French 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun

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YAN
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French 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun

Post by YAN » 25 Jun 2009 15:39

Hi, was it true that the French army never issued a HE for there 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun ?. if its right then the AFV mounted 47mm will also have no HE capabilties.
Thanks Yan.

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David Lehmann
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Re: French 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun

Post by David Lehmann » 25 Jun 2009 23:39

Hello,

There is no link between these 2 points, the 47mm SA34 and SA35 guns mounted in AFVs had HE shells.

47mm SA34 L/30
Used in the Renault D1, D2 and B1
Theoretical rate of fire : 15 rpm
Telescopic sight : 4x (L.671 sight, field of view 11.25°, V reticle, adjustable drum up to 1100m for the shells and 1600m for the coaxial MG)
Practical AT range : 400m

Ammunition :
Obus de rupture Mle1892G (APHE)
Caliber : 47x139R mm
Weight of projectile : 1.480 kg (50 g explosive)
Length of projectile : 181.5mm
V° = 450 m/s

Obus explosif type D (HE)
caliber : 47x139R mm
Weight of projectile : 1.250 kg
V° = 490 m/s

Obus explosif type B (steel) Mle1932 (HE)
caliber : 47x139R mm
Weight of projectile : 1.410 kg (142 g explosive)
Length of projectile : 183mm
V° = 480 m/s


47mm SA35 L/32
Used in the Renault ACG1, Renault D2, B1bis (turret gun) and Somua S35 tanks.
Theoretical rate of fire : 15 rpm (6 rpm in a B1bis turret in accurate aiming, could drop to 2-4 rpm in combat)
Telescopic sight :
• 4x (L.724 sight, field of view 11.25°, V and later + reticle, range drum up to 1500m for the AP shells and 1600m for the coaxial MG) for the APX1 turret
• 4x (L.762 sight, field of view 11.81°, + reticle, range drum up to 1500m for the AP shells and 1600m for the coaxial MG) for the APX4 turret
• There might be a L.731 sight for the APX1 CE turret (Somua S35) but there is no information about it at the moment.
• There might be a different scope in the APX2 turret (ACG1 light tank)? But since it is a cavalry tank it may eventually have the same one as for the Somua S35 tank.
Practical AT range : 800-1000m

Ammunition :

Obus de rupture Mle1935 (APC)
Caliber : 47x193R mm
Weight of projectile : 1.620 kg (sometimes 1.625 kg is indicated)
Length of projectile : 145mm (length of the case : 193mm and total length of the shell : 325mm)
V° = 660 m/s (sometimes 680 m/s is indicated)

Obus explosif Mle1932 (HE)
Caliber : 47x193R mm
Weight of projectile : 1.410 kg (142g explosive)
Length of projectile : 183mm
V° = 590 m/s


Canon de 47mm L/50 Mle1937 (SA37)
Caliber : 47x380R mm
Crew : 1 NCO + 5 men
Weight : 1,050 – 1,150kg (depending from type of wheels and carriage manufacturer)
Length : 3,95m (firing position) / 4.10m (moving configuration)
Width : 3.70m (firing position) / 1.62m (moving configuration)
Height : 1.21m (firing position) / 1.10m (moving configuration)
Weight : 300kg
Barrel length : 2,393m (1,90m rifling)
Rate of fire : 15-20 rpm
Traverse : 68° (1 wheel turn = 1°5 in traverse)
Elevation : -13° to +16.30° (1 wheel turn = 1°4 in elevation)
Telescopic sight : 4x (L.748 telescopic sight, field of view 10.13°, + reticle, adjustable drum up to 3,500m)
Emergency sight : 200 to 800m by increment of 200m
V° : 855 m/s
Practical AT range : 1,000m (maximum range of 6,500m)
Accuracy : 65 x 150cm at 1,600m and 41 x 63cm at 1,000m.
Penetration : 106mm/0° at 100m ; 89mm/0° at 500m ; 72mm/0° at 1,000m ; 57mm/0° at 1,000m [another source specifies hardened/cemented armor and gives 92.5mm/0° at 100m ; 77mm/0° at 500m].

Obus de rupture Mle1936 (APCBC) - in German service : Pzgr 178(f) -
Caliber : 47x380R mm
Weight of projectile : 1.726 kg (1.710 kg without ballistic cap)
Length of projectile : 192 mm (APC 144.5mm + BC 92mm, total length of the shell : 555.5mm)
V° = 855 m/s

Obus explosif Mle1932 M39 (HE) - in German service : Pzgr 181(f) -
Caliber : 47x380R mm
Weight of projectile : 1.410 kg (142g explosive)
V° = 590 m/s
Modified Mle1932 HE projectile, usually with a Gaba Mle1932 fuze.

