Background on the Cannone da 75/46 C.A. modello 34
The Cannone da 75/46 C.A. modello 34 was an anti-aircraft gun produced by Italy and used by a number of countries during World War II. Careful use of materials in a down economy led to long inspections of proposed weaponry in Italy between the World Wars. The Cannone da 75/46 was no exception. It was introduced by Ansaldo in 1934. It took eight years before the Italian military had the anti-aircraft gun in use. Even then, it was not in widespread use.
The Cannone da 75/46 was a reliable, functional and efficient weapon. However, it did not stand out among other European anti-aircraft gun designs of the time. In fact, some of its features, particularly its carriage and its platform, were similar to UK designs. When transported, the cross-shaped platform folded, so the pivot rested on the two-wheeled carriage. Towing was done using a springed carriage. The axle is hooked to the central case. The basic design worked for its purpose, even if it was unremarkable.
At the start of production, there were 240 Cannone da 75/46 C.A. modello 34 on order. Six years later, they were still 14 guns short of the mark. Some gun parts made for the Cannone da 75/46 were being used on other projects as they were completed, thus adding to the problem. Because of these issues, there simply were not enough of these guns to cover the Italian military’s needs in Africa and Italy, where they were being used. Their use as coastal defense guns instead of anti-aircraft guns in many cases did not help, either. Outdated anti-aircraft guns were being used to fill the gap.
When Italy signed the armistice, the scant few Cannone da 75/46 in service were taken for use by the Germans. They called it the 7.5 cm Flak 264/3 (i). Germany used the guns primarily in Italy. When the Allies invaded Italy, they too used these defensive weapons to hold their positions. In the end, the weapon performed well for all armies that used it. There simply were never enough of them.
|Model||Ansaldo Cannone da 75/46 modello 35|
|Length in Calibers||46|
|Projectile Weight||14 lb (6.5 kg)|
|Charge Weight||3.76 lb (1.71 kg)|
|Muzzle Velocity||800 meters per second|
|Maximum Range||50,524 ft (15,400 m)|
|Maximum Ceiling||34,120 ft (10,400 m)|
|Maximum Elevation||0° to 90°|
|Gun Body Weight||1,113 lbs (505 kg)|
|Firing Weight||6,613 lbs (3,300 kg)|
|Traveling Weight||8,763 lbs (3,975 kg)|
|Rate of Fire||25 rpm|
|Time to Bring Gun in Firing Position||90 seconds|
Specifications courtesy Cappellano, F. “Le Artiglierie del Regio Esercito nella seconda guerra mondiale, Albertelli 1998