Military Review

Obvious and impracticable? Adolp Führer's tank gun

48
Obvious and impracticable? Adolp Führer's tank gun
TB 41


People and weapon. Probably the dream of any designer is to create such a model of a locking device so that it would be universal. Let's just say it would be suitable for several weapon systems at once. After all, why is the Kalashnikov rifle so fond of us in Russia? Yes, because, in addition to all its positive qualities, a light machine gun, as well as an easel machine gun, was developed on its basis. They are all twin brothers, and this facilitates the training of soldiers and the use of weapons in a combat situation.

And in Switzerland at one time there was a man who came up with the original idea: to create a weapon system, from a pistol to an anti-aircraft machine gun, which would have the same barrel locking system. So that the same gun from the anti-aircraft gun would differ only in size.

The idea itself is simple. He bolted the shutter in the form of a metal bar weighing 200 g with a spring, put the magazine down - here’s your gun. He put the “bar” heavier, and the barrel is more authentic - a submachine gun, even harder - an automatic rifle. And if you have a 4-5 kg ​​blank behind your barrel, here's the gun. Everything is simple, obvious and ... impossible, because weapons with a free bolt are suitable only for low-powered pistol ammunition.

The creator of the most precious stories submachine gun MP41 / 44 Adolf Führer. That's why he chose the reliable lever bolt from the Luger pistol, tested by time and operation, for his sample. And he made on it not only a submachine gun, but also a light machine gun under a rifle cartridge. Moreover, the military had no complaints about a light machine gun, so he served until the beginning of the 70s. But even the “dear” MP41 / 44 was scolded, but he was in the service for a very long time. So, he completely paid for himself!

And here, the initiative of Mr. Fürrer was visited by the bright idea of ​​adding to his arsenal also a powerful anti-tank rifle with the same lever bolt. As the director of an arms factory in Bern, he had the opportunity to carry out any design work, test any ammunition, and have at hand absolutely everything that only his soul liked. Lucky, you can say, a person. Indeed, before the eyes of the Swiss there was a whole arsenal of the most modern weapons, purchased in various countries of the world!

As it must have been evident, Führer was a prudent and far-sighted man. He knew that the Swiss army needed weapons for promising armored vehicles and new ones purchased in Czechoslovakia tanks. This is how the first model of the Führer PTR appeared in 1938, and it was nothing more than a light cannon for a tank, and only subsequently it was improved and adopted in 1941 under the designation Tb 41 W + F, where the last letters indicate the name of the manufacturer, that is, a military plant in the city of Bern. It is not surprising that the “gun” turned out to be heavy, but nevertheless it was used in Switzerland throughout the Second World War and was discontinued only in the 1950s. Moreover, although they stopped producing it, it remained in service with some special forces until the beginning of the 70s. Rare longevity, given, for example, the fate of our Soviet mass anti-tank missiles during the war.

In total, by the end of the war, the Berne factory manufactured 3581 PTR TB 41. They began to be transferred to the infantry from May 1941. They also armed themselves with armored cars and ... patrol boats (!) Of the Swiss army. And by the way, it was on these boats that they lasted the longest! That is, it was originally supposed that it would be a tank gun, but when the matter did not go, the gun was simply called Tankbüchse 41 / Tb.41, that is, a tank gun.


Tank Panzerwagen 39 from the Tank Museum in Tuna

That is, it all started with the fact that the Swiss military wanted to equip their new light tank with effective weapons: a fast-firing cannon, capable of bombarding enemy armored vehicles with a hail of shells, and two machine guns. And then Colonel Adolf Führer and offered them his development. It was a long-barrel 24-mm cannon Pzw-Kan 38, which served as the main weapon for the armored car 39 LT-H (Praga) and Pzaw BK 38. But why was such a strange caliber chosen for it? But why strange? After all, a 25-mm anti-tank gun was adopted in France, and in the USSR a 25-mm anti-aircraft gun.


