The Solothurn S-18/100 20 mm anti-tank cannon was a German and Swiss anti-tank rifle used during the Second World War. It had a semi-automatic action in a bullpup configuration. As a result of its large, powerful ammunition, the gun had a tremendous recoil, and its size made portability difficult. The feed was either from a five or (more usually) ten-round magazine that was attached horizontally to the left side of the gun. The gun used 20×105mm belted-case ammunition which it shared with the S 18-350 aircraft cannon that was developed from the rifle. A Finnish source gives armour penetration of the gun (probably achieved with the Hungarian APHE-T round, since it was the only type used in Finland) as 20mm at a 60-degree angle at 100-metre distance, decreasing to 16mm at 500 metres. A variant of this design, the Solothurn-Arsenal, was manufactured without license in Estonia before WW2; however only 20 were produced prior to Soviet occupation.
|Solothurn S-18/100 20 mm anti-tank cannon|
Hungarian soldier with the Solothurn S-18/100
|Type||Large caliber rifle, anti-materiel rifle|
|Place of origin||Nazi Germany|
|Used by||See Users|
World War II
|Variants||Solothurn S-18/1000, Solothurn S-18/1100, Solothurn-Arsenal|
|Mass||45 kg without magazine|
|Muzzle velocity||735 m/s with a Hungarian APHE-T round|
|Feed system||10-round detachable box magazine|
In March 1940, with funds collected in Switzerland to help the Finnish war effort in the Winter War, Finland bought twelve S 18-154 anti-tank rifles from Solothurn, though the purchaser was nominally the Swiss army. The weapons arrived into Finland during the spring after the war had ended, but they were later used in the Continuation War. However, the guns were soon found to be obsolete in their intended role. Various models of the S-18 series, including the Solothurn S-18/1000 and the Solothurn S-18/1100 were also used by Switzerland, the Kingdom of Hungary, Nazi Germany, the Kingdom of Italy, Kingdom of Romania, and the Netherlands.
The Solothurn firearms company was owned by the German firm Rheinmetall, and used the Swiss company to manufacture arms which were prohibited for manufacture by any German firm, to get around arms limitations imposed upon them at the end of the First World War.
Bulgaria - 308 commanded in 1936 Estonia: 4 bought in 1936 for testing, reverse-engineered as Solothurn-Arsenal Finland: 12 S-18/154 Germany: some for trials Japan: 1 S-18/100 bought in 1936 for comparison with type 97 automatic cannon Hungary: Produced under license as 36M 20mm Nehézpuska. Used on 38M Toldi and 39M Csaba Italy: some for trials in 1934 Netherlands: 6 for trials in 1937 Switzerland: some for trials United States: 2 S-18/100 purchased in 1939 for trials at Aberdeen Proving Ground Romania: from 1942 as anti-material rifles
- Zaloga 2018, p. 23.
- Казазян, Агоп. Противотанковите пушки в българската войска, Военноисторически сборник, кн. 2, 2005, с. 52-53. (Kazazian, Agop. Anti-tank Rifles in Bulgarian Army, Military Historical Collection, 2005, vol. 2, p.52-53.) Archived 2008-07-03 at the Wayback Machine
- 20 mm Solothurn gun during the testings. 1936. National Archives of Estonia
- "AT-RIFLES PART 2: Foreign designs". Jaeger Platoon. JTV.
- Zaloga 2018, p. 22.
- Zaloga 2018, p. 29.
- Zaloga 2018, p. 27.
- Zaloga 2018, p. 54.