Bofors 37 mm

Bofors 37 mm

Bofors 37 mm

The Bofors 37 mm gun was an anti-tank gun, which was designed by Swedish manufacturer Bofors in the early 1930s. The Bofors37 mm was used primarily at the beginning of World War II by the armies of many countries.

Development History

The PaK was originally developed by the Swedish company Bofors mainly for export purposes. The first prototype was made in 1932, the development process, however, took on to until 1934. TheNetherlandswere the first customers with twelve units in 1935, later followed by many other orders.

InDenmark,Finland, theNetherlandsand Poland Lizenznachbauten were manufactured.

The run was a single block type with a semi-automatic collapsible closure and a small muzzle brake. He was mounted on a carriage, had the metal hangers and metal wheels with rubber tires. To the serving staff to provide a little protection from firearms and bullet fragments, the cannon with a5 mmthick metal plate was fitted.



A version with a slightly stronger cartridge was manufactured by the Danish state arsenal Haerens Vaabenarsenal and as provided Fodfolkskanon 37 mm M1937 in service. In 1945, Danish troops took on their return with some Swedish models from the year 1938.


114 pieces were bought PstK/36 than 37 in the years 1938 and 1939, some were returned to Sweden in 1940. Furthermore, given the Finnish Defence Forces 1940/41 42 Polish versions, which had captured the Wehrmacht during the Polish campaign and from local producers Tampella and VTT (Valtion Tykkitehdas – State Artillery Factory) in the years 1939 to1941 a total of 355 pieces produced. The outbreak of the Winter War in 1939 it had the Finnish Army 98 pieces. The weapon remained until1986 in the inventory lists of the military.


During the Polish campaign were captured specimens than 3.7 cm PaK 36 (p) and the specimens from the Danish company Weserübung than 3.7 cm PaK 157 (d).


12 units were ordered in 1935 at Bofors, in addition, there was a locally-produced version.


As wz.36 ordered the Polish army 300 pieces, also several hundred additional copies of SMPzA (Stowarzyszenie Mechaników z Polski Ameryki) were produced in Pruszkow, some of which were exported and before the Polish campaign, about 1,200 were present. An armored variant called wz.37 was installed in the tank 7TP (single tower), 9TP (prototypes) and 10TP (prototypes). Before the war, 111 pieces were produced.


556 pieces of PaK former Polish army were purchased.


Some pieces were purchased by Republicans during the Spanish Civil War.


Put into service as a 37 mm infanterikanon M/34 (infantry gun model 1934), updated version in 1938 as a 37 mm pansarvärnskanon M/38 (PaK model 1938) and 37 mm M/38 F pansarvärnskanon. The PaK was as tank gun for the 37 mm cannon Stridsvagn M/38 and as armament for the light-armored AB Landsverk Strv M/38, M/39 Strv, Strv m/40 and for the Swedish version of the light Czech Panzers 38 (t) M/41 named Strv used.



Some of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan ordered Swedish M/34 was used as the Ordnance QF37 mmMk II.

Soviet Union: Several dozens of Polish PaK fell in the occupation of eastern Polandinto Soviet hands and were used from the end of 1941 to meet the acute shortage of PaK.

Combat missions

The Bofors gun was first used during the Spanish Civil War, where they could easily penetrate the armor of that light tanks.

The Polish models were first used during the Polish campaign s. The Wołyńska Cavalry Brigade could inflict with their 37-mm Bofors guns in one of the first battles of the war, the Battle of Mokra, the German armored divisions defeated. At that time, the German armored forces mainly from the light tanks I and II, which were vulnerable to PaK, with the armor of the early models of the tanks could penetrate III and IV to a distance of500 m. After the partition ofPolandin 1939 most of the specimens fell into German and Soviet hands.

Although only a Danish PaK was used during the company Weserübung, were two tanks and the chains of a third tank to be destroyed before the operating crew was either dead or wounded. A German tank drove over the gun and was destroyed. The PaK is now on display at Tøjhusmuseet inCopenhagen.

During the Winter War, the Finnish PAHs were successfully used against Soviet tanks T-26, T-28 and BT. During the Continuation War was, however, the inferiority compared to the T-34 – and KW tanks noticeable, so the gun was only used for infantry support.

The cannon were also used for the equipment of the British Army inNorth Africa, to replace those previously in the western campaign lost PaK. The gun was portee also, that is to the rear seat of a vehicle, transported.

Bofors guns were also in the Second World War, the German Empire, theNetherlandsand theUSSRused, what are, however, no detailed application reports.


In its introduction, the Bofors PaK was an efficient weapon that could destroy tanks then. The penetrating power, low weight and high rate of fire made them a popular anti-tank weapon in prewarEurope. The introduction of better armor models in the early stages of World War II, the gun was similar to the American 37-mm gun M3 and the German PaK 36 superfluous.


  • Ammunition: armor piercing (AP) with Glimmspur
  • (AP):0.70 kg
  • Penetration: (AP grenade appearance angle 60 degrees):
  • 300 yards (=274.3 m):40 mm
  • 457 yards (=417.9 m):33 mm
  • 600 yards (=548.6 m):30 mm
  • 900 yards (=822.9 m):20 mm
  • 1200 yards (=1097.3 m):15 mm
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