SWEDISH BOFORS GUN AND THE DREADED 88 CM CANON

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Mark V
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Post by Mark V » 07 Jun 2003 13:43

My 2 cents on this "88" issue:

To my knowledge 8.8cm FlaK 18 wasn't developed in Sweden, instead -

- Bofors developed 75/76mm m/-29 AA-gun with some German designers participating to development process, and/or Swedes and Germans just shared the information according to agreement between these two companies...

... and from this Swedish gun Germans developed 8.8cm FlaK 18.

Here is a pic of 76mm variant of Bofors m/-29. Similarity to later German (and Soviet !!) weapons is obvious:

http://www.ankkurinvarsi.net/jaeger/76ItK29B_1.JPG

Take for example Bofors 25/40mm AA-gun designs - they didn't appeared from vacuum. There is clear technical relationship between German late-WW1 autocannon designs and between-wars Bofors designs. 75/76/88 AA-guns is just another example. Global companies, which operate all-around world is not a invention of modern times - Krupp was truly a one already in very early 20th century...

As for the connections between Krupp and Bofors - they existed. It is hard to get definite information (and anything written in paper - like contracts) because Germans had learned hard lesson during WW1 when their assets were confiscated all-around world, not forgetting also the strict limitations they had because Versailles-treaty. They learned to camouflage their foreign assets - and Krupp was not the only company using similar methods.

Technical information was shared between these two companies, that is for sure. It doesn't make too much difference which designer worked where...

Regards, Mark V

Mark V
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Post by Mark V » 07 Jun 2003 14:10

Little addition:

Krupp was by no means the only German company operating in Sweden, or making co-operation with some Swedish company. Our dear neighbours have always understood that good business is good business. Short list of biggest companies (forgive me if i make mistakes - this is straight from memory - and not a nearly complete list):

- Bosch
- Siemens
- Daimler-Benz
- VKF
- Junkers
- Heinkel

... and at least following Swedish companies operated in Germany, or had very close ties with their German co-operation partners:

- SKF
- Bofors
- SAAB
- Alfa-Laval
- ASEA
- Götaverken
- AGA

Nothing bad about above. It is just natural that neighbouring countries have such ties.

Mark V

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 07 Jun 2003 14:29

I haven`t found much about the 88 in my new book yet. It`s over 700 pages and no photos!!!

So far I have seen this:
In 1918, Rausenberger worked on a 88mm quick fireing gun for the navy. In 1927, the plans were changed and the Gun was to be used as airdefence. The constructors also saw the potential of the 88 as a tank gun.


Erik

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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 07 Jun 2003 18:05

Could anyone please give numbers on the production of Bofors guns?

1. How many Bofors guns were manufactured 1930-1945
- in Sweden (how large a share for domestic use, how much for export?)
- elsewhere in the world (in which countries?) under license

2. During the WWII, where was the Swedish-made export production of Bofors guns delivered? Any numbers?

Cheers,
Hanski

John T
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Post by John T » 07 Jun 2003 22:46

Erik E wrote:Hello John!

I have been reading a few pages from "Krupp: en vapendynasti 1587-1968". As far as I can see, William Manchester has a different view on this, than Steckzén.

Hello Eric
Surprise :o


Erik E wrote:Here is some info from page 267 in the book:

Allready in 1921 Gustav Krupp took his first shot at the Versailles-agreement. He had traded licences and patents for stocks in the Swedish company Bofors. By the end of the year, he had enough stocks to get control of the company.
In April 1921, chiefengineer Daur went to Sweden, he was to stay there for 10 years. Daur was no regular "office-guy", he was one of the best constructors in the Krupp system. By the end of the year, Bofors made their first "75mm Bergkanon L/20" This gun was designed in Essen in ww1.
The first contracts for the new weapons, was Denmark and Netherlands.

A few years later, the progress in Bofors is so good that Krupp decides to send one of his most trusted men to Sweden, Karl Pfirch. In 1927, he has the title "Chief of Krupp`s weapon industries", while working at Bofors!

(There are no numbers on how many Germans actually worked there, but this could give a clue)


A close cooperation indeed, and if the work was done by Swedes in close cooperation with Germans does not really contradicts steckzén except that it sound as there where two Germans during some years.
Two's a team, three's a crowd ? :lol:

Still Bofors did often choose different solutions when producing their guns, so testing German ideas could have indicated where not to go. :D
To learn from other misstakes is also to learn...

BTW. One Iranian quality controll officer stayed in Sweden so longh that he spoke passable Swedish.

