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Cannone-Mitragliera da 20/77 (Scotti)

20/77 Scotti on pedestal mount

The Italian army had two standard 20mm anti-aircraft weapons during World War II. One was the Breda and the other was the Cannone-Mitragliera da 20/77 (Scotti) that was first designed in 1932 and produced by the Swiss Oerlikon company that used a 60 round drum that was eventually discarded in favor of 12 round trays for the ammunition. Compared to the Breda the Scotti was a far simpler weapon. It resembled the Oerlikon in some respects but used a different mechanism. The Scotti was easier to manufacture than the Breda, and despite the use of a longer barrel, the Scotti’s overall performance was inferior to the Breda. The same ammunition type appears to have been used, but the lower maximum effective ceiling shows that a different propellant charge was being used. To balance this, against targets at low altitudes the rate of fire was slightly higher and, for the benefit of the crew, the Scotti was a lighter weapon than the Breda.

The Scotti appears to have been used in smaller numbers than the Breda, but was used by many other nations, such as China and many of the South American countries. After 1942 the ease of fabrication of the Scotti led to an increase in production totals, but the type never seriously challenged the number of Bredas in service. Before 1943 many Scottis were used by German troops in North Africa as the 2-cm Scotti (i), and once the Italians surrendered the Scotti became an established part of the German inventory.

It was used by the Germans operating against the Yugoslav partisans. Two versions of the Scotti were produced. One was a semi-mobile version that could be carried on trucks and dismounted for use. Once off the trucks the Scotti could be manhandled into position on its two wheel carriage, although in action the gun rested on a flat tripod mounting. The other version was static on a pedestal mounting that was used mainly in defense of the Italian homeland. A number of these were taken over by the British troops for local defense of coastal artillery positions. After 1945 the Scotti was used for a number of years by the reconstituted Italian army.

Information courtesy JDG.

Caliber 20mm
Length of Piece 60.6in (1.54m)
Firing Weight 502lbs (227.5kg)
Maximum Ceiling 7,005ft (2,135m)
Elevation –10º to +85º
Traverse 360 degrees
Muzzle Velocity 2,723ft/sec (830m/s)
Rate of Fire cyclic: 250 rpm
Shell Weight .276lbs (.125kg)

The Encyclopedia of Weapons: From World War II to the Present Day