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-   -   40 mm Bofors AA guns made in GB and US (http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2598)

Stellan Bojerud (RIP) 19-09-04 10:17

40 mm Bofors AA guns made in Canada, GB and US
 
1 Attachment(s)
The first of the later world famous 40 mm Bofors L/60 AA guns was delivered to the R Sw Navy in March 1932.

A number of states aquired rights for licence production. Austria (Staatsfabrik) 1935, Belgium (Fabrique Nationale) 1936, Czechoslovakia (Skoda) 1938, Finland (State factory) 1937, France 1937, Great Britain 1937, Hungary (Mavag) 1935, Norway (Kongsberg) 1937, Poland (Starachowice) 1935.

Great Britain ordered 509 guns from Bofors 1937-39 but all were not delivered before the outbreak of WW 2. At least 18 guns were placed under embargo by the Swedish Government in 1940.

Great Britain also bought guns from Belgium, Hungary and Poland because Bofors couldn´t deliver within the time limit desired.

USA did not have licence rights for export but did export (Lend-lease) nevertheless. The US Navy was negotiating for licence rights and bought one gun from Bofors which was shipped to US onboard s/s American Legion in August 1940.

Already before this gun arrived US Navy carried out tests in Trinidad. The aricraft towing the target was from USS Tuscaloosa , the Swedish made gun was onboard Hr (NL) Ms Van Kinsbergen , the fire-direction equipment Dutch-German and the trials carried out in British waters!

Anyhow the US Navy made contracts with York Safe & Lock Co, York, Pa, for producing the 40 mm Bofors. Production should start in Oct 1941 and in May 1942 reach 25 guns a month. This was however not enough.

Already in December 1940 US Army took up contacts with Chrysler Corp in Detroit. The Swedish Bofors gun delivered to US Navy in 1940 was taken over by US Army in April 1941.

Another two guns were bought from Great Britain and tested in Aberdeen in July 1941. After long negotiations US Army got an agreement with Bofors and also the blueprints - but in millimeters and not inches. One millimeter is 0,03937079 inch.

Anyhow Chrysler got orders for 300 guns a month - but that was not enough. Also Blaw-Knox Co in Martins Ferry, Ohio, took up production. Chrysler made approx 60.000 guns. Production increased to 1.500 guns a month.

Involved in US production of Bofors 40 mm guns as sub-contractors were also Webster Electric Co, Racine, Wisc, Ford Instruments Co (where?), Vickers Inc, Detroit, General Electric (where?), Northern Pump Co (where?) and Firestone Rubber Co, Akron.

So now my questions:
1) Were there more US factories making Bofors guns than Chrysler. Blaw-Knox and York Safe & Lock?
2) Wich factories in GB did make Bofors guns?
3) Were Bofors guns made in Australia and Canada?

Attached: First two US made Army Bofors guns. Guns made by Chrysler and mounts by Firestone.

For picture of a Swedish made Bofors gun see:

http://groups.msn.com/KNIL-history

Select album "Anti-Aircraft Artillery".

Stellan

Richard Farrant 19-09-04 11:00

Re: British AA gun truck
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Stellan Bojerud
A British 40 mm Bofors gun. But what type of truck? Morris?

Stellan

Stellan,

Correct, it is a Morris Commercial C9/B. I have worked on one, that is now in the Royal Artillery museum so am familiar with it.

Richard

Richard Farrant 19-09-04 11:20

Re: 40 mm Bofors AA guns made in GB and US
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Stellan Bojerud
2) Wich factories in GB did make Bofors guns?
3) Were Bofors guns made in Australia and Canada?

Stellan,

In Britain the Bofors was produced in the main, by Nuffield Mechanisations, (part of Morris Motors). Their first one being delivered to the army from their Coventry factory on 15th June 1939.
According to the Morris war history, "Calling All Arms", experts from Royal Ordnance factories, Australia and Canada, studied production at Coventry and the USA based their production on it.

