Cannone da 75/32 modello 37
75mm Towed Field Gun / Anti-Tank Gun
A good field gun for its time, Italian industry was simply not up to the task of producing the Cannone da 75-32 Modello 37 system in useful numbers.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Sensing the outdated nature of its artillery stock prior to World War 2 (1939-1945), Italian authorities championed the design and development of a new field gun of 75mm caliber. Prior to this, the Army service was left to whatever had been passed on to them from the decades since the close of World War 1 (1914-1918). A new gun was needed and needed badly and funding and determination soon won out to produce the "Cannone da 75/32 modello 37". This system became the first weapon of its type to be introduced in the rearming Italian Army since the end of The Great War and saw adoption just before the fighting began.
The Ansaldo concern was, once again, tapped to bring the new field gun about. This involved a traditional arrangement for the system, including a long, fine barrel set atop mounting hardware straddled by a pair of road wheels. A split-trail carriage assembly was used and the end spades were driven into the earth for recoil absorption. The mounting hardware allowed for traversal of 50-degrees from centerline, a useful feature for training the gun against moving targets if the need arose. The elevation span available was -10 to +45 degrees. A brake was fitted to the muzzle end of the gun tube and a modern breech used at its rear for quick reloading. A thin gun shield offered limited protection against small arms fire and artillery spray but little else. The road wheels were heavily spoked through rubber-tired as the complete system was expected to be towed by mover vehicle.
The piece measured 2.6 meters long and weighed 2,645lb in its firing configuration (2,755lb when traveling). The weapon fired a 14lb projectile which reached a muzzle velocity of 2,050 feet per second out to ranges of 16,675 yards. If pressed, the weapon could be called upon to function as an anti-tank solution due to its muzzle velocity and useful traversal, such was its versatility in the field.
Despite the modern, promising design that was the Modello 37, the gun was simply never available in the numbers needed when Italy went to war in World War 2. Unfortunately for the design, it arrived at a time when all service branches of the Italian military were attempting to modernize and this was hampered by the limitations of Italian industry as well. Unable to net viable stocks of this weapon, Italian artillery batteries simply made do with what was on hand.
After the September 1943 surrender of the Italians to the Allies, the Germans, always ready to appreciate a good enemy weapon when they saw one, ensured any attainable Modello 37 guns were in their hands. These guns, now under German ownership, were designated 7.5cm FK 248(i) and some number saw service up until the end of the war in Europe come May 1945.