3.7 cm Flak M42

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3.7 cm/69 Flak M42[1]
3.7cm Flak M42 LM42U.png
A single 3.7 cm Flak M42U gun on the LM 42U mount.
Type Anti-aircraft
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
In service 1943–1945
Used by Kriegsmarine
Wars World War II
Production history
Designed 1942
Manufacturer Rheinmetal-Borsig
Produced 1943–45
Specifications (3.7 cm Flak M42)
Weight 109 kg (240 lb)
Barrel length 2.560 cm (1.008 in) bore (69 calibers)
Crew 3–4

Shell 37 × 355 mm
Shell weight 635–700 g (1.400–1.543 lb)
Caliber 37 mm (1.5 in)
Breech sliding breech block
Elevation -10° to +90°
Traverse 360°
Rate of fire 150 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 815–865 m/s (2,670–2,840 ft/s)
Effective firing range
  • 4,800 m (5,200 yd) at 85° elevation
  • 6,400 m (7,000 yd) at 45° elevation
Feed system 5-round clips

The 3.7 cm Flak M42 was the marine version of the 3.7-centimetre (1.5 in) Flak 36/37 and used by the Kriegsmarine on surface ships and as the M42U on Type VII and Type IX U-boats. The 3.7 cm Flak M42U used several types of mounts and entered service in autumn 1943.[2]

3.7 cm Flak M42[edit]

The 3.7 cm Flak M42 was a longer caliber version of the Wehrmacht's 3.7 cm Flak 36, 69 caliber as opposed to 57 caliber. It replaced the older 3.7 cm SK C/30 that had been designed in 1930. The gun was loaded with a five-round ammunition clip, giving it a rate of fire of 250 rounds per minute, unlike the SK C/30 which was single-shot with a rate of 30 rounds per minute. The M42 was also about 134 kg (295 lb) lighter than the SK C/30 and had gun shields.[1][3]

LM 42U Mount[edit]

The LM 42U mount was developed specifically for the 3.7 cm Flak M42U. It was manned by a 3-man crew, with a fourth man operating as the loader.[4]

DLM 42U Mount[edit]

The twin mount was based on the LM 42U design, in which the 3.7 cm Flak M42U guns were mounted side by side.[5]

LM 43U Mount[edit]

The LM 43U mount was the final design of mount used on U-boats. It was a further improvement on the LM 42U. The LM 43U was only known to be installed on these U-boats (U-249, U-826, U-977, U-1023, U-1171, U-1305 and U-1306).[5]



  1. ^ a b DiGiulian 2016.
  2. ^ Miroslaw Skwiot 2010, German Naval Guns: 1939-1945. Seaforth. p 333
  3. ^ DiGiulian 2017.
  4. ^ Miroslaw Skwiot 2010, German Naval Guns: 1939-1945. Seaforth. p 340
  5. ^ a b Miroslaw Skwiot 2010, German Naval Guns: 1939-1945. Seaforth. p 342


  • DiGiulian, Tony (30 November 2016). "Germany 3.7 cm/69 (1.5") Flak M42". NavWeaps. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  • DiGiulian, Tony (30 April 2017). "Germany 3.7 cm/83 SK C/30". NavWeaps. Retrieved 23 September 2017.

External links[edit]