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Guns and armament
In 1931, Swedish company Bofors developed an excellent 40 mm automatic anti-aircraft gun with a highly-innovative operating mechanism.
By 1939, 18 countries were using it, including France with 42 in service.
In 1943, The United States supplied the American version of the gun to the French army, in particular the 21ème Groupe d'Artillerie de DCA (21st AA artillery group) and the 37ème Groupe Autonome de FTA (37th autonomous ground AA forces group).
The American and British allies used the 40 mm gun with 60-calibre barrel (40 mm L/60). Its muzzle velocity was 850 m/s for an 890-gram shell with 68 grams of explosive.
The original model was towed (carriage plus mount around 2,500 kg) and was operated by two layers using grids for firing correction. In 1936, the British Admiralty fitted the gun with an M1 hydraulic drive giving angular laying speeds of about 20 degrees per second, as well as remote control by optical post and calculator. In 1942, the USA introduced the faster (about 30 degrees per second) M3 hydraulic remote control for the gun. The gun played a major role in the allied forces, and several hundred were ceded to France at the end of the war.
In addition, mounts with simplified carriages were manufactured very economically in Great Britain for airfield defence. These Mark III mounts, fitted with solid tyres, were limited to towing at 20 km/h instead of 60 km/h.
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