Solothurn AT-rifles

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Solothurn AT-rifles

Post by Juha Tompuri » 24 Oct 2010 11:45

Finland had bought one Solothurn antitank-rifle for tests in August of 1939. Later in March of 1940 another 12 Solothurn at-rifles of sub-version S18-154 were bought, but arrangements needed for this deal to happen were very complicated. As part of Soviet-German pact Germany during Winter War tried to stop all armaments deliveries to Finland. As part of this policy it stopped all Finnish armaments deliveries though its own territory and the territory it controlled. Besides this it also used diplomatic pressure in some cases to stop armaments deals from Central-European countries to Finland. Rheinmetall controlled Solothurn and had specifically forbid it selling antitank rifles to any country without its approval - considering the situation getting this approval was more than unlikely. During Winter War Finland sent some representatives to buy weaponry, ammunition and other equipment for Finnish military from foreign countries. One of these representatives was director B. Grönblom, who arranged this deal. The deal was interesting to say the least, Finnish side of deal was Finnish embassy in Rome (Italy) and with the Swiss middleman Solothurn was lead to believe that the customer was Swiss Army. The weapons were delivered to Finland by ship after being transported to Italy. When the Solothurn at-rifles arrived to Finland in spring of 1940 Winter War had already ended. However, when Continuation War started in summer of 1941 they were issued and remained in frontline use until early 1944. At that time few were issued to coastal troops and the rest were warehoused. At least one of these antitank-rifles was lost during battles in Hanko / Hango Peninsula year 1941 and four in battles of Viipurilahti Bay in summer of 1944. Last remaining four S 18-154 antitank rifles were sold around 1959 - 1960 to Interarmco, which took them abroad.
http://www.jaegerplatoon.net/AT_RIFLES2.htm
JTV wrote:The dozen Solothurn antitank-rifles bought during the war were S 18-154 version, which was further development of S 18-100. Additional S 18-1100 prototype was bought in year 1942. It's unclear if S 18-1000 or S 18-1100 was ever issued to combat use during the war - they used 20 mm x 138B (Solothurn long) ammunition, while the dozen S 18-154 used 20 mm x 105B (Solothurn short).
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0#p1516380

Here ( Penti Palmu - Suomen Ilmatorjunnan Vaiheita 1925-1960) probably the sole S 18-1100?
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Re: Solothurn AT-rifles

Post by JTV » 24 Oct 2010 17:56

Juha Tompuri wrote: Here ( Penti Palmu - Suomen Ilmatorjunnan Vaiheita 1925-1960) probably the sole S 18-1100?
Yes, I would say that most likely that is the S 18-1100 mentioned earlier. Good work for spotting that photo, I have seen the photo earlier but didn't notice anything funny in it back then. Compare to poor quality photo on this page:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 1&start=15

Unlike the original caption claims, it most definitely is not L-39/44 VKT. Weapon mount looks also interesting, I don't remember seeing anything quite like that in Finnish use before - it has some sort of tube under the weapon possibly containing mechanism for reducing recoil (spring or hydraulic cylinder of some sort?). There was a version of 20 ItK/38 (2 cm Flak 38) with fixed (possibly naval) mount, 40 of which was also delivered to Finland but this obviously is not that one either.

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Re: Solothurn AT-rifles

Post by Laurance.Robinson » 08 Jan 2019 19:20

Sorry to bring back an old thread from the dead but I have a question.

Jaegerplatoon states
Finnish military had acquired one Solothurn S 18-1000 antitank-rifle for testing in August of 1939.
Is this confirmed? The S 18-1000 was in final stages of trials in 1939 and was only put into production in late '39/early '40. This doesn't mean that the Finns didn't acquire a S18-1000, just trying to clarify. If not, would it have come later on like the S 18-154's?

Thanks as always,

Laurance

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Re: Solothurn AT-rifles

Post by JTV » 09 Jan 2019 06:33

Laurance.Robinson wrote:
08 Jan 2019 19:20
Jaegerplatoon states
Finnish military had acquired one Solothurn S 18-1000 antitank-rifle for testing in August of 1939.
Is this confirmed? The S 18-1000 was in final stages of trials in 1939 and was only put into production in late '39/early '40. This doesn't mean that the Finns didn't acquire a S18-1000, just trying to clarify. If not, would it have come later on like the S 18-154's?
The source that I have about that single S 18-1000 is from page 189 of 20 mm Suomessa / 20 mm in Finland by Mika Pitkänen and Timo Simpanen, which says exactly what I have on the website.

The reference listed for that piece of information in Pitkänen's and Simpanen's book is Military Small Arms in Finland 1918 - 1988 part 3 page 272 by Palokangas, according which: "While trying to rapidly develop its antitank-capability just before Winter War Finnish Ministry of Defense acquired in August of 1939 from Solothurn factory in Switzerland one 20mm antitank-rifle S 18-1000. The weapon's serial number was 4 and it was flown in as air cargo just before starting of Winter War."

Jarkko

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Re: Solothurn AT-rifles

Post by Laurance.Robinson » 09 Jan 2019 06:42

JTV wrote:
09 Jan 2019 06:33
Laurance.Robinson wrote:
08 Jan 2019 19:20
Jaegerplatoon states
Finnish military had acquired one Solothurn S 18-1000 antitank-rifle for testing in August of 1939.
Is this confirmed? The S 18-1000 was in final stages of trials in 1939 and was only put into production in late '39/early '40. This doesn't mean that the Finns didn't acquire a S18-1000, just trying to clarify. If not, would it have come later on like the S 18-154's?
The source that I have about that single S 18-1000 is from page 189 of 20 mm Suomessa / 20 mm in Finland by Mika Pitkänen and Timo Simpanen, which says exactly what I have on the website.

The reference listed for that piece of information in Pitkänen's and Simpanen's book is Military Small Arms in Finland 1918 - 1988 part 3 page 272 by Palokangas, according which: "While trying to rapidly develop its antitank-capability just before Winter War Finnish Ministry of Defense acquired in August of 1939 from Solothurn factory in Switzerland one 20mm antitank-rifle S 18-1000. The weapon's serial number was 4 and it was flown in as air cargo just before starting of Winter War."

Jarkko
Thanks very much Jarkko,

Regards,

Laurance

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Re: Solothurn AT-rifles

Post by Mangrove » 11 Jan 2019 20:45

A page from S18-1100's Finnish field test report.
S18-1100.jpg
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Re: Solothurn AT-rifles

Post by veeteetee » 11 Jan 2019 21:01

See sa-kuva.fi 114564 and -5 for really good photos; adding a picture with all the URLdurlies required on this site is too much for my ICT skills :cry:

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Re: Solothurn AT-rifles

Post by Seppo Jyrkinen » 02 Feb 2019 13:12

20mm gun. Anti-tank and anti-aircraft location. Termola, Ohta, 20.10.1942.
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Re: Solothurn AT-rifles

Post by Seppo Jyrkinen » 02 Feb 2019 13:12

Lieutenant Paavolainen is checking 20mm gun. Termola, Ohta, 20.10.1942.
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