Skoda 40 mm L/67 AA guns

The Czech firm of Skoda developed a 40mm naval AA gun in the late 1920s. Its designation in a German data table is given as “4 cm Schiffs-Flak L/71”. In another source it is referred to as the “L/67”. Unlike the automatic Bofors gun, the Skoda was manually loaded. The gun was made in single and twin (illustrated) mountings. As far as I know, these mountings were only fitted to two Yugoslavian warships, the destroyer Dubrovnik and the seaplane tender Zmaj .

The only figures I have on the cartridge are from the German data table, which lists three projectiles:

  1. “Z.Z.Gr”: weight 0.95 kg, MV 950 m/s
  2. “Z.Z.Gr”: weight 1.0 kg, MV 945 m/s
  3. “A.Z.Gr”: weight 0.95 kg, MV 950 m/s

The ammunition was clearly very powerful and must have been significantly bigger than the 1930s Bofors 40mm L/56 round (40x311R) which fired 0.95 kg projectiles at 850 m/s. The closest comparator seems to have been the German SKC/30 in 37x380R, which was also a high-velocity manually-loaded naval AA gun.

Does anyone have any information about the cartridge dimensions, or know if an example exists anywhere?

The photo is courtesy of Jaroslav Tvrdy. I am also grateful to Dr Zvonimir Freivogel for providing the data sheet on the gun.

Tony, as the Czechoslovaks designated their 47mm as a 4cm you may check into the direction of 47mm.

Could it be related to the KPÚV 38 (PaK 38(t))?
The Panzerjäger 1 tank destroyers used the KPÚV 38 firing 47x405R.


Ole, this is what I thought initially.
Just the projectiles do have time fuzes then, means projectiles could be modified.

I have asked back to several people who are usually well informed. Maybe they will post here directly.

Good thinking - thanks.

I have remembered that I have a book on the history of Czechoslovak artillery (československé dēlostrelecké zbranē by Vladimír Karlickÿ) which is of limited use to me as I don’t read the language, but the tables and photos are of interest.

One table on page 19 headed (without trying to figure out the various marks above the letters) NAMORNI DELA SOUSTAVY SKODA V LETECH 1890-1940, includes the one we are looking for, with the title “4cm ponorkovy kanon PL d/71 (1936)”, the projectile weight of 0.95 kg and MV of 950 m/s.

Immediately beneath it in the table is the “4,7cm lodni kanon d/46 (1935)”, which fired a 1.65 kg projectile at 775 m/s.

On page 107 is a photo of a single AA gun on a tracked platform captioned “4cm PL kanon Z soustavy Skoda” (plus lots more). Might be the same gun.

However, on page 132 is another reference to a “4cm kanon vz. 36 A6 L1” which had a calibre of 47mm but only an L43.4 barrel and an MV of 775 m/s.

So the question of whether it is of 40 mm or 47 mm calibre is not entirely resolved, but on reflection, I think that this was probably 40mm, because the projectile weight is appropriate for the calibre (it would be very light for a 47mm).