37 mm Gun M1

The 37mm Gun M1 was an anti-aircraft autocannon developed in the United States. It was used by the US Army in World War II.

37mm Gun M1A2 on Carriage M3
37mm antiaircraft gun in the Solomon Islands.
TypeAnti-aircraft autocannon
Place of originUSA
Service history
Used byUSA
WarsWorld War II
Production history
DesignerJohn M. Browning and the Colt company
Produced1939–?
No. built7,278
Specifications
Mass2,780 kg (6,130 lb)
Barrel lengthbore: 2 m (6.56 ft) / 54 calibers
Width1.7 m (5 ft 7 in)
Height1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]

ShellFixed QF 37×223mmSR
Shell weight.6 kg (1 lb 5 oz)
Caliber37 mm (1.45 in)
Breechvertical block
Carriagefour-wheeled trailer
Elevation-5° to + 90°
Traverse360°[1]
Rate of fire120 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity792 m/s (2,598 ft/s)
Effective firing range3,200 m (3,499 yds)
Maximum firing range8,275 m (9,049 yds)[1]

In addition to the towed variant, the gun was mounted, with two M2 machine guns, on the M2/M3 half-track, resulting in the T28/T28E1/M15/M15A1 series of multiple gun motor carriages.

In early World War II, each Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Auto-Weapons battalion was authorized a total of thirty-two 37 mm guns in its four firing batteries, plus other weapons.[2]

During World War II the 37 mm gun M1 was deployed in coast defense Anti-Motor Torpedo Boat Batteries (AMTB) alongside 90 mm guns, usually four 90 mm and two 37 mm guns per battery. Some AMTB batteries consisted of four 37 mm guns, but most sources have little information on these batteries. In the later part of the war the 37 mm gun was typically replaced by the 40 mm Bofors gun M1.[3]

Components

Two gun units were coupled to the M5 gun director using the M1 remote control system. The system was powered by the M5 generating unit. If the remote system was inoperative the M5 sighting system was used.

Ammunition

The M1 utilized fixed ammunition. Projectiles were fitted with a 37×223mmSR cartridge case.

Available ammunition
Type Model Weight (round/projectile) Filler Muzzle velocity Range horizontal/vertical[4]
APC-T APC-T M59A1 Shot 1.44/0.87 kg
(3.17/1.91 lbs)
- 625 m/s
(2,050 ft/s)
5,290/3,660 m
(17,355/12,007 ft)
HE-T HE-T SD M54 Shell 1.21/0.61 kg
(2.66/1.34 lbs)
792 m/s
(2,598 ft/s)
8,275/5,760 m
(27,149/18,897 ft)
Armor penetration table
Ammunition / Distance 457 m
(499 yds)
914 m
(999 yds)
1,371 m
(1,499 yds)
1,828 m
(1,999 yds)
APC-T M59A1 Shot (homogeneous armor, meet angle 30°) 23 mm
(.90 in)
18 mm
(.70 in)
15 mm
(.59 in)
13 mm
(.51 in)
APC-T M59A1 Shot (face-hardened armor, meet angle 30°) 25 mm
(.98 in)
18 mm
(.70 in)
15 mm
(.59 in)
13 mm
(.51 in)
Different methods of armor penetration measurement were used in different countries / periods. Therefore, direct comparison is often impossible.

Variants

  • The 37 mm M9 autocannon was a derivative of the M1A2 anti-aircraft gun. It had a 74-inch barrel, weighed 405 pounds (the barrel alone weighing 120 pounds), had a muzzle velocity of 3,000 feet per second, and had a rate of fire of 150 rounds per minute. It was used on PT boats around 1944 in the Pacific theater during World War II, replacing the M4 autocannon.

Comparison of anti-aircraft guns

Country Gun Model RPM Projectile Weight Weight of fire
 United States 37 mm Gun M1 120 .87 kg (1.9 lb) 104.4 kg (230 lb)
 Nazi Germany 3.7 cm SK C/30 30 .74 kg (1.6 lb)[5] 22.2 kg (49 lb)
 France Canon de 37 mm Modèle 1925 15-21 .72 kg (1.6 lb)[6] 10.8–15.12 kg (23.8–33.3 lb)
 Italy Cannone-Mitragliera da 37/54 (Breda) 60-120 .82 kg (1.8 lb)[7] 49.2–98.4 kg (108–217 lb)
 Nazi Germany 3.7 cm Flak 18/36/37/43 150 .64 kg (1.4 lb)[8] 96 kg (212 lb)
 Soviet Union 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K) 80[9] .73 kg (1.6 lb)[10] 58.4 kg (129 lb)
 United Kingdom QF 2-pounder naval gun 115 .91 kg (2.0 lb)[11] 104.6 kg (231 lb)
 Sweden Bofors 40 mm gun 120 .9 kg (2.0 lb)[12] 108 kg (238 lb)

See also

Notes

  1. Chamberlain, Peter (1975). Anti-aircraft guns. Gander, Terry. New York: Arco Pub. Co. p. 54. ISBN 0668038187. OCLC 2000222.
  2. "385th AAA Auto-Weapons Battalion website". Archived from the original on 2016-10-09. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  3. McGovern and Smith, p. 43
  4. Shell destroying tracer limited the range to about 3,200 m.
  5. DiGiulian, Tony. "Germany 3.7 cm/83 SK C/30 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  6. DiGiulian, Tony. "France 37 mm/50 (1.46") Model 1925 and CAIL Model 1933 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  7. DiGiulian, Tony. "Italy 37 mm/54 (1.5") Models 1932, 1938 and 1939 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  8. DiGiulian, Tony. "Germany 3.7 cm/57 (1.5") Flak M43 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  9. Foss, Christopher (1977). Jane's pocket book of towed artillery. New York: Collier. p. 27. ISBN 0020806000. OCLC 911907988.
  10. DiGiulian, Tony. "Russia / USSR 37 mm/67 (1.5") 70-K - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  11. DiGiulian, Tony. "United Kingdom / Britain 2-pdr QF Mark VIII - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  12. DiGiulian, Tony. "USA Bofors 40 mm/60 Model 1936 - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.

References

  • Hogg, Ian. Twentieth-Century Artillery. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2000. ISBN 0-7607-1994-2 Pg.106
  • Hogg, Ian V. (1998). Allied Artillery of World War Two. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire: Crowood Press. ISBN 1-86126-165-9.
  • Hunnicutt, R. P. (2001). Half-Track: A History of American Semi-Tracked Vehicles. Novato, CA: Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-742-7.
  • McGovern, Terence; Smith, B. W. (2006). American Coastal Defenses 1885-1950. New York: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-922-3.
  • TM 9-2300 standard artillery and fire control material. dated 1944
  • TM 9-235
  • TM 9-1235
  • SNL A-29
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