One British report of late 1944 even confirmed that they had, to that point, yet to confirm that even a single Allied tank had been knocked out by a magnetic mine, the far bigger threat being the German ‘bazooka’, the Panzerfaust. A post-war advert with an embellished background of the S18-1000. Stamp of the Italian Navy. An even larger version of the Hafthohlladung was made for the German Luftwaffe, known as the Panzerhandmine (P.H.M. The German Panzerfaust had, by the end of the war, reached a level of performance where a soldier could be up to 250 meters from a target and perforate up to 200 mm of armor. or 55% T.N.T. The role of Italian armor by German forces reveals the inadequacy of Italian military vehicles. The Italian Army had a less rigid system of standardisation in military transport than most other nations. The most famous, or infamous, Anti-Tank Grenade is probably the British ‘sticky bomb’. Some guns had the old wooden wheels with steel rims replaced in 1939 with wheels made from Elekton (Magnesium) fitting with rubber tyres as a weight saving and mobility enhancing measure. FWD Publishing, USA The expanding gasses released from the combustion of the 1.9 grams of ballistite in the blank cartridge were directed into the expansion chamber. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT The rifles were so large and heavy they would take at least one (often two) men to carry without being able to carry the usual accouterments of infantry work. 127 mm/64 LW. 50€ Add to cart View. The sticky versions had the advantage of being able to stick to any solid surface regardless of whether it was magnetic or not. Matev, K. (2014). Source:- Axishistory The Second World War witnessed the introduction of hundreds of cutting-edge and often bizarre weapons, many of … Analysis. Armor penetration was by means of the shaped charge and was found to be able to defeat up to 70mm of armor on a test target consisting of plates of 30 and 40mm thick armor. The bolt is then driven forward by the large spring, loading a fresh cartridge from the magazine. The smaller and lighter (to a point) the grenade, the further it can be thrown. ‘Dovunque’means cross-country (literally ‘go anywhere’). Italy received its first batch of 100 Solothurn S 18-1000s in late 1940 and immediately shipped them to their troops serving in the African desert. Source: TM9-1985-2 German Explosive Ordnance and Intelligence Bulletin May 1945. The first was a very simple spring loaded mechanism in the buttstock of the weapon cushioning the shoulder of the firer. The rate of fire was between 6 and 12 rounds per minute. The barrel was all steel and, unlike older guns which had to roll back to cope with recoil, this gun had a built-in recoil mechanism. However, the action did not stop there. ), or sometimes as the Haft-H (L) ‘Hafthohlladung-Luftwaffe’. 4. The rounded nose was a simple cap made from steel. The US Army had concluded in the mid-1930s that the .50 M2 Heavy Barrel (HB) machine gun would be adopted as the official light anti-tank gun and general vehicle-mounted machine gun. After Poland fell to the joint German-Soviet invasion, the world expected a bloodbath in the West between the Anglo-French alliance and Germany, but outside a few skirmishes on the border nothing occurred for eight months in what became known as the ‘Phoney War’. Grenades, small explosive devices, were useful but were primarily to spray fragments over an area to target infantry. Hundreds of massive weapons were manufactured by the United States, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, the USSR, and other countries. Carlo Bergamini Class. Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator. & Sheffield, O. A select fire version was produced in 1942, designated the S 18-1100 ‘Universalwaffe’ (universal weapon) and was sold with a specialized AA mount (SO 11) to be able to engage aircraft, as well as the SO 9 carriage for use against AFVs. With the heavy deployment of shaped charges and rocket-propelled grenades in 1943, the infantry now had a more effective and lightweight anti-tank weapon that was more viable than the ATRs of the previous few years. Not many, a few hundred, of these were produced until production was stopped at the end of 1942/early 1943. An S 18-1000 mounted on an Sd.Kfz. Work on a gun to meet the extreme needs of fighting in mountainous terrain began in Italy as far back as 1902 at the Turin Arsenal. Helion and Company. Some of the weapons developed by the Home Guard in Great Britain in the Second World War, like the Northover projector, are good examples of this. Modern Weapons. After the war, hundreds of S 18-1000s were put into the lucrative US gun market where they were sold off to gun collectors and enthusiasts. (1975). Unlike both of them though, Japan was successful. Source: TM9-1985-4. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Reminiscent in shape to a turtle with four magnets sticking out like feet and the detonator looking like the head, this canvas-covered circular mine was a potent threat to Allied tanks in the Pacific theater of operations. The gun was still in service after the September 1943 armistice too with all parties from partisans to the Germans using them and eight guns being surrendered to the Free French forces in Corsica. Italian Armoured Vehicles of World War Two, Nicola Pignato Andare Contro I Carri Armati. