The Antitank Encyclopedia

Antitank warfare in WW1

WWI antitank guns & rifles: As entente tanks entered the fray, the Germans quickly adapted past the surprise and adopted the K bullet, the Tankgewehr M1918 rifle, the MG18, and the antitank gun 3.7 cm TAK 1918. These were the first attempts to stop tanks, and a race, which is still not over, started more than 100 years ago...

It's very clear that as soon as tanks were introduced on the battlefield, at Flers-Courcelette in April 1917 (battle of the Somme) it provoked the expected panic within Germans troops at first. The revolutionary new weapon proved its worth. However as soon as reports of these reach the German High Command, countr-measures were st in place: Instructions for field artillery to fire in direct trajectory on tanks, K-bullets for regular rifles distributed to the infantry, and developement of a dedicated antitank rifle. This was only the beginning.

Development in WW2

WW2 Antitank rifles, guns, rockets and Self propelled grenades - Killing Tanks became an industry: It was clear for all in 1918 that tanks needed a countermeasure, and interwar light guns, even machine-guns and still rifles seemed to do the job. But with armour progresses, heavier guns and infantry weapons such as the piat, bazooka and panzerfaust became a new threat for tanks.

During WW2, belligerents used dozens of different models of antitank weapons, ranging from interwar antitank rifles to dual purpose high velocity guns like the feared German 88 mm, mines and even rockets. WW2 showed also a race to have these new antitank guns placed in armoured vehicles and tanks as soon as possible. At the end of the war, cruisers-caliber guns were not uncommon on the battlefield, but infantry, with the Panzerfaust or the Bazooka, now had means to defeat tanks. Still, no guided antitank missile was at hand but the Ruhrstahl X-4 to 10 series (Rotkäppchen).

Cold war Tech

Cold War AT guns and missiles: The missile revolution:

Both NATO and the Warsaw pact, benefiting from German research in 1945, progressed in the field of missiles, and the 1950s saw an explosion of models, even carried by dedicated tanks or going to infantry fighting vehicles. Armour progressed accordingly and the race intensified until 1990, and is not over yet.

The great revolution of the cold war, already tested in 1944, was the missile. Instead of trying to fire on a tank at a distance, it was soon found safer and more effective to send a missile on a tank or any armoured vehicle. Soon, missiles entered the fray and rapidly earned their battlefield laurels at multiple occasions. Tanks were protected against them, in a race which is still on today. From heavy missiles to portable ones such as the RPG, the catalog of antitank weaponry and new adversaries for tanks, like dedicated planes such as the A-10 and Frogfoot or combat helicopters, further complicated the environment in which armoured vehicles operates. It clearly made it more threatening, in particular in an urban environment.

Future antitank warfare

A global industry: Modern AT guns and missiles

A today's paradox is that tanks are somewhat seen are obsolete -it has been claimed many times over the decades), their conception going back sometimes 40 years prior, while versatile infantry fighting vehicles of all kind, wheeled or tracked, seems on the rise. If guns are no longer used, a new generation of AT missiles seems to be more potent than ever.

If classic tank guns shells are defeated now by the most recent and advanced armour combinations, most recent, high tech solution had been to target arguably the weakest part of a tank, its deck and roof armor. Using a plunging missile like the Javelin for example, or a slealthy drone, with any kind of AT payload. Drones are affordable more discreet than helicopters. Belarus possessed an antitank rocket lifted by four small props and Iran developed a a drone carrying Sadid-I AT missiles. Antitank ammunitions fired by field artillery could also be deadly. All this made tanks more and more vulnerable on the battlefield, something confirmed by the recent ukraine war.

Antitank Guns & Antitank List:

Antitank guns

British antitank guns ww2 Ordnance QF 17-pounder

➾ Antitank gun produced from 1942 to 10,000+

The Ordnance Quick-Firing 17-pounder translated into 76.2 mm (3 inches). Probably the best and most iconic antitank gun of the allies in WW2. Developed from 1940 already to replace the QF 6-pounder, prototypes were tested from mid-1942 up to early 1943 and it was first operational in the Italian Campaign. used on its own carriage, it was also adapted on many British tanks. The APDS shot was a game changer, enabling the destruction of all but the thickest armour of German tanks. After the war it was replaced by the 120 mm BAT recoilless rifle and 84 mm 20 pounder, but its legacy and cold war variants created a legacy which endures to this day.
Author's rendition of the 17-pdr

⚙ Specifications 17 Pdr/55

Dimensions13 ft 9 in (4.191 m) x 7 ft 3in x 5ft 3in (4.19 x 2.2 x 1.6m)
Mass 3050 kgs or 3 long tons
Crew5 (commander, gunner, pointer, 2 loaders)
Load/recoil Vertical sliding-breech/hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse-6° to +16.5°/60°
Rate of fire10 practical, 20 rpm cyclic
Muzzle velocity2,900 ft/s HE, 3,950 ft/s APDS
Range 1.5 km (0.93 mi), up to 10.5 km (6.5 mi)
Shell Fixed QF 76.2×583mmR (R/135mm), 7 types

British antitank guns ww2 British Ordnance QF 2-pounder

➾ Antitank gun produced from 1936 to 1944, 12,000

The 2-pounder (2-pdr) anti-tank gun was a British-designed weapon used during World War II to counter German tanks. It was one of the primary anti-tank guns used by the British army during the early stages of the war, before it was gradually replaced by more powerful weapons.

The 2-pdr gun had a caliber of 40 mm and a maximum range of 1,400 meters. It was initially designed as a mobile weapon that could be easily transported and set up by a small crew, and it proved to be effective against the early German tanks such as the Panzer III and IV.

However, as the war progressed and the Germans developed more heavily armored tanks, the 2-pdr gun became less effective. The British responded by developing larger and more powerful anti-tank guns such as the 6-pdr and the 17-pdr.

Despite its limitations, the 2-pdr gun remained in service throughout the war and was used in a variety of roles, including as an anti-tank gun, an anti-aircraft gun, and a coastal defense weapon.
Author's rendition of the 2-pdr

⚙ Specifications 2 Pdr/50

Dimensions2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) L/52 bore 2 m (6 ft 7 in) L/50
Mass 814 kg (1,795 lb)
Crew3-5 (commander, gunner, pointer, 2 extras)
Load/recoilBreech-loaded Semi-automatic vertical sliding-block, Hydro-spring
Elevation/traverseElevation -13° to +15°, Traverse 360°
Rate of fire22 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity792 m/s (2,600 ft/s) with AP shot
Range 1,500 yd (1,400 m)/Maximum 1,800 yd (1,600 m)
Shell 40×304mmR 40 mm (1.575 in)
Carriage/sights three-leg platform, Sights No.24b

British antitank guns ww2 3-inches gun M5

➾ Antitank gun produced from 1943 to 1945, 2,500

The 3-inch Gun M5 was an anti-tank gun used by the United States during World War II. It was an improvement over the earlier 3-inch Gun M3, with a longer barrel and higher muzzle velocity, giving it improved anti-tank capabilities.

The M5 gun had a caliber of 76.2mm and a maximum range of 12,500 yards (11.4 km). It weighed around 5,400 pounds (2,450 kg) and could fire up to 15 rounds per minute.

The M5 gun was mounted on a variety of vehicles, including the M6 heavy tank destroyer and the M10 tank destroyer, and saw service in both the European and Pacific theaters of the war. It was effective against most German tanks, including the Panther and Tiger, and was also used as an artillery piece for indirect fire support.

After World War II, the M5 gun remained in service with the US military and was also supplied to various allied countries. It saw action in the Korean War and was finally phased out of service in the 1950s.

Author's rendition of the 3-in M5

⚙ Specifications 3-inches gun M5

Dimensions3.4 m (11 ft 2 in) x 2.2 m (7 ft 3 in) x 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)
Mass 2,210 kg (4,872 lbs)
Crew9 (commander, gunner, pointer, 6 loaders)
Load/recoilHorizontal-block Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse−5° to +30°, 45°
Rate of fire12 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity792 m/s (2,600 ft/s) with AP/APCBC rounds
Range 14.7 km (9.13 mi)
Shell 76.2 × 585 mmR 3 in (76.2 mm)
Carriage/sights7.1 m (23 ft 4 in) Split trail

us guns37mm gun M3 on carriage M4

➾ Antitank gun produced from 1940 to 1943, 18,702

The 37mm M1 Anti-Tank Gun was an anti-tank weapon used by the United States during World War II. It was designed to be a lightweight, mobile weapon that could be easily transported by a small crew.

The M1 gun had a caliber of 37mm and a maximum range of around 4,500 yards (4.1 km). It weighed around 500 pounds (227 kg) and could fire up to 20 rounds per minute.

The M1 gun was used in the early stages of World War II, and was effective against light and medium German tanks such as the Panzer II and III. However, it quickly became obsolete as the Germans developed more heavily armored tanks.

The M1 gun was replaced by larger and more powerful anti-tank guns such as the 57mm M1 and the 75mm M3. However, it continued to be used in other roles, such as an infantry support weapon and an anti-aircraft gun.

Overall, the M1 gun was an important weapon in the early stages of the war, but was eventually replaced by more powerful weapons as the conflict progressed.

Author's rendition of the 3-in M5

⚙ Specifications 37 mm M1 AT Gun

Dimensions3.92 m (12 ft 10.3 in) x 1.61 m (5 ft 3.4 in) x 0.96 m (3 ft 1.8 in)
Mass 414 kg (912 lb)
Crew4-6 (commander, gunner, pointer, 1-3 loaders)
Load/recoilVertical sliding-block, Hydro-spring
Elevation/traverse-10° to +15°, 60°
Rate of fire25 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity884 m/s (2,900 ft/s)
Range 6.9 km (4.29 mi)
Shell 37×223 mm. R 37 mm (1.45 inch)
Carriage/sightsSplit trail, Telescopic M6 sight

us guns57mm Gun M1

➾ Antitank gun produced from 1942, 15,600+*

The idea of manufacturing the British Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt (designed in 1940 to replace the 2-pdr QF AT gun) in the US, was expressed by Ordnance in February 1941. At the time, the 37mm Gun M3 was still favored and lend lease was envisioned. In the US, the gun was started in production in 1941 () as "substitute standard, 57 mm Gun M1" as a copy of the 6-pounder Mark 2 of which two were received from the UK in 1941. It had a longer barrel from the start. Combined allied production started in 1941 (201), 1942 (17,854), 1943 (16,586) and 1944 (1,964) and terminated for the QF-17 Pdr, the 1944 and 1945 ones going largely into lend-lease. The US variant was unmodified, but the M1A1 US combat tyres and wheels, and its own production started early in 1942 and went on until 1945 for a grand total of 15,637.

