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Gun Technical Data

French Guns
Name German Name Calibre Length Equipped
Mitrailleuse de
7,5mm MAC mle.31
KpfwMG 311(f) 7.5mm n/a AMR 33, FT-31
Mitrailleuse de
13,2mm Hotchkiss mle 30
sMG 271(f) 13.2mm n/a AMR 35 ZT1, Laffly AM 80
Canon de
25 SA 35
2,5cm KwK 121(f) 25mm
47.2 or
52[4]
Panhard 178, AMR 35 ZT2
Canon de antichar
25 SA mle 34
2,5cm PaK 112(f) 25mm 72 Anti-tank gun
Canon de
25 SA-L mle 37
2,5cm PaK 113(f) 25mm 77 Anti-tank gun, AMR 35 ZT3
Mitrailleuse de
25 CA mle 1939 [3]
2,5cm FlaK Hotchkiss 39 25mm 60 Anti-aircraft gun
Canon de d'infanterie
37 mle 16 TR (or TRP) [1]
3.7cm IG 152(f) 37mm 21 Infantry gun
Canon de
37 SA 17
37mm 21 Laffly 50
Canon de
37 SA 18
37mm 21 FT-17c
Canon de
37 SA 18 mle 37
3,7cm KwK 144(f) 37mm 21 H 35, H 39, R 35, FCM 36
Canon de
37 SA 38
3,7cm KwK 143(f) 37mm 33 H 35, H 39, R 39, R40
Canon de
47 SA 34
47mm 21 AMC 34, B1, D1, early D2
Canon de
47 SA 35
4,7cm KwK 173(f) 47mm 32 AMC 35, B1 bis, late D2, S 35
Canon de antichar
47 SA mle 37
4,7cm PaK 181(f)[2] 47mm 53 Anti-tank gun, Laffly W15 TCC
Canon de
75 SA 35
7,5cm KwK 251(f) 75mm 17 B1 and B1 bis hull gun
Canon de
75 mle 1897
FK 97(f) 75mm 36 Field gun (wooden spoke wheels)
Canon de
75 mle 1897 modifi 1933
FK 232(f) 75mm 36 Field gun (split-trail)
Canon de
75 mle 1897 modifi 1938
FK 231(f) 75mm 36 Field gun (metal wheels with tyres)
Notes:
TR means "Tir Rapide" or "rapid fire". Sometimes called TRP after the manufacturer Puteaux. 1.
The Germans liked this gun and prodiced their own Pzgr.40 APCR for it. Care should be taken not to confuse this with the original
French shells.
2.
This was an anti-aircraft gun (CA=contre-aroplanes). It was however used in a dual role against both air and ground targets by
the Mobile Anti-Tank Batteries (BACA).
3.
Sources differ. 4.
Armour Penetration Overview
To be useful, armour penetration figures should specify not only the gun, range and penetration achieved, but also the ammunition fired,
the angle of impact, the type of armour attacked and the penetration criterion used.
The customary angle of impact when quoting penetration performance is 30 from the vertical (i.e. 60 from the horizontal). The French
and British measure angle from the vertical, the Germans and NATO measure angles from the horizontal. It is also traditional to quote
penetration against homogenous armour. Performance against face hardened plate, especially for smaller weapons firing uncapped
rounds, can differ greatly. Homogenous armour plate has the same density and hardness all the way through, face harden armour has had
its outside hardened or carburised.
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The Germans generally tested against Homogenous Armour Plate at 30 from the vertical. Luckily for us, in 1941, the German Design
Office (Wa Pruef) tested the armour piercing penetration of many French guns using their own criterion. For this reason, I have quoted
the German designation of the French guns in the table above.
The French had figures for their own guns, but the rarely seem to standardise on an angle (25, 30 or 35) and usually use 400m which is
never used by the Germans.
A table for rough conversions from sloped armour to an equivalent thickness of vertical plate is given in WO 185/118; well-sloped
armour being more effective than would be indicated by a simple cosine calculation.
Penetration tables also take no account of non-penetrating damage. The running gear of all vehicles can be vulnerable to AP or HE fire
from nearly all calibres; in fact the German 37mm gunners speciallised in firing at the tracks of the heavily armoured French tanks.
Extremely large calibre rounds can cause catastrophic damage without needing to penetrate the target; a 155mm shell, for example, might
completely remove the turret of its target.
Germany began using welded construction in the 1930s and France used cast armour. Riviting was still used in many British tanks as well
as a few German and French tanks such as the Panzer 38(t), the AMR 33 and the hull but not turret of the B1 bis. A shot hitting an
exposed rivet-head could cause the rivet shank to break off and be projected into the tank, causing damage.
The following table can be used to convert penetration values for shell sizes vs different angles of impact from the vertical:
Shell 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
37mm 0.99 0.90 0.75 0.57 0.41 0.30 0.22
50mm 0.99 0.92 0.79 0.63 0.47 0.35 0.26
75mm 0.99 0.93 0.82 0.66 0.51 0.39 0.29
88mm 0.99 0.93 0.83 0.67 0.52 0.40 0.31
128mm 0.99 0.94 0.84 0.69 0.55 0.43 0.32
Armour Penetration - French Guns
The following table shows a comparison of muzzle velocity (in m/s), angle of impact from the vertical and armour penetration (in mm)
from different sources.
