AA Gun Navy Oerlikon Antiaircraft WWII 3D Model
By Digital Artist: DeEspona
The term 'Oerlikon 20 mm cannon' refers to a series of autocannons, based on an original designed by Reinhold Becker during World War I. Various models of Oerlikon cannon were used during World War II, and they are still in use today.
The Germans and the Japanese used their derivatives of the Oerlikon cannons extensively. Among others, they were used on such famous aircraft as the A6M Zero Fighter and the Messerschmitt Bf 109 as well as on ships and as ground-based equipment.
Initially the Oerlikon was not looked upon favorably by the Royal Navy as a short-range anti-aircraft gun. All through 1937 and 1938 Lord Louis Mountbatten waged a lone campaign within the Royal Navy to set up an unprejudiced trial for the Oerlikon 20mm gun, but it was all in vain. It was not until the Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet, Admiral Sir Roger Backhouse, was appointed First Sea Lord that Mountbatten's efforts bore fruit. During the first half of 1939 a contract for 1,500 guns was placed in Switzerland. However, due to delays and then later the Fall of France in June 1940 only 109 guns reached the United Kingdom. All Oerlikon guns imported from Switzerland in 1940 were mounted on various gun carriages to serve as light AA-guns on land.
Just a few weeks before the Fall of France, the Oerlikon factory approved manufacture of their gun in the United Kingdom, under license. The Royal Navy managed to smuggle out the necessary drawings and documents from Z├╝rich. The production of the first British-made Oerlikon guns started in Ruislip, London, at the end of 1940; and the first guns was delivery to the Royal Navy in March or April, 1941.
The Oerlikon gun was fielded in United States Navy ships starting in 1942, replacing the M2 Browning machine gun, which lacked range and firepower. It became famous in the naval anti-aircraft role, notably against Japanese kamikaze attacks during the Pacific War. The gun was eventually abandoned as a major anti-air weapon due to its lack of stopping power against heavy aircraft, largely superseded by the Bofors 40 mm gun. It did, however, provide a useful increase in firepower over the .50 cal machine gun when adapted and fitted to some aircraft; however, it had some problems with jamming in the ammunition feed.
It is still in use today on some naval units, theoretically as a last-recourse anti-air weapon, but mainly used for police shots (warning shots or incapacitating shots).
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