8 cm M5/8 anti aircraft gun

Among the technical developments of the Great War, the air force stood out. Against the rapidly expanding and increasingly dangerous aircraft, the military command sought to protect ground troops. Therefore, engineers tried to develop the necessary weapons for this. In the first half of the war, attempts were made to mount existing tools, machine guns, and light cannons on racks. This made it possible to adjust the trajectory of the projectiles to the aerial targets and to make the devices circularly movable so that they could be fired in any direction. Most often in the Monarchy, the 8 cm M5 field cannon was used for this purpose. These rudimentary devices could only interfere with enemy air activity. Their efficiency was minimal. 1-2 out of hundreds or thousands of shots hit. The use of machine guns against fast-moving targets was not significantly more effective.

The cannon barrel of the 8 cm cannon was later mounted on a rotatable steel stand designed by Skoda engineers. The weapon thus created was already a real anti-aircraft gun, although it was made using the barrel of an earlier construction. The serial code number was M5/8 M.P anti aircraft gun. The gun barrel of the weapon was able to be adjusted in the range of -10 to +80 degrees and could be rotated in a circle. It launched a grenade with a 6.6 kg shrapnel to a maximum distance of 3,600 meters. In practice, these still rudimentary weapons were not much more effective than their improvised predecessors.

On the badge of the ARKANZAS company we see the cannon, which is completely similar to the tools seen in the material of the Military History Museum in Budapest.

The two photos are intended to illustrate the development of air defense. The devices were also mounted on trucks, which made it possible to further expand the range of applications.

The opening image of the entry also shows the personnel of the anti-aircraft gun together with the operators of the devices measuring the direction, distance and speed of the targets.

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