The M1A2 had free traverse, allowing the crew pushing and pulling on the breech and production started from September 1942. It became standard issue in the Spring of 1943 with a modified towing point design intoduced on the M1A3, which became the proper US variant, the earlier being sent in lend-lease. Later appeared the M2 in 1944 which had a caster wheel added to the right trail as well as relocated trail handles and new utility box while the 1945 M2A1 had improved elevation gear.
M1 57 mm
Author's rendition of the 57mm M1
M1 57 mm
57 mm Gun Motor Carriage T48 in Normandy June 1944
M1 57 mm
57 mm Gun Motor Carriage T48
57 mm Gun Motor Carriage T49
57 mm Gun Motor Carriage T44

Tractors were the Dodge WC-63 1½-Ton 6×6 and M2 Half-Track, but self-propelled guns also used it: The 57 mm Gun Motor Carriage T48 (lend-lease Soviet SU-57) as well as the prototype Light Tank T7E2 (1 teste), T18E2 Boarhound armored car (30 built), 57 mm Gun Motor Carriage T49 (1 tested) and 57 mm Gun Motor Carriage T44, based on Ford 4×4 ¾ ton cargo carrier chassis (same). 3/4 of the American production went to the Divisions in Europe and the remainder in lend-lease too the UK, the Soviet Union, and later Free French forces (June 1944). They only were provided AP shot and HE only in the later summer of 1944, with UK stocks as interim. It was declared obsolete in 1954, being unable to pierce the frontal armor of the T-54.

⚙ Specifications M1 AT Gun

Barrel9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)/50, cal. 2.244 in (57 mm)
Dimensions5 ft 11 in (1.8 m) x 4 ft 2 in (1.28 m)
Mass2,679 lb (1,215 kg)
Crew6: Cdr, 2 gunners, 3 loaders
Load/recoilVertical sliding-block, Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse-5° to +15°, 90°
Rate of fire15 rpm
Muzzle velocityAP Shot M70 (2.85 kg): 853 m/s (2,800 ft/s)
Range Effective/Max1,650 yd (1,510 m)/5,000 yd (4,600 m)
ShellFixed QF 57×441 mmR
Carriage/sightsSplit trail, No.22c

swedish guns37mm Bofors AT gun

➾ Swedish Antitank gun produced from 1935, c300 built

If the 40 mm Bofors is an absolutely legendary gun, used from the 1930s to this day, found in planes, tanks, and ships all around the world, it is less obvious that the company also produced a remarkable 37 mm antitank gun. It originated in a 1921 prototype for trials, using Krupp designs, and it was also tested in 37mm, 47mm, 75mm until the project was shelved. In 1931 however the Royal Swedish Arms Commission issued a directive for a 37mm anti-tank gun (the standard caliber at the time) specifying a 700g shell fired at at 800 m/s in muzzle velocity. Bofors calculated a 800 kg ensemble, which was later rejected by Swedish Arms Chief of Ordnance Harald Jentzen. Instead he proposed a new perforated muzzle brake, which gave birth to a new prototype in 1932, with many other modifications, now down to 370 kg. It must be precised that the gun was basically horse or vehicle drawn but needed to be moved around by its gun crew. When completed it was compared to the QF 2 Pounder AT gun.
40mm Bofors
Author's rendition of the 37mm Bofors AT gun Given the largely successful reputation of Bofors at the time, it sold well: To the Netherlands (12 in 1935), some used on the M39 Pantzerwagen, and the license was acquired with more delivered to Poland, Finland, Britain, and Denmark. In Sweden it was adopted on the Landsverk L180s and L181. Some were also adopted on Panzer Is, T-26s and CV.33s during the Spanish Civil war. The tank gun version was adopted as the wz.37 by the Polish, placed on the 7TP JW, 9TP and 10TP prototypes. But it was most successful in he Finnish army, adopted as standard in 1938, with 98 in provision when USSR invaded, 124 delivered later. They claimed dozens of T-26s and BTs. Denmark had the 37mm Fodfolkskanon m1937 and in April 1940 a single one disabled 3 panzers before the crew was incapacitated. The captured ones ended in the Romanian army. Sweden also used the gun on its tanks, a the 37 mm Kanon m/38 Stridsvagn, for the L-60S\III, S\V light tanks and Stridsvagn m/41. As for perfs, vs. 60° plate it could defeat 40 mm at 300m, 33mm at 500m, 18mm at 1,000m were noted by the Finns. It was also used in 1941-42 in the desert, mounted as portee on the 30 cwt Chevrolet WB.

⚙ Specifications 37mm Bofors AT Gun

DimensionsBarrel 45 Cal. 1 736 mm, height 1 030 mm, width 1 090 mm
Mass370 kg
Crew3-4: Cdr, pointer, loader(s)
Load/recoilRotating breech block, unknown
Elevation/traverse– 10°/+ 25° and 26°
Rate of firemax 30 r.p.m., 12 practical
Muzzle velocity830 m/s
Range4.5 km
Carriage/sights2 leggeded, wheeled, shielded

Germany ww24.7 cm Pak 38(t)

➾ Antitank gun produced in Czechoslovakia 1938-40 c1,500

The 4.7 cm KPÚV vz. 38 is the original name of this ordnance standard antitank gun of the Czech Army, when the country was taken over hy Hitler's army. Originally the "kanón proti útočné vozbě vzor 38" it was produced by the Škoda Works and some were sold to Yugoslavia. Stocks were appropriated by the Germans after the occupation in 1939, pressed into service as the 4.7 cm PaK (t) or PaK 38(t). Production went on for some time under German supervision. It was notably mounted the Panzerjäger I tank destroyer and a few were also mounted on converted Renault R-35 tanks. The barrel could swing 180°, laying flat over the trails for transport, while the latter could be also folded inward to reduce volume, making it very handy to carry on an average truck. It had a small gun shield, wooden-spoked wheels but its performances were way superior to to the standard German 37mm PAK 36. It was versatile too, using AP rounds against tanks and HE rounds againt infantry. It could notably defeat 87 mm (3.4 in) of armour in ambush, at 100 m (110 yd) down to 39 mm (1.5 in) at 1,500 m (1,600 yd). For that reason they were still in used during Operation Barbarossa and probably until 1944. The remainder were passed to the Romanian Army. Those captured after the invasion of Yugolavia were also probably passed on to the Croats.
4.7 cm Pak 38(t)
Author's rendition of the 47cm PAK 38(t)

⚙ Specifications 4.7 cm Pak 38(t)

Dimensions2.04 m (6 ft 8 in) L/43, 47 mm (1.85 in)
Mass 590 kg (1,300 lbs)
Elevation/traverse-8° to +26°, traverse 50°
Rate of fire
Muzzle velocity775 m/s (2,542 ft/s)
Range4,000 m (4,375 yds)
ShellFixed QF 47×405 mm R 1.6 kg (3 lb 8 oz)
Carriage/sightsSplit trail, simple scope

Germany WW24,2 cm Pak 41

➾ Antitank gun produced from Dec.1941, 313

The 4.2 cm Pak 41 (Panzerabwehrkanone 41) was a light anti-tank gun destined to the Fallschirmjager (German airborne units) in World War II, externally similar to the 3.7 cm Pak 36, but with a modified carriage, and using the squeeze bore principle ("Gerlich" after Hermann Gerlich which invented it in 1920s) to boost velocity, and so the bore was ported to 42 mm (1.7 in) at the chamber, tapered down to only 28 mm (1.1 in) at the muzzle. The the projectile was smaller than the 37mm but had greater velocity at 1500 m/sec.. It was most efficient with the Armor-piercing composite non–rigid (APCNR–T) Pzgr 41 weighting 336 g (11.9 oz) caliber 42/28 mm (1.65/1.10 in). At 1000m they were still able to penetrate 55-60 mm, up to 83-105 mm at 250m. Production was terminated in June 1942, 313 guns being delivered. They were quickly spent. By November 1943, only 47 remained in service.

Author's rendition of the 4,2 cm Pak 41

⚙ Specifications Pak 41 AT Gun

Dimensions 235 cm (93 in), barrel 225 cm (89 in) bore, 55.8 cal.
Mass 560 kg (1,230 lb)
Load/recoilHorizontal sliding-block breech
Elevation/traverse-8° to +25°, 60°
Rate of fire12 round per minute
Muzzle velocity1,500 m/s (4,900 ft/s)
Range800 m (2,600 ft) to 7,000 m (23,000 ft)
ShellFixed QF 42×406mm R
Carriage/sightsSplit trail, Zeiss optic

german AT guns7.5 cm Panzerabwehrkanone 40

➾ Antitank gun produced from 1940, 23,303
The 7.5 cm Panzerabwehrkanone 40 or "PAK 40" for short, was the main antitank gun of the Wehrmacht after the western campaign. It arrived just in time for the eastern front and remained widespread in all units until 1945, with some 23,000 built, also largely distributed among axis partners like Finland, Romania, Huganry and Bulgaria. In 1940 it was recoignised the 3.7 cm "door-knocker" was inadequate against the heavy armour of many French tanks of the british Matilda. It appeared obvious that its designated replacement, the 5 cm Pak 38 still testing, would not even be sufficient, so already during early development it was asked to Krupp and Rheinmetall to develop in emergency a 7.5 cm variant of the same. Notably instead of extensive use of light alloys, it reverted to steel and dispensed of many costly and sophisticated systems for a more rugged design. Still, each unit cost was 12,000 RM.

As a result, the new antitank gun received a new emergency after the invasion of the USSR in 1941 and reports of encounters with the T-34 and KV-1. It received the utmost priority, and by November 1941 the first preserie guns were sent to the eastern front, then by April 1942, the first batches of serial guns arrived (44) with the production rapidly ramping up until mid-1943 when the Pak 40 formed the bulk of German anti-tank artillery. It was recoignised as efficient, with a fast rate of fire, optional high elevation for indirect fire, and best results obtained by the Panzergranate 40 (PzGr. 40) APCR projectile (sub-calibre tungsten core): 4.05 kg (8 lb 15 oz) for 990 m/s in muzzle velocity, the ability to defeat 143 mm of armour at 100m, 120 mm at 500, 97 mm at 1000m and 77 mm at 1500. At 500m the PzGr. 40 could defeat 154 mm armour plating at 90°, so frontally a KV-1 heavy tank.