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. The Germans launched their offensive against the Western allies on the morning of 10th May 1940. The Kingdom of Italy, perhaps contrary to common ‘knowledge’, also made use of two devices of note. The first of these was a close copy of the British No.74 S.T. The 65/17 had a steel barrel on a steel frame with a single fixed tail and carried on wooden spoked wheels with a steel rim. It covers vehicles ranging from the French WWI Frot-Turmel-Laffly Armoured Road Roller up to the Salvadoran Cold War Marenco M114 converted vehicles. By the end of the fighting in November 1918 a further 685 had been made by both the Turin Arsenal and Naples Army Arsenal, but due to wartime losses the total inventory remaining at the end of WW1 was just 523 guns. In 1930, they had developed the 20×138mmB cartridge or ‘Short Solothurn’, which was one of the most powerful 20 mm rounds in existence at the time and remained in use until the early 1950s. This was a simple two-wheeled carriage which had space for two ammunition boxes and allowed for free traverse. 250. The weapon also became popular with the Compagnie Auto-Avio-Sahariane, or Auto-Saharan Companies, which were the Italian version of the British Long Range Desert Group (LRDG). First appearing in about 1942, the P.M.H.3 (a 3 kg version) contained a shaped charge made from 1.06 kg of T.N.T. 6. FWD Publishing, USA, Federoff, B. Only users with topic management privileges can see it. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Sketch plan of prototype anti-tank weapon. The second part of the recoil management was more complicated, far too complicated for a weapon meant to be an expedient design. As the war raged on the Solothurn was seen less and less and it is believed that the last combat uses of the S 18-1000 were by Italian forces of the National Republican Army as they fought frantically against the Allied advance. When the Treaty of Versaille was signed on 28th June 1919, the once magnificent German arms industry found itself under considerable restrictions. & Sheffield, O. Animoso, Audace, Maestrale and Lupo Classes. For the British, the work on the underwater anti-ship charges found its way both in style and name to a land weapon. The Italians had already produced a production model carbine with an attached grenade launcher which used a bullet capture system as far back as 1928. After the Slovak–Hungarian War, they realized that the 36M was in need of upgrading and purchased around 50 (sources vary) of the new S 18-1000 in early 1940, but as restrictions became tighter, they were unable to purchase more and so production continued on the 36M until 1943. Smaller devices, the sort of device which could be issued to a standard soldier making him capable of knocking out a standard enemy tank were, and still are, the gold standard for infantry anti-tank weapons. So much so, in fact, that, despite official replacement and because of losses (either from combat or simple wear and tear) in the Ethiopian and Spanish campaigns, production was actually resumed in 1937, producing 249 new guns. During Solothurn’s trials in 1939, it performed quite respectfully. Range: up to 250 meters A relatively small explosive device, adhering to the steel of a ship’s hull could burst a seam or plate and cause enough damage to put it out of action until it was patched. The results of the trials were unsatisfactory, but as the trials were coming to a close, the S 18-1000 was ready, and so, an example was obtained for testing. The ‘Clam’, as it was called, originally came with a light steel body (Mk.I), later replaced with a Bakelite (plastic) body (Mk.II) with four small iron magnets, one in each corner. When the German military crossed the Polish border on the morning of 1st September 1939, the nations of Europe realized that another great war was unavoidable. 50€ Add to cart View. Italian appreciation for effective tanks came too late and at a great cost. The Protection of AFVs from Magnetic Grenades Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana. June 1946 Fiume (Whitehead) Torpedo. The weapon was given the go-ahead but, by the time of the armistice, only a single experimental prototype had actually been constructed, although performance trials were underway by September 1943. