Background on the Cannone da 47/32 mod 1935
Austrian company Böhler originally designed and manufactured this 47 mm gun in 1935. Italy obtained a license to produce it as the Cannone da 47/32 mod 1935 in 1937. In fact, Italian production reached a point where the Böhler gun became regarded as an indigenous Italian weapon.
The Cannone da 47/32 came available in two versions. The first incorporated semi-pneumatic disk wheels, and the second incorporated improved Electron (magnesium alloy, aluminum, and zinc) wheels, and an improved barrel and suspension. Built in 1939, the second and more widely used version goes by the nomenclature 47/32 mod. 39.
Initially, the tractor OCI-780 CM and the light tank L3 towed the piece, but the gun’s axles spindles and shanks would break, so that discontinued.
The Böhler gun was a handy weapon that was soon diverted into other roles. It was widely issued as an infantry gun and since it could be rapidly broken down into a number of pack loads. It was also employed as a mountain gun. Although utilized in multi-purpose roles, the Cannone da 47/32 achieved limited success in these extra roles. It did prove to be a fairly effective anti-tank gun and widely used during the early years of the war.
This weapon was also employed as the “autocannoni” AS37 and AS43 on M series tanks, the L6/40, armored diesel-electric trains, and on armed train cars in fixed positions.
Thanks to its lightweight and capability of deploying via parachute, airborne troops widely used it. The Cannone da 47/32 had extensive use on every front.
Primarily fielded by Italy, other nations also employed the gun including the Netherlands (Kanon van 4.7) as well as the Soviet Union under the nomenclature M35B. Germany also received a number of these weapons when they occupied Austria and named them the 47mm PaK.
Various Ammunition Utilized
The gun could fire both armor-piercing and high explosive projectiles, the latter having a range of 7,000 meters to provide the gun with a useful infantry support role. As armor thickness of tanks increased, the Böhler increasingly assumed an infantry support role.
- 47 mod. 35 powder charge grenade
- Piercing projectile mod. 35
- Anti tank projectile “effetto-pronto”
- Anti tank projectile “effetto-pronto speciale”
- Piercing tracer projectile mod. 39
- Piercing tracer projectile mod. 35
- Blank projectile
|Model||Cannone da 47/32|
|Caliber||1.85 inches (47 mm)|
|Length||5.51 ft (1.68 m)|
|Traveling Weight||694.5 lbs (315 kg)|
|Firing Weight||610.6 lbs (277 kg)|
|Muzzle Velocity||2,067 ft/sec (630 mps) for AP; 820ft/sec (250 mps) for HE|
|Maximum Range||7,700 yards (7,000 m)|
|Shell Weight||3.175lbs (1.44 kg) AP; 5.225lbs (2.37kg) HE|
|Elevation||-5º to +56º|
Information courtesy JDG, Federico Bottinelli, and Mareschi Cristian