Cannone da 75/46 C.A. modello 34

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 C.A. modello 34 being used in North Africa.

The Cannone da 75/46 C.A. modello 34 being used in North Africa.

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.

A clearer image of the Cannone da 75/46.

A clearer image of the Cannone da 75/46.

Performance

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 Outdated anti-aircraft guns were being used to fill the gap.

The Cannone da 75/46 C.A. modello 34.

The Cannone da 75/46 C.A. modello 34.

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.

A view of the sighting arrangement on the left had side of the Cannone da 75/46.

A view of the sighting arrangement on the left had side of the Cannone da 75/46.

Specifications

Model Ansaldo Cannone da 75/46 modello 35
Caliber 75 mm
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 Traverse 360°
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
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Shelly Barclay writes on a variety of topics from animal facts to mysteries in history. Her main focus is military and political history. She is a writer for the Boston History Examiner, Military History Examiner and the Boston American Revolution History Examiner. She also writes for a local historical society newsletter.