Water-cooled automatic 34-mm anti-aircraft gun manufactured by Oerlikon, adopted in 1938 and was in service with the Swiss Confederation until 1960, when it was replaced with a 35-mm gun!

By the way, Führer also designed the anti-aircraft gun using the same principle of automation, and the caliber for her was also chosen not quite ordinary - 34 mm, although the caliber commonly used in Europe was 37 mm. A high-explosive shell weighing 720 g left the barrel of this gun at a speed of more than 900 m / s. The 34-mm cannon was an enlarged copy of the 24-mm system, but with a tape, rather than magazine feed, ammunition rate of 350 rds / min. However, the light tank Panzerwagen 39, an analogue of the Czech LT-38, for the armament of which this gun was originally intended, did not go into the series. And then they decided to convert the tank gun into an infantry anti-tank gun.


Hotchkiss Canon léger de 25 antichar SA-l modèle 25 French 1934 mm anti-tank gun in the Finnish service. Finnish gun designation was 25 PstK / 34

Tb 41 received the same bolt from the Luger pistol, but laid on its right side, so that the levers folding after firing extended to the right. I had to cover them with a protective casing of a sufficiently large size, because of which its breech began to look unusually flattened. She held on and aimed at the target with the help of two handles, and the shot was fired by pressing the trigger, as if with a Maxim machine gun. The gun was also supposed to be used in an anti-tank fortification gun. Since the velocity of the projectile of this gun was very high, to reduce recoil at the end of its long barrel, a large muzzle brake had to be installed. It consisted of five split and three blind rings, and the rings in the muzzle brake could be changed (!), Changing the size of the holes between them, and thus regulating the recoil force - the solution is very unusual and truly original. This made it possible to shoot from this gun both from a wheeled carriage, and a machine-gun carriage, and from a special installation mounted inside the bunkers.


Finnish 25 PstK / 34 in battle. June 25, 1941.


Wehrmacht soldiers at the gun 2,5-cm-PaK 113 (f) (French 25 mm gun Modèle 1937)

As already mentioned, the principle of locking the barrel of this gun was used the same as that of the Swiss light machine gun Lmg 25. In the locked position, all the moving parts of the bolt, as well as the barrel itself, were on the same line. When fired, the barrel retreated due to recoil force along with the bolt and levers, one of which fell onto the protrusion in the receiver and changed its position relative to the other two levers, which folded and made a slide, pulling the relatively light shutter back (In this case, the spent cartridge case was extracted, and the bolt immediately pushed by the spring went forward again. He grabbed a new cartridge from the magazine and pushed it into the chamber. The levers were straightened, forming a straight line, and so it went For loading the rear, a special lever was installed on the body that pulled the movable part of the weapon, that is, the barrel, and the bolt back, as when firing, forcing the levers to first fold and then straighten.


Führer’s tank gun mounted on wheels

Führer’s tank rifle could fire effectively at a distance of up to 1500 m. But the shells from it flew all 3000 m, so that it was possible to shoot at this distance, but an optical sight was needed, which, however, was rarely used. The supply of cartridges took place, like a machine gun, on the right side from a six-shot magazine, and the ejection of cartridges took place on the left. After the last shot, the store is automatically thrown away, which saves time on reloading.

When the “gun” was used as an infantry weapon, it could be transported on a wheeled carriage with pneumatic tires, and in this form it could also be fired. With the wheels removed, its undercarriage was a three-legged carriage with carrying handles. In addition to the wheeled carriage, it was possible to use the Mg 11 carriage. For this, a special support had to be installed under the gun.


It is on a tripod installation (photo from the Museum of Archeology and History of Baselland)

Shells were used in hardened steel. At the same time, the armor-piercing shell did not have a bursting charge, but it had a tracer. The kit also included a St-G steel grenade with a TNT charge. The tanks could be fired with a UG half-armor-piercing grenade with a fuse delay, as well as a smaller explosive charge. All shells were equipped with copper lead belts.


