Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945

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5 cm BK

Armaments




5 cm BK

Service Data

In Service: 1943 to 1945

Production Data

Manufacturer: Rheinmetall-Borsig
Number built: 300

Technical Data

Type: Bordkanone

Calibre: 50 mm
Length: 4.342 mm
Weight: 540 kg
Rate of fire: 45 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity: 920 m/s
Effective range: m
Variants:
5 cm PaK 38
5 cm KwK 38
5 cm KwK 39
5 cm Flak 214
5 cm BK

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History

The 5 cm BK (Bordkanone 5 cm) was designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig for primary for use against Allied heavy bombers so that defending Luftwaffe pilots could fire at a much greater distance, making their defensive fire less effective, secondly use was in the anti-tank role on the Eastern Front, The 5 cm BK was modified from the 5 cm KwK 39 Kampfwagenkanone that was being used in Panzer III's and Armored Cars. A few modifications were needed to turn 5 cm KwK 39 into an aircraft weapon the most notable alteration was the provision of an automatic cartridge feed, which formed a circular belt at the rear. since the 5 cm BK did not have a reciprocating belt to feed the cartridges, a compressed air driven rammer was designed into the rear of the gun, which allowed a 50 mm cartridge out of the feed belt and into the gun breech and run it into the chamber for firing. Aircraft that used the 5 cm BK were as follows Me 262 Me 410 Ju 88. However the experimental installation of the 5 cm BK into the Me 262 was not continued probably due to the fact that the weapon kept jamming. On the whole this weapon was extremely effective.

The 5 cm BK (Bordkanone 5 cm) anti-tank cannon was installed in the following Luftwaffe aircraft.
Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 410
Junkers Ju 88

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Sources

The Warplanes of the Third Reich.
ISBN-10: 0385057822

Flying Guns World War II.
ISBN-10: 1840372273

German Aircraft Guns WW I WW II.
ISBN-10: 091196410X

For a complete list of sources
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