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). The next known usages of the Solothurn S 18-1000 was by the Italians in the Desert Campaign. This meant that German engineers could design, test and build weapons without the worry of the victorious Allied powers faulting on Germany for not holding to the Versailles Treaty. Gas mask M31 bag and M35. Hungary had purchased the S 18-100 in 1935 and were producing their own licensed variant, the 36M 20mm Nehézpuska. When the Allies entered Rome in June 1944 this hidden secret weapon and associated paperwork was removed from its hiding place and taken by the Italian officer to the US Army G-2 Headquarters in Rome (APO 794). CEMSA 63.5mm Mortar Manual This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Zaloga, Steven. Either way and despite numerous attempts at both magnetic and ‘sticky’ anti-tank weapons, the Germans did not deploy them in significant numbers. One of these restrictions was on the development of large caliber weapons capable of taking out tanks, similar to the TankGewehr M1918 developed by Mauser during the First World War. mix. In 1940, it made inquiries to purchase 480 S 18-1000s. The gun had already been mounted on tracked vehicles, such as the Fiat 2000, and considered for other vehicles, but this was the first ‘portee’ mounting. Perhaps even more obscure than the Italian work on the subject of magnetic weapons is a single known Yugoslavian example. Technical Report No.2/46 Part N.: German Ammunition – A Survey of Wartime Development – Grenades. In 1897 Captain Vitali modified the gun by giving it a mechanism to repetition and a linear charger that contained four shots. The propelling gases could throw this small shell accurately out to a range of 80 meters in a flat trajectory and when fired in a high arc a maximum bombarding range of 250 meters. However, British testing and examination of these mines reported that, although the penetration was poor, just 20 mm, the shockwave from the blast could scab off the inner face of an armor plate up to 50 mm thick, although the penetration was still limited by it not being a shaped charge. Think I am correct in saying that the blue/grey frog also saw service in both wars. ... WW2 Italian 1L and 2L canteen, Royal Army and Royal Air Force. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Source:- Axishistory The 1 kg Model 42 Grenade contained 574 grams of plastic explosive but was not sticky, it simply emulated the shape of the British No.74. The split trails could be flipped forward and locked together to allow the gun team to move the gun with ease to a new position. The S 18-1100 on the SO 11 carriage from a Solothurn brochure. This was down to Solothurn’s parent company – Rheinmetall – specifically forbidding the sale of Solothurn’s anti-tank rifles to any country without its approval, and so, the acquisition was abandoned. One important note on a heavy grenade like this is the range, just 10-15 meters at best. It could be broken into at least 5 (some say 6 pieces – probably due to the optional shield for the gun) for transport by pack mule. Infantrymen are, after all, mainly equipped with weapons primarily intended for killing enemy infantry. ATRs are designed to allow the standard infantry unit to disable armored fighting vehicles and work in conjunction with other weapons, like dedicated anti-tank guns. (1944). Source: not known. Source: Sa Kuva. And the last article from our colleagues and friends from Plane Encyclopedia covers the story of the Sikorsky S-70C-2 Black Hawk in Chinese service! Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). It was made by means of a redundant 60mm mortar tube and a cut down stock from a carbine fastened together. Grenades, mines and boobytraps, retrieved from The gun was light enough to be towed by pack mule, small tracked tractors like the Fiat OCI 708M, motorised tricycles, or even by the soldiers themselves. In 1926, it was officially reassigned to Infantry units from mountain troops at a rate of 3 guns per regiment and later at 4 guns per regiment. Placed against thin points of armor or on the hatch of a tank, this mine, when detonated, could penetrate 20 mm of steel plate. Source: Report 311, 60mm HEAT round for the weapon. Details of this version are scarce. These cookies do not store any personal information. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Large quantities were produced in Britain and shipped to the Soviet Union for exactly that purpose. The very fact that Italy became an aggressor during the war was solely to appease the arrogance of Mussolini (the fascist leader of Italy during ww2), without a thought to the preparation of the country. It fulfilled the role of a mountain gun, infantry gun, tank gun, anti-aircraft gun, anti-tank gun and even a dirigible mounted gun. Anti-Tank Rifles are often confused with Anti-Tank Guns, both in nomenclature and usage. Source: Yugoslavian Arms Manual (unknown). We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Source: Sa Kuva This topic has been deleted. A lot of energy was lost. Rifle calibre blank cartridge containing the 1.9 grams of ballistite propellant. The relatively weak armor of enemy tanks, like the Soviet supplied T-26, meant that, even with the relatively low muzzle velocity and lack of dedicated anti-tank ammunition, the 65/17 was still an effective anti-tank gun. Enemy infrastructure, vehicles, railway lines, and storage tanks made excellent targets for this mine. Apr 28, 2019 - Italian armor of WW2. Arms and Armour Magazine retrieved from It saw service in both the Axis and Allied forces and was deployed in many theatres of operations through the war. 30 mm/82 Compact and Sea Cobra. Grenades, as throwing weapons, are advantageous for the soldier as they permit the user to maintain a distance from the target. Examples of when the attack with a magnetic mine has failed. