Wall of Steel - A Finnish AAA timeline 1920-

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Jukra, Jun 8, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 1

    Jukra Well-Known Member

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    Wall of Steel - A Finnish AAA timeline

    This is a small timeline focused on development of Finnish air defenses before and during the Winter War. A wank? Sure, but even the most astute observer of nuances of alternate histories can surely indulge him/herself into joys of self-love. Besides, there's a wank on an airplane or an air force every other day on ah.com, but air defense wanks are rare! Thanks to DrakonFin for suggesting Väinö Mikkola as a personality who could be developed to become a pere of Finnish AAA, or a super AhtiLappi of prewar times.

    1. Death of a pilot - birth of an artilleryman.

    One of the key events in development of the Finnish Air Defense forces was probably the tragic injury of Major Väinö Mikkola in the Alps in Switzerland. Mikkola was fetching a Savoia S.9 flying boat purchased from Italy with donation money. Unfortunately, due to reasons not fully known, the airplane disintegrated while in flight over Switzerland. While Mikkola managed a forced landing he was severely
    injured and another plane purchased went missing completely. (1)

    As he was now incapable of flying he was appointed a research assignment on status of offensive and defensive air capabilities of the future and their implications on Finland. The tobacco manufacturer Achilled Christides who had donated the funds for two Savoia flying boats donated a fund for a long overseas study trip to USA, Great Britain, France and Italy.

    Mikkola had received education to become an electric engineer in Germany and thus was perhaps the most technically oriented officer in the early Finnish Air Defense Forces. Unfortunately for his career, he had been in Russian Imperial Navy service before Finnish Civil War and thus tainted in minds of the officers who had received their military training in Germany, including the Commander of the Air Force Major Arne Somersalo who was also convinced the crash had been Mikkola's fault, leading into life-long enmity between Somersalo and Mikkola. Some pundits have even speculated that the crash and the enmity between the two might have lead to latter's rather fanatical commitment to anything that can prevent flying.

    The analysis made based on the experiences of the World War was fairly damning. Due to rapid speed of improvement in aviation a top quality fighter developed in 1915 was completely outclassed and useless in 1916. In just space of three years top speed of German fighters progressed from 130km/h to 200km/h and the climbing speed to 2000 meters from 20 minutes to 4 minutes. While the evolution of military technology, such as tanks and fighters, had been slower after the World War it was clear the technology would proceed at high speed if major powers, with their independent aviation and engine industries, would commit major resources into production. Small country, like Finland, could only hope to buy best aircraft available instead of developing or producing it's own planes.

    Furthermore, major powers would probably sell military equipment to Finland only if it suited their needs. The equipment might also be outdated or second-class. In field of defenses it was a different story. Even as anti-aircraft guns, direction and control technologies developed, weapons useful in 1914 were still useful or could be modified into useful form in 1918, and were even useful now. Thus an anti aircraft weapon would have longer life span, and in addition could be used against naval and ground targets as well. Thus the implications for Finland were clear - a strong air force was a dangerous pipe dream as small country could not keep up with the development of planes, except possibly in times of long peace. Small number of top quality planes would be useful for training, evaluation and development tasks. In the study it was also noted that tanks would probably also enjoy similar rapid development, making purchase of large number of tanks probably not useful.

    The study might have been put into desk drawer, but Mikkola, convinced of his mission, found powerful allies. Frans Helminen, an artillery officer who had also originally served in the Russian Army was very interested in capabilities of the anti-aircraft- artillery. The scientifically orientated inspector of Field Artillery, Vilho Nenonen, was convinced of Mikkola's analysis while Väinö Valve, commander of Coastal Artillery, had equipment and resources for varius experiments. Thus Väinö Mikkola found a new calling, a career as the Grand Old Man of Finnish Air Defense, entering the pantheon of Finnish military innovators of 1920's and 1930's.

    (1. POD: In OTL Major Väinö Mikkonen died on 7 September 1920)


    [​IMG]
    Major Väinö Mikkola

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    Savoia S.9 flying boat

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    Former Commander of the Finnish Air Force Arne Somersalo together with his Lapua Movement pals in Lapua Rebellion 1932. Somersalo is the first person from the right.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
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  2. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

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    bookmarked
     
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  3. alspug Well-Known Member

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    same . sounds awesome .
     
