömuseo). CLICK THUMBNAIL TO SEE LARGER PIC (54 KB).

    As mentioned during Winter War Finnish Army suffered serious shortage of field artillery pieces, so Finland bought 30 guns from Great Britain during it. However, the guns arrived so too late (in March of 1940) to be used in that war. During Continuation War these guns were used by Field Artillery Regiment 8 belonging to 17th Division. All the guns bought to Finland were model 1918 with pneumatic tires and had been all equipped for motorised towing (which is also how they were towed by Finnish troops). During the war at least some of the guns were equipped with double-tires to improve their mobility in poor roads and terrain. Finnish soldiers very much liked these guns finding them both durable and accurate.

    Ammunition that Finnish military used with this gun included AP-T shell 84 psa-Vj4, which had 4 second tracer. The projectile weight 8,32 kg and had muzzle velocity of 583 m/sec. This round was added to Finnish ammunition manuals in December of 1942.

    War:

    Shots fired:

    Winter War (1939-1940)

    0

    Continuation War (1941-1944)

    106410

    Total

    106410

    None of the Finnish-used guns were lost in World War 2. After the war they remained in training use until early 1960's.

     

    OTHER LIGHT FIELD GUNS:

    75 K/01 (75 mm cannon model 1901) (7,5 cm feltkanon L/31 M/01): These guns had been manufactured by Rheinische Metallwerke in Germany for the Norwegian Army and served as main weaponry of Norwegian field artillery until German invasion in April of 1940. Total number of guns made for Norwegian Army was 132 guns. The structure of gun carriage was somewhat usual in being telescopic. The gun had gun shield and used Nordenfelt screw breech. The Germans captured most of the guns in Norway and named them 7,5 cm FK 246(n) with German troops stationed in Norway using them until end of World War 2. During Winter War Norway donated 12 guns and about 7,200 shots to Finland. During Continuation War more ammunition were acquired from the Germans. Even if the cartridge cases had same length as the ones used with Swedish 75 K/02 field guns, their ammunition was not fully interchangeable. In Winter War 11 of the guns saw battle use with Field Artillery Regiment 9. When Continuation War begun the guns were first issued to fortification artillery, but in 1942 they were re-issued to coastal artillery. Some 36,400 shots were fired with these guns in Winter War. Only ammunition types Finnish military had these guns were HE (high-explosive) and shrapnel.

    75 K/40 Arg / 75 K/40 A / 76 K/37 (7 cm kanon m/40A): This gun based to Krupp design was manufactured by Bofors for Swedish Army and also for export. January of 1940 Finland managed to purchase 8 guns originally ordered by Argentina (the main Export customer for these guns, hence the Arg and later just A in the name). They were issued to Field Artillery Regiment 21 in Winter War and in Continuation War first to Field Artillery Regiment 16 and later to coastal artillery. Originally the guns were in 75-mm (75 mm x 381 R), but when the Finns run out of their ammunition the guns were modified to 76.2-mm (76.2 mm x 385 R) calibre in July of 1941. Along the new calibre also name of the guns was changed. Three of the guns were lost in summer of 1944.

    76 K/22 (76 mm cannon model 1922): Year 1924 Finnish military decided to test new modern French field guns for possible further acquisitions. The guns acquired for this purpose were French export models manufactured specifically in 76.2-mm x 385R calibre for Finland, so these guns could use the same ammunition as 76 K/02. These four Schneider made guns arrived in 1926. They were the only ones of their model bought by Finland. During Winter War the guns served with field artillery (with 7th Artillery Battery of Field Artillery Regiment 14) and during Continuation War they were issued to coastal artillery.

    76 K/23 (76 mm cannon model 1923): The story for these four Saint-Chamond made guns was basically similar as with 76 K/22. They were bought for tests in year 1924 and delivered in year 1926. No further orders were made. The gun has unusual closed triangle-shaped split trail gun carriage and also whole gun shield gun could be folded for large elevations. Recoil system resembled the design used in 75 K/97. During Winter War they were used by field artillery (in 3rd Artillery Battery of Field Artillery Regiment 4) and during Continuation War they were issued to coastal artillery. They got declared obsolete in year 1945.


    SOURCES:

    Jyri Paulaharju: Itsenäisen Suomen Kenttätykit 1918 - 1995.

    Unto Partanen: Tykistömuseon 78 tykkiä.

    Jyri Paulaharju, Martti Sinerma and Matti Koskimaa: Suomen kenttätykistön historia book series.

    Talvisodan historia book series.

    Jatkosodan historia book series.

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

    Ian Hogg: Twentieth Century Artillery.

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

    Christopher F. Foss: Artillery of the World.

    Chris Chant: Artillery of World War II.

    Guns vs Armour by D.M. Honner

    Article: Suurvallat pikatykkikilpasilla by Jyri Paulaharju in Ase-lehti magazine vol. 7/97.

    Article: Brittiläiset kenttätykit Suomessa by Jyri Paulaharju in Ase-lehti magazine vol. 3/99.

    Article: Ranskan Suomelle Talvisodan aikana tarjoamasta sotilasavusta by Jukka Nevakivi in Tiede ja Ase vol. 34.

    Article: Ruotsalainen nollakakkonen - aseapua lännestä by Jyri Paulaharju in Ase-lehti magazine vol. 2/2003.

    Military manual: 75 mm kenttäkanuuna vuodelta 1902 by Puolustusministeriön Taisteluvälineosasto (printed 1940).

    Military manual: 75 K/97, 75 mm kevyt kenttäkanuuna, mallia 97 ranskalainen (printed 1942).

    Military manual: 75 mm kenttäkanuuna malli 1897 by Puolustusministeriön Taisteluvälineosasto. (printed 1940).

    Military manual: 76 K/02, 76 mm kevyt kenttäkanuuna, mallia 02 (printed 1942).

    Military manual: 76 K/36, 76 mm kevyt kenttäkanuuna, mallia 36 venäläinen (printed 1942).

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

    Military manual: Lyhennetty tykistön ampumatarvikenomenklatuuri (printed 1939).

    Military manual: Kenttätykistön ampumatarvikkeet by Puolustusvoimien Pääesikunta Taisteluvälineosasto (printed 1940, updates added until 1947).

    Military manual: Kenttätykistön ampumatarvikkeet by S.M. Taisteluosasto T.1 (1919)

    Kurt Passow: Taschenbuch der Heere 1939.

    Documents of Finnish military Archives, archives unit T20207/F16 sal.

    Finnish military archives, archive reference T19043/20.

    Finnish military archives, archive reference T18419.

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

    Finnish military archives, archive references T20206/F17 and /F18

    Special thanks to Tykistömuseo (Finnish Artillery Museum) / Museum Militaria, Hämeenlinna.

    Special thanks to Sotamuseo (Finnish Military Museum), Helsinki.


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