7.5cm PAK-40
Author's rendition of the 7.5cm PAK-40

⚙ Specifications 75mm Pak-40 AT Gun

Dimensions6.2(20 ft 4) in x 2.08 x 1.2 m, barrel 46 cal. 3.45 m (11 ft 4 in)
Mass1,425 kg (3,142 lb)
Crew6 (Cdr, 2 pointers, 4 loaders)
Load/recoilSemi-automatic horizontal sliding-block, Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse−5° to +22°; 65°
Rate of fire14 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocitySee notes
Range1,800 m (1,969 yd) to 7,678 m (8,397 yd) (HE)
ShellFixed QF 75×714mm R
Carriage/sightsSplit trail, Zeiss optics

german guns88mm FLAK

➾ Antitank gun produced 1936-1945, 21,310
Certainly seen as the ultimate "wunderwaffe", the "88" was as famous as the French "75" in WW1, for the second world war. Certainly the iconic piece of ordnance for ages, this gun had a long history prior to its use as anti-aircraft variant. Previous variants were in use as light dual purpose gun in the Kaiserliches Marine since the start of the century. The 88 mm/28 developed by Krupp became the staple of light artillery on all ships from battleships to destroyers. Far forwards and in the interwar a new generation of such guns were developed by Krupp, wich design started in 1928.

It's in 1933 that started the production of a new generation FLAK gun, successively declined in longer barrels though its iterations Flak 18/36/37/41. When WW2 started the Wehmacht integrated AA bataillons equipped with the improved 8.8 cm Flak 36 in towed from hy half tracks, and later the 8.8 cm Flak 37. This "Flugabwehrkanone" had a versatile 4-wheeled carriage which allowed this piece to be used in limited anti-tank mode if needed, and revealed itself lethal in this role. This started in the campaign of may-June 1940 with its success during the British attack at Amiens, and given its potential it was not ony soon placed on all osrts of self-propelled carriages, with tan hunters developed around it like the "Nashorn" but after some development time, a heavy tank was built around, the famous Tiger I. Rheinmetall later created the 8.8 cm Flak 41, and Krupp and even longer barrel 8.8 cm gun, further developed as an anti-tank and tank destroyer as the PaK 43 gun (Elefant and Jagdpanther, Tiger II).

Author's rendition of the xxx

⚙ Specifications 8,8cm FLAK 36 Gun

Dimensions5.791 m (20 ft) (barrel 4.938 m), width 2.3 m, height 2.10 m
Mass7,407 kg (16,330 lb) in mounted position
Load/recoilHorizontal semi-automatic sliding bloc, Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse−3° to +85° 360°
Rate of fire15–20 rpm
Muzzle velocity840 m/s (2,690 ft/s)
Range14,860 m (16,250 yd) ground target
ShellFixed QF 88×571mmR, 88 mm (3.46 in)
Carriage/sightsSonderanhänger 202, ZF.20 sight

german guns7.5 cm PAK 97/38

➾ 1942 Antitank gun, 3712 converted

The 7.5 cm Panzerabwehrkanone 97/38 and 7,5 cm Panzerjägerkanone 97/38 were German anti-tank guns combining captured French Canon de 75 modèle 1897, Swiss Solothurn muzzle brake and 5 cm Pak 38 carriage. It reused thousands of these WWI vintage guns and could fire French and Polish ammunition. It was moderately appreciated, with pros and cons. On pros, its light weight, good mobility, sufficient anti-armor performance with HEAT shell, defeating a T-34s in most situations and KV series sides, so decent anti-tank performances. On cons, its obvious low muzzle velocity. It was a 1897 field gun after all, brillant at its time for its high rate of fire, but never intended to deal with armour. This balanced by the HEAT ammunition, but it was really unable to cause much damage with a AP shell, especially on a small mobile target. Another on was its low effective range (500 m even with HEAT !). And there was its violent recoil, always a hazard.

Author's rendition of the 7.5 cm PAK 97/38 On the pros still, there was its low price compared to other German ordnance of the time: 9,000 reichsmarks, compared to 12,000 for the Pak 40. 2,854 were delivered in 1942, 858 in 1943, 160 were mounted on the 7.5 cm Pak 40 carriage (Pak 97/40) built in 1943, until production was stopped. Not only because of better Russian antitank guns captured in sufficient numbers and domestic production reaching a peak. For shells, 37,800 HEAT were made in 1942 and 371,600 in 1943. The Pak 97/38 entered service by the summer of 1942 and remained so until 1945, by March it is estimated 145 Pak 97/38 and FK 231(f) were still available, albeit 14 frontline only.

Ten were experimentally on captured T-26 light tank chassis, the 7.5 cm Pak 97/38(f) auf Pz.740(r), used with the 3rd Company, 563rd Anti-Tank Battalion until March 1944. It was also largely distributed to the other axis members: The Finnish Army during the Continuation War had a stock of 75 mm field guns in 1940, and they were later rebuillt to the Pak 97/38 standards. 46 converted in March–June 1943, 7 lost, the others retired only in 1986. They managed to manufacture their own shells as well. A few were also given to the Romanian 3rd and 4th Armies by October 1942. It was also fiven to 9 divisions of the Italian 8th Army (each had a battery of six assigned to artillery regiments in 1942), where it was locally designated Cannone da 75/39. November 1942 saw it in the hands of the Hungarian 2nd Army fielded also.

⚙ Specifications 7.5 cm PAK 97/38 AT Gun

Dimensions4.65 x 1.85 x 1.05m (15 ft 3 in x 6 ft 1 in x 3 ft 5 in) L/34.5
Mass cbt 1,190 kg (2,623 lbs); trv 1,270 kg (2,800 lbs)
Crew4-5: Gunner, Cdr, 2-3 loaders
Breech/recoilNordenfelt interrupted screw, Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse-10° to 18°; 60°
Rate of fire10-14 rpm
Muzzle velocity570 m/s (1,900 ft/s)
RangeHEAT 1.5 km (0.93 mi), HE frag 10 km (Sprgr.236/1(f))
Shell75 mm (2.95 in) 75×350 mm R HEAT, AP, HE, Shrapnel
Carriage/sightsSplit trail

german gunsPAK-36

➾ Antitank gun produced from 1935, c20,000 built

The Pak 36 (Panzerabwehrkanone 36) was a 37mm caliber German anti-tank gun standard at the start of the Second World War. It was found virtually in all Wehrmacht Panzerjäger units, until 1942. Developed by Rheinmetall from 1933 to 1935, production made the first entering service by 1936. No less than 9,120 were available by September 1939, 5,339 more made during the war and 6,000 produced for export. At the time secret tank and weapons tests were ongoing in 1936-37 in the Kuban, the Soviets copied it as their own 45 mm anti-tank gun M1932 (19-K) but Japan also made a close copy. Not only it saw action (in Italian use) during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War but also the Spanish Civil War in the hands of Franco's troops, and the japanese at the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was of course deployed massively and used continurously until gradual replacement in 1942. It was indeed already found in the summer of 1940 unable to defeat the British Mk II Matilda, French Char B1 and Somua S35 as well as the T-34 and KV-1 on year later, being dubbed by the Germans themselves the "door knocker". But many still found use from 1942-45 with the Sielgranate 41, a shape charge projectile. It was light, easy to move, hide, and tow by any vehicles, including the small Sd.Kfz.2 moto-track. Derivatives found place on the Panzer III, which was its prime weapon in the summer of 1940. Many ended on various vehicles as tank hunters as well.
A PAK 36 fitted with a StielGranat 41, only introduced by 1943, first seen in Fallschirmjäger units. Due to the livery of the gun, it could have been used in Tunisia, but there are more chances of a non-accurate reconstitution… The Stiergränat was equipped with two fuses, and could deliver 2.42kgs of TNT through a hollow charge, a crushing blow against any armor, up to 180mm, at the expense of the range, 300m at best.

Author's rendition of the PAK-36
Author's rendition of the PAK-36/Stielgranate 41 in winter 1944-45

⚙ Specifications PAK 36 AT Gun

Dimensions1.66 m (5 ft 5 in) x 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in) x 1.17 m (3 ft 10 in)
MassTravel 450 kg (990 lb), combat 327 kg (721 lb)
Crew5 (Commander, gunner, loader, two ammunition bearers)
Elevation/traverse-5° to +25°, 30° right and left
Rate of fire13 rpm
Muzzle velocity762 m/s (2,500 ft/s)
Range5,484 m (5,997 yds)
Shell37×249mmR 37 mm (1.45 in)

italian gunsCannone da 47/32 elefantino

➾ Antitank gun produced from 1935, 3000

The Cannone da 47/32 modello 1935 was an Italian general purpose, but mostly used for anti-tank, that saw service during WW2, originally designed by Böhler in Austria, produced in Italy under license. The Cannone da 47/32 was used equally as infantry gun and an anti-tank gun, using a universal, composite and foldable split trail with a tripod arrangement, and dismountable wheels (all metal or wooden, but rubber padded or with tyres). This gun was effective against light to medium armored tanks and it showed during the North African Campaign. c3000 were built until 1943 making it one of the most produced ordnances of the Regia Esercito. It was also declined into the 47/32 Mod. 39 and 47/40 Mod. 38.
Author's rendition of the cannone da 47/32
This gun was appreciated as lightweight, compact, versatile and reliable, and yet average performances, improved with the AP L/40 AFV which had a muzzle velocity from 250 m/s (820 ft/s) HEAT up to 820 metres per second (2,700 ft/s) for the AP L/40 AFV, at max 7 km. Tailored versions ended in the AB 41 self propelled armoured car and on a L3 tankette chassis as experiment. it was adapted for use on the M15/42 medium tank as well.

⚙ Specifications Cannone da 47/32

DimensionsBore: 1.525 m (5 ft 0 in) L/32, 1.680 m (6 ft)oa
Mass Travel: 315 kg (694 lb), Combat: 277 kg (611 lb)
Load/recoilHorizontal sliding-wedge Breech
Elevation/traverse-15° to +56° and 62°
Rate of fire
Muzzle velocity630 metres per second (2,100 ft/s) AP
Range7,000 m (7,700 yd)
Shell47 x 195 mm R L/32, 47 x 328 mm R L/40, 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) AP
Carriage/sightsSplit-trail, 10,000m scope sight

french gunsHotchkiss 25mm SA34

➾ Antitank gun produced 1934-1940, 6,000

In 1917, Squadron Cdr. Filloux designed a light, high-velocity anti-tank 13 mm anti-tank rifle, and a 17 mm mountable on the SA 16 carriage gun with prototypes made in 1918, furing a 17×209 mm cartridge at 1000 m/s. Studies stopped after V-Day, but were not forgotten. This light, compact high-velocity anti-tank gun will indeed resurface in the 1920s with several projects, a Hotchkiss dual 13.2 mm HMG which became pure AA, or the APX (Puteaux state factory) 20mm, judged too light. In 1928 came a request for a 175 kgs 25mm semi-automatic gun, and the new 25mm/72 fired an AP shell at 950 m/s...