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  4. DrakonFin Operator

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    Good to see you writing this. I'll be sure to follow the story with interest. I wonder how much Mikkola's background as a pilot in the imperial Russian military will have an effect on his thinking, and also on how much opposition he receives as an officer. It would be easy to see someone like Mikkola being heavily opposed by the Jägers as a "Russian officer" in the 1920s, so I hope you will address how he manages to overcome such problems.
     
  5. Jukra Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Should have noted that I got the idea of using Väinö Mikkola as a primus motor of Finnish AAA from you!
     
  6. DrakonFin Operator

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    I remembered that as soon as I saw the first post.;)
     
  7. Triune Kingdom Well-Known Member

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    Interesting idea, not really something you see around here.

    What unintended consequences would the greater emphasis on AA defense have on the rest of the Finnish military would be very interesting to see. For example, if they conclude that the Tanks are going to see greater rate of development, they might decide not to bother with tanks at all, instead greater amounts of funding and work may go in AT artillery then IOTL.

    We could also see greater production capabilities emerge in Finland during the interwar period, especially if they decide that they absolutely need domestic source of AAA, which could mean that their Artillery, both AT and Conventional may be somewhat better off then IOTL. Same could be said about Finnish ammo stocks, as they get their hands on more modern artillery, they are bound to realize just how much munitions they are going to need in a prolonged combat.

    Lastly, as the lighter AA pieces make their way into various army formations, we could see a much greater push for mechanization of the Finnish armed forces, due to need to quickly move ever larger and heavier weapons around. That can easily have large consequences, if they realize that at least some Artillery tractors and the like are needed, and Finnish military enters Winter and Continuation Wars much stronger and capable force.

    Great work @Jukra, keep it up.
     
  8. alspug Well-Known Member

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    Up until a KV-1 or like tank is used any 20 mm cannon or above will make massive losses for any push from the Soviets .

    If you look at what is available from 1920 to 1938 in terms of likely AA guns and production availability . Then you have numerous automatic weapons from the M2 Browning to the 40 mm Bofors or Pom Pom .
    As far as local production the various 20 mm cannon would be easily produced in house . The 37 mm to 40 mm cannon are unlikely to be produced in Finland . Sweden might be willing to design and build to Finnish Plans and then sell to Norway and themselves .
     
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  9. sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

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    An interesting start, I hope that Väinö Mikkola in his studies visited a certain Major-General E.B. Ashmore whilst in the UK. Ashmore was head of the L.A.D.A (London Air Defence Area) from it's formation in1917 till the wars end. He was subsequently after a five year hiatus recalled to help set up the ground elements of the new Air Defense of Great Britain in 1924. He later published the book, 'Air Defence' in 1929 which covered the history of British Air Defence in WW1, described the formation of ADGB and looked to the future forms of air defense organisation.
     
  10. Jukra Well-Known Member

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    London and Paris will be key points of interests for Mikkola, as it seems the British and French home area air defense networks were the best developed in WWI, while German methods for air defense of troops were better developed.
     
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  11. Threadmarks: Chapter 2

    Jukra Well-Known Member

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    2. All life originates in water

    Of all branches in the newly formed Finnish defense establishment it was the coastal artillery which was in best material condition. Imperial Russia had thrown vast amounts of resources into defense of Gulf of Finland with fortifications after losing the Baltic Fleet in 1905. Unlike ships and army equipment this vast array of weapons could not be withdrawn to Russia during the Finnish Civil War, but was left to the newly independent state.

    In 1923 the new Finnish Navy, Suomen Merivoimat, was divided into fleet, coastal artillery and military harbor (laivasto, rannikkotykistö, sotasatama). Coastal artillery had institutional experience of trying to shoot moving targets, so the intellectual leap of trying to shoot down aircraft with other methods than spray and pray was not as great as it seemed. In the USA, too, anti-aircraft artillery was part of the Coastal Artillery branch.

