Cannone-Mitragliera Breda da 20/65 modello 35
The Breda 20mm anti-aircraft gun was widely used by the Italian Armed forces during the war. Performing in the role of light anti-aircraft, it was also used successfully in the ground role. Like many weapons of it time it was designed as a dual-purpose weapon for use against ground and air targets.
It entered service with the Italian Army in 1935. The gun was mounted on a twin-wheeled carriage that could be towed into action behind a truck, it could be broken down into four loads on pack horse or mule, but in most circumstances it was simply carried on the back of a 3-ton truck such as the Dovunque 35. When carried on a truck it was often set up to fire from its mount on the vehicle.
The gun required a three-man crew, the gunner was seated behind the breech and used a telescopic sight mounted on a pivoting arm attached to the guns mounting. The remainder of the crew served the gun from around the weapon. The ammunition was fed into the gun on 12-round trays. The gun returned the empty shells to the tray on ejection.
It fired armour-piercing rounds against armoured ground targets and high explosive rounds, with a very sensitive percussion fuse, against aircraft. The high explosive round included a self-destruct feature if it did not find its target.
It proved a very successful anti-aircraft gun, but as tank technology moved on in the 1940s the type of armour it was envisioned to be firing at in the 1930s no longer existed.
It worked well against light un-armoured vehicles and lightly armoured reconnaissance vehicles. The Allies also appreciated the Breda and during the North African campaign captured 20/65 guns were mounted on a variety of allied vehicles.
Length of Piece: 1.3m
Firing Weight: 307.35kg
Maximum Ceiling: 2,500m
Elevation: –10º to +80º
Traverse: 360 degrees
Muzzle Velocity: 830-850m/s
Rate of Fire: 200-220 rpm
Shell Weight: 135g
In Flames of War
A Light Anti-aircraft Platoon armed with the 20/65 autocannon is available as a Divisional Support platoon to any Italian Compagnia. As well as being used portee on the trucks they can also dismount to fire from its ground mount.
The 20/65 has a Range 24”/60cm, ROF 4, AT 5, FP 5+ and is mounted on a turntable giving it a 360° arc of fire.