Author's renditions of the Hotchkiss SA34
The 25mm could defeat armour, up to 30 mm at 800 m against tanks of the time, while armored cars could be engaged at 1,250 m. The crew of the SA 34 comprised a commander, gunner, loader and three additional servants. Derivatives such as the 25 mm SA 35 found thei way into the AMD 35/Panhard 178 reconnaissance armored car, AMR 35 reconnaissance light tank, and half the AMC 34. Some were used in portee by the Laffly S20 TL. It was also used by British, Polish and Finnish Forces (as the 25 pstk/34/37), previous 400 captured by the Germans, which renamed them Pak 112(f) for the SA 34 and Pak 113(f) for the SA-L 37.

⚙ Specifications 25mm AT Gun

Dimensions3.71/3.46 (SA-L 34/37) x 1.10/1.03 m x 1.05 m (SA 34)
Mass 490 kg (SA 34), 300 kg (SA-L 37)
Elevation/traverse60°; -5° to +15°
Rate of fire8 – 20 rpm, up to 25 rpm with a well-trained crew
Range800 meters - 3,500 meters
Shell25 x 193.5 mm, L/72 (SA-34), L/77 (SA-37)

Puteaux 47mm SA37

➾ gun produced from 1936, 1,268

The 47 mm APX anti-tank gun was probably the most recent and best ordnance of the French Army when WW2 started. In the 1930s the French Army needed to replace the venerable and iconic 75 mm mle 1897 field gun, for which some rounds were developed for it to be used as anti-tank guns. What the French Army needed was a small, high-velocity, smaller caliber but higher velocity anti-tank gun. The design chosen came from the state-owned arsenal "Atelier de Construction de Puteaux" (APX) near Paris. The new ordnance wasaccepted in 1937 after many field tests and modifications as the "canon de 47 mm semi-automatique mle 1937". The "semi-automatique mle 1939" was also produced for blockhause and tank uses and both proved efficient weapons against any German tanks in 1940, as they could defeat 60 mm (2.4 in) at 550 meters (600 yd), 80 mm (3.1 in) at 180 meters (200 yd). However production discrepancies before the war meant only too few were available during the Battle of France.
Puteaux 47mm
Author's rendition of the Puteaux 47mm SA37

The prototype 47mm SA mle 1939 TAZ was mounted on tripod for 360°. The SA 35 mle 1935 was a compact variant mounted on tanks (Somua S35, Char B1 using 47×193 mm R cartridges). Given the numbers captured, the axis was soon a new user of the 47 mm: Germany used it was the 4.7 cm Pak 181(f) and 4.7 cm Pak 183(f) but for supply reasons they ended in Atlantic Wall fortifications or a few Panzerjägers such as:w
-4.7 cm Pak 181(f) oder 183(f) auf PzJäg Lorraine Schlepper (f) (Lorraine 37L)
-4.7 cm Pak(f) auf Panzerspähwagen P204(f) (Panhard 178)
-4.7 cm Pak(f) auf PzKpfW I (Panzer I chassis)
-4.7 cm Pak(f) auf PzKpfW Mk.II 748(e) (Matilda II chassis)
-4.7 cm Pak 181(f) oder 183(f) auf PzKpfW 35R(f) (Renault R35 chassis).

⚙ Specifications 47mm SA37 AT Gun

Dimensions4.1oa/2.49 barrel x 1.6 x 1.1 (13 ft 5 in, 8 ft 2 in, 5 ft 3 in, 3 ft 7 in)
Mass 1,070 kg (2,359 lbs)
Crew6: Cdr, Gunner, 4 loaders/assistants
Elevation/traverse-13° to +16.5° - Traverse 68°
Rate of fire15 to 20 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity855 m/s (2,805 ft/s)
Range2,000 m (2,187 yds)
ShellFixed QF 1.73 kg (3.74 lbs) 47x380 mm R APCBC
Carriage/sightsSplit-trail, standard scope

Bohler 4,7cm AT

➾ gun produced from 1932, 650

Austria designed, developed and produced the 47mm gun as the "4.7cm M32", reborn in 1932 as Infantry close support weapon. It was a super-lightweight anti-tank gun with a highly modular and dismountable two-wheeled cart. This made it a perfect infantry antitank gun as all elements but the barrel main block could be carried by indiovidual infantry. The basic mount have -15 to +56 elevation with 62-degree traverse. It had a range of 7,000 meters (). It was tailored to fire an armor-piercing (AP) or high-explosive (HE) round for various use. It was successful and widely purchased, notably by the Netherlands. But by far its largest customer became Italy whoch acquired a production licence, turned into thousands of Cannone da 47/32. It was modified as tank gun also in the M13/40 medium tank, AB41 armored car, Semovente 47/32.
Bohler 4,7cm AT
Author's rendition of the Bohler 4,7cm AT The 47mm Bohler was also used by China, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Romania and Switzerland. The Soviet Union seized those from Latvia and the Germans after the Anchluss, of after seizing Holland. In their inventory, it became the "4.7cm PaK 187(h)" or "4.7cm PaK 196(r)" depending on the captured location. Many more Ansaldo were seized after September 1943 as "4.7 cm PaK 177 (i)", many used by Croatia in 1944-45.

⚙ Specifications Bohler 4.7 cm (1.9 in) AT Gun

DimensionsBore: 1.525 m (5 ft) L/32, 1.680 m (6 ft) oa
Mass315 kg (694 lb) travel, 277 kg (611 lb) combat
Load/recoilHorizontal sliding-wedge
Elevation/traverse-15° to +56°, 62°
Rate of firec3/min.
Muzzle velocity630 metres per second (2,100 ft/s) AP
Range7,000 m (7,700 yd)
Shell47x195 mm R L/32 or 47x328 mm R L/40 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) AP

ZIS-2 57 mm antitank gunZIS-2 57 mm antitank gun

➾ Produced from 1941 to 1945, c10,000.

Left only with 37 mm and 45 mm guns at the start of WW2, the Soviet Army was relatively well prepared to fight the Finns (which had very few tanks) or the Japanese at Nomonanh (which were weakly protected) but during Operation barbarossa against Panzer III-IVs it was another story. Projected and designed in 1940, entering service and production in 1941, the ZIS-2 was the new standard antitank gun of the Soviet army thus summer of 1941, but very few were available. The ZiS-2 started production by 1 June 1941, and by 1 December 1941 marshals N. N. Voronov and G. L. Govorov stopped prduction, arguing that its shells penetrated straight through German tanks armour, causing no damage due to the small caliber. Thhey preferred the new ZIS-3 divisional gun. Costs and shell production was another reason. Just 371 were provided to the troops.
ZIS-2 57 mm antitank gun
Author's rendition of the ZIS-2

However by 1943, the Germans had new up-armoured panzers, notably the Tiger and Panther, so the ZIS-3 was no longer sufficient, and production of the ZIS-2 -with its excellent range and muzzle velocity- was relaunched, to reach 9,650 by May 1945. The ZIS-2 still had a weak explosive power but it could penetrate any armour at sufficient distances. Under the new name 57 mm anti-tank gun model 1943 it was given to all anti-tank artillery platoons of infantry units and anti-tank artillery units of the High Command reserve. It was also mounted on the T-34/76 (becoming the T-34/57 "exterminator"), the Komsomolets armoured tractor chassis (ZiS-30) and on the SU-76 chassis to turn it as a tank hunter (SU-74, SU-76D, and SU-57B, prototypes only) and postwar on the ASU-57 paradropped self propelled gun.

⚙ Specifications ZIS-2 AT Gun

Dimensions7.03 m (23 ft 1 in)oa x 3.95 m (13 ft 0 in) x 1.37 m (4 ft 6 in)
Mass1,250 kg (2,756 lb)
Load/recoilSemi-automatic vertical sliding-wedge, Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse-5° to 25°; 56°
Rate of fire25 rpm cyclic, 10 rpm practical
Muzzle velocity1,000 m/s (3,300 ft/s)
Range8.4 km (5.21 miles) indirect fire
ShellFixed QF 57×480 mmR AP 2.24 in
Carriage/sightsSplit trail, optical 3,000m

76mm Div. Gun M193976mm Divisional Gun M1939 (USV)

➾ Produced from 1939 to 1942, 9,812.

The 76-mm divisional gun M1939 (F-22 USV or USV) was a 76.2 mm (3.1 inches) cannon of the Soviet Union, adopted in 1939 and a staple of Soviet artillery in World War II. It was called "divisional" due to its assignment to batteries under the direct control of division headquarters. It was designed from 1937 to rpelace the obslolet 76-mm divisional gun M1902/30 and 76 mm divisional gun model 1936 (F-22), with an elevation of 45° for no more than 1,500 kg, same ballistics as the M1902/30 plus identical ammunition. It was developed by Kirovskiy Plant bureau (I. A. Makhanov) No. 92 Plant bureau (V. G. Grabin) and AKB-43 (M. N. Kondakov). 140 were ready by 30 December 1939, 1,010 by December 1940 but production for 1941 was stopped, then reopened after Op. Barbarossa at No. 92 Barrikady factory, Stalingrad for 2,616 more in 1941, 6,046 in 1942 before gradually replaced by the ZiS-3 at the end of 1942.
76mm Div. Gun M1939
Author's rendition of the M1939 Div. Gun

For what we are interested in, the USV came with an AP shells to deal with armour in direct fire. The APHE-T BR-350A/B was capable of 662 or 655 m/s and 4000 range, whereas the Subcaliber (from April 1943) BR-354P was the fastest at 950m/s but only at 500 m range and it was twice as lighter than the APHE. There was also a heavy, but slow HEAT, in steely iron (from May 1943), again for short range. Penetration for the BR-350A was between 80 and 50 mm flat from 100 to 1500m and from 65 to 45 at these value against a 60° angled plate. The subcaliber however could defeat up to 120 mm flat or 95mm at 60° at 100m, so basically the Panther. In german service it became the 7.62 cm PaK 39(r) and was apparently not deployed on vehicles: The SU-76 adopted its replacement the ZIS-3 in the Sh variant.

⚙ Specifications 76mm Div. Gun M1939

Dimensions5.95 m (19 ft 6 in) x 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) x 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in)
MassCt 1,470 kg (3,240 lb), Tv 2,500 kg (5,500 lb)
Load/recoilSemi-automatic vertical sliding-wedge, Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse-6° to 45°, 60°
Rate of fire15 rpm practical
Muzzle velocity1,000 m/s (3,300 ft/s)
Range13.29 km (8.26 mi) max
Shell76.2 × 385 mm. R
Carriage/sightsSplit trail, optical 3,000m
Soviet ww2 45 mm antitank gun M1937

45 mm antitank gun M1942
Soviet ww2 45 mm antitank gun M1942

jap ww2 37 mm Type 94 IJA antitank gun

Mauser TankGewehr 1918
Mauser TankGewehr 1918

AA - Dual Purpose guns

3,7 cm FLAK 18/36/37

➾ gun produced 1936-1945 20,400+

The 3.7 cm FLAK was one of the most prolific (if not the most) short range AA ordnance deployed by the Wehrmacht in WW2. The very first iteration in 1935 was called Flak 18, a 89 caliber, and already it was automatic and effective against aircraft up to 4,200 m. Soon Rheinmetall was asked to produce both a towed and self-propelled version. In 1936 appeared the FLAK 36 and later in 1940, the FLAK 37. All were designed for ground support roles as well, with exceptional performances: Armour penetration was 36 mm at 100 m distance on a 60° sloped armour with AP rounds or 24 mm at 800 m, but it really excelled in short range ambushes, with short bursts at 80 rpm.