    Like other countries, Russia had also converted existing artillery pieces for anti-aircraft duties. The Coastal Artillery inherited 28 75/50 Canet model 1892 pieces which had been equipped with newer high angle "Zenit-Muller" mounts and 67 pieces with more traditional mounts. In 1923 the experiments with aerial shooting started with Kiinteä Ilmatorjuntapatteri (Fixed Anti-Aircraft Battery) which was part of the Rannikkotykistörykmentti (RTR 1) located at Suomenlinna, Helsinki. The battery was an experimental unit and commanded by a Major Mikkola who found himself kicked out of the Aviation Forces after displaying doubts about grandiose future predicted for the Aviation Forces. Like in any other organization, one needs sponsors and fortunately in form of Väinö Valve, commander of RTR 1 and Vilho Nenonen, inspector of Field Artillery, Mikkola found them.

    While Canets had good muzzle velocity and proper mounts, their screw breech resulted in low rate of fire when fired at high angle. They also lacked proper time-fuzed ammunition and predictor, requiring use of human calculations which were more theoretical than practical in nature. Fortunately, two British Army Ordnance QF 3in 20cwt QF Mk 3 AA-guns (76 ItK/16 V) on fixed mounts and a Vickers predictor were purchased for further experiments.

    Early predictors, mechanical computers used to calculate the firing solutions, were cumbersome and unreliable and often had grave faults, as Mikkola had found out on his study trip abroad. Vickers predictor seemed to be not much better. Furthermore, predictors were produced abroad which meant they would have to be purchased for great cost using scarce foreign exchange funds. Thus the idea of a domestic predictor suited for Finnish needs was born.

    But before Finnish predictors could be contemplated, the Finnish defense establishment and the Finnish air defenses entered into a political storm period which involved among other issues booze, corruption, stormy seas and a British military commission with participation of a certain Edward Ashmore.

    (In OTL the most significant contribution to history of Finnish AAA was that they raised curiosity of Captain Åke Törnroos who started experimentation with shooting of aerial targets. First AAA unit was formed in 1926. Ordnance QF 3in's were donated to Finland during the Winter War. Strömberg AB started license production of predictors in 1938.)

    [​IMG]
    An Ordnance QF 3in 20cwt QF Mk 3 situated as a memorial, Oulu, Finland
     
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  12. Panzerlied WW2 military tanks appreciator

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    Very interested, reminds me of Cankiwi's tl Subscribed.
     
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  13. Threadmarks: Chapter 3

    Jukra Well-Known Member

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    3. A Ship's a fool to fight a fort, but how about an airplane?

    By 1923 many in the Finnish defense establishments were worried about a possibility of a genuine independent Finnish Air Force a la British RAF in the future. This wasn't merely an issue of zero sum infighting in which the Air Force would threaten coffers of the Navy and Air Force, but genuine fear of misinvestment. The issue wasn't that aviation wasn't important in a modern war. The World War had shown, that reconnaissance at land and at sea was crucial, various tactical strikes were useful and with pursuit planes one could shape the aerial battlefield. But the issue was with cost - Finland could not afford to have an air force in quantity which could compete with a Soviet Air Force. It would be simply impossible, especially as in addition to planes one would have to construct an airfield network out of a scratch. At the same time, like Mikkola had shown, the Air Force could not keep up with the development of aviation with any realism. There should be a small air force which could perform reconnaissance and limited pursuit tasks, equipped with the best money can buy. In addition, who knew if technological development in the future, perhaps with new discoveries of rocket science and atoms, might change the equations?

    There were also dangerous ideas in the air about countering the Soviet threat with an offensive Finnish Air Force which could strike Soviet railroad connections and economic targets. Mikkola, having studied air defense of Paris and London during the War could clearly show such ideas to be castles in Spain in real world conditions, even if gas was used, as the necessary amount of planes to succesfully bombard a city, or even a factory, would be enormous. Especially as air defence artillery could distrupt the aiming by forcing the planes to fly higher and putting
    psychological factors in the play.

    A Soviet aerial offensive, whether by planes or airships, would still present a grave danger not only for Finnish troops and rail network but also for Finnish cities and factories. If the population was not prepared, it might panic and succumb to pacifist and Red propaganda. Soldiers in the front would worry about their loved ones. This threat could not be countered by having Finnish bombers, most likely small in number and outdated in technology, operating against Soviet targets. This threat could not be countered by fighters, which would have too small reaction time to take off, especially in case of Helsinki, and might not be able to damage or even catch the well-armed bombers of the future.

