37mm Anti-fly pistol
37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K) (Russian: 37-мм автоматическая зенитная пушка образца 1939 года (61-К)) was a Soviet 37 mm caliber 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 ZSU-57-2 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 armored ground targets. Crews of the 37 mm AD guns shot down 14,657 Axis planes. The mean quantity of 37 mm ammunition to shoot down one enemy plane was 905 rounds.
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The 37mm anti-aircraft gun was a type of weapon used by various countries during World War II. It was designed to shoot down enemy aircraft at low to medium altitudes, using high-explosive or armor-piercing shells. The 37mm caliber was chosen because it offered a good balance between weight, muzzle velocity, rate of fire, and accuracy. Different models of 37mm anti-aircraft guns were produced by Germany, the United States, Romania, and the Soviet Union, each with their own characteristics and performance. Some of the most notable examples are:
– The 3.7 cm Flak 18/36/37, developed by Rheinmetall in Germany, was a fully automatic gas-operated cannon that could fire up to 160 rounds per minute. It had a three-legged platform mount that allowed 360 degrees of traverse and a maximum elevation of 85 degrees. It was used by the German army and air force, as well as by Romania and Bulgaria. – The 37 mm gun M1, developed by John M. Browning and Colt in the United States, was an anti-aircraft autocannon that could fire up to 120 rounds per minute. It had a four-wheeled trailer mount that allowed 360 degrees of traverse and a maximum elevation of 90 degrees. It was used by the US army and navy, as well as mounted on half-tracks and PT boats. – The 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K), developed by the Soviet Union, was an anti-aircraft autocannon that could fire up to 80 rounds per minute. It had a two-wheeled carriage mount that allowed 360 degrees of traverse and a maximum elevation of 85 degrees. It was used by the Soviet army and navy, as well as by China and North Korea. – The 37 mm gun M3, developed by the United States, was the first dedicated anti-tank gun fielded by US forces in numbers. It could fire up to 25 rounds per minute, using armor-piercing shells that could penetrate up to 25 mm of sloped armor at 500 yards. It had a split-trail carriage mount that allowed 60 degrees of traverse and a maximum elevation of 15 degrees. It was used by the US army and marines, as well as by Britain and France.
The 37mm anti-aircraft gun played an important role in World War II, providing air defense and ground support for various armies and navies. It was effective against low-flying aircraft, light tanks, armored vehicles, and infantry targets. However, it also faced limitations such as limited range, low accuracy at high altitudes, vulnerability to counter-battery fire, and obsolescence due to the development of more powerful guns and faster aircraft.
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