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The Breda Model 35

The Breda Model 35 on its tripod platform

The Breda Model 35 was an anti-aircraft gun used by Italy during World War II. The design was developed in 1932 and it began being used in combat by the Italian military in 1935. It was an effective weapon and saw widespread use in both expected and unexpected places during the war. It was made by the Societa Italiana Ernesto Breda of Brescia.

Despite having been designed with a two-wheeled trailer that was useful for pulling by soldiers, the Breda Model 35 was often transported by truck. It could also be broken down and carried in four packs, which was a rather handy feature. In many cases, it was simply mounted directly to a vehicle, particularly tanks and armored cars. It was even mounted on torpedo boats. This was far better than towing the guns around, as the trailer could only be pulled at a scant 12 mph (20 km/h) before it became unstable.

The Breda Model 35 had a tripod platform that was more stable than its trailer. The gun could be used against ground vehicles, as well as aircraft, making it particularly useful in battle. Troops used armor-piercing rounds against ground vehicles and high explosive projectiles against aircraft. The weapon required three men to use it and had a sight arm that allowed the aimer to keep it at face level, regardless of the gun’s elevation. Unfortunately, this helpful took was cumbersome. Therefore, it was often replaced with lighter, easier to carry options.

Most Italian weapons used during World War II were also used by Germany, either while they were allies or after Italy surrendered to Germany in 1943. In the case of the Breda Model 35, Germany was not the only country to get their hands on them. Finland legitimately purchased the weapons. They mounted four on torpedo boats and used the rest on land. Several countries were also able to utilize the Breda Model 35 after many of them were taken in North Africa.

Caliber 20mm (.79 inches)
Length 3.34m (10 ft 11 in)
Travelling Weight 33okg (730lbs)
Weight in Action 307.35kg (678lbs)
Elevation -10 degrees to +80 degrees (-10 degrees to +90 degrees mounted on boats
Traverse 360 degrees
Muzzle Velocity 840m/sec (2,800 ft/sec)
Range 1,500m (4,900 feet) when targeting aircraft
Shell Weight .135 kg (.298 lbs)
Shell 20 x 138 mm B

Photo in the Public Domain by Max Smith; Information courtesy of Bishop, Chris, Encyclopedia of weapons of World War II

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