    Those who were in interest of a small air force and strong air defence had a clear, operationally researched argument based on statistical evidence, built on hundreds of years of engineering and scientific tradition of the artillery and coastal artillery. Those in favor of an air force had
    young heroes, cinematic qualities and well written books for young boys. But like always, it isn't the best argument which wins but the one which is best presented.

    Thus the public relations masterstroke was launched in 1924 - the Air Defence Society (Ilmapuolustusyhdistys). Already in 1923 there had been ideas floating in aviation crazed circles on forming an aviation association to propagandize for the Air Force. Therefore it was crucial to get the initiative and to use the public's enthusiasm for aviation for more productive goals than trying to purchase planes for flyboys.

    The Air Defence Society was an organization which would focus on aviation sports and air defence, including civil defence. Air defence and civil defense were marketed as everyman's activities in which local Suojeluskunta (Civic Guard, the voluntary defence organization) and Lotta-Svärd (Voluntary defence organization for women) could easily partake, unlike aviation which would require costly investments. This was designed to apply for eqalitarian instincts and the volunteer spirit widespread in Finland. The strictly defensive nature of air and civil defense was also pressed upon, instead of offensive spirit present in aviation forces propaganda.

    The first country-wide activity was the formation of forest fire watch in summer of 1925, "Operaatio Kipinä". Supported by forestry companies, watchtowers were built all around the country, connected with telephone and manned by volunteers in order to spot forest fires as quickly as possible. Needless to say, this was built to test a concept of a large scale observation post network. The Finnish Aviation Forces did not take part in the activity due to bad interpersonal relations, which resulted in some scathing commentary in the newspapers.

    The Air Defence Society would also begin to publish Ilmailu (Aviation) magazine, which would focus on civil aviation and air defense. Ilmailu was written much better than Aero -magazine published by the Aviation Forces and thus became the premier aviation magazine in Finland.

    This masterstroke was organized by Mikkola and supported by industrialist Christides as well as by forestry and metal industries. Forest fire watch would handsomely benefit forestry industry, while for the metal industry firms such as Tampella it was clear that any air defence artillery orders would benefit them. Army artillery inspector Nenonen and the Finnish Navy chief Gustaf von Schoulz also supported the organization in secret. Both Nenonen and von Schoultz were former Russian officers as well, with von Schoultz having served in the British Grand Fleet during the war. In their private conversations they hoped that the Aviation Forces in the future would be split between Army and Navy like in most countries in order to curb the independent spirit. This was not to be, though.

    (Note: In OTL Ilmapuolustusyhdistys was formed in 1925 and might be said to have been the Air Force propaganda association in similar ways to Navy Leagues in many countries. The air defence activities are accelerated by a few years in this TL.)

    [​IMG]
    Demonstration of first aid for an air raid victim, 20.3.1929, air and gas defence week, Helsinki.

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    Air observation tower in Suvela, Espoo, 1929.

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    Members of Lotta-Svärd in air observation exercises, 1934
     
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  14. Threadmarks: Chapter 4

    Jukra Well-Known Member

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    4. From Finnish Aviation Force to Finnish Air Defence Force

    By 1925 it was clear that the Aviation Force was in trouble. Poor safety record, reputation of boozing and corruption with plane purchases were part of everyday discourse even in right wing press. Reputation of the air force was not helped by enthusiast writings of aviation force officers. While in hindsight some of the predictions of the offensive capabilities of airplanes were true, the politicians were mostly interested in defence of Finland, not offensive operations. They were also judged to be in fantastic stories more suitable for Wells or Verne than professional officers.

    The final cause of death of Aviation Forces were not only machinations of Mikkonen but also the infighting within Aviation Force. Aviation Forces Major Aarne Snellman, a jaeger officer and artilleryman by trade, joined forces with Mikkonen not only to commitment for anti-aircraft artillery but due to professional and personal disagreements with Somersalo. Snellman was transferred from Aviation Forces to Field Artillery in 1923. He was especially critical towards Somersalo's ideas of domestic airplane industry, an issue he wholeheartedly agreed with Mikkonen, and managed to get Somersalo convicted within military court on February 1925 due to misappropriation of funds during purchases of plans and equipment from Germany.