Another interesting quote, this time from the wartrials agains Krupp:

German officers were allowed to visit Bofors to see and try the latest modern artillery. In this way, the connection Krupp-Bofors became very useful for the forming of a new wehrmacht artillery force


I looked up two German language books at the war archives printed by Bofors, documenting the trials visited by officers from 16 nations.
It is possible that the French and British did not accept Germans at their promotions/demonstrations but otherwise it might not been that special.
Sweden needed information on the great war and one good way was to exchange officers with the Reichwehr. Guderian is told to commanded his first tank in Strängnäs during the late twenties.

Erik E wrote:More interesting info, from Krupps memoars:
For 14 years, this Swedish factory produced our heavy artillery, tanks, machineguns, gasbombs and much more........


Hope this was of interest :wink:
Erik E


The last quote is the only one I can dispute.
Bofors did build some caterpillar style tractors but no tanks before the sixties (S-tank). OTOH Landsverk where also owned by German interests, but I have heard the name "Gute hoffnungs Hütte" but it might be a subsidary of Krupp.

And machineguns, nope unless 25mm AA-guns are considered heavy machinegun. (actually what their branded in RSwN)

Thanks for looking it up.

/John T.

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Post by Mark V » 07 Jun 2003 23:19

Hanski,

In site http://www.ankkurinvarsi.net/jaeger/AA_GUNS2.htm is some info about issues you asked (assuming you ment 40mm gun).

I'm too lazy to make summary... :)

Mark V

John T
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Post by John T » 07 Jun 2003 23:19

hmononen wrote:Could anyone please give numbers on the production of Bofors guns?

1. How many Bofors guns were manufactured 1930-1945
- in Sweden (how large a share for domestic use, how much for export?)
- elsewhere in the world (in which countries?) under license

2. During the WWII, where was the Swedish-made export production of Bofors guns delivered? Any numbers?

Cheers,
Hanski


1. -In Sweden aprox 1000 40mm guns and a unknown extra barrels
- Elsewhere: Belgium ,Britain, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Norway,Poland, Czeckoslovakia, Hungary and Austria between 7 and 10 thousand.
-USA aprox 100 000 guns and 150 000 extra barrels
from Fransson, "Bofors 350 år"


2.
Very simple answer Sweden sold weapons to neutral states that was not in war, some guns where delivered to Portugal in 1941 IIRC.
But no greater numbers.
A number of Dutch guns where keept in Sweden and evenly divided between Sweden and one other country...

The ONLY weapons sold/given to a country in war where transfered to the country who had 9 Bofors 40mm guns in September 1939 and needed more in December. :)


Cheers
/John T.

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 07 Jun 2003 23:38

it sound as there where two Germans during some years


Only two mentioned by name!
I doubt the Swedish government would make new laws becouse of two persons........

The book also states that Krupp owned enough stocks to get complete control over Bofors. In my eyes, this is more than a cooperation.......

My conclution so far is:

Krupp had a small "team" of constructors at Bofors in the 20`s.
Their job was not to supply the German army, but keep up to date in the developements of new weapons.

As for the 88, I think it was developed in Germany, but researched/improwed in Sweden. The similarities between the 88 Flak18 , and the 75mm posted here, must be more than a coincident.........

Erik E

John T
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Post by John T » 08 Jun 2003 00:32

Erik E wrote:
it sound as there where two Germans during some years


Only two mentioned by name!
I doubt the Swedish government would make new laws becouse of two persons........

The book also states that Krupp owned enough stocks to get complete control over Bofors. In my eyes, this is more than a cooperation.......

If they where mentioned by name then the issue was of such importance that I can pressume that the author would have added "among others" or something similar if there where others?
[Admittedly, we are both out on a limbe here :) ]

"complete control" of the stock where the reason Swedish government made the law.

But there is one thing that can most easily be explained by an analogy:
Microsoft bought a lot of small companies with good ideas, this does not indicate that the flow of intelectual property has been from Microsoft to the small companies. 8)


Regarding Krupp and Bofors, all you envious scandinavian smaller brothers (I'm pushed from both east and west) tries to indicate that Krupp did the thinking and the Swedes did only the footwork. :cry:

the 88 - 75 connection is undeniable but I have not seen any explanation to why the Bofors 40 was developed from German 37mm when the two guns operates by different methods.



My conclution so far is:

Krupp had a small "team" of constructors at Bofors in the 20`s.
Their job was not to supply the German army, but keep up to date in the developements of new weapons.

As for the 88, I think it was developed in Germany, but researched/improwed in Sweden. The similarities between the 88 Flak18 , and the 75mm posted here, must be more than a coincident.........

Erik E


Yes, of course Bofors was used for development works.

Don't think I have that much more to add to this.

