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Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division

At the dawn of its existence, during the First World War, anti-tank artillery was a conventional field guns used to fire at the first massive, unwieldy and poorly armored tanks. It soon became clear that the caliber of even the smallest regimental (75-mm or 76.2-mm) guns is excessive for such purposes. Reducing the caliber of the anti-tank gun led to several positive results at one time. Its weight decreased, which means that it was easier to move such a gun on the march and on the battlefield. Small-caliber shells were much lighter, which significantly increased the rate of fire.

A kind of flowering of miniature small-caliber anti-tank artillery systems occurred in the second half of the 30s — early 40s. At the beginning of the Second World War, when tanks with anti-shell armor had not yet become widespread in the armies of opposing states, inexpensive and easy-to-handle light anti-tank guns proved to be a formidable opponent for armored vehicles. On both sides of the front line, they were released in batches of thousands. But in the summer of 1941, when the German anti-tankers got acquainted with the Soviet T-34 and KV tanks, their 37-mm guns, which seemed reliable and effective yesterday, received from their owners the derogatory nickname 'door-knockers'.

The proposed photo review presents 15 typical samples of anti-tank artillery that were in service in different countries during the initial period of World War II. However, despite the fact that they were replaced by more powerful medium and heavy artillery anti-tank systems, many of them served until the end of the war, and some remained in service after its end.

In the captions to the photos, some tactical and technical characteristics are presented, when comparing which it should be remembered that the determination of armor penetration in different countries was calculated by different methods. Unless other is mentioned, the armor penetration indicator in the signature is given for firing a conventional caliber projectile from a distance of 500 meters at a right angle. However, even in this case, a direct comparison may still not be correct enough, since, for example, homogeneous armor could be used in some tests, and cemented in others.