    The stage was clear now for the next step. Major General Vilho Nenonen was temporarily the commander of the Finnish armed forces and proposed to the new Tulenheimo cabinet the abolishment of the Aviation Forces and replacing them with a new, better organized Air Defense Forces. The Agrarians of the cabinet enjoyed the "Defense" in the proposition, while National Coalition and especially minister of trade and industry Yrjö Pulkkinen, from Tampere, agreed that it was time to divide some pork to Finnish industry, especially to Tampere, with proposed building of air defense equipment.

    Meanwhile, in the Coastal Artillery branch all Coastal Artillery Regiments had established anti-aircraft battalions (1.-3. Ilmatorjuntapatteristo), with provisional equipment of a fixed 75/50C battery, fixed 76 ItK/16V platoon and an anti-aircraft machinegun company with Maxims. While Aviation Forces had enthusiasm and charm, the Anti-Aircraft-Artillery had science and methods which would assure it's dominance in the future air defence arm. The Aviation branch, however, would be more suspectible to recruitment by the far right.

    The new Finnish Air Defence Force (Ilmapuolustusvoimat) was to be established on 1.1.1926. The first battle to defend skies of Finland had been won.

    (In OTL Somersalo and Snellman were bitter enemies and Snellman was largely behind Somersalo's sacking in 1925. I've accelerated the developments for some months in order for Nenonen to remain as commander of the armed forces from OTL. In OTL Aarne Snellman favored air force whose main strength would be fighters.)


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    Aarne Snellman's identity card when serving as a military attache to Germany in 1934-1938 (OTL) Let's say it's his visitor card in this ATL.

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    IVL C.25, one prototype in long line of Finnish domestic fighter failures.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  15. Threadmarks: Chapter 5

    Jukra Well-Known Member

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    5. Weapons of mass aircraft destruction - heavy metal

    In 1925 Mikkonen made an influential study on future procurement of anti-aircraft pieces. As it would have wide ranging implications, it is referred here.

    5.1. Superheavies

    As a former Imperial Russian naval officer Mikkola was aware of life cycle analysis for warships. He decided to put life span of artillery pieces for 25 years without modernization. His central hypothesis was the constant and rapid improvement of airplane capabilities. Indeed, when actual search for future artillery pieces commenced in 1925 the speed of improvement had been rapid. In 1913 flight speed record had been 200km/h, in 1924 450km/h. Altitude record in 1913 had been 6100 meters, in 1924 12000 meters. Thus a direct extrapolation for 1950 would mean speed record of roughly 1020km/h and altitude record of 34500 meters. Military aircraft development would follow these record setters by a few years.

    During the World War Germany had succesfully deployed 8,8 cm K.Zugflak L/45 anti-aircraft gun for high altitude missions, but the gun came with heavy weight, some 7300 kilograms, making it cumbersome to deploy in Finnish terrain, but a gun of this class might be suitable for defence of the most important population and industrial centers, such as Helsinki, Viipuri, Tampere and Turku. In the end analysis a weapon of this class was thought not to have significant benefits over 3" or 4" class. Larger weapons would have better performance while lighter weapons would have preferred mobility.

    The Navy was planning coastal battleships which would use 105/50 Bofors dual purpose guns in twin towers. It had a nominal air target ceiling of 12000 meters and surface range of some 18200 meters. With power rammers it would sport rate of fire of some 15 rounds per minute per tube. Although this would be a fixed mounting, the rate of fire would be tremendous and as coastal ships would require 8 turrets with 16 tubes, there would be benefits of scale when producing them and their ammunition, preferably licensed production in Tampere, Finland.

    The goal was to have a fixed super-heavy anti-aircraft battalion (Järeä ilmatorjuntapatteristo (Kiinteä)) each in Helsinki, Viipuri, Turku and Tampere in order of priorities. Each battalion was to have four batteries with two twin towers each, situated high enough to have 360 degree sector of fire.