The roots of this AT gun can be found in the 47mm Mle1885 naval gun, becoming semi-automatic with the 47mm Mle1902 naval gun. Thanks to its high velocity it is used as AT gun in the Maginot Line fortifications. At the beginning of the 1930's the weapon is modernized and gives birth to the 47mm Mle1934 AT gun used in the fortifications, to the 47mm Mle1934 and Mle1935 tank gun and to the 47mm Mle1937 AT gun. The latter is at first intended to equip the French infantry but the 25mm Mle1934 AT gun is judged as sufficient to deal with the armored threats and the 47mm Mle1937 AT gun is given to the artillery. The artillery is using 75mm Mle1897, 75mm Mle1897/33 and 75mm Mle1897 on Arbel platforms (360°) in an AT role. The gunners lack a gun that would be ready to fire very quickly, with a good traverse to follow its targets and that would also be small and lightweight enough to be hidden and moved easily by its crew.
The 47mm Mle1937 AT gun offers them these features and is the best AT gun on the battlefield in 1939-1940 (after the 8.8cm Flak18 AA gun used in AT role). The traverse and elevation as well as the speed and precision at which the gun can be aimed are excellent. These features combined to the outstanding accuracy offer a gun able to engage and penetrate all the German tanks at 1,000 meters. The gun is easier to move by the crew alone than a 75mm Mle1897 field gun and it is even able to fire from its towed/moving configuration.
The 47mm Mle1937 AT gun fires the 'obus de rupture Mle1936'. The Mle1936 APCBC shell has a magnesium ballistic cap screwed on the APC. It produces a white smoke during the flight of the projectile, replacing somewhat tracer shells. A burning and brilliant lightning is created at the impact point, helping also in the aiming and giving limited incendiary power to the projectile. The shell can of course be used without this additional cap.
The 'obus explosif Mle1932 M39' (HE) is very rare in May-June 1940, no production number could be found. It is not or rarely distributed to combat units. Shrapnel shells are tested between 1938 and 1940 but it does not result in industrial production. The AT guns rely therefore on the 8 LMGs of the battery for self-protection against enemy infantry. The sight is at the very beginning the L.711 also used on the 25mm AT guns. The L.740 is introduced in September 1939 and finally the L.748 is used from February 19, 1940 on.
The French Army has 339 of these 47mm Mle1937 AT guns in September 1939. This number increases to 1,094 in May 1940. The AT guns are available but the formation of new units remains intricate due to lack of adapted transport means and of specialized personnel. On the 10th of June 1940, a total of 1,268 of these guns has been delivered, including 45 in North Africa.
The 47mm Mle1937 AT guns are included in the divisional anti-tank batteries or BDAC (Batterie Divisionnaire Anti-Char) and other independent anti-tank batteries (BAC). Initially such a battery should have included 12 47mm AT guns but due to the lack of guns this number was reduced to 8 (in practice this number could vary from 6 to 12 but was indeed generally of 8). The Laffly W15T (only 75 available) and the older Citroën-Kégresse P17E are used to tow the 47mm Mle1937 AT gun if the battery is not horse drawn. In several batteries, basic trucks are also used. Many prototypes are being studied to develop a companion tractor for the 47mm AT gun: Somua MCJ, Latil M7 Z1, FAR TT3 or Saurer 6M.
The French Army has a very good and powerful 47mm AT gun in 1940 but it is hampered by the lack of dedicated all-terrain tractor and often by the lack of proper communication and well-established AT plan/doctrine at the divisional level (the guns are too often deployed on the foreposts and 1st lines instead of staying on the rears). Compared to the 25mm AT guns, the 47mm Mle1937 is much more powerful, has a low profile comparable to the smaller ones but without flash hider and due to the flame at each shot it is less discrete. The anti-tank batteries were often equipped late with the 47mm AT gun and were sometimes poorly trained (or only on the 75mm Mle1897 gun). Many batteries are horse-drawn (except in the motorized divisions and for several independent anti-tank batteries) and the guns once deployed can only be moved very hardly during combat. Despite these problems many of these batteries will spread havoc among German armored units. Many gunners were rather green but fought on the spot until their guns were overrun and crushed by German tracks.
The 10/24e BAC from Sous-Lieutenant Nayme was attached to the 36th infantry division on the Aisne river on 9-10 June 1940. The 36e DI faced the 10.ID, 26.ID, the SS-Polizei and elements of the 6.PzD. First they stopped all the German assaults in part thanks to their good supporting artillery and took about 800 German POWs, then they had to pull back because of the collapse of the 2nd infantry division facing 2 Panzerdivisionen more west. During the retreat, one 47mm Mle1937 gun of this battery destroyed successively 3 moving German tanks at 1,500m.
The 666e BAC (independent motorized battery) from Aspirant Lafontaine destroyed a German armored car at 1,800m at the first shot. The gun destroyed then 2 additional tanks from the same column before retreating.
On June 5-9, the 651e BAC (independent motorized battery) was attached to the 16e DI south of Amiens during the German assault led by the German XIV.Panzerkorps (9.PzD, 10.PzD, 13.ID (mot), 9.ID and "Grossdeutschland" regiment). Adjudant-Chef Lindeboom had 2 guns crushed under the tracks of German tanks but one gun had previously destroyed in flames 8 tanks at 500m and the second gun had destroyed 4 extra tanks. At Saint-Fuscien the gun from Delcambre knocked out 8 German tanks before being crushed. The 4th and last gun of the battery (Maréchal des Logis Blondel) moved during combat from a bad emplacement in Saint-Fuscien to Sains were Brigadier Varillon destroyed 5 German tanks. The AT gun is first damaged by bullets and shrapnels before being overrun and crushed. That makes a score of 25 Germans tanks for the battery but it has been destroyed during this last stand.
Even sailors manned the 47mm Mle1937 AT gun in June 1940 ! Indeed many guns were pressed into service very quickly in various units in June 1940. A sailors-gunners detachment from Toulon (5e dépôt des équipages de la flotte - all reservists) reached Voreppe on June 21 with 40 men and 8 47mm Mle1902 Navy guns. Each gun has 200 shells available and is manned by 1 NCO and 5 men. There is a photo from a blockade in Voreppe with such a gun being installed, the barrel being on the ground. At this blockage, the gunner Savin will destroy 1 German tank and kill several motorcyclists during the first German attack against Voreppe (22-23 June). The COA from Nîmes (Artillery Organisation Centre) sends also 2 47mm Mle1937 AT guns, which will also be manned by sailors. One of these guns will be deployed at Saint-Laurent-du-Pont in order to guard the northern exit towards Les Echelles. The COA from Nîmes will also send 8 47mm Mle1937 AT guns north of Lyon on 16 June and 3 additional AT guns to the front on the Drôme River.
When the Germans captured a French 47mm AT gun on the battlefield it was immediately used against its first owners. They were used against French tanks, especially the dreaded Renault B1bis. The German reports indicate that 1,226 shells were fired with these booty guns furing the battle of France. General Heinz Guderian himself in his memories ("Achtung Panzer !") indicates that he led the fire of a captured French 47mm AT gun against a Renault B1bis. The Germans finally captured 823 of these guns [4.7cm Pak181/182(f)] and produced also a dedicated 4.7cm APCR shell for this gun.