Author's rendition of the 3,7 cm FLAK The 3.7 started to be replaced by German captured or derivatives of the Bofors 40 mm for the same role and from 1944, by 35 mm models produced in Switzerland. Romania adored the model and purchased the licence for local production, turning out 360 of them, but this gun also saw service with Bulgaria. Italy had its own excellent Breda 37mm also seeing action in ground combat. The list of vehicles fitted with this gun is impressive, one of the most elaborated being an up-armoured Opel Blitz with naval type shielded mount. Some (illustration) were just towed, by vehicles such as the Krupp Protze 6x4 lorry.

⚙ Specifications 3,7 cm FLAK AA Gun

Dimensionsbarrel 2.11 m (83 in) x 37 mm (1.5 in)
Mass1,550 kg (3,420 lb) or 1,250 kg Flak 43
Load/recoilgas-operated bolt, 6-round clips
Elevation/traverse-8° to +85°; 360°
Rate of fire160 rpm cyclic
Muzzle velocity840 m/s (2,800 ft/s) AP
Range7,995 m (8,743 yd) ground range
Shell37 × 263 mm B 623–659 g (1.373–1.453 lb)
Carriage/sightsthree-legged platform

40 mm Bofors Mark 2Bofors 40 mm Automatic Gun L/60

➾ gun produced from 1930, 1 million+

The Bofors 40 mm Automatic Gun L/60 is an anti-aircraft autocannon and probably one of the most famous piece of AA ordnance ever, still used today. In WW2 it was ubiquitous, on ships, vehicles and bases. It was designed in the 1930s at AB Bofors as an intermediate AA gun, between 13 mm heavy AA MGs and 3-in guns, slower firing. For its time it outperformed all competing before World War II, both in effectiveness and reliability.

First marketed from 1932 it was used by 18 countries in 1939. It became mainstream with the western Allies, even Axis powers (Nazi Germany and Hungary). In the cold war it was replaced by the 40 mm/70, fully Automatic selected as NATO-standard in November 1953. It last saw action in the Gulf War and Yugoslav Wars.
40 mm Bofors
Author's rendition of the Bofors 2-pdr on its standard towed wheeled carriage.

Vehicles wise, the Bofors ended on a large number of platforms, such athe single mount on various heavy trucks such as the GMC 354, and the twin mount version on the M24 Chaffee tank chassis giving the M19 Gun Motor Carriage. Postwar this was the M41 Walker Bulldog, used to produced the M42 Duster re-introduced in 1966 for the Vietnam War in ground fire support and stayed in the National Guard until 1988.

⚙ Specifications Bofors 2-pdr Gun

Dimensions2.25 m (7 ft 5 in) barrel and mount
Mass522 kg (1,151 lb)
Load/recoilAuto extraction, cam-operated recoil powered autoloader, Vertical sliding-wedge
Elevation/traverse−5°/+90° @55°/s, Full 360° @50°/s
Rate of fire140 rpm low elevation angles, 120 rpm high
Muzzle velocity850–880 m/s (2,800–2,900 ft/s)
Range7,160 m (23,490 ft)
Shell40 × 311 mm R 0.9 kg (2 lb 0 oz)
Carriage/sightsVarious (see notes), optical

2cm Flakvierling 38

➾ System produced from the Flak 38, c3,768 built

The Flugzeugabwehrkanone 30/38 was a 20 mm anti-aircraft gun developd for German forces and deployed in the air, ground and at sea in many formed during World War II. This primary German light anti-aircraft gun became the produced German ordance. On land, the main version was towed on a wheeled mount for organic AA defense, but with the right ammo and high rate of fire, easy to deploy, it was equally deadly against light armoured vehicles. The Flakvierling 38 combined four Flak 38 autocannons onto a single carriage, and it became the prime mobile point defence weapon in 1943, installed on tank chassis. In all, 3,768 Flakvierling mounts were produced during the war by Mauser Rheinmetall Ostmarkwerk, produced from late 1940 to May 1945. And more than 40,000 Flak 38, 8,000 Flak 30.

Author's rendition of the Flakvierling 38 The individual Flak 38 mount weighted 405 kg (893 lb) for 4.08 m (13 ft 5 in) long and a barrel length of 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) L/65. It needed a crew of 5 to operate and fired up to ±90° on a 360° traverse at 450 rpm (cyclic) or 180 rpm practical up to 2,200 m (2,406 yds) against aircraft and at 5,783 m (5,230 yds) in ground range. Its Feed system worked with 20 round box magazine. It was mounted on a variety of vehicles, notably trucks, such as the Opel Blitz as well as the Sd.Kfz. 251/17 for the single Flak 38 and unarmored Sd.Kfz.7/1(both types) and Sd.Kfz.11 but also tanks, such as the FlakPanzer III and FlakPanzer IV Wirbelwind and Möbelwagen.

⚙ Specifications 20 mm FLAKvierling 38

Rate of fire
Muzzle velocity

37 mm automatic air defense gun37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K)

➾ AA gun produced 1939-45, 20,000 built

he 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K) was a Soviet 37 mm calibre anti-aircraft gun developed during the late 1930s and used during World War II. The land-based version was replaced in Soviet service by the AZP S-60 during the 1950s. Guns of this type were successfully used throughout the Eastern Front against dive bombers and other low- and medium-altitude targets. It also had some usefulness against lightly armoured ground targets.

Author's rendition of the 37mm M1939 61-K

For ground use, single-barrel were installed on four-wheeled ZU-7 carriages, towed to be ready for service. 900 units were ordered, operated by a crew of eight with 200 rounds carried in five-round clips. Armour penetration of AP rounds on a RHA plate at 60° was of 37 mm at 500 metres range and 28 mm at 90° at 1,500 metres. It was usually carried on the flatbed of a ZIS-6 2x4 truck. The only armoured vehicle featuring it was thz SZU-37

⚙ Specifications 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K)

Dimensions1.5 in Barrel length 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) L/67
Mass2,100 kg (4,600 lb)
Elevation/traverse−5° to 85°, 360°
Rate of fire160-170 rpm
Muzzle velocity880 m/s (2,900 ft/s)
Range4/5 km (13/16,000 ft) ceiling
Shell37 × 252 mmSR, 730 g (1.61 lb) Frag-T, 770 g (1.70 lb) AP-T
Carriage/sightsFour-wheeled with twin outriggers

25 mm Hotchkiss AA

➾ gun produced from 1936, c600

The mitrailleuse de 25 mm contre-aéroplanes modèle 1938, abbreviated as 25 CA, M38 and follow-up was a light anti-aircraft autocannon designed by Hotchkiss & Cie near Paris in 1936-37. It was used in World War II by Frand and some 33,000 were produced under licence by Japan, where it became the staple of its light AA, on land or ships. It was loosely derived from the 13.2 mm Hotchkiss heavy MG (also copied by Japan) and up-scaled with many modifications to make it work with larger 15-round magazines. It had however nothing to do with the semi-automatic 25 mm Hotchkiss anti-tank gun. Their cartridges were not compatible. Initially the 25 mm was developed in private venture in 1936 as the French army looked at replacing its 13.2 mm and older WWI AA designs. It was proposed to the French government that declined it as too slow. Then it was sold to Romania until the Government changed its mind when the alternative 37 mm Schneider was nowehere near ready for production. Still, perhaps 400 were delivered by June 1940 so it was a footnote in the campaign. Romania only obtained 72 out of 300 before the fall of France.

Author's rendition of the 25 CA 38

The 25 mm was declined into the Modèle 1938 with a tripode, replaced on the M1939 by a more stable carriage, and the M1940 which was a faster firing variant with fixed mounting for naval and static defense use using cartwheel sights as long as the M40J for "Jumelee" (twin mounted), also gound based. The M1938 were also used on three Spanish destroyers from 1936. The 25 mm was not designed to be mounted on vehicles, but rather towed to place. There were ad hoc experiments with trucks in portee though, but no production. The standard towed version consisted in semi-folding legs on a shoehorse shaped chassis with two roadwheels. It still could be fired in this configuration if needed. It could fire a AP shell at 875 m/s (2,870 ft/s) if needed, effective on ground targets and direct fire up to 3 km (9,800 ft). Penetration figures not known.

⚙ Specifications mitrailleuse de 25 mm CA M1938

Dimensions1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) L/60
Mass850 kg (1,870 lb)
Load/recoilGas operated, gravity feed 15 rds Mags.
Elevation/traverse10° to +85°, 360°
Rate of fireCyclic: 200–260 rpm, Effective: 110 rpm
Muzzle velocityHE: 900 m/s (2,953 ft/s)
Range6.8 km (4.2 mi) at 45° HE
ShellHE 0.29 kg or AP: 0.32 kg (11 oz)
CarriageTwo wheeled single axle with cruciform outriggers

2cm FLAK 38

Vickers 3-in M1931

Italy ww2 Cannone da 20/65 M35


Germany ww2 15 cm sFH 18

➾ Howitzer produced 1933–1945 to 6,756

The 15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18 (sFH 18) was nicknamed Immergrün ("Evergreen"), well known as the basic organic German division heavy howitzer during the Second World War. It served alongside the medium 10.5 cm leFH 18. It was praised by its mobility, firing range and effectiveness of its 44 kgs shell, replacing the WWI vintage 15 cm sFH 13 judged by Krupp-Rheinmetall completely inadequate.

50% heavier than its predecessor with a 40% greater muzzle velocity, 4.5 kilometers greater range and innovative split-trail gun carriage it was developed in secret from 1926 to 1930 and approved for production in 1933.

It was also the world's first gun operating a rocket-assisted ammunition for better range. The sFH 18 was produced by Krupp, Rheinmetall, Spreewerke, M.A.N. and Skoda, and used notably on the Panzerhaubitze 18/1 "Hummel". Although it only used the 43.52 kg (95.9 lb) HE shell, a lucky hit from above of that magnitude was always fatal for any tank. It was generally towed by the Sd.Kfz.7 or Sd.Kfz.8.