Tb 41 with wheels removed and without a protective cover of the shutter levers that are clearly visible (Walrus Castle Museum, Lausanne)

The barrel weighed 77 kg, and together with the machine gun, it already weighed 132 kg. The barrel length was 1515 mm.

The total weight of the ammunition 24x139 mm was 460 g. The projectile weighed 225 g. The tracer burned for 2,3 seconds. There are no data on the armor-piercing performance of this system, however, there can be no doubt that it had to penetrate 20-mm armor of the then German tanks at a considerable distance. Here is the data for the French 25 mm gun: armor penetration at a meeting angle of 30 ° 36 mm at a distance of 100 m, 32 mm at 300 m, 29 mm at 500 m and 22 mm at 1000 m. At a meeting angle of 60 ° 35 - 100 m, 29 - at 500 m, 20 - at 1000 m. It is unlikely that the Swiss 24-mm gun was weaker, especially when you consider the length of its barrel.
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General Reffi: man and his "machine gun"
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  1. Thrifty
    Thrifty 14 February 2020 18: 40 New
    11
    Honestly, it was possible to compare the characteristics of our and, for example, English guns of a similar caliber! And for the article to the author +, because it is interesting!
    1. Interdum_silentium_volo
      Interdum_silentium_volo 15 February 2020 18: 47 New
      +2
      It is doubtful that this is possible! For this there must be the same conditions. The quality of the shells, materials, gunpowder, metal, barrel wear. And most importantly, everything should be checked for armor penetration by firing on the same sheet of armor, from the same material, under the same conditions) )))
  2. Theodore
    Theodore 14 February 2020 18: 42 New
    0
    Karamultuk it! But not a gun! belay
    1. Catfish
      Catfish 14 February 2020 20: 18 New
      11
      As far as I know, "Karamultuk" means "Black Eye" in translation. The gaze of death is a terrible thing! soldier
      1. Theodore
        Theodore 14 February 2020 20: 19 New
        +1
        But in fact it means a huge babahalka! You can’t tell about the little one.
      2. bubalik
        bubalik 14 February 2020 20: 21 New
        +5
        Konstantin hi you, as a specialist, what do you say: is it a gun or a gun? request
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 14 February 2020 21: 18 New
          +8
          Hello, Sergey hi .According to the world classification, weapons with a caliber of twenty millimeters and above are already considered a cannon, and in the manual you can call anything you like. drinks
          1. bubalik
            bubalik 14 February 2020 21: 23 New
            +5
            ,,, on the "quadric" to put? winked
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 14 February 2020 21: 25 New
              +5
              Yes, where is the quadric laughing , if not from the first, then from the second shot the cart will fall to hell. request
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      3. Al_lexx
        Al_lexx 15 February 2020 01: 28 New
        +9
        As far as I remember, the differences in the gun and the gun / machine gun are not so much in the caliber, as such (there are overlapping, about 14-15 mm), but in the organization of rotation of the projectile or bullet in the barrel. And here it’s just more attentive. What is the difference between a shell and a bullet? That's right, the principle of obturation. A bullet crashes into the ramp in the barrel with his whole body or shell, and the projectile has belts for this.
        And so - yes. Historically, machine guns go up to 14,5mm, and above a 20mm gun. But the classification is still based on the design of the bullet itself or the shell.
        1. Nikolaevich I
          Nikolaevich I 15 February 2020 02: 20 New
          +3
          Quote: Al_lexx
          What is the difference between a shell and a bullet? That's right, the principle of obturation. A bullet crashes into the ramp in the barrel with his whole body or shell, and the projectile has belts for this.

