40 MM AUTOMATIC GUN, M1 ANTI-AIRCRAFT
Early in the war, the standard light anti-aircraft gun was the 37 mm
automatic gun, M42. Tests using a 40 mm anti-aircraft gun manufactured
by Bofors of Sweden proved successful. The Bofors 40 mm was developed
in the early 1930's and saw action in the Spanish Civil War. It had an
international reputation as an effective weapon and was used by almost all the
combatants during the second world war. The Army and Navy cooperated
on the development of the gun. The Navy used the water cooled
version with two guns on a mount while the Army used the air cooled
version with one gun on a mount.
Depicted above is a view of the air cooled version mounted on a Chrysler
Licenses were secured
by the U.S. with Chrysler Corporation and Firestone manufacturing the gun.
The 40 mm gun was used extensively in the Pacific against Japanese aircraft.
By the time the gun became available in Europe, German air power was
significantly diminished resulting in a lesser anti-aircraft role.
The gun was refitted with finer traversing/elevation gearing and used against
ground targets such as light armor and fortifications. It also achieved
the honor of being one of the first anti-missile weapons in that it was
credited with destroying several V-1 inertially guided missiles.
Three gunners serviced the weapon. One would
operate the traversing mechanism, one would operate elevation and the third
would load and fire. Side stabilizers could be swung outboard of the
carriage and the entire vehicle raised on leveling jacks for accurate
ADDITIONAL TECHNICAL DATA 40 MM AUTOMATIC ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN, M1
Length............19 ft. 9.5 in.
Width..............6 ft. 0 in.
Height.............6 ft. 7.5 in.
Firing Rate........20-120 rounds per minute
Copyright 1995 Charles C. Roberts, Jr