Author's rendition of the sFH 18 15 cm Howitzer

⚙ Specifications 15 cm sFH 18 L/29.5

Dimensions7.849 (barrel 4.440) x 2.225 x 1.707 m
Weight Travel: 6,304 kg, Combat: 5,512 kg
Crew7 (commander, gunner, 2 pointers, 3 loaders)
Load/recoil Horizontal sliding-block/hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse0° to +45°/60°
Rate of fire4 rpm
Muzzle velocity520 m/s (1,700 ft/s)
Range13,325 m (14,572 yd) - assisted 18,200 m (19,900 yd)
Shell149 mm × 260 R SLCC, weight 43.52 kg (HE)

Germany ww2 10.5 cm leFH-18 Howitzer

➾ Howitzer produced 1933–1945 to 11,848

The 10.5 cm leFH 18 (leichte Feldhaubitze, or "light field howitzer" 4.13 in) was a German standard in World War II in service from 1935 and used by all divisions and artillery battalions. 11,848 were produced and 10,265 of the modernized leFH 18/40 variant. It was the successor of the 10.5 cm leFH 16 and a better range and slightl increased rate of fire, better optics, and modern split trail gun carriage more stability and traverse, but this made it too heavy for horse-drawn artillery battalions. Because of the shortae of vehicles of the eastern front it was often bogged down in mud and snow.

The leFH 18 was developed as the leFH 18M and leFH 18/40 and in 1942 existed in self-propelled versions, one the Panzer II, H35, Char B1 or 37L chassis. It was also well distributed withing the axis nations: Bumgaria, Romania, Hungary, Spain, Finland, Slovakia used it. The first model was also exported to China, and some were found in the North Korean army. Sweden purchased the licence, Potugal obtained surplus after the war, deployed in Africa until the 1970s. It was also used by Norway post-war. It was generally towed by the Sd.Kfz.6 or Sd.Kfz.11 prime movers when available.
10.5 cm leFH-18 Howitzer
Author's rendition of the sFH 18/40 10.5 cm Howitzer

⚙ Specifications 10.5 cm sFH 18 L/29.5

Dimensions6.10 x 1.97 x 1.88 m total, Barrel 2.941 m (9 ft 8 in), 28 calibers
WeightTravel 3,490 kg, Combat 1,985 kg, split trail
SightModel 34 Sighting Mechanism
breechhorizontal sliding-block
Elevation/traverse-5° to +42°; 56°
Rate of fire/Muzzle velocity6-8 rpm; 470 m/s (1,500 ft/s)
Range10,675 m (11,674 yd)
Shell14.81 kg cased separate-loading (6 charges) 105 x 155mm R 1.845 kg (4.07 lb) TNT

german guns17 cm Kanone 18

➾ Long Range Gun produced from 1941 to 1945, 338 made by Krupp

The 17 cm K 18 was a 172.5 mm (6.79 in) towed gun, 50 calibres. The 17 cm Kanone 18 in Mörserlafette shared the same box trail carriage as the 21 cm Mörser 18, allowing transport in one piece on short distances with the right tractor, but for longer distances the barrel was carried separately. Using ramps and winches installing its took several hours. And while on the field a 360-degree traverse can still be performed by two men. But this was a heavy artillery piece only suitable to be installed in a day for shelling at long distances enemy fortifications. With the right reconnaissance it could also rain death and destruction over parked tanks...

Krupp designed the gun from waffenamt specifications in 1939 and introduced an innovative Dual-recoil mechanism, also shared by the 21 cm Mörser 18. Normal recoil forces used a conventional recoil mechanism close to the barrel but there was also the carriage sliding along rails. It absorbed all recoil energy while keeping the mount very stable when firing, and thus, making it very accurate.
Author's rendition of the 17 cm Kanone 18
Author's rendition of the 17 cm Kanone 18

The 17 cm K 18 in MrsLaf was supplied with separate ammunitions, in three types:
-KGr 39 AZ 35K or Dopp Z S/90K HE round (68 kg/150 lb) for a 28 km (17 mi) range
-KGr 38 Hb Hbgr Z 35K or Dopp Z S/90K (62.8 kg/138 lb) for 29.6 km (18.4 mi), with ballistic cap.
-Pzgr 43 Bd Z f 17cm Pzgr (71 kg/157 lb) AP shell (velocity 830 m/s) to defeat 255 mm (10.0 in) of armour at 30°.
There were four types of charges to go with these, and reach 29.6 km (18.4 mi) with "charge 4". The latter could be used at the last extremity against tanks. No Soviet armour was immune to it at 1,000m. It was used notably for defensive purposes in 1945 during the Zeelowe heights battle. Very costly only 338 were made, which needed the largest half track for towing them in the east, the Sd.Kfz.9 chiefly. It was used on all front, employed at corps and army echelons for long-range counter-battery support or as the 21 cm Mörser 18. None saw service outside Germany.

⚙ Specifications 17 cm Kanone 18

DimensionsBore 8.625 m (28 ft 3.6 in) L/50
MassTransport 23.375t, action 17.520t
Load/recoilHorizontal-block Breech, Dual-recoil hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverseElevation +50°, traverse 16° wheels, 360° platform
Rate of fire3 rpm
Muzzle velocity925 m/s (3,030 ft/s)
Range29.6 km (18.4 mi)
Shell172.5 mm (6.79 in) separate-loading HE 62.8 kg (138 lb)
Carriage/sightsBox trail

21 cm Morser 18 (1939)

➾ Howitzer produced 1939-1945, c700

The Mörser 18 was designed to replace the WWI 21 cm Mörser 16. Although not significantly different, its carriage was improved across the board. It notably featured the Krupp innovative dual-recoil system. The barrel also now retracted naturally in its cradle while the top carriage retracted across the body in turn for maximum compacity and damped out further the recoil. It made for a very steady firing platform. The carriage was resued thus for the 17 cm Kanone 18 (Mörserlafette) and 15 cm Schnelladekanone C/28.
21 cm Morser 18
Author's rendition of the 21 cm Morser 18
The Mrs 18 was carried in two parts with barrel slid on to a separate trailer. The carriage carried the integral firing platform, lowered to the ground when preparing the terrain whith its wheels were then cranked up off. There was a rear castor-wheel jack adjusting also the the rear spade for extra traverse beyond 16° either side. Although the design proces started in 1933, production only started by 1939 and slowly. Production stopped in 1942 for the 17 cm Kanone 18 in Mörserlafette which had twice its range, but resumed in 1943 and up to 1945. They were also planned to be used in the projected Geschützwagen Tiger massive self-propelled guns. A prototype tested by 1945 at Kummersdorf when captured by US troops.

⚙ Specifications 21 cm Morser 18 (210 mm/8.30 in)

Dimensions6.51 m (21 ft 4 in) L/30
Mass16,700 kg (36,817 lbs)
Load/recoilHorizontal sliding-block, Dual-recoil hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse -6° to +70°; 16° wheels/360° platform
Rate of fire1 rpm
Muzzle velocity550–565 m/s (1,800–1,850 ft/s)
Range16,725 m (18,291 yd) effective
Shell113 kg (249 lb) (HE) separate loading case ammo
Carriage/sightsBox trail, unknown

7,5 cm LeIG-18

➾ Howitzer produced by Rheinmetall from 1932, 12,000

Called the 7.5 cm leichtes Infanteriegeschütz 18, this short barrel 3.0 in howitzer was designed for infantry support. It was to be easy to deploy to deal with hardened objectives on the front line. Development started in 1927 by Rheinmetall and the crew was protected by an armoured shield. Its mountain gun variant was called 7.5 cm le.GebIG 18 and even lighter. It could be broken down into six to ten packs up to 74.9 kg to be carried by an infantry platoon, two assigned to each mountain battalion. Six first 7.5 cm le.IG 18F were manufactured in 1939 as airborne guns, split into four 140 kg loads with smaller wheels and no shield. Last variant was the infantry support gun 7.5 cm Infanteriegeschütz L/13 to replace the le.IG 18 and broken into four to six loads. But since it did not improve much, production was not greenlighted. In all, c12,000 of the le.IG 18 were manufactured by Rheinmetall between 1932 and 1945. It could also fire a shaped-charge antitank round as an option, not super effective due to the low velocity.

Author's rendition of the LeIG-18

⚙ Specifications 7,5 cm LeIG-18 Howitzer

Mass1,560 kg (3,439 lb) Combat: 400 kg (882 lb)
Load/recoilTop break Breech, Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse-10° to 73°; 12°
Rate of fire8-12 rpm
Muzzle velocity210 m/s (690 ft/s)
Range3,550 m (3,880 yd)
Shell75 x 89mm R Fixed QF, 6 kg (13 lb 4 oz)
Carriage/sightsBox trail

soviet gunsZIS-3 76 mm divisional field Gun M1942

➾ Field gun produced from 1942, 103,000

The 76-mm divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3) was made at Artillery Factory No.92, and it was designed by V. G. Grabin at the end of 1940, combining the light carriage from the 57 mm ZiS-2 anti-tank gun and the 76.2 mm barrel F-22USV previous divisional field gun. They added a muzzle brake to reduce recoil it was cheaper, using casting, stamping and welding. It replaced the light 45 mm anti-tank guns and 76.2 mm divisional field guns and mass production started in December 1941. It went through an official five-day acceptance trial in February 1942 and entered service as the divisional field gun model 1942. More than 103,000 were made until 1945 so it became the most numerous Soviet field of WW2.
ZIS-3 gun
Author's rendition of the ZIS-3 gun It was replaced by the 85 mm D-44 divisional field gun. A few were captured by the Finns, some by the Romanians. The latter in 1943 made a local copy and was chosen for production as the 75 mm Reșița M1943, with 375 made, and installed on the Mareșal tank destroyer while another was used on captured T-70 light tank as the TACAM R-2 tank destroyer. The KSP-76 was a light assault car mounting which used it, but stayed at prototype stage. In direct fire, antitank role, it fired an APHE BR-350A, AP (solid) BR-350SP and Composite Armour-piercing projectiles BR-350P, BR-350N as well as the HEAT BK-354 (potwar) and BP-350M in 1944.