Gun Source Ammo m/s Angle 100m 200m 300m 400m 500m 1000m 1500m
Mitrailleuse de
7,5mm MAC mle.31
French AP 29 805 15
8mm
@ 50m

Mitrailleuse de
13,2mm Hotchkiss mle 30
German AP 35 800 0 22.5mm 18mm 14mm
AP 35 30 12mm 10mm 8mm
French AP 35 800 0 20mm
APT 35 800 25 20mm
Canon de
25 SA 35
German AP 34 920 0 47mm 40mm 30mm
30 35mm 30mm 20mm
45 18mm 16mm 15mm
French APT 34 880 0 40mm
35 32mm
Canon de antichar
25 SA mle 34
French AP 34 920 25 40mm
0 54mm
Mitrailleuse de
25 CA mle 1939
French AP 875 0 35mm
Canon de d'infanterie
37 mle 16 TR (or TRP)
French APHE 92 mle 24 388 0 12mm
Canon de
37 SA 18
French APHE 92 mle 24 388 0 12mm
APC 35 600 35 20mm
Canon de
37 SA 18 mle 37
German APC 35 600 30 25mm 19mm
French 35 20mm
Canon de
37 SA 38
German APC 38 705 30 29mm 23mm 16mm 12mm
French 705 25 32mm
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Canon de
47 SA 34
French AP 92 450 25 14mm
480 30 25mm
Canon de
47 SA 35
German APC 35 660 30 39mm 33mm 26mm 20mm
French 30 40mm
Canon de antichar
47 SA mle 37
German APCBC 36 855 30 57mm 50mm 42mm 36mm
French 855 0 106mm 101mm 97mm 93mm 89mm 72mm 57mm
Canon de
75 SA 35
French APHE 10M 470 30 40mm
Canon de
75 mle 1897
German Unknown ? 30 62mm
Canon de
75 mle 1897
modifi 1933
French APHE 10M 580 30 50mm
French
APHE 16[1]
APHE 18
575 30 40mm
Notes:
The Obus perforant AL (Allong Lefvre) Mle 1916 (APHE) shell was heavier than the earlier Obus de rupture Mle 1910M. It
contained 350g of HE instead of 90g. However this did not seem to improve its performance as might be expected. The mle 18 had
325g of HE.
1.
Comparision between French/German/British Guns
The following table shows a comparison of muzzle velocity (in m/s) and armour penetration (in mm) against homogenous armour plate at
a 30 angle of impact from the vertical for the guns used in the France 40 campaign.
Country Gun Ammo m/s 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
MG 34
SmK 785 8 3
SmKH [1] 785 13 8
7,5mm MAC mle.31 AP mle 29 805 6
12.7mm Vickers AP 785 15 9
13,2mm Hotchkiss AP mle 35 800 12 8
15mm BESA AP 884 20 15
Panzerbchse 39 SmKH 1265 34 14
Boys Mk.I Kynoch AP 990 21 11
2 cm KwK 30 & 38 Pzgr 780 20 14 9
25 SA 35
AP mle 34
charge forte
950 35 30 20
25 SA 34 or SA-L 37
AP mle 34
charge normal
920 35 30 20
25 CA 39 AP 875 30 25 15
3,7cm KwK 36
3,7cm PaK 35/36
Pzgr 745 35 29 22 20
Pzgr.40 [2] 1020 64 31
3,7 cm KwK 34 (t) Pzgr.(t) 675 35 30 23 21
3,7 cm KwK 38 (t) Pzgr.(t) 741 36 31 25 22
37 mle 16 TR
37 SA 18
37 SA 17
APHE mle 92 m 24 388 12 8
37 mle 16 TR
37 SA 18
37 SA 18 mle 37
APC mle 35 600 25 19
37 SA 38 APC mle 38 705 29 23 16 12
2pdr OQF Mk.IX AP 808 66 50 35 25
4.7cm Pak(t) Pzgr.36(t) 775 54 48 41 35
47 SA 35 APC mle 35 660 39 33 26 20
47 SA 37 APCBC mle 36 855 57 50 42 36
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7,5 cm KwK 40
K Gr rot Pz 385 41 38 35 32 30
Gr38 H1/A [3] 450 70 70 70 70
7,5 cm leIG 18 IGr 38 H1 [3] 305 45 45 45 45
75 mle 1897 APHE mle 10M 580 51 47 43 39 36
75 SA 35 APHE mle 10M 470 41 38 35 32 30
25pdr OQF Mk.I AP-T 610 82 60 41 28
8,8cm FlaK 18 & 37 Pzgr.39 773 120 110 100 91 84
10,5cm leFH 18
Pzgr 470 63 59 54 50 46
Gr39 H1/A [3] 470 80 80 80 80
15cm sIG 33 Gr39 H1/A [3] 280 160 160 160 160
15cm sFH 13 Gr39 H1/A [3] 460 160 160 160 160
15cm sFH 18 Gr39 H1/A [3] 465 160 160 160 160
Notes:
The SmKH was a very rare (less than 2%) bullet with a hardened core of tungsten. It was available until 1942 when lack of
tungsten stopped its production. The Panzer I seems to have been give priority as it was expected to meet enemy tanks; it had
94 SmKH and 2100 SmK rounds (i.e. approx 5%).
1.
The only Pzgr.40 (APCR) shells produced in 1940 were for the 3,7cm L/45 KwK36 or the 3,7cm PaK 35/36 which were equipped
with a very small number during the battle of France. Reports by OKW show that 7,440 Pzgr.40 rounds were fired out of a total of
about 70,000 (i.e. approx 10%). The 4,7cm Pak(t) on the Panzerjger I received the Pzgr.40 only in July 1940, the 2cm Pzgr.40 was
not introduced until later in the year and the other Pzgr.40, such as the 3,7cm(t), in May 1941: i.e. in time for the Russian
campaign.
2.
The German GR H1 shells are HEAT. This explains why armour penetration does not drop off with range. HEAT peretration is not
usually quoted over 1500m. The HEAT shells quoted here are those in use in 1940, HEAT shells improved during the war.
3.
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