    For long term development Mikkola proposed development of 130mm to 150mm anti-aircraft gun, jointly with coastal artillery and the navy.

    As these kind of pieces would have lowest availability and longest lead times, they were to be the priority procurements.

    5.2. Heavy pieces

    A gun in 3" class was seen preferable for both defense of home front targets as well as defense of troops down to division level. 3" would combine fairly good mobility with good altitude reach. While good weapons of this class were coming available by various manufacturers such as
    Vickers and Bofors, this was a class of weapons where Mikkonen thought quantity would have quality of it's own. That was the reason why Mikkonen would favor purchase of surplus guns in order to have quantity of weapons for training and mobilization. As French Canon de 75 mm antiaérien mle 1915 was available cheaply in quantity, and did have proposed upgrade program, it would be the preferred option. New mobile mounts would be produced in Finland.

    For the future it would remain to be seen whether weapon in 2"-3,5" class would be developed as replacement.

    [​IMG]
    105/50 dual mount onboard Finnish coastal battleship. Similar mounts, but without armour, just metal sheeting, were used in fixed super-heavy positions.


    [​IMG]
    75 ItK 97-15 in a fixed mounting in 1941
     
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  16. Threadmarks: Chapter 6

    Jukra Well-Known Member

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    6. Full automatic - medium and light pieces 1925-1930

    In 1925 the only pieces lighter than 3" for anti-aircraft duties were single Maxim machine guns mounted on various improvised platforms. The situation was not as bad as it would seem, as Maxims were available in quantity and manufacturing mounts and sights for them would be no insurmountable problem. Furthermore, in 1925 the planes were still mostly of wood, canvas and steel pipe construction with little or no armour.
    It was clear, however, that something better would have to be procured.

    The British had used 2pdr Vickers pom-poms for AA duties, Germans had had their Flaming Onion and 3.7cm SockelFlak. Single pieces of three were purchased for evaluation, but all of them proved to be disappointments. In this medium class there were reportedly developments of guns in various countries, so the analysis was to wait for some years before making decisions.

    For light pieces something heavier than Maxim but lighter than even potential 30-50mm medium piece would be required. This kind of anti-aircraft gun would be deployed in light ships, as close defense in home front and also for defending the troops in the front. The weapon should have high mobility, even be carried with manpower through woods. The evaluation between various types of 12-20mm weapons was carried out in 1927. At the same time infantry was interested in a weapon which could be used to suppress strongpoints and defeat tanks. While heavy machinegun of 13mm class was judged to be the best for anti-air defence tasks on land the infantry and naval tasks would be better accomplished with a 20mm weapon which could also use HE shell. In the tests, Madsen 20mm was found out to be a satisfactory weapon and a license was acquired. Various types of mounts were designed for the weapon, including low anti-tank/infantry support mount, 360 degree high angle mount, fixed cone mount and sled mount. Attempts to create an universal mount were a failure.

    [​IMG]
    20 JvK/27 M Madsen 20mm with anti-tank mount (JvK / PstK) used by infantry regiment AA/AT gun companies (Raskaskonekiväärikomppania / Heavy Machine Gun Company).

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    20 ItK/27 M Madsen 20mm with AA tripod mount used by infantry regiment AA/AT gun companies and home local defense anti-air units.

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    20 ItK/27 M Madsen 20mm with purpose-built anti-aircraft mount introduced in 1938. Meant to be used by infantry division AA gun companies (Ilmatorjuntakonekiväärikomppania).
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  17. Triune Kingdom Well-Known Member

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    Nice work, changes are already happening, and it will be very interesting to see just how different Finnish military is in 1939, when compared to the OTL.

    In regards to the last chapter, I do wonder will their use of Light AA as AT weapons perhaps make them consider using heavier AA guns (3 inch ones) as AT weapons as well? They would be well suited for the task, due to their high muzzle velocity and flat trajectories, and developing a suitable AP projectile should not be out of Finns reach. Of course, ideally guns used in such a manner will need a suitable, purpose made AT mount, but perhaps they will have learned their lesson with Madsen 20mm, and make a dedicated AA and AT mount both. If a potential of using a 3 inch gun as an AT piece is recognized early enough, we could possibly see Finland enter the Winter War with