⚙ Specifications ZIS-3 field Gun

Dimensions3.4 m (11 ft 2 in) x 1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)x 1.37 m (4 ft 6 in)
Mass 1,116 kg, travel 2,150 kg
Load/recoilSemi-automatic vertical sliding-wedge, Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse−5° to +37°, 54°
Rate of fire25 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity
Range13.29 km (8.25 mi)
ShellFixed QF 76.2 × 385 mm. R 76.2 mm (3 in)
Carriage/sightsSplit trail

The Nebelwerfer

➾ rocket launchers, 15,000 produced from 1940

The Nebelwerfer ('fog launcher') were developed initially for the Nebeltruppen (smoke/chemical batallions) with wheeled mortars 10 cm Nebelwerfer 35/40 fielded in 1936-41, then replaced by a variety of rocket launchers from 15 to 32 centimetres (5.9 to 12.6 in) produced until 1945. They were used on all fronts apart the Balkans. The rockets offered more payload flexibility. The 15 cm Nebelwerfer 41 (6,000 made) arrived right after the Campaign of France by late 1940. They used a 3.7 cm PaK 36 chassis and had a range of 6,900 metres (7,500 yd). Next came the 28/32 cm Nebelwerfer 41 used during Operation Barbarossa. They carried a HE or incendiary warhead up to 2,200 metres (2,400 yd), over 1,000 made, with various cased ramps in wood or metal, sometimes adapted to vehicles, like the "Stuka zum Fuss", a variant of the Sd.Kfz.251 or captured French tanks and tankettes. Next came the 21 cm Nebelwerfer 42 with larger Werfer-Granate 21 rockets and also used by the Luftwaffe. Then the 30 cm Nebelwerfer 42 appeared to replace the 28/32 cm Nebelwerfer 41 in 1943, with 700 made, and a longer range.
Nebelwerfer 28 cm
Nebelwerfer 28 cm

Nebelwerfer 21 cm
Nebelwerfer 21 cm

Nebelwerfer 15 cm
Nebelwerfer 15 cm

The 8 cm Raketen-Vielfachwerfer was a copy of the Russian Katyucha, and they were used by the Sd.Kfz. 4 "Maultier" and French SOMUA MCG half-track. Indeed the Panzerwerfer reached greater mobility in a ten-tube 15 cm (5.9 in) launcher configuration mounted on a lightly armored Sd.Kfz. 4 "Maultier" half-track, with 300 built and later replaced by the 15 cm Panzerwerfer 42 auf Schwerer Wehrmachtschlepper (fewer than 100 completed until 1945). In any case, most had HE warheads and were more efficient against infantry formations in open field rather than allied tanks formations, although the case happened multiple time. The blast was sufficient to immibilize a tank in case of a lucky near-hit, or direct hit on the engine compartment.

⚙ Specifications Nevelwerfer 21 cm (8.3 in)

Dimensions3.6 x 1.6 x 1.5m (11 ft 10 in x 5 ft 3 in x 4 ft 11 in)
Mass550 kg (1,210 lb)/1,100 kg (2,400 lb) FL
Elevation/traverse-5° to +45°, 24°
Warhead10.17[6] kg (22.4 lb)
Muzzle velocity320 m/s (1,000 ft/s)
Range7,850 m (8,580 yd)
Shell1.25 m (4 ft 1 in) 109.55 kg (241.5 lb) HE
Carriage/sightssplit-trail, 5 barrel mount
Production2626, Donauwörth Machine Factory

152mm ML20 Howitzer152mm ML20 Gun-Howitzer

➾ gun produced 1937-46, 6884, 4000 for SPGs

The 152 mm howitzer-gun M1937 (ML-20) was a Soviet heavy gun-howitzer developed by the no 172 plant design team, F. F. Petrov. It was a completely modernized variant of the 152-mm gun M1910/34 based on the 152-mm siege gun M1910, a pre-WW1 Schneider design. The ML20 was produced from 1937 to 1946. It was deployed at corps/army level in the Soviet Army. Many were captured by the Wehrmacht and Finnish Army as well. The early cold war saw a continuous use, notably in Korea, Indochina, Vietnam notably of the ML-20, up to the 1970s.
152mm ML20 Howitzer
Author's rendition of the 152mm ML20 Howitzer

The ML-20 was of course not an anti-tank weapon, although it could be lowered enough for direct fire, and the impact of its HE shell was massive concussion for any tank, medium or heavy in the German arsenal. Raining shells and direct hits were also of course devastating. The connection with tanks goes through its main tractor until it changed, the Komintern, based on the T14/T24 medium tanks chassis. This gun was also mounted in the Soviet assault guns/tank destroyers SU-152 and ISU-152.

SU-152 "beast killer"

⚙ Specifications ML20 Gun-Howitzer

Lenght8.18 m (26 ft 10 in) oa; barrel 4.24 m (13 ft 11 in) L/27.9
width2.35 m (7 ft 9 in)
height2.27 m (7 ft 5 in)
Masscombat 7,270 kg (16,027 lb, travel 7,930 kg (17,482 lb)
Load/recoilInterrupted screw, hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse−2° to 65°, 58°
Rate of fire3-4 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity655 m/s (2,150 ft/s)
Range17.23 km (10.7 mi)
Shell152 x 547 mm R 152.4 mm (6 in)
Carriage/sightsstandard scope, split trail

Soviet ww2152mm D20 Howitzer

➾ c50,000 built 1955-1970

A long-lasting Soviet gun-howitzer still used on battlefields across the world today. Widely exported, this solid, reliable, powerful ordnance was developed after the war by F. Petrov Design Bureau from 1949, to replace aging or worn out WW2 stock guns and howitzers. The time needed to perfect the design helped to secure all solutions that worked, simplify all components, ensuring extra reliability, ease of maintenance, repair ot transport, as well as cheap, mass production. It is today quite an oddball of old school artillery with narrow wheeled gun carriages, quaint splinter shields from the D-74 122 mm howitzer. The D20 entered service in 1955 and instantly became a success, replacing all the intended ordnances and produced until 1970.
122mm D20 Howitzer
Author's rendition of the D20

The D20 was produced for decades at the Artillery Plant Number 9, Yekaterinburg. It was usable against tank formations if stationary, with the punch of its massive HE shells at 17 km and up to 24 with modern rocket-assisted rounds. So far, it saw action in the Vietnam War, Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War, Soviet–Afghan War, Iran–Iraq War, Lebanese Civil War, First Nagorno-Karabakh War, Syrian Civil War, Russo-Ukrainian War and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict among others. There are currently 25 users, with 13 former ones. It was copied into the Chinese PL-66, Romanian A411, Serbian M84 NORA-A. The D-20 led to the design of the D-22 (GRAU index: 2A33), used for the self-propelled 2S3 Akatsiya ("Acacia") but it was also copied for the Chinese Type 83 SPH, truck mounted NORA B-52 and North Korean M1974.

⚙ Specifications D20 Howitzer

Dimensions8.69 m x 152 mm (26 calibers)
Mass5.56 t
Crew10 men
Elevation/traverse-5/+45°, 58° each side
Rate of fire5-6 rpm
Muzzle velocity
Range17.4 km, 24 for improved modernized variants
ShellComposite HE, separate ammo, 43.56 kg HE
Carriage/sightsSplit trail

122mm D-74122mm D-74

➾ gun produced from 1955, c20,000 built until 1970

The 122mm D-74 towed gun is a Soviet-built gun. Developed in the late 1950s it provided direct and indirect fire for the Soviet Army. Today it is in reserve units with the Russian Army. It is in active service with the Egyptian Army and the Pakistani Army. The 122 mm (originally 48 lines) calibre has been in Russian service since the early 20th century. After World War II the Soviet Union developed two new long range guns to replace existing 122 mm and 152 mm guns such as 122 mm gun M1931 (A-19), 122 mm gun M1931/37 (A-19), 152 mm gun M1910/30 and 152 mm gun M1935 (Br-2). The two new guns were the 122 mm D-74 and the 130 mm M-46.

The D-74 design was probably initiated in the late 1940s and it was first seen in public in 1955. It was designed by the well established design bureau at Artillery Plant No. 9 in Sverdlovsk (now Motovilikha Plants in Yekaterinburg), led by the eminent artillery designer Fëdor Fëdorovich Petrov who was also responsible for several World War II and later artillery designs. The design team also developed the 152 mm gun howitzer D-20 at much the same time, and both D-74 and D-20 use the same carriage. Both the 122 mm D-74 and 130 mm M-46 entered Soviet service, but the heavier shell and greater range of the M-46 meant that it outlasted the D-74.
122mm D-74
Author's rendition of the 122mm D-74

The gun fires separate ammunition using a metal cartridge case that also provides obturation. The ammunition is different to that used with 122 mm howitzers. There is a single charge without increments. The shell weight is 25 kg with a muzzle velocity of 900 m/s although the slightly lighter APHE shell has a higher muzzle velocity. Maximum rate of fire is usually stated as six rounds per minute. The detachment was either eight or nine men, probably differing between armies and period. In Soviet service the 5,600 kg gun was usually towed by a URAL-375 6×6 truck, AT-S or AT-L medium tractor in some regions. Vehicles using the D-74: None, but the 2S1 M-1974 Gvodzika carried a derivative, the D-30.

⚙ Specifications 122mm D-74

Dimensions9.875/6.45 x 2.35 x 2.7m (30 ft/21 ft 2 in x 7 ft 9 in x 8 ft 10 in)
Mass5,620 kg (12,390 lbs)
Load/recoilSemi-auto vertical sliding-wedge, Hydro-pneumatic
Rate of fire8–10 rpm
Muzzle velocity885 m/s (2,907 ft/s)
Rangedirect 1.08 km (.67 mi)/23.9 km (15 mi)
Shell122 mm (4.8 in) Separate loading charge and projectile

D-74 towed by an AT-L tractor.
122mm Howitzer 2A18 D30
Soviet ww2 122mm Howitzer 2A18 D30

Soviet ww2 122mm M30 Howitzer(R)

130mm M1954 Howitzer
Soviet ww2 130mm M1954 Howitzer

Soviet ww2 76 mm divisional gun M1939 USV

76.2 mm mountain gun M1938
Soviet ww2 76.2 mm mountain gun M1938

45 mm antitank gun M1927
Soviet ww2 76.2 mm field gun M1937

203 mm field gun B4
Soviet ww2 203 mm field gun (tracked) B3

FH77 Howitzer
155mm Haubits FH77/A Howitzer (1978)

240 mm Howitzer M1

➾ gun produced from 1943, 315 made

The 240 mm howitzer M1 "Black Dragon" was the heaviest towed howitzer of the United States Army. It was designed to replace the WWI 240 mm howitzer M1918, based itself on a 1911 French design Mortier de 280 modèle 1914 Schneider, and now outdated. It used for transport three-axle, six-wheeled wagons, carrying each either the cannon tube, and carriage. For setup in the field, the 20-ton M2 truck-mounted crane was needed, while the crane had a clam-shell bucket transported on a trailer, to dig the recoil pit. Two hours were needed to setup this artillery piece. The M6 High Speed Tractor was also designed for it, but did only entered production by Feb. 1944.
240 mm Howitzer M1
Author's rendition of the 240 mm Howitzer M1

Not an antitank howitzer of course it still could inflict untold damage in case of a direct hit. There were attempts to have the 240 mm M1 self-propelled. The usual way were two six-wheeled wagons towed by a Mack NO 7½-ton 6x6 truck or M33 or M35 prime movers, and tests were made to have it carried by a stretched Heavy Tank T26E3 chassis (extra bogie) known as the T92 Howitzer Motor Carriage, with 115 planned, five tested as the war ended. They would have been the largest SPG ever in US service, but post-WW2 was more about 155 mm as a standard, with NATO standard ammunition and more accuracy. The M240 was also used postwar by the US in Korea, and until 1959, and by Taiwan until today, most being transferred, but also the Philippines.

