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Cannone-Mitragliera da 37/54 (Breda)
Type Anti-aircraft gun
Place of origin Italy
Service history
Used by  Kingdom of Italy
 Nazi Germany
Wars World War II
Production history
Manufacturer Breda
Produced 1932–45
Variants Modello 32, Modello 38, Modello 39, Modello RM39
Specifications
Weight 277 kg (611 lb) (Modello 38 without with mounting)
Length 3.28 m (10 ft 9 in)
Barrel length 1.998 m (6 ft 7 in) (L/54)

Shell Fixed
Shell weight 1.25–1.63 kg (2 lb 12 oz–3 lb 9 oz) (High-explosive shell)
Caliber 37 mm (1.5 in)
Action Gas operated
Elevation −10° to +90° (single mounts); −10° to +80° (twin mounts)
Traverse 360°
Rate of fire 60-90-120 rpm
Muzzle velocity 800 m/s (2,600 ft/s)
Effective range 4,000 m (4,400 yd)
Maximum range 7,800 m (8,500 yd)
Feed system Automatic

The Cannone-Mitragliera da 37/54 (Breda) was a 37 mm (1.5 in) automatic anti-aircraft gun produced by the Breda company in Italy.

It was used by both the Regia Marina and the Regio Esercito during World War II, with the former using it as the standard light anti-aircraft weapon on its battleships and cruisers. Nazi Germany used captured weapons after the surrender of Italy in 1943.

Design

The Model 1932 was water-cooled, but the subsequent Models 1938 and 1939 were air-cooled; the gun was fed by a flat magazine holding six rounds, but it was possible to load them one after the another to maintain a high rate of fire. It was possible to select alternate rates of fire, from 60 to 90 to 120 rpm. The twin Models 1932 and 1938 mountings were very heavy and required a strong supporting structure; the single Model 1939 (fitted on the Andrea Doria-class and Littorio-class battleships) was instead a single collapsible mount, which also had much less vibrations than its predecessors thanks to the addition of an equilibrator, and for this reason it was possible to fit it on small warships.

Performance

Although appreciated in the Regia Marina, overall this gun was of limited efficacy because of its gas-operated action (which reduced its rate of fire) and its substantial vibrations (due to their non-recoiling mounting) which impaired accuracy; instead the single collapsible model, which largely obviated to the latter issue, was seen as a definite improvement, while still being rather heavy and with its production being insufficient to satisfy the needs.[1][2]

References

Bibliography

  • Bagnasco, Erminio. Le armi delle navi italiane nella Seconda Guerra Mondiale. Parma, Albertelli, 1978 (2007 ed.) ISBN 88-87372-40-3
  • Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4. 
  • Gander, Terry and Chamberlain, Peter. Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939-1945. New York: Doubleday, 1979 ISBN 0-385-15090-3


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