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  #1  
Old 19-09-04, 10:17
Stellan Bojerud (RIP)'s Avatar
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Default 40 mm Bofors AA guns made in Canada, GB and US

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
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Last edited by Stellan Bojerud (RIP); 04-03-05 at 10:38.
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  #2  
Old 19-09-04, 11:00
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Default 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
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  #3  
Old 19-09-04, 11:20
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Default 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
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  #4  
Old 19-09-04, 11:24
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Default 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
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  #5  
Old 20-09-04, 21:09
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Default 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.
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  #6  
Old 20-09-04, 21:50
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Default 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
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  #7  
Old 21-09-04, 01:51
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Default 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
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  #8  
Old 24-09-04, 01:38
Rob Fast Rob Fast is offline
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Default 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
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  #9  
Old 21-05-19, 21:20
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Default Rob Fast's Bofors # 201

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Fast View Post
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
Im afraid I have to tell that Stelllan Bojerud passed away in 2015
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellan_Bojerud

I had the benefit of talking with him about the Bofors guns many years ago and have continued my research in Swedish archives.

What I actually knows is that Sweden managed to get a contract for 68 guns from Hungary in spring of 1938.
Hungary needed Dollars to import other arms and thus expanded their licence production for export orders the years before the war. (as did Poland)

At the same time Bofors of Sweden produced more guns for export than for the small Swedish order with a Serial number range from 1 - 100.
Actually Swedish private donations accounted for more guns than the governmental orders in 1939.

This Hungarian contract was above and beyond the Swedish long term plan and budget.
But Swedish prime minister Hansson promised the Procurement agency they could count on new money for the next fiscal year, so they dared to sign the order.
The Swedish designation was 40mm Akan m/38 and at least in 1945,
the guns where branded as Bofors and not MAVAG.
Serial number range for those guns that remainded in Sweden Autumn 1939
where from 208 - 268.

On the other hand there where no planned organization for these guns
so the bottle neck on Swedish side was officers and trainers.
While we had enough Bofors guns to keep the trainers busy.
So a significant number of the new guns where stored waiting for a crew.

In 1937 Finland had started to set up their own licence production of Bofors 40mm at the state gun factory "VTT" but setting up a new factory took time and the optimistic plans where delayed numerous times.

A few months after the Swedes Finland also made an order in Hungary of 30 guns. These where to be delivered later and from Swedish experience the Finns wanted to start training as soon as possible.

Sweden passed over the first 8 guns to the Finns as a loan early 1939, and the Finns started training crews.
On the 23 September 1939 the first Hungarian guns from the Finnish order arrived in Sweden and instead of moving guns between the countries again.
Sweden took the new Finnish ordered guns with serial number 1 to 8 and
Finland kept the Swedish guns which I assume are numbered 201-208.

To confuse matters Sweden renamed gun number 1 to 8 to 201 to 208 in October 1940, So you have to look at the actual document from the period to make sense of it.

So in short - I feels pretty sure that your gun was bought by Sweden sent to Finland in spring 1939 and remained there until post war.

Kind Regards
/John T
Stockholm
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  #10  
Old 24-09-04, 23:31
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Default 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
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  #11  
Old 25-09-04, 01:53
Rob Fast Rob Fast is offline
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Default 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
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  #12  
Old 25-09-04, 02:15
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Default 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
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  #13  
Old 26-09-04, 00:22
Bill Murray Bill Murray is offline
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Default 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.
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  #14  
Old 26-09-04, 09:19
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Default Canadian Bofors

Quite a few of the Bofors "Downunder" are of Canadian manufacture.
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  #15  
Old 30-09-04, 23:53
Bill Murray Bill Murray is offline
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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
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  #16  
Old 01-10-04, 08:53
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Default Hungarian Bofors

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.
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  #17  
Old 01-10-04, 11:26
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Default Re: 40mm Bofors

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.
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  #18  
Old 01-10-04, 15:33
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Default Re: Stellan, do you have a history...

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
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  #19  
Old 02-10-04, 04:53
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Default 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
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Old 02-10-04, 13:15
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Default 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
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Old 02-10-04, 14:01
Greg Beeston Greg Beeston is offline
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Default 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
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Old 02-10-04, 14:47
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Default 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
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Old 03-10-04, 00:00
Bill Murray Bill Murray is offline
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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
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Old 03-10-04, 09:54
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Default Book on Bofors guns

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
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Old 03-10-04, 13:06
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Default 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
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Old 03-10-04, 16:25
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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
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Old 03-10-04, 17:56
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Here is a photo of the Ford self-propelled F60S 40mm Bofors.
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Old 03-10-04, 18:04
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A photo of a Crusader III, AA Mk I on Juno Beach.
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  #29  
Old 03-10-04, 18:10
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Another photo of a Crusader III, AA Mk I on Juno Beach.
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  #30  
Old 13-06-10, 23:36
madame_faloola madame_faloola is offline
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Hi John,

With regards to the picture of the Bofors/Crusader that you posted on 3rd October 2004 at 17.10, do you have any idea where it was taken? My Grandad was a gunner and landed on Juno beach on D-Day - he talks about being on a crusader tank, but that there were no armour plates around the gun.
Thanks for your help,

Rachel
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