⚙ Specifications 240 mm Howitzer M1

DimensionsBarrel 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m) L/35, Width 9 ft 2 in (2.79 m)
Mass64,700 lb (29,300 kg) in action
Load/recoilInterrupted screw, Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse+15° to +65°, 22.5° either side.
Rate of fire1 rpm, 30/h sustained
Muzzle velocity2,300 ft/s (701 m/s)
Range14.3 mi (23.1 km)
Shell360 lb (160 kg) separate loading, bagged charge
Carriage/sightsSplit trail, 2 transport wagons

25 pdr howitzer 88 mm25 pdr howitzer

➾ gun produced 1938-1945, 12,000 made

The 25 pdr was probably the most famous ordnance of the British and Commolwealth armies during WW2 and well beyond, right to the end of the cold war, with many users and seeing plenty of service. It is still in use in the british army as saluting guns today. The Ordnance QF 25-pounder had a 3.45 inches (87.6 mm) caliber, and as a field artillery it was seen was very durable, easy to operate and versatile, the major British British field gun/Howitzer.

It was introduced into service just before the War started t replaced both the replace the 18-pounder (3.3-inch or 84 mm) field gun and 4.5-inch howitzer (114.3 mm bore). This new "universal field gun" was to combine the advantages of both formula into a single gun easy to use and manufacture. It had indeed high-angle and direct-fire abilities, high rate of fire, a shell that was lethal enough, while being still light, compact, easy to move around, including with an arrangement allowinf a full 360° traverse if needed. Initial production shooted up as more manufactures came in for a grand total of 12,000 delivered by 1945. It stayed active in th British Army until the 1960s and training units until the 1980s, 1970s in Commonwealth countries with an ammunition currently still produced by Pakistan Ordnance Factories.
25 pdr howitzer 88 mm
Author's rendition of the 25 pdr howitzer 88 mm

A true legend of a gun, the 25-pdr could be used in anti-tank roles at the margin, and they were provided by two types of AT shells: The 20 pounds (9.1 kg) solid armour-piercing (AP) shot, later replaced by a ballistic cap (APBC) one. They used the charge No. 3, super, for extra muzzle velocity in direct fire. A shaped charge anti-tank shell was under development in Canada until the QF 17-pounder was provided, making it irrelevant. Postwar, HESH shells were provided. For mobility, the 25-pdr was of course usually towed, as Armoured divisions were standardised with two field artillery regiments, including a self-propelled one, each having two batteries of twelve guns, Morris CDSW, Vickers Light Dragon Mk. III, Bren Carrier, T16, and thousands of CMP, Morris, Guy and Karrier "quad" 4x4 field artillery tractors as well as in 1945, the Bedford three-ton gun tower.

It was also mounted ion the self-propelled Bishop in Africa, and later the US lend-lease M7 Priest as well as the Canadian Sexton, based on the Ram and later Grizzly tank chassis. In the cold war, these were replaced by the 105mm Abbot SPG. But the caliber was considered obsolete as NATO imposed the 105 and 155 mm as new standards.

⚙ Specifications 25 pdr howitzer

Dimensions4.6 m (15 ft 1 in) x 2.13 m (7 ft)
Mass1,633 kg (3,600 lb)
Crew6 (commander, 1 gunner, 1 pointer, 3 loaders)
Load/recoilVertical sliding-block, Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse-5° to 45°, 4° Left & Right traverse, 360° platform
Rate of fireFrom 1 to 8 rpm
Muzzle velocity532 m/s (1,750 ft/s) AP shells
Range12,253 m (13,400 yd) (HE shell)
Shell88 x 292mm R11.5 kg (25 lb)
Carriage/sightsSplit trail, platform, Calibrating & reciprocating

5.5 in BL Howitzer

➾ Howitzer produced 1941-45, 5,000

In January 1939 a specification asked for a 5.5 tons howitzer to replace the vintage 6 inch 26 cwt with a desired new range of 16,000 yards (15 km). 5.5 inches withe Asbury breechblock initially and semi-automatic firing mechanism copied from on naval guns was adopted. However it was dropped, as well as complex hydropneumatic equilibrators for springs. The first arrived in the summer of 1941 in North Africa, equipped both British and Free French at El Alamein, and then Canadian, Australian, South African, Polish and Indian regiments. A regimental strenght was 16 guns, two batteries. It saw action also in Korea, South Arabia and Borneo, by the Indian Army with Pakistan up to the Kargil War of 1999. it was used in the South African Border War as G2 and stayed in the 1980s Territorial Army regiments and Australia until 1984, rteplaced by the FH-70 155 mm towed howitzer.
5.5 in BL Howitzer
Author's rendition of the 5.5 in BL Howitzer

The 5.5 in BL Howitzer was not usable against tanks, there was no AP but gunners were trained to use impact fuze and fire unfused high explosive as AP substitutes. This ordnance was towed by the AEC Matador as prime mover, and in the 1950s the AEC Militant Mk 1 6x6 truck and FV 1103 Leyland Martian 6x6 Medium Artillery Tractor. it was believed to be too heavy unlike the 25 pdr to be installed on a self-propelled platform. Only in 1944 a prototype Crusader gun tractor was made, with the gun installed in an open compartment without casmemate and during the cold war by the 1950s FV3805 derived from the Centurion in a barbette and fully enclosed casemate, plus engine swapped to the front. Two prototypes were tested, one later restored at Bovington.

⚙ Specifications 5.5 in BL Howitzer AT Gun

Dimensions24 ft 7 in/13 ft 9 in x 8 ft 4 in x 8 ft 6 in (7.5/4.19 m L/30 x 2.54 x 2.6 m)
Mass13,647 lbs (6,190 kg)
Load/recoilWelin breech and Asbury mechanism, Recoil Hydro-pneumatic
Elevation/traverse-5° to 45°, 30° left and right
Rate of fire2 rpm
Muzzle velocity100lb shell (45 kg): 1,675 ft/s (511 m/s)
Range100lb shell: 16,200 yards (14,800 m)
ShellSeparate loading bagged charge and projectile
Carriage/sightsSplit trail, Probert pattern reciprocating and calibrating

UK ww2 BL 7.2in Howitzer

US ww2 75mm Pack Howitzer M1

US ww2 8-in Howitzer M1

105 mm M2
US ww2 105 mm Howitzer M2

155 mm M1950
fr ww2 155 mm GIAT Howitzer M1950

75 mm M1897
fr ww2 75 mm SchneiderM1897

105 mm M1913
fr ww2 105 mm Schneider M1915

jap ww2 75 mm IJA Type 94 Field gun

Italy ww2 Cannone da 75/18 M34

Italy ww2 Cannone da 75/27 M11

Italy ww2 Cannone da 75/32 M37

Italy ww2 Cannone da 149/40

Italy ww2 Obice da 210/22 M35

czech ww2 149 mm Skoda Field Howitzer M1915

czech ww2 10 cm Skoda Field Gun Vz19

czech ww2 10 mm Skoda Field Howitzer Vz14

czech ww2 10,4 cm Feld Kanone M15

Antitank Missiles:


Blast type Antitank Mines:

AC NM AE T1, ADWAT, AT-8 (Cuba), ATM-72/74/75/96, BLU-91, C-3-A/B, Cardoen AT, CC 48/42/2-42/3, DM-11, Flachmine, FMK-3/5, Hawkins grenade, LPZ, M/47, M1/M1A1, M4, M5, M6, M7, M15, M19, M51/52 MACI, M/71, M75, M/80, M453, M1935/1936, MAT/5/6, MAT-62B/76/84-F5, MATS/1.4, MATS/2, MATS/2.6, MGP-31, MI AC PR, Mk 2/3/4/5/7, MKT Mod 72, MKTBT, Model 41-47/47-52/67, Model 1948, MP-APVL 83-F4, MPP-B Wierzba, Na-Mi-Ba, No 6/8/25/26, NV-41, P2/P3 Mk2, Panssarimiina m/36/39/40/44, Pappmine, PDM-1/1M/2/2M/6, Pignone P-1/2, PM-60 mine (K-1), PMZ-40, PRB M3, PRB-111, PT-56, PT Mi-Ba, PT Mi-Ba-II, PT Mi-Ba-III, PP Mi-D, PT Mi-K, PTM-80P, SACI, SB-81, SBP-04/07, SH-55, T-IV, T-AB-1, TC/2.4/3.6/6, Tellermine 29/35/42/43, TM-46, TMM-1, TMA-1/2/3/4/5, TMB-1/2, TMN-46, TMSB, TM-35/38/41/44/46/57/62/65, TMD-1/2/40/44, TMD-B, TMM-1, Topfmine A/B/C, TQ-Mi, Type I bakelite, Type 2 AT, Type II bakelite, Type 3 mine, Type 9 wooden ATM, Type 63/72/93/96/99, Volcano mine system, VS-1.6/2.2/3.6, VS-AT4, YaM-5 box mine, YM-II/III mine.

Shaped charge/Misznay Schardin effect Antitank Mines:

Adrushy, ARGES, AT2, ATM 6/7/2000E, BAT/7, FFV 016/028, HAK-1, Hohl-Sprung, HPD-1/2/3, K441/442, Kasia 100/170, L14A1, KB-PTM, KRIZNA-D, M21/24, MC-71, MIACAH F1, MI AC Disp F1 Minotaur, MIFF, Mine Anti-Tank Non-detectable 1A/3A, MN-111/121/123, MPB, MSM MK2, MUSA/MUSPA, No 8 mine, Panzer stab 43, PARM 1/2, PD Mi-PK, PT Mi-D1, PT Mi-P, PT Mi-U, PTM-3, Pz Mi 88, SATM, SB-MV/1, SLAM, T-93, TM-72/83/89, TMK-2, TMRP-7, Type 84, UKA-63, VS-HCT/2/4, VS-SATM1 mine.

Full-width Antitank Mines:

Barmine, BAT/7, FFV 028 (Stridsvagnsmina 6), MSM MK2, Riegel mine 43, Riegel mine 44, V-3 (N5) mine, VS-HCT/HCT2/HCT4 mine.

Side-attack Antitank Mines:

Addermine, Anti-Transport, ARGES/MACPED, ATIS, ATM 6, ATM 7, AVC 100, AVC 195, FFV 018, L14A1, Kasia 100/170/200, M24, MON-100/200, MPB, PARM 1/2, PD Mi-PK, PMN-150/250, TEMP 30, TM-83, wide area M93 HORNET mine.