8cm Luftfahrzeugabwehr-Kanone M.5/8 M.P.

All armies in WW1 were initially taken somewhat aback by the potency shown by the aerial forces, and in most cases means to counter this new threat from above had to be improvised. There were some real AA guns for sure, but these were too few for the demand, and all armies experimented with using regular guns in improvised new mounts or different contraptions, more or less strange, enabling these pieces to fire at flying targets.

8cm AA M5 1

This Austro-Hungarian gun, however, cannot be classified as a simple improvisation, but was an attempt at producing a real AA gun, albeit using a normal field gun. The gun itself is the standard Austro-Hungarian Field Gun, the M.5/8, but put on a special Pivot Lavette, designed by Skoda. The gun was called 8cm Luftfahrzeugabwehr-Kanone M5/8 M.P., M.P. standing for Mittelpivotlafette. It had an elevation between -10° and +80°, and a traverse of 360°. It could shoot a 6.6kg shrapnel shell (shrapnel was always used against aircraft) at a muzzle velocity of 520m/sec up to a maximum range of 3600 meters. The weight of the complete gun was 2470kg. After the war it was also used by Italy, under de designation Cannone Da 77/28 C.A.

The guns below can be seen outside the War Museum in Budapest, and in the excellent Army Historical Museum in Vienna.

8cm AA M5 2 8cm AA M5 3 8cm AA M5 4 8cm AA M5 5 8cm AA M5 6 8cm AA M5 7 8cm AA M5 8
8cm AA M5 9 8cm AA M5 10 8cm AA M5 11 8cm AA M5 12 8cm AA M5 13 8cm AA M5 14 8cm AA M5 15 8cm AA M5 16