Recently I acquired, among a whole swodge of interesting additions to my WW2 and Moderns projects (heaps of stuff I'll be working on for quite a while, I reckon!), were a couple of small anti-tank weapons that have occasioned me some perplexity and puzzlement. Right here, I offer my thanks to everyone who has attempted to resolve the mystery for me.
|Mystery German anti-tank guns.|
|'Mystery' gun and PaK38|
|Mystery gun and PaK38 -|
different angle. The latter looks much larger.
When I first saw examples of these, and observing the superficial similarity to the larger 7.5cm PaK40, I supposed they were 5cm PaK38s, if perhaps on the small side. As such I was pleased to have them.
But then I found that they were not very similar to PaK38s at all. The examples I had ended up as the basis for Soviet 45L46 antitank guns instead.
|A huge contrast between these two:|
PaK38 on the left; on the right the
Thinking about this in more recent times, I wondered if they might be one of those tapered bore weapons. The 28mm Solothurn I could rule out. Those first generation Airfix fellows were reasonable examples of those, as the following pictures indicate.
|Two Airfix sPzB41 anti-tank guns/rifles.|
These are from the first generation
Airfix 'Afrika Korps' set of figures.
|Image found in the internet|
in which wheels are attached
|A Solothurn sPzB41 abandoned at Stalingrad|
Ruling out the 28mm Solathurn (a.k.a. sPzB41) and the PaK38: what remained?
|ESCI and Fujimi 37mm PaK35/36s. |
The slightly larger scale ESCI gun has
entered service in the Red Army as
45mm L46 ATGs. Compare with the 'mystery'
gun at the bottom right.
Not the 37mm PaK35/36, that's for sure. Totally different look there, and the actual gun was bigger even with the weapons overall smaller profile. The picture below serves to compare and contrast:
|Another comparative picture. The 45L46|
can be removed from its base, making a much
more flexible war games arrangement than the
fixed PaK38 (acquired second hand).
1. Mystery gun
2. Fujimi 37mm PaK35/36 Anti-Tank (from the PzIIIM/N kit)
3. ESCI 37mm PaK35/36 Anti-Tank painted up as a Soviet 45mmL46 gun.
4. Metal 50mm Pak38 Anti-Tank.
Finally I seemed to recall the existence of tapered bore gun slightly larger than the 28mm sPzB: the tapered bore 42mm PaK41. This was not to be confused with a 7.5cm weapon also designated PaK41. Online researches into the appearance of this weapon were pretty inconclusive, but came up with this, from the 'Historywarsweapons' site:
"The 4.2 cm Pak (Panzerabwehrkanone) 41 was a taper-bore anti-tank gun in service with the Wehrmacht between 1941 and 1945. ...
Barrel length: 2.25 m
Weight: 560 kg
Elevation: -8º to +25º
Muzzle velocity: 1265 m/s (4,150 ft/s)
Effective range: 1,000 m"
The image footing the brief article I have some doubts about, but even so, I will take it as my 'authority'. My newly acquired mystery guns will enter service with the Wehrmacht - or the Army of Orotina as the case may be - as 4.2mm tapered bore PaK41 anti-tank guns. The barrel on the model, including the breech, is just on 30mm, which, at 1:76 scale, comes to between 2.28m and 2.29m: very close to the the 2.25m barrel length specification. That will do me!
Finally, just to close this posting, here is a pair of Soviet 45mm L66 anti-tank I bought second hand with a whole bunch of other stuff some years ago. All I did was touch up the guns and reflock the bases (I tend to a fairly minimalist approach to this). It has to be admitted that in Command Decision terms, the huge bases could be a problem!