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The 37 mm automatic air defence gun M1939 (61-K)

The 37 mm automatic air defence gun M1939 (61-K)

An aerial shooting emplacement is a circular pit with an anti-aircraft gun installed at its bottom. The hight of the breastworks also allowed to deliver fire on ground targets if necessary. To store the ammunition the recesses were made. And the emplacement was concealed by means of camouflage nets.

The 37 mm automatic air defence gun M1939 (61-K) was the first Soviet anti-aircraft gun put into production. In 1941 it was used against low- and medium-altitude targets, fighter bombers, attack aircrafts, dive bombers and lightly armoured ground targets like tanks and armoured vehicles. Its traversing range was not limited, the firing rate was 60 rounds per minute and the gun was operated by a crew of seven men. Its weight in both firing and travelling position was the same and amounted to 2100 kg. The undeniable advantage of the weapon was its reliable performance under pollution and without proper field lubrication, uninterrupted ammunition feed and ease of maintenance. In both firing and travelling position the gun was installed on a four wheeled ZU-7 carriage

After the war many guns of this type were exported to foreign countries and took part in a number of different postwar conflicts. Many 37 mm automatic air defence guns now can be found in museums all around the world, both in the museums of the post Soviet states (like in the Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Signal Corps in St. Petersburg, the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow, State Museum of Heroic Defence and Liberation of Sevastopol), and abroad as well (in the American Army Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Ground and in the Israel Defence Forces History Museum).

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