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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/24/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Beer

    Czechoslovak interwar bits

    Long time no see... Here something more again. This time something about the anti-aircraft stuff. I have already mentioned that by the time of Munich there was still one battery of four ancient 8 cm light guns vz.5/8 converted into the AA role located in Prague. Also at least in theory the already mentioned 8 cm light guns vz.30 could have been used in AA role too (202 pieces available). This is the provisional AA installation of the gun vz. 5/8. And this is the vz.30 light gun showing its possible AA use. it's not very well known that Škoda Plzeň was one of the founders of the AA combat. Their first (truck-mounted!) 3,7 cm AA gun was built already in 1910 (it wasn't adopted by Austro-Hungarian army though). It's no suprise that most of the following guns are of Škoda origin. 9 cm AA gun vz.12/20 was originally designed for Austro-Hunngarian navy as a dual purpose gun but it was never adopted. Several guns were built and stored until they were needed in the war with Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919. All available guns (8 pieces) were moved to Slovakia along the Danube river to fight Hungarian river boats and maybe planes as well. At that time it was decided to restart the production of a modernized type. Twelve more guns were built. All 20 pieces were used up until the occupation and in 1943-1944 they were even taken by the Germans for the AA defence of the Third Reich. None of them is preserved. Shortly afterwards the Czechoslovak army started to get one of the best AA guns of that time the 8,35 cm gun vz.22. This gun could fire a 10 kg heavy round up to the altitude of 11 thousand meters. It was also one of the first designs intended for automotive traction. The carriage was pretty heavy because the MOD requested it to be able to fire directly from the transport carriage. Czechoslovakia had 144 pieces which served until the occupation and later with Slovak and German army. The Germans took 119 pieces which were used everywhere - for direct fire on the Maginotte line bunkers, defence of Baltic ports, later of Cherbourg, on the Atlantic wall etc. Several pieces were used by the Slovaks in the national uprising until it was defeated (they were used as a defence ofthe vital airfield Tri Duby near Zvolen (Sliač airbase today). Now again one sad story. The 7,5 cm light AA gun vz.37 was a pretty good design which due to the neverending MOD testing and overloaded manufacturer (and relocation of the Škoda production to much safer Dubnica nad Váhom in Slovakia) never made it to the army despite it was ordered already in March 1937 (108 pieces). Only one battery (used for testing) was in the army arsenal in the fall of 1938. This modern gun was intended for the defence of the field units. It was therefore very light (2,8 tons) and if it was actually finished it would alow also a direct fire which could have been deadly for every tank of that time (the sights for the direct fire were never produced despite being developed though). it could fire 25-30 11,5 kg heavy rounds per minute up to 9,2 km altitude. In the end the Germans let the production run and took the whole production intended for the Czechoslovak army. Another guns were produced for Romania, Finland, Yugoslavia (taken by Italy instead) and Netherlands (only 9 delivered before the occupation). the license was sold also to Soviet Union but it was likely never produced in any meaningfull numbers. The good thing about this gun is that one piece survived till today and you can find it in Lešany military muzeum near Prague. 7,65 cm AA gun vz.37 was the gun which was given a priority in production and which actually was fielded. It was intended for the territorial defence and was heavier than the previous type (3,8 tons). 96 pieces were ordered but actually only 60 were delivered before Munich. This gun was the most modern AA piece which actually made to the units. It could fire 22-28 14,6 kg heavy rounds per minute up to 11 thousand meters altitude. It was used in fully motorized units and the actual transport speed with its dedicated towing truck was up to 60 km/h. In the end again the Germans took all the production and also guns intended for Yugoslavia (only a part of the order was delivered). The Germans used them through the whole war. One piece with ser.no.1 is preserved in Lešany muzeum. In 1920' the Czechoslovak army tried several automatic small calibre AA guns but none of them was fielded. One of them, the Becker 2 cm gun is preserved in Prague but to be honest I don't remmeber whether it is in Kbely aircraft muzeum or in Žižkov muzeum (currently closed due to the reconstruction). The photo is not showing the Czechoslovak army despite the first helmets of the Czechoslovak army looked like the German WW1 ones. 2 cm heavy AA MG vz.36 was in fact the wonderful Oerlikon gun and the only foreign AA weapon which was fielded by the Czechoslovak army. It was used by the field units with 227 pieces actually fielded before Munich (another batch was never delivered due to the later situation). It was used with fully motorized units equipped with either Tatra 82 or Tatra 85 trucks. At that time it was a deadly weapon even for nearly all Wehrmacht tanks (except some 30 Pz.IV ausf.A only Pz.I and II were available for the war with Czechoslovakia and even the Pz.IV ausf.A had only 14,5 mm armor). As usually the Germans took the weapons (167 pieces, the rest stayed with Slovak army). It was pretty convenient for them because they actually already used this type (mainly in Luftwaffe as Oerlikon FF). One of these guns is preserved in Lešany muzeum. As a last weapon we have here the large calibre machine gun ZB-60 (Zbrojovka Brno). This 15x104 mm potent weapon was widely exported but never fielded by the Czechoslovak army (mainly due to neverending trials, teething issues and changes of the MOD requirements). First it was actually ordered by the fortification command which wanted to use it instead of the expensive anti-tank guns in a terrain which didn't allow use of heavier tanks. In the end the order was canceled. After that it was chosen as a weapon for tankette Škoda Š-I-P which was again never produced. Meanwhile the weapon was supplied to Great Britain, Yugoslavia, Spain and Iran. The Brits bought the license and produced this gun as Besa 15 mm for light tanks Mk.VI and Humber scout cars. After all the Czechoslovak MOD ordered the gun but it was too late and the whole order went directly to German navy. Alltogether some 1100-1200 guns were produced. Thanks to the very high muzzle speed up to 970 m/s this 55 kg heavy weapon (with the carriage) could also penetrate up to 28 mm of steel at 50 meters or 16 mm at 350 meters (i.e. at around 400 meters it could penetrate all Wehrmacht tanks available for Fall Grün). The rate of fire was 420 rounds per minute. And I forgot one thing... Czechoslovakia bought a license for the famous 40 mm Bofors guns in the fall of 1938 but the production was never realized. The deliveries shall have started in 1939...
  2. 1 point
    New Chinese assault amphibious APC. Screens stolen from Dambiev's LJ and otvaga. Looks like vehicle is armed with 8 unguided rockets and mine-clearing rocket with linear charge. It is also equipped with mine clearing knifes in front of the tracks.
  3. 1 point
    David Moyes

    Britons are in trouble

    Vickers Mk.7 Model From ebay - listed as a Challenger 2 prototype:
  4. 1 point
    It might be thin, but it is there. At least enough interest (maybe to serve as point of comparison) two request at least two demonstrations.
  5. 1 point
    BkktMkkt

    Shape of APFSDS's core

  6. 0 points
  7. 0 points
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