Good Night
/John T.

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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 08 Jun 2003 08:00

John T wrote:
1. -In Sweden aprox 1000 40mm guns and a unknown extra barrels
- Elsewhere: Belgium ,Britain, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Norway,Poland, Czeckoslovakia, Hungary and Austria between 7 and 10 thousand.
-USA aprox 100 000 guns and 150 000 extra barrels
from Fransson, "Bofors 350 år"



The excellent site http://www.ankkurinvarsi.net/jaeger/AA_GUNS2.htm states:

Bofors M/36 buying countries of 1930’s included: Argentina, Belgium, China, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Norway, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, UK, Thailand and Yugoslavia. As production line of Bofors factory clearly was unable to satisfy such demand the company made deals for license production with Belgium, Finland, France, Hungary, Norway, Poland, UK and USA. During WW2 both Germany and Japan used captured 40-mm Bofors AA-guns and Soviet 37-mm AA-gun M/39 was clearly based to Bofors design. Over 100,000 40-mm Bofors AA-guns were manufactured world- wide by end of WW2.

Regarding Swedish economic history, would it then be correct to say that Bofors alone was the most important single Swedish company during WWII in making profitable export trade? The royalties from foreign licenses must have been huge.

What about the Soviets -- did they buy a license from Bofors?


Cheers,
Hanski

John T
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Post by John T » 08 Jun 2003 10:30

hmononen wrote:
The excellent site http://www.ankkurinvarsi.net/jaeger/AA_GUNS2.htm states:

Bofors M/36 buying countries of 1930’s included: Argentina, Belgium, China, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Norway, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, UK, Thailand and Yugoslavia. As production line of Bofors factory clearly was unable to satisfy such demand the company made deals for license production with Belgium, Finland, France, Hungary, Norway, Poland, UK and USA. During WW2 both Germany and Japan used captured 40-mm Bofors AA-guns and Soviet 37-mm AA-gun M/39 was clearly based to Bofors design. Over 100,000 40-mm Bofors AA-guns were manufactured world- wide by end of WW2.


Yes, I always start at Jarkos site regarding finnish arms.

Note that most countries bought just a few guns, only UK and Nederlands did buy any substantial quantities from Bofors.
Most of the listed countries bought between 4 and 12 guns.
I think the total for China, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Norway, Latvia,Portugal, Thailand and Yugoslavia where less than one hundred guns.(deliviered from Bofors)
And most of the licencees stopped production when occupied by Germany.
AFAIK Austria and Norway did still build them for Luftwaffe, but I do not know if they paid anything to Bofors.


hmononen wrote:
Regarding Swedish economic history, would it then be correct to say that Bofors alone was the most important single Swedish company during WWII in making profitable export trade? The royalties from foreign licenses must have been huge.

What about the Soviets -- did they buy a license from Bofors?


Cheers,
Hanski

Not at all, Only UK paid their licence and the licence cost was not that high for large volumes.
Iron ore, wood, pulp and ball bearings was the big exports 1939-45.
Bofors Export sales 40-41 where based on gunpowder for Finland.

United States of America did not pay one cent
US obtained their drawings from UK.
Pure piracy up to 1958 when they payed Bofors 5 million USD for lost revenues for those weapons that US sold to third party after the war.
The rest was concidered force majure.

The Soviets bought a handfull guns and started negotiating about liceproduction late thirties, when they suddenly broke of negotiations...
Spells [SUCKER] - This is something Bofors do not like to talk about...



Cheers
/John T.

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Post by map358 » 11 Jun 2003 22:52

Let's make a few things clear:

Manchester does not mention any team of German engineers working at Bofors. He mentions one engineer, Daur. Julius Daur is also mentioned by Steckzén as one of three or four engineers from Krupp employed by, or assigned to, Bofors.

Manchester does not say that Daur was "one of the best constructors in the Krupp system". Instead he emphasise that Daur was no design engineer but a production or manufacturing engineer.
Steckzén refers to Daur as a liaison engineer.

Manchester does not say that Karl Pfirch was working at Bofors. He says that Pfirch was sent to Scandinavia, but not when and not for how long, and he does not say where in Scandinavia he went.

As John pointed out, Bofors had not yet manufactured neither tanks nor machine guns at this time. That passage in Manchesters book is quite ridiculous for several reasons, it's also a obvious lie.

Manchester also got most of the timeframes all wrong.

Lots of foreign officers from all over the world visited Bofors during the 1920's and the 1930's. That was the only way a small company like Bofors, without political back-up, could do business - make good guns at low prices and make sure to demonstrate them to prospective customers.