Regards,

David

YAN
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Re: French 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun

Post by YAN » 26 Jun 2009 11:13

Thanks David, was the 75mmL/36 mle 1897/33 AT Gun issued to the troops in any significant numbers and were they found mixed in with the 75mmL/36 mle 1897 Field Gun batterys.
Yan.

YAN
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Re: French 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun

Post by YAN » 26 Jun 2009 13:26

Hi David, when I looked at the info on the 47mm it says adjustable drum up to 1600m for HE shells, is this the furthest that that particular gun can fire ?.
If the 47mm SA-34 & 47mm SA-35 Guns can fire HE, was the Laffly S-15 TCC also supplied with HE shells ?, I have seen somewhere that the 47mm SA-37 had a HE range of 6.500m.
Finally have you got any AP / HE data on these other vehicle mounted guns please.
75mmL/9 Schneider Howitzer (FT-17 BS)
75mmL/17 SA-35 Gun or Howitzer (CHAR-b1 Bis)
75mmL/18 mle 1919 Mountain Gun (Laffly W-15T)
75mmL/29 APX 1897 Gun (FMC-2C)

And these Mounted AA Guns
75mmL/51 mle 1913/34
75mmL/36 mle 1917
75mmL/54 mle 17/34
They might have mounted on either, SPAA or L’ Autocanon De mle 1913/34 ?.

Thanks for your help David.
Yan.

