47 mm APX anti-tank gun

The 47 mm APX anti-tank gun was a French anti-tank gun that saw service in the first years of the Second World War.

canon de 47 mm SA mle 1937
47 mm APX CFB Borden 1.jpg
TypeAnti-tank gun
Place of originFrance
Service history
Used byFrance
Nazi Germany
Kingdom of Italy
WarsWorld War II
Production history
ManufacturerAtelier de Puteaux
No. built1,268
Mass1,070 kg (2,359 lbs)
Length4.1 m (13 ft 5 in)
Barrel length2.49 m (8 ft 2 in) L/50
Width1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)
Height1.1 m (3 ft 7 in)[1]

ShellFixed QF 47x380 mm. R APCBC
Shell weight1.7 kg (3.74 lbs)
Caliber47 millimetres (1.9 in)
Elevation-13° to +16.5°
Rate of fire15 to 20 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity855 m/s (2,805 ft/s)
Effective firing range2,000 m (2,187 yds)


In the 1930s the French Army sought a replacement for the derivatives of the 75 mm mle 1897 field gun it used as an anti-tank gun. The venerable soixante-quinze was a decent anti-tank gun but was heavy and much harder to conceal than the newer, small, high-velocity, small calibre anti-tank weapons. The chosen weapon was a design of the state-owned arsenal Atelier de Puteaux (Puteaux workshop, abbreviated to APX), and was named the canon de 47 mm semi-automatique mle 1937. A similar model designated the canon de 47 mm semi-automatique mle 1939 was also produced. Both were efficient weapons, especially given the thin armour of contemporary German tanks. The gun could pierce 60 mm (2.4 in) at 550 meters (600 yd) or 80 mm (3.1 in) at 180 meters (200 yd).[1] Unfortunately for France, the 47mm SA mle 1937 and 47mm SA mle 1939 were still rare weapons at the time of the Battle of France.

Foreign useEdit

Examples captured by the German forces were used under the name 4.7 cm Pak 181(f) for the mle 1937 and 4.7 cm Pak 183(f) for the mle 1939. The guns were used in Atlantic Wall fortifications and armed a number of their self-propelled tank destroyers.



  • 47mm SA mle 1939 TAZ - a variant on a tripod, capable of 360° traverse, which did not enter production.
  • 47mm SA 35 mle 1935 - an earlier variant, mounted on tanks such as the Somua S35 and the Char B1

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "47mm Mle1937 Anti Tank Gun". www.tbof.us. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  2. ^ a b c Chamberlain, Peter (1974). Anti-tank weapons. Gander, Terry. New York: Arco Pub. Co. p. 9. ISBN 0668036079. OCLC 1299755.
  • Ferrard, Stéphane. France 1940 l'armement terrestre, ETAI, 1998, ISBN 2-7268-8380-X