20mm Oerlikon Self-propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun
The Oerlikon has its origins in the First World War with the German Army. Its inventor, Reinhold Becker, moved in 1919 to Switzerland where he continued development and the improved weapon went into production with Semag, who eventually were brought out by Werkzeug Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon. Britain acquired licences to build the gun, and used it extensively for both light ground and Naval anti-aircraft roles.
This weapon is appearance is distinguished by a single gun barrel surrounded by a significant spring recuperator and assembly on the mounting. A drum magazine fixed on the top of the gun carries the ammunition supply. The trigger is located in front of the right handgrip. After shooting, the empty cases are ejected under the weapon into a mesh-reinforced bag intended to protect the gunner.
It is crewed by three: the gunner; the observer, identifying targets for the gunner; and the loader, who supplied the weapon with ammunition. It was used as an anti-aircraft weapon. For mobile ground use a light wheeled carriage was used, this was designed to allow 360’ traverse and is capable of high-speed travel, no gun shield was fitted.
Most commonly it was mounted on a CMP 15cwt truck for easy mobility.
Calibre: 20 mm
Weight: 480 kg without ammunition
Traverse: -15° with + 90°
Practical maximum range: 2000 meters
Muzzle Velocity: 820 m/s
Rate of Fire: 450 rounds/minute
In Flames Of War
The Oerlikon SPAA can be found in the Anti-Aircraft platoon as one of the Weapons platoons choices for the British Rifle Company in For King & Country. You can field up to four guns supporting your Riflemen.
The Oerlikon has a similar performance to other 20mm Anti-aircraft guns. Range: 24”/60cm, ROF: 4, AT 5, FP 5+. The advantage this platoon has over the excellent 40mm Bofors gun equipped platoons is that it is mounted on trucks for greater mobility, giving your troops anti-aircraft cover while on the move.