German engineers also explored a variety of unconventional designs that, although often effective, were rendered impractical owing to wartime shortages in materials. The principle of incorporating a tapered bore—reducing its internal diameter from breech to muzzle in order to increase its projectile’s velocity—was first put forward in 1903 by Karl Puff. It was later reintroduced by a German engineer named Gerlich and at last applied by Rheinmetall-Borsig. The highly unique Gerlich projectile consisted of a solid tungsten carbide core enclosed by a more malleable iron outer shell. To allow shrinkage, it was also fitted with soft metal base and shoulder skirts that folded rearward along its length as it traveled down the tapered bore. Also known as “squeezebores,” taper-bore guns achieved the very high velocities that made them ideal for use against armored targets.
The 42mm LePaK41 was adopted in 1941; it fired a 0.7-pound projectile at a muzzle velocity of 4,150 fps to a maximum range of 1,094 yards. The semiautomatic 75mm PaK41 Squeezebore entered service in 1942 and incorporated a tapered—75mm to 55mm—barrel that produced a muzzle velocity of 3,691 fps and had a maximum range of 4,593 yards, firing a 16.5-pound shell. The final form of the German squeezebore guns, the 28mm Schweres Panzerbuchse 41, tapered from a 28mm breech to its 21mm muzzle. With a muzzle velocity of 4,590 fps, it could punch through 2.6 inches of armor at 500 yards. Although it was used successfully to a limited extent in North Africa in 1941, the Germans were forced to abandon taperbore guns owing to wartime shortages of tungsten. Specification 2.8-cm sPzB 41 Starting calibre: 28 mm ( 1.1 in) Emergent calibre: 20 mm (0.787 in) Length of barrel: 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in) Weight: in action 223 kg (492 lb) Traverse: 90° Elevation:-5° to+45° Muzzle velocity: AP 1400 m (4,593 ft) per second Projectile weight: AP 0.124 kg (0.27 lb) Armour penetration: 56 mm (2.205 in) at 365 m (400 yards)
NEC JACTANTIA NEC METU ("zonder woorden, zonder vrees")
Avatar: Francesco Baracca, Italiaanse aas uit Wereldoorlog I
2013:Canadian Citizen’s Memorial Campaign in Sicily.