Krupp never owned any shares in Bofors, as this would violate the articles of Bofors. However in 1920 Krupp acquired control of 25% of the Bofors shares via a holding company. In 1926 Krupp's holding company increased its ownership in Bofors to 33% of the shares. These facts have never been kept a secret and Manchester have misunderstood the whole event.
Having control of 25%, and later 33%, of the Bofors shares obviously didn't give Krupp control of the Swedish company.
In his memoirs Hans Th. Holm, director of Bofors 1920-32, writes that he personally informed the Swedish government prior to signing the agreement with Krupp that gave the German company control of 25% of the Bofors shares. So it was no secret and it was definitely not a violation of the Versailles Treaty.



There is no doubt that a close co-operation between Bofors and Krupp existed in the early 1920´s. But this fact does not prove, nor even imply, that a Krupp team spent 10 years at Bofors.
Holm, Fransson and Steckzén are very clear and very consistent about which different types of ordnance that were designed by Krupp and which were designed by Bofors.

Neither the 75mm Bofors m/30 AAA-gun nor the 40mm Bofors M/32 AA-gun had anything to do with Krupp except that Krupp and Bofors engineers could study each others patents - and that the m/30 incorporated a pneumatic recuperator based on a Krupp design and a leveling system similar to that later found on the German 88mm Flak 18.


MAP

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 15 Jun 2003 19:59

Hallo Map!

No matter what I post here, you either say that you can`t take it serious, or that it is ridiculous.......
You are also posting lots of info without sources, so why should we trust in you, insted of our own books?

I never said that Manchester mentioned a team. You say that there were 3 or 4 engineers working at Bofors. Why are you so afraid of calling that a team?

TEAM = A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose


Manchester does not say that Karl Pfirch was working at Bofors. He says that Pfirch was sent to Scandinavia,


The book says he was sent to monitor the production at Bofors. Do you really think he did that from Norway or Finland?

Erik

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 16 Jun 2003 23:51

Main Entry: 1team
Pronunciation: 'tEm
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English teme, from Old English tEam offspring, lineage, group of draft animals; akin to Old High German zoum rein, Old English tEon to draw, pull -- more at TOW
Date: before 12th century
1 a : two or more draft animals harnessed to the same vehicle or implement; also : these with their harness and attached vehicle b : a draft animal often with harness and vehicle
2 obsolete : LINEAGE, RACE
3 : a group of animals: as a : a brood especially of young pigs or ducks b : a matched group of animals for exhibition
4 : a number of persons associated together in work or activity: as a : a group on one side (as in football or a debate) b : CREW, GANG

http://www.webster.com

So, as per definition, a team is any number of persons, ranging from one and above. Thus, Erik is correct when saying that three-four persons is in deed a team!

Christian

map358
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Post by map358 » 20 Jun 2003 14:43

Erik E wrote:No matter what I post here, you either say that you can`t take it serious, or that it is ridiculous.......


I have said no such thing.
You ought to read my posts more carefully.

Erik E wrote:You are also posting lots of info without sources,


My argumentation rely on three writers;
Stig A. Fransson : Bofors 350 år, published in Stockholm 1996
Birger Steckzén : Bofors :en kanonindustris historia, published in Stockholm, 1946.
Hans Th. Holm : Några minnesanteckningar från mina Bofors-år, published in Stockholm 1956.

So far the only writer, that I'm aware of, who claims that a team of gun designers from Krupp worked at Bofors, is Hogg. Where Hogg got his opinion from we don't know, but as indicated by the menny errors about Bofors in Twentieth-century artillery Hogg does not know that much about this company nor its products.
Manchester does not mention such a team. In fact he mentions no gun designers at all on the two page where the connections between Krupp and Bofors are mentioned.


Erik E wrote:The book says he was sent to monitor the production at Bofors. Do you really think he did that from Norway or Finland?


The fact is that Manchester does not say that Karl Pfirsch went to Bofors or that he was sent to Scandinavia to monitor the production at Bofors. What he says is that Karl Pfirsch was a trusted member of the Krupp board and that he was sent to Scandinavia to monitor the connections between Krupp and Bofors. He also says that in 1927 Pfirsch was the head of War Materials at Krupp. That's all he says - nothing more. He does not mention when Pfirsch went to Scandinavia, where in Scandinavia he went or how long he stayed. He definitely does not say that Pfirsch was working at Bofors in 1927. If he knew that Pfirsch went to Bofors he should have said so.

As I explained in my previous post (based on Fransson, Steckzén and Holm) Krupp did not have control of Bofors. Consequently they simply cold not send anyone to monitor anything at Bofors.

MAP

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