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. The ‘Clam’, therefore, found a role in sabotage, where it was very effective. Department of Tank Design. This weapon could throw a 2kg shell well over 300m. There was still a shortage of anti-tank ammunition however. All the articles are well researched by our excellent team of writers and are accompanied by beautiful illustrations and photos. The disadvantages are equally obvious; the man has to expose himself to enemy fire to place the charge, has to be uncomfortably close to the enemy tank, and they are also larger and heavier than a grenade to contain enough explosives to do effective damage, meaning fewer of them can be carried. TM9-1985-2. By December 1942, just 444 guns were left in service with the Italians, including those in fixed fortifications. Arms and Armour Magazine retrieved from, Hafthohlladung, Cappellano, F., & Pignato, N. (2008). Production, like development, was slow. The current location of this weapon handed to the Americans in 1944 is not known. D.T.D. The experimental model was, like most prototypes, rather crude. It had no effect on the war but was a novel solution to the problem of a shoulder-fired anti-tank weapon. Japanese Type 99 Hakobakurai anti-tank mine. Funded by our Patreon campaign. The result also did not include vehicles designed with an inner ‘skin’ either, but the results were still substantial, as it meant that all of the Allied tanks used in the Pacific theatre were vulnerable to these mines depending on where they were placed. Although the Model 42 was neither sticky nor magnetic, the Italians did develop probably the most advanced man-portable magnetic anti-tank weapon of all. German Explosive Ordnance A total of 28 guns were mounted in this way in 7 batteries of 4. Source: Matev. Before and during World War II, Italy designed most of their anti-aircraft guns and some its infantry guns to also serve in the anti-tank role. The table of organization and equipment for a German Infantry division in 1940 put the complement of ATRs at 108 per Infantry Division with each of the 36 Rifle Companies containing an anti-tank rifle section of 3 rifles, the most numerous being the Panzerbüchse 39. 2004. The primary magnetic anti-tank weapon was the deceptively simple Model 99 Hakobakurai ‘Turtle’ mine. This was along very similar lines to the new requested weapon and may have served as some of the inspiration behind it. To this end, the Ordnance Department ordered two S 18-100 rifles in 1939, along with 2,000 rounds of ammunition for trails by the Infantry and Cavalry Boards at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. However, by the time it actually received production orders in 1911, it was still a good gun but not the most modern piece available. The Australian 2/2nd Anti-Tank Regiment had one of its reserve batteries equipped with a number of captured Solothurns during the Syria–Lebanon Campaign. The Italians also looked at the S 18-1000 after rejecting the S 18-100 in 1934. It is not known if the single S 18-1000 that Finland acquired before the outbreak of the Winter War was ever issued to combat troops and so it is thought that the S 18-1000s baptism of fire occurred during the German invasion of the Netherlands. German ‘sticky’ shaped charge – the Panzerhandmine S.S.. The Netherlands had bought six S 18-15 in 1937 for trials but rejected them upon seeing the initial results for the S18-1000. Continue Scrolling to See Additional Entries. Larger than the Hafthohlladung, the P.H.M.3 still had to be applied by hand. One further German magnetic charge was the 3 kg Gebalte Ledung (Eng: Concentrated charge) demolition charge which was little more than a large box with magnetic panels on each side. I read an interesting article (actually it was a PC Powerplay blurb within a review) about Italian weapons during the Second World War. Weight: 7.8kg (unloaded) These weapons are very common. Andare Contro I Carri Armati. At least one prototype was made in 1943 but, with the collapse of Italy in September 1943, all development is believed to have ceased. Most crucial amongst these problems is firepower. The magnetic charges required the soldier to be often suicidally close to the enemy tank. Source: Axishistory Resembling a large bar of chocolate, this charge contained a modest charge of just 227 grams of explosive. The gun also saw combat in the next Italian war, the war in Ethiopia, and in the Spanish Civil War. This expedient measure meant that this gun was also envisioned as serving an anti-aircraft role too, though its effectiveness in this role even in WW1 is dubious at best. 80 homogenous steel plate 125 mm thick, this small mine was a very effective weapon in terms of penetration although how many were made or used is unknown. Containing a 205 gram filling of 50% RDX and 50 % TNT, the entire charge weighed just 418 grams, just over a pound. Italian weapons of