Last updated: 12-Feb-2013
25mm French Hotchkiss (25x194R) and the German 28/20 PzB 41 (28/20x187R)
The guns in this section are scaled down artillery pieces with vertical sliding breech, although considered 'lightweight' and can be operated by one man they are not as portable as a rifle, especially the Hotchkiss. They have been included because they are transitional weapons, the PzB41 was the more successful of the two. The next step up from here would be to 37mm and 45mm anti-tank guns. The 25mm round is unusual for its size in that it is a FMJ projectile with hardened steel core (like an overgrown rifle round), rather than a steel projectile with copper driving bands.
The 25mm Hotchkiss was issued in 1939 to the British Army as a stop gap until sufficient 2-pounders were produced, and as a token gesture of uniform equipment between the Allies. Most were lost in France and those that remained in Britain lasted only as long as the stock of ammunition. Almost all had vanished by mid-1941.
25mm Hotchkiss penetration performance at 30degrees elevation, 100m - 30mm, 500mm - 29mm, 1000m - 20mm
The rimmed 25mm Hotchkiss case was used in the light anti-tank Mle 1934 and AFV gun in French service in the late 1930s, (the anti aircraft 25mm Hotchkiss gun had a shorter case 163mm and is rimless, the AA version does not have the same VSB). These two weapons are linked in that the Hotchkiss cartridge was taken as the basis for the taper-bore experiments (conducted in 1940 by the Danish Larsen company for the French Army), which were then followed up by the Germans to create the PzB 41, the most significant of the Gerlich type taper-bore AT guns. Muzzle velocity of the PzB was in the region of 4,600 fps (1,400 m/s). It worked well, but suffered from a shortage of the tungsten needed in the projectile.
Sketch of the PzB41, wheels removed.
28/20mm PzB41 penetration performance, 60mm @ 100m and 25mm @ 1,000m
Below: A case of ammunition for the PzB41
Below: Two WW2 pictures of abandoned 25mm guns and a sectioned round of AP ammunition.
Below: Many thanks to Anton Yttervik from Norway for these detailed strip-down pictures of the AA version 25mm Hotchkiss (25x163mm)!
Check out his website http://www.kvalvikfort.no (its in Norwegian but you get the idea!)
This site was last updated 02/12/13