          That's how it is ... but not quite! There are few rules that don't have exceptions! There are (well ... at least there were!) Machine guns and, accordingly, bullets (ie, up to 20 mm) with copper belts ("cannon" type ...), and there were shells (for example, 20 mm. ..) with a "cut-in" shell (without belts) ... And in the "old days" it happened so ...: up to a pound-bullet; over a pound - projectile (core) ... wink
          1. Al_lexx
            Al_lexx 15 February 2020 05: 21 New
            +1
            Quote: Nikolaevich I
            There are (well ... at least there were!) Machine guns and, accordingly, bullets (ie up to 20 mm) with copper belts ("cannon" type ...), and there were shells (for example, 20 mm. ..) with a "cut-in" shell (without belts) ... And in the "old days" it happened so ...: up to a pound-bullet; over a pound -projectile (core) ... wink

            Yeah. Live a century, learn a century, die a fool.
            I was always sure that it was in the belts or their absence. :)
            1. Gleb-Kiev
              Gleb-Kiev 16 February 2020 15: 45 New
              +1
              The French definitely had 20mm machine guns. I remember in my youth I was surprised.
              And one and the same shell could be called differently depending on the gun - for a grenade cannon, and for a unicorn and mortar a bomb is essentially a hollow core with a powder charge.
        2. pmkemcity
          pmkemcity 17 February 2020 06: 34 New
          +1
          It seems to me that the word "projectile" means a certain object "equipped" with other objects - a fuse and an explosive (in its simplest form). Obviously, "bullet", "kulya", "kula", "boule", "bullet" are something else.
          Hence the differences in the classification of (Russian-Soviet) weapons - small arms with a "bullet", artillery with a "shell" (very rough). Western warmongers do not distinguish between such subtleties - there all "powder throwing weapons" are called "gun".
      4. Vladimir A
        Vladimir A 17 February 2020 22: 07 New
        +3
        it's a gun. Graduation in caliber is a vague and ungrateful matter. But the fact that the whole bullet in the gun cuts into the rifling, and in the gun the projectile cuts in the leading belts - this is an exact criterion for the difference between the gun and the gun. In this case, the leading belts have a place to be - then this is a gun.
  3. Maki Avellevich
    Maki Avellevich 15 February 2020 09: 20 New
    +2
    Quote: Sea Cat
    As far as I know, "Karamultuk" means "Black Eye" in translation.

    close, Kara - choked, Mylytk - gun
  • mark1
    mark1 14 February 2020 18: 44 New
    +2
    Some wild values ​​of armor penetration, especially taking into account the angle of the projectile (with no difference of 30 or 60 degrees). A description?
    1. kalibr
      14 February 2020 18: 54 New
      +4
      There are too many descriptions, it seems ... one or two ... and here there are so many! Apparently, that was the source of where it came from.
      1. mark1
        mark1 14 February 2020 19: 05 New
        +1
        Yes, it seems the same in all sources. It is a pity that there are no detailed characteristics of the shell. But here is VY 23X152 and here 24x139; VYa with 300m at an angle of 30 degrees pierced 16 mm and in this case as much as 32 mm. even taking into account the larger weight of the shell at 25 grams, it is still impressive. So I thought that most likely a typo wandering from source to source.
        1. Rusfaner
          Rusfaner 17 February 2020 16: 34 New
          +1
          A big difference in the length of the barrel and, as a consequence, in the initial speed.
          1. mark1
            mark1 17 February 2020 17: 13 New
            +2
            VYA-23 1663mm Tb 41 1515 mm, the initial speed of 900 and 900 m / s (I still found), the weight of the cartridge is 470 and 460 g, the weight of the projectile 198 g - 225 g, respectively. It’s even strange that their initial speed coincides, it shouldn’t, our projectile should have a higher speed.
            1. Rusfaner
              Rusfaner 18 February 2020 11: 07 New
              0
              A good comparison - I judged by the visual length of the air gun + the usual situation when the air guns have shorter barrels than land / sea. And the speed of VY is small - maybe because of gunpowder?
              1. mark1
                mark1 18 February 2020 11: 23 New
                +1
                Quote: Rusfaner
                maybe because of gunpowder?