Richard

Richard Farrant 19-09-04 11:24

Re: British Bofors
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Stellan Bojerud
Do You how how long approx they were in service?
Stellan,

I am not sure about the length of service, no doubt someone on here will know.

Richard

rob love 20-09-04 21:09

Cdn Bofors
 
All the Bofors I have seen from Cdn service were maufactured by Otis (Fernand(?))Elevator of Canada. There was a bit of embarassment in the early 90s when the DND went to museums and armoury floors grabbing relics to press into naval service for the Gulf war.
A weapons tech friend of mine was involved in the refurbishment/rebuild of the Bofors during the mid 90s.
I also picked up a milk crate full of parts from the scrap metal in shilo of Bofors parts which I passed on to the naval armouries in Winnipeg for one they were trying to rebuild (for display) a couple of years ago.
I beleive they have now been retired from DND service, but you can never be too sure.

Hanno Spoelstra 20-09-04 21:50

Re: Canadian 40 mm Bofors gun?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Stellan Bojerud
The gun or only the mount? Is it really a gunmount or just a waggon to transport the gun from one fixed mounting to another?
40mm on airborne mount? See Ford 3 ton AA, Airborne usage

John McGillivray 21-09-04 01:51

Otis Fensom Co.
 
Here are some photos on the National Archives of Canada web site taken at Otis Fensom Co.

http://data4.collectionscanada.ca/ne...e.html&r=0&f=S

Rob Fast 24-09-04 01:38

Stellan, do you have a history...
 
of Swedish made/ Finnish used Bofors guns. My Bofors is just that: M/38 1939 40ITK 38U, No. 201. Sweden. It is missing the big brass data plate, but this info is stamped onto the side of the breech. Any history on the gun? Thanks Rob

Gunner 24-09-04 23:31

40mm Bofors
 
Hi Guys:

I was on the last course trained on the 40mm Bofors at the Air Defence Artillery School in Chatham, New Brunswick. We handed them over to the Navy in 1988/89. These were the "Boffin" hydraulic version which had come off the HMCS Bonaventure and HMCS Magnificent... so after 15 or so years in the Artillery they went home to the Navy. It was while I was stationed there that I acquired my Canadian made example in a trade for a Bren Gun Carrier.

The 40mm Bofors was manufactured in some quantity in Canada at Otis Fensom Elevator Works. The Canadian versions were the simplified carriage with the fixed barrel travel lock mounted on the rear axle housing. Most ended the war with shields fitted and Stiffkey (pronounced Stoo-key) sight. See the photo I posted in "the Sergeants' Mess". The sight was named for the Anti-Aircraft School at Stiffkey where, I believe, it was developed.

The lightweight airborne version was developed in Canada and used aircraft tyres. It was made as light and small as possible so it would fit through the door of the Dakota or into a glider. The sole remaining example is in the RCA Museum in Shilo, Manitoba.

A few years ago Bofors produced a history book on the 40mm. I have a copy and will post the ISBN so that other enthusiasts of the mark can try to track down a copy.

I have copies of most of the Canadian manuals for the Bofors. I'll ask Alex Blair if he wants to reproduce them for people... I'd offer myself but the time and cost is significant.

Cheers!

Mike

Rob Fast 25-09-04 01:53

Great info guys...
 
and yes my gun has the Swedish sights, although I did find a set of spider web/ pancake/ sights off the Bonadventure which look a little more Canadian. I believe the Finns used my gun until 1991. Any paper info on the Swedish sights and Canadian sights would be appreciated. Cheers Rob Prairie Command Manitoba

Gunner 25-09-04 02:15

40mm Sights
 
Hi Rob:

The fraternity of Bofors owners grows!:) I take it from your post that you want to make your look Canadian. Does it have the tall skinny wheels and tyres with independent suspension?

Our collection includes a Russian 37mm Bofors clone. It has the more complex suspension of the non-Canadian Bofors and a fascinating whele within wheel traverse mechanism... the inner wheel is high speed course corrections and the outer wheel is slower and finer.

Let me know what I might be able to help with. I'd be curious to get the provenance of your piece. Was it imported by the chaps down near Orangeville?