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Re: French 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun

Post by ColinWright » 28 Feb 2013 09:12

David Lehmann wrote:...On the 10th of June 1940, a total of 1,268 of these guns has been delivered, including 45 in North Africa...
What happened to the 45 guns in North Africa?

Where they still available in November 1942, and if so, does anyone know where they were and what units they were assigned to?

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Re: French 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun

Post by YAN » 28 Feb 2013 11:41

Hi Colin, I have seen data regarding Free French Troops (Foreign Legion) at Bir Hakeim being equipped with 14 x 47mm APX Anti-Tank Guns.

Yan.

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Re: French 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun

Post by ColinWright » 28 Feb 2013 23:25

YAN wrote:Hi Colin, I have seen data regarding Free French Troops (Foreign Legion) at Bir Hakeim being equipped with 14 x 47mm APX Anti-Tank Guns.

Yan.
Inneresting.

I wonder where they came from? I have eight in use by Vichy troops in Syria -- and more may well have been flown in.

Could be from there -- but did it all come out of the 45? Some of it?

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Re: French 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun

Post by PT Dockyard » 14 Mar 2013 02:30

A sailors-gunners detachment from Toulon (5e dépôt des équipages de la flotte - all reservists) reached Voreppe on June 21 with 40 men and 8 47mm Mle1902 Navy guns. Each gun has 200 shells available and is manned by 1 NCO and 5 men. There is a photo from a blockade in Voreppe with such a gun being installed, the barrel being on the ground.
Any chance you could post this picture?


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Re: French 47mm mle 35 Anti-Tank Gun

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Dec 2016 03:06

Mr Leheman
In reference to the armor penetration of the SA37 shown below, & the SA35. What was the difference in penetration of the two weapons? Also was the ammunition interchangeable between the two? Thanks & Merci for any information you can provide.
Canon de 47mm L/50 Mle1937 (SA37)
Caliber : 47x380R mm
Crew : 1 NCO + 5 men
Weight : 1,050 – 1,150kg (depending from type of wheels and carriage manufacturer)
Length : 3,95m (firing position) / 4.10m (moving configuration)
Width : 3.70m (firing position) / 1.62m (moving configuration)
Height : 1.21m (firing position) / 1.10m (moving configuration)
Weight : 300kg
Barrel length : 2,393m (1,90m rifling)
Rate of fire : 15-20 rpm
Traverse : 68° (1 wheel turn = 1°5 in traverse)
Elevation : -13° to +16.30° (1 wheel turn = 1°4 in elevation)
Telescopic sight : 4x (L.748 telescopic sight, field of view 10.13°, + reticle, adjustable drum up to 3,500m)
Emergency sight : 200 to 800m by increment of 200m
V° : 855 m/s
Practical AT range : 1,000m (maximum range of 6,500m)
Accuracy : 65 x 150cm at 1,600m and 41 x 63cm at 1,000m.
Penetration : 106mm/0° at 100m ; 89mm/0° at 500m ; 72mm/0° at 1,000m ; 57mm/0° at 1,000m [another source specifies hardened/cemented armor and gives 92.5mm/0° at 100m ; 77mm/0° at 500m].

Obus de rupture Mle1936 (APCBC) - in German service : Pzgr 178(f) -
Caliber : 47x380R mm
Weight of projectile : 1.726 kg (1.710 kg without ballistic cap)
Length of projectile : 192 mm (APC 144.5mm + BC 92mm, total length of the shell : 555.5mm)
V° = 855 m/s

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Re: French 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun

Post by Paul_Atreides » 11 Dec 2016 11:22

David Lehmann wrote: Canon de 47mm L/50 Mle1937 (SA37)
V° : 855 m/s

Penetration : 106mm/0° at 100m ; 89mm/0° at 500m ; 72mm/0° at 1,000m ; 57mm/0° at 1,000m [another source specifies hardened/cemented armor and gives 92.5mm/0° at 100m ; 77mm/0° at 500m].
Is it too high figures?

To compare with

5 cm L/60 Pak 38

V° : 823 m/s

Penetration : 99mm/0° at 100m ; 78mm/0° at 500m ; 61mm/0° at 1,000m
There is no waste, there are reserves (Slogan of German Army in World Wars)

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Re: French 47mm mle 37 Anti-Tank Gun

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Dec 2016 15:14

To clarify; my question is aimed at the penetration capability of the SA35. I have seen secondary or third hand sources for his that seem very wrong. Am hoping for numbers derived from original French tests.

The SA37 was regarded as a capable weapon & the descriptions of its penetration capability seem reliable. So, I am curious about comparison between the SA35 & 37

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