                Something I did not find the weight of the charge (though I haven’t really looked for it yet), I put forward an assumption (personally mine without any claim to the truth).
                Perhaps the reason is the quality of the gunpowder, at least the Americans when testing our T-34 and KV tanks at the Aberdeen training ground indicated an insufficiently high initial velocity of the projectile at the F-34 gun, which. supposedly, it is quite possible to increase to 820 m / s (against 660 m / s). Based on the fact that the possibilities to increase the powder charge are practically absent, the obvious thing is the quality of the powder. The same can be transferred to VY shells. But another option is also possible - a small amount of propellant charge, and a larger cartridge weight due to the large dimensions of the sleeve (the version is so-so). Well and still - different criteria for determining armor penetration.
                PS Well, just a wandering mistake
  • lucul
    lucul 14 February 2020 18: 52 New
    -2
    On his armored personnel carrier could put his chances, but apparently did not grow together ....
  • irontom
    irontom 14 February 2020 18: 55 New
    +1
    If Swedish neutrality was at stake, here is Swiss - not to mention the lack of combat experience, so the Swiss military could have fantasized
    1. The leader of the Redskins
      The leader of the Redskins 14 February 2020 19: 43 New
      +4
      You are wrong. In the middle of the war, when the Swiss were stuffing Luftwaffe planes trying to "cut" the distance, Germany began to seriously work out a plan to annex Switzerland, but the neutrals slowed down after diplomatic "infusions" ...
  • Lamata
    Lamata 14 February 2020 19: 15 New
    +1
    Thanks to the author, I learned a new one.
  • evgen1221
    evgen1221 14 February 2020 19: 17 New
    +4
    I never was interested in the design of the shutters, but I would like to see the shutter from the pistol on the gun in the drawing, sorry the author did not think of putting such a picture, Article plus.
  • The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 14 February 2020 19: 41 New
    +3
    Surprised Vyacheslav Olegovich. Thank you very much for the original and uncovered material.
  • Undecim
    Undecim 14 February 2020 20: 29 New
    +5
    And if you have a 4-5 kg ​​blank behind your barrel, here's the gun.
    In order to have a cannon, the "blank" must be larger. For a 20 mm cannon - about 230 kg.
    1. IS-80_RVGK2
      IS-80_RVGK2 15 February 2020 08: 49 New
      +1
      Do not scold the author, he is a humanist. laughing
    2. kalibr
      15 February 2020 10: 14 New
      +1
      Quote: Undecim
      For a 20 mm gun, about 230 kg.

      Did the German 30mm gun have such a heavy shutter?
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 15 February 2020 11: 10 New
        0
        In the commentary, I kind of described in detail all the design solutions that were used to introduce the mass of the shutter into a reasonable framework. The main thing is a very short barrel, which allowed reducing the gas pressure before the shutter began to move. But this was achieved by a very serious deterioration in ballistics.
        Palliative. The Germans urgently needed an air cannon against the "flying fortresses".
  • Undecim
    Undecim 14 February 2020 20: 44 New
    +5
    Quote: evgen1221
    I never was interested in the design of the shutters, but I would like to see the shutter from the pistol on the gun in the drawing, sorry the author did not think of putting such a picture, Article plus.

    Tb 41 received the same bolt from the Luger pistol, but laid on its right side
    The shutter was not the same as a pistol. Therefore it was called - the system of the Führer.

    The system has two fundamental differences from the shutters of Maxim and Luger. Firstly, the design is not two levers, but three. Secondly, there is a constant kinematic connection of the shutter with the receiver, which provides just the third lever. Such a scheme theoretically increased the reliability of the automation by using the barrel mass throughout the entire cycle of the shutter movement, however, it also greatly complicated the design and made high demands on the accuracy of fitting parts of the mechanism.
  • Undecim
    Undecim 14 February 2020 21: 06 New
    +3
    By the way, Führer also designed the anti-aircraft gun, using the same principle of automation, and the caliber for her was also chosen not quite ordinary - 34 mm
    First, he designed a 20mm anti-aircraft gun 20mm Flab.Kan.38
  • Undecim
    Undecim 14 February 2020 21: 10 New
    +5
    When the “gun” was used as an infantry weapon, it could be transported on a wheeled carriage with pneumatic tires, and in this form it could also be fired.
    1. bubalik
      bubalik 14 February 2020 21: 28 New
      +4

      At the turn of 1940/1941, the Swiss military leadership decided to form patrol boat units on several lakes in the country
  • Catfish
    Catfish 14 February 2020 21: 23 New
    +3
    Quote: Undecim
    The system has two fundamental differences from the shutters of Maxim and Luger.

