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Artillery and Anti Tank Guns


Improving artillery was seen as the quickest solution to create anti - tank capable weapon systems. Prior to World War II, few anti-tank guns boasted of calibres larger than 50 mm. One of the earliest post-war anti-tank gun designs was the 25mm Hotchkiss model from France. In Germany Rheinmetall commenced design of a 37 mm anti-tank gun in 1924 and the first guns were produced in 1928 as 3.7 cm Pak L/45, which were later adopted in Wehrmacht service as 3.7 cm Pak36.

The British Army introduced the (40 mm) Ordnance QF 2 pounder which was developed as a tank gun. The Soviet Red Army, after the Russian Civil War,also begun a search for an anti-tank gun, starting with a french Hotchkiss 37 mm L.33 tank gun, but soon upgraded this to a higher velocity L.45 Model 1935 while also making a licensed copy of the German 3.7 cm PaK 36.

As towed anti-tank guns grew in size and weight, they became less mobile and more cumbersome to manoeuvre, and required ever larger gun crews, who often had to wrestle the gun into position while under heavy artillery and/or tank fire. This gave impetus to the development of the self-propelled, lightly armoured 'tank destroyer'. The tank destroyer was usually based on the hull of existing tank designs, using either a gun integrated into the hull or a fully rotating turret much like that of a conventional tank.












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