Take care, Mike

Bill Murray 26-09-04 00:22

Quick question for Stellan
 
Stellan:
Are you using the book "The 40mm Bofors Gun" by Terry Gander as your primary resource?
I only ask as I was going to quote some passages from the book but do not wish to repeat items you may be posting as you are far more knowledgable than I on such things.
Bill

Tony Smith 26-09-04 09:19

Canadian Bofors
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quite a few of the Bofors "Downunder" are of Canadian manufacture.

Bill Murray 30-09-04 23:53

Hej Stellan:

One of my favorite quotes from Gander's book is more or less as follows:
Chrysler engineer:

"One of them is reputed to have said that the Bofors Gun had been designed by a man trying to solve the American unemployment problems of the early 1930s".

This had to do with the number of machining operations regarding the breech block and the breech ring. He also mentions some 625 inspection gauges that had to be used which was totally different from the American mass production methods even in that time. He goes on to further say that the Chrysler engineers solved these various problems so well that by the end of 1943 they were producing more Bofors guns than the US Army could absorb. After that time all production seemed to be for the US Navy.

Just a footnote
Bill

Stellan Bojerud (RIP) 01-10-04 08:53

Hungarian Bofors
 
1 Attachment(s)
As seen here (Eastern Front 1944) the Hungarian Bofors guns had Swedish type sights and carriages.

Did the guns Britain bought from Hungary have such sights. I think those bought from Poland had this.

Stellan Bojerud (RIP) 01-10-04 11:26

Re: 40mm Bofors
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally posted by Gunner


The 40mm Bofors was manufactured in some quantity in Canada at Otis Fensom Elevator Works. The Canadian versions were the simplified carriage with the fixed barrel travel lock mounted on the rear axle housing. Most ended the war with shields fitted and Stiffkey (pronounced Stoo-key) sight. See the photo I posted in "the Sergeants' Mess". The sight was named for the Anti-Aircraft School at Stiffkey where, I believe, it was developed.

Mike

Is this the "Stiffkey-Stick" AKA "Correctional Sight" type sight?



The US used a "Kerrison Predictor". What did that look like?

Picture from Holland December 1944.

Added after that I became wiser: Yes, this is the Mk IV Sight aka Stiffkey-Stick. Introduced in 1944.

Stellan Bojerud (RIP) 01-10-04 15:33

Re: Stellan, do you have a history...
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally posted by Rob Fast
of Swedish made/ Finnish used Bofors guns. My Bofors is just that: M/38 1939 40ITK 38U, No. 201. Sweden. It is missing the big brass data plate, but this info is stamped onto the side of the breech. Any history on the gun? Thanks Rob
Hello Rob!

Rereading this I suddenly realize (despite my poor knowledge of the Finnish language) what the text most probably means:

40ItK. 40 = 40 mm. ItK = Ilmatorjuntatykki = AA gun. 38 U = not sure, could perhaps be the carriage type. No.201 is the inventory number of the gun.

Here another Ilmatorjuntatykki - perhaps Your own gun. Rukajärvi 10th October 1941 - Barbarbarossa ongoing.

Stellan

Stellan Bojerud (RIP) 02-10-04 04:53

Bofors guns - help needed
 
Dear MLU-fellows,

I have come across information stating that 40 mm Bofors guns were also made by:

1. Maribyrnong in Australia
2. Dominion Bridge, Vancouver, Canada

Who knows more of this?

Stellan

Stellan Bojerud (RIP) 02-10-04 13:15

Re: Re: British AA gun truck
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Richard Farrant
Stellan,

Correct, it is a Morris Commercial C9/B. I have worked on one, that is now in the Royal Artillery museum so am familiar with it.

Richard

Learning a bit more I have found out that this vehicle was called:

Platform Carrier Morris 40-mm AA Mk I. Introduced in 1944.

The same year a number of Crusader Tanks were rebuilt as:

Crusader III AA Tank Mk I. Anybody have a picture of such a vehicle?