    Good evening, Vic Nikolaevich. hi It is great that you remembered Maxim, as a rule, not everyone knows that he was the first to apply this principle of locking on his machine gun. But here I would have inserted Borchard in front of Luger. smile
  • Operator
    Operator 14 February 2020 21: 50 New
    +2
    The 25-mm shell at close range did not penetrate the 45-mm armor of the T-34, not to mention the armor of the T-IV model of 1943, TV and T-VI. Then why was the city fence?

    The scheme of automation of parabellum is a kind of gun mount, but is made in one place, since the compactness of the pistol does not make it possible to realize a lever-free design. For what purpose it had to be replicated in artillery, only Führer knew.
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 14 February 2020 22: 35 New
      +4
      The scheme of automation of parabellum is a kind of gun mount, but is made in one place, since the compactness of the pistol does not make it possible to realize a lever-free design.
      Do you understand what you wrote?
      1. Operator
        Operator 15 February 2020 11: 17 New
        -1
        Learn the materiel - how the gun monitor is implemented in weapon models presented in the NGSW contest.
        1. Undecim
          Undecim 15 February 2020 12: 21 New
          0
          Teach materiel
          Good advice, why don’t you follow it yourself?
    2. mmaxx
      mmaxx 24 February 2020 14: 02 New
      +1
      It’s just that the guy, firstly, knew something from the calculation of this kinematics, secondly, he didn’t know anything and didn’t want to know, and thirdly, he had good access with budget financing. Do not lose it. In all, Swiss solidity and insecurity are visible.
      1. Operator
        Operator 24 February 2020 14: 20 New
        +2
        Initially, the arms factory, which was led by Führer, produced licensed pistols such as Luger / Parabellum. Führer was stupid in terms of engineering, but he had great self-conceit (like make me beautiful), so he forced factory designers to rivet artillery pieces in a pistol-like fashion.

        Since Switzerland even then had money like a makhorka fool, the factory workers saluted on the principle "any whim for your money."
  • Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 15 February 2020 02: 25 New
    +3
    Very informative! I knew about the Swiss 24-mm "Rougeau", but I didn't know about the type of bolt and locking system ... recourse
  • Undecim
    Undecim 15 February 2020 03: 10 New
    +4
    Everything is simple, obvious and ... impossible, because weapons with a free bolt are suitable only for low-powered pistol ammunition.
    Doable. Another question is what we get in the end.

    Rheinmetall-Borsig MK 108 30mm cannon aircraft gun. Automation is built on the classic principle of recoil free shutter. The mechanism was designed so that the shot occurred at a time when the bolt was still moving forward, and the barrel length was chosen such that by the time the bolt began to move back the bullet was already leaving the barrel and the gas pressure dropped to acceptable parameters.
    In addition, it was necessary to develop a special ammunition - 30 × 90 mm. Because of all these tweaks, the ballistics of the gun was below average, the initial speed was 540 m / s, and the trajectory reduction at a distance of 1000 m was 45 m. But four rounds were enough for the "flying fortress".
  • bandabas
    bandabas 15 February 2020 16: 33 New
    -2
    This is to our Rogozin. This member will accept anything to the higher members.
  • kugelblitz
    kugelblitz 15 February 2020 22: 09 New
    +3
    Too healthy. 20 mm Madsen was easier to carry, was in a wearable version and on a tripod. Powered by a cylindrical magazine like Erlikon’s. Due to the short breech, it was very compact. Then the caliber was increased to 23 mm. It was a good little fluffy, only difficult to manufacture.