Puteaux SA 18

Puteaux SA 18

Preserved SA 18 in the Saumur armour museum
Type Tank gun
Place of origin  France
Service history
Wars World War I, World War II
Production history
Designed 1918
Manufacturer Atelier de Construction de Puteaux
Caliber 37 mm
Rate of fire 15 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 600 m/s (with APCR ammunition)

The Puteaux SA 18 was a French single-shot, breech-loading cannon, used from World War I onward, primarily mounted on combat vehicles.

It was a simple, reliable weapon with a high rate of fire made possible by a semi-automatic breech system. It was primarily intended to be used against infantry and machine-gun nests because its low muzzle velocity made it unsuitable for anti-armour use. Though armour penetration was poor, even as late as 1939 it was sufficient to combat light armoured vehicles. The gun was operated by one soldier and was found easy to use, with a low incidence of jamming. It was sighted on target with a separate scope attached to the left side of the weapon.

Technical details

The barrel length was 21 calibres (L/21). While its maximum fire rate was 15 rounds per minute,[1] its practical rate was only 10 rounds.[2] After firing, the breech opened and removed the used cartidge case automatically. The weapon was handled only by the gunner and aimed it through a simple 1x direct sight.[3]

This gun was standard on French light tanks, being mounted on the Renault FT in World War I. In World War II, it was used on the Renault R-35, Hotchkiss H-35 and H-38, FCM-36 and several types of French armored cars, mainly the White-Laffly WL-50.

In the Polish Army the wz.18 Puteaux gun was used on the Renault FT light tanks and Renault R-35 and Hotchkiss H-35, Peugeot armoured cars, and the Samochód pancerny wz. 28, Samochód pancerny wz. 29 and Samochód pancerny wz. 34 armoured cars. It was also used on some Polish riverine craft and armoured trains.


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