Stellan

Greg Beeston 02-10-04 14:01

upgrade
 
During my time at the Ordnance Factory Maribyrnong (76-88) Bofor guns were reconditioned and upgraded. This included a hydraulic powered movment. I think the sights were round, 10-12" in diameter. If i'm right these bofor guns were for naval use. I'm Not aware of the guns being made there but that might be before my time. the factory certainly was capable of making these guns

Stellan Bojerud (RIP) 02-10-04 14:47

Re: 40mm Sights
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Gunner


Our collection includes a Russian 37mm Bofors clone. It has the more complex suspension of the non-Canadian Bofors and a fascinating whele within wheel traverse mechanism... the inner wheel is high speed course corrections and the outer wheel is slower and finer.


That must be the 37 mm M/1939 gun. What puzzles me is how the Soviet Union got hold of the design. It was redesigned by Soviet engineers.

I dont know of any Bofors guns exported to USSR. Possibly they god hold of some in Poland late Sept 1939.

Some sources states that the USSR gun was a downscaled 40 mm. Others that it was an upgraded version of the Swedish 25 mm M/1932 - that never was exported at all.

Stellan

Bill Murray 03-10-04 00:00

Evening Stellan:

I could continue to provide quotes from Terry Gander's book but maybe it is better if you get a copy.

The 40 mm Bofors Gun
Terry Gander 1986
Patrick Stephens Ltd. (UK)
ISBN 0-85059-840-0

If not available at Stadsbiblioteket in Stockholm, surely Bofors themselves must have copies available in their Public Relations or Advertising Department or at the very least in their own technical library.

If that does not work, please let me know and I will try to fill in a gap or two with the caveat that I know next to nothing about artillery. At least the book is in my mother tongue.
Cheers
Bill

Stellan Bojerud (RIP) 03-10-04 09:54

Book on Bofors guns
 
1 Attachment(s)
Thank You Bill!

I was able to track the book down so I will order it from my local library. The library of the National Defence College has it - but they are closed on Fridays and I only visit Stockholm on Fridays.

I also found out that it is on sale for approx 95 USD. So first I will have a look and if the book is good enough I will buy it.

Myself I understand guns more than vehicles. This kind of real "softskin" gun traction I do however understand:

Batoedjadar (near Bandung, W Java) 1938. Water-buffaloes (Karbouw) towing a Bofors 40 mm AA gun through a rice-field (Sawah).

A question to you all:

I found out that Ford F60B was used as platform for SP 40 mm AA guns. What did those look like?

Greetings,

Stellan

Stellan Bojerud (RIP) 03-10-04 13:06

Markings on Bofors 40 mm AA guns
 
Hello Bofors-owners and others!

I came across this marking on a Bofors gun:

Q.F. 40 mm. Mk.I
Breech casing No L. 28318
O.F.E/C. 1943

I have read O.F.E/C. as Otis Fensom Elevator. C for Co or Canada.

1. Is that right?

2. Are there other examples how different factories marked the guns?

All help welcome,


Stellan

John McGillivray 03-10-04 16:25

1 Attachment(s)
Here are some links of photos of Canadian Bofors guns on line.

http://www.agencephotosmemorial.com/...23_IMG0010.jpg

http://www.agencephotosmemorial.com/...-ZK-1087-1.jpg

John McGillivray 03-10-04 17:56

1 Attachment(s)
Here is a photo of the Ford self-propelled F60S 40mm Bofors.

John McGillivray 03-10-04 18:04

1 Attachment(s)
A photo of a Crusader III, AA Mk I on Juno Beach.

John McGillivray 03-10-04 18:10

1 Attachment(s)
Another photo of a Crusader III, AA Mk I on Juno Beach.

John McGillivray 03-10-04 18:16

1 Attachment(s)
The late version of the Crusader III, AA Mk I with the full gun shield.

John McGillivray 03-10-04 20:43

1 Attachment(s)
A Crusader III, AA Mk I belonging to the LAA Regt. of 1st British Corps.


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