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​​Canon antichar de 47 mm modèle 1931, Belgium. More than 750 guns were produced. The weight was 515 kg, the initial velocity of the projectile was 675 m/s, the armor penetration was 47 mm at a distance of 300 meters, the rate of fire was 12-15 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​Canon antichar de 47 mm modèle 1931, Belgium. More than 750 guns were produced. The weight was 515 kg, the initial velocity of the projectile was 675 m/s, the armor penetration was 47 mm at a distance of 300 meters, the rate of fire was 12-15 rounds per minute
​​Canon léger de 25 antichar SA-L modèle 1934, France (in the picture the one of the guns sold to Finland). Weight 480 kg, muzzle velocity 918 m/s, armor penetration — 40 mm from 400 m, rate of fire – 15-20 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​Canon léger de 25 antichar SA-L modèle 1934, France (in the picture the one of the guns sold to Finland). Weight 480 kg, muzzle velocity 918 m/s, armor penetration — 40 mm from 400 m, rate of fire – 15-20 rounds per minute
​​3.7cm KPÚV vz. 34 (aka Škoda A3), Czechoslovakia. Weight 296 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 675 m/s, armor penetration, according to various sources — from 31 to 45 mm at a distance of 500 meters, rate of fire — up to 23 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​3.7cm KPÚV vz. 34 (aka Škoda A3), Czechoslovakia. Weight 296 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 675 m/s, armor penetration, according to various sources — from 31 to 45 mm at a distance of 500 meters, rate of fire — up to 23 rounds per minute
​​Böhler M35, Austria. In operation since 1935, about 500 such guns were assembled and widely exported. Caliber 47 mm, weight 277 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 630 m/s, armor-piercing 43 mm at a distance of 500 meters - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​Böhler M35, Austria. In operation since 1935, about 500 such guns were assembled and widely exported. Caliber 47 mm, weight 277 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 630 m/s, armor-piercing 43 mm at a distance of 500 meters
​37 mm anti-tank gun Bofors, Sweden. In the photo, the guns of the Polish army (guns were purchased by Poland and produced in it under license). In service since 1935. The weight was 370 kg, the initial velocity of the projectile was 800-870 m/s, the rate of fire was up to 12 rounds per minute and armor penetration was 44 mm at a distance of 500 meters - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
37 mm anti-tank gun Bofors, Sweden. In the photo, the guns of the Polish army (guns were purchased by Poland and produced in it under license). In service since 1935. The weight was 370 kg, the initial velocity of the projectile was 800-870 m/s, the rate of fire was up to 12 rounds per minute and armor penetration was 44 mm at a distance of 500 meters
​3,7-cm-PaK 36, Germany. 14,459 guns were produced. Weight 450 kg, muzzle velocity of a caliber armor-piercing projectile 762 m/s, armor penetration — 48 mm from 500 meters, rate of fire — up to 16 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
3,7-cm-PaK 36, Germany. 14,459 guns were produced. Weight 450 kg, muzzle velocity of a caliber armor-piercing projectile 762 m/s, armor penetration — 48 mm from 500 meters, rate of fire — up to 16 rounds per minute
​​Ordnance QF 2-pounder, United Kingdom. In service since 1936. More than 12 thousand such guns were produced. Caliber 40 mm, weight 814 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 792 m/s, armor penetration — 37 mm from 500 yards (457 meters) at an angle of 60°, the rate of fire was 22 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​Ordnance QF 2-pounder, United Kingdom. In service since 1936. More than 12 thousand such guns were produced. Caliber 40 mm, weight 814 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 792 m/s, armor penetration — 37 mm from 500 yards (457 meters) at an angle of 60°, the rate of fire was 22 rounds per minute
​​45 mm anti-tank gun of the 1937 model (53-K), USSR. In 1937-1943, more than 37 thousand such guns were produced. Weight 560 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 760 m/s, rate of fire 15 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​45 mm anti-tank gun of the 1937 model (53-K), USSR. In 1937-1943, more than 37 thousand such guns were produced. Weight 560 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 760 m/s, rate of fire 15 rounds per minute
​​APX SAL 37, France. By May 1940, at least 6 thousand 25-mm ATGs of various modifications were produced in France. Weight 300 kg, muzzle velocity 918 m/s, armor penetration — 40 mm from 400 m, rate of fire – 15-20 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​APX SAL 37, France. By May 1940, at least 6 thousand 25-mm ATGs of various modifications were produced in France. Weight 300 kg, muzzle velocity 918 m/s, armor penetration — 40 mm from 400 m, rate of fire – 15-20 rounds per minute
​​Canon antichar de 47 mm modèle 1937, France. 1268 guns were produced. Weight 1100-1250 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 855 m/s, armor penetration of 50 mm at a distance of 500 meters at an angle of 30 °, rate of fire — 15-20 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​Canon antichar de 47 mm modèle 1937, France. 1268 guns were produced. Weight 1100-1250 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 855 m/s, armor penetration of 50 mm at a distance of 500 meters at an angle of 30 °, rate of fire — 15-20 rounds per minute
​​3.7cm protitankový kanón vz. 37, Czechoslovakia. Weight 380 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 750 m/s, combat rate of fire was about 12 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​3.7cm protitankový kanón vz. 37, Czechoslovakia. Weight 380 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 750 m/s, combat rate of fire was about 12 rounds per minute
​​37 mm Gun M3, USA. In service since 1940. Weight 414 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 884 m/s, armor penetration — 36 mm from 500 meters, rate of fire — up to 25 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​37 mm Gun M3, USA. In service since 1940. Weight 414 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 884 m/s, armor penetration — 36 mm from 500 meters, rate of fire — up to 25 rounds per minute
​2.8-cm-schwere Panzerbüchse 41, Germany, according to the German classification – «heavy anti-tank rifle». A system with a conical barrel with a caliber of 28/20 mm. 2797 units were produced. Weight 229 kg, muzzle velocity — 1430 m/s, armor penetration — 66 mm from 500 m, rate of fire — up to 30 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
2.8-cm-schwere Panzerbüchse 41, Germany, according to the German classification – «heavy anti-tank rifle». A system with a conical barrel with a caliber of 28/20 mm. 2797 units were produced. Weight 229 kg, muzzle velocity — 1430 m/s, armor penetration — 66 mm from 500 m, rate of fire — up to 30 rounds per minute
​​37 mm anti-tank gun Type 1, Japan. In operation since 1941, more than 2,300 units were produced Weight 335 kg, the initial velocity of the projectile 780 m/s - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​37 mm anti-tank gun Type 1, Japan. In operation since 1941, more than 2,300 units were produced Weight 335 kg, the initial velocity of the projectile 780 m/s
​​45 mm anti-tank gun of the 1942 model (M-42), USSR. Almost 11 thousand units were produced. Weight 625 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 870 m/s, armor penetration of 61 mm from a distance of 500 meters, rate of fire up to 25 rounds per minute - Anti-Tank Artillery in a Light Weight Division | Warspot.net
​45 mm anti-tank gun of the 1942 model (M-42), USSR. Almost 11 thousand units were produced. Weight 625 kg, muzzle velocity of the projectile 870 m/s, armor penetration of 61 mm from a distance of 500 meters, rate of fire up to 25 rounds per minute

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