37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K)

Anti-aircraft gun
Autocannon 61-K at IDF/AF Museum, Chatzerim airbase, Israel.

The 37:mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K) (Russian: 37-мм автоматическая зенитная пушка образца 1939 года (61-К)) is a Soviet 37:mm calibre anti-aircraft gun developed during the late 1930s and used during World War II. The land-based version was replaced in Soviet service by the AZP S-60 during the 1950s. Guns of this type were successfully used throughout the Eastern Front against dive bombers and other low- and medium-altitude targets. It also had some usefulness against lightly armoured ground targets. Crews of the 37:mm AD guns shot down 14,657 Axis planes. The mean quantity of 37:mm ammunition to shoot down one enemy plane was 905 rounds.

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Development

The Soviet Navy purchased a number of Bofors 25:mm Model 1933 guns in 1935, trials of the weapon were successful and it was decided to develop a 45:mm version of the weapon designated the 49-K. The development under the guidance of leading Soviet designers M. N. Loginov, I. A. Lyamin and L. V. Lyuliev was successful, but the army thought that the 45:mm calibre was a little too large for an automatic field weapon. In January 1938 the Artillery Factory Number 8 in Sverdlovsk was ordered to develop a 37:mm weapon based on the same design. The task was fulfilled by the chief designer of the factory, Mikhail Loginov, and his assistant Lev Loktev. Firing trials of the new 61-K were conducted in October 1938.

Competitive firing trials were conducted in 1940 between the 61-K and the Bofors 40 mm/56. There were no substantial differences found between them.

61-K in Poznan citadel, Poland

Land version

The weapon was initially installed as a single-barrel weapon on a four-wheeled ZU-7 carriage, and was soo... ...read more

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