WW2. Unfortunately, though, any chance of purchasing more was rendered difficult due to the Soviet-German Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which saw Germany restrict arms shipments to Finland through its territory. Anti-Tank Rifle (ATR) / Anti-Material Rifle (AMR), Light Machine Gun (LMG) / General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), Medium Machine Gun (MMG) / Aircraft Machine Gun, Browning M1918 BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle), Aircraft Machine Gun / General Purpose Machine Gun, M1 Garand (United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1). A later, and slightly heavier model of this mine weighing 3.5 kg contained up to 1.7 kg of 40% FpO2 and 60% Hexogen explosive which was capable of defeating over 140 mm of armor. There are a total of [ 22 ] WW1 Italian Infantry Weapons entries in the Military Factory. After Hafthohlladung Illustration of the 60mm Lanciabombe by Andrei “Octo” Kirushkin and paid for with funds from our Patreon campaign. Mk.1 HE’, was constructed from a glass sphere containing 567 grams of nitro-glycerine and covered with a stockinette fabric to which an adhesive was applied. The body of those grenades was built in alluminium. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Such a relatively simple idea, though, was far easier to imagine than it was to turn into a functional weapon. None of the attempts to produce a smaller anti-tank explosive weapon using either sticky or magnetic principles were shown to be effective. Their effect was relatively limited against armored vehicles unless you could get the explosives in direct contact with the tank and one way to do this was to make the explosive ‘stick’ to the vehicle. Source: Report 311. Sergeant Van der Sande was in command of an anti-tank rifle section containing two S 18-1000s and was ordered to deploy his weapons near the two bridges of Wilhelminabrug and Sint Servaasbrug and delay any German advance. Although the device was magnetic, the charge was not shaped nor specifically designed for breaching armor plate. Report No.2/46. The design of the weapon, alongside its impressive performance, saw it gain a lot of attraction on the international market. Unnamed US Military Manual on enemy ammunition circa 1942 Swedish presentation of the Solothurn S18-1000 (or 20 mm pkvan m/39) with characteristics. When the bulbous glass ball at the end struck the tank, it would break causing the nitro-glycerine inside to ‘cow-pat’ on the armor and remain stuck there by the glued stockinet until it was detonated. Source: Because of the large recoil spring, it required a ratchet crank in order to pull the bolt back to set it up for operations. The explosive body containing the charge was attached to an aluminum tail section with eight fins approximately 12cm long. Introduced in 1891. How do you bring firepower into areas which may only be accessible by rope line? With Europe being engulfed by war, Sweden started to look towards protecting itself. (1975). In 1936, an armor piercing (AP) shell (4.23 kg) was produced for the gun but was always in short supply. Both of these were weapons that could be thrown from a safe distance, exploded on impact, and were far simpler to make. It also had the ability to change the elevation through a screw. However, as it was not a shaped charge, the anti-armor performance was relatively poor. The fighting became intense and more armor was brought forward, including a handful of Panzerjäger I tank destroyers (two were subsequently knocked out by the anti-tank rifles) and soon the Dutch found themselves overwhelmed. The new Chief of the General Staff; General Armando Diaz, disbanded the destroyed remnants of Forty … The explosives were arranged around an inner cone made from steel and a hollow front section. A 4 kg version (P.H.M.4) was also developed with a performance of up to 150 mm, although details are very limited. Italy, with a long tradition of firearms manufacture, was no different and already had extensive experience with grenade firing and small mortars. 50€ Add to cart View. The drawings do not appear to show any variation from the original magazine or firing mechanism of the Model 91 rifle and therefore it is believed it would use the same 6.5x52mm cartridge. At 05:15 on the morning of the 10th May, the first German vehicles were spotted by der Sande’s section and the two anti-tank gunners, Rietveld and Plusjé, prepared their weapons. Vetterli Vitali Model 1871/87/16 Vetterli In 1871, the Italian army adopted the rifle single shot Swiss Vetterli in caliber 10.35 mm. Details of sprung shoulder pad as part of recoil management. The Italian army with lacked competent leadership and modern weapons, still had thrust in the battle. Source: Report 311, The shell itself was very similar to the rather small 45mm Brixia mortar shell and was a short shell just under 30cm long with a rounded nose. The hard-hitting power, coupled with their small silhouette, meant that the weapon could be effectively used against the Commonwealth forces and their lightly armored tanks such as the Light Tank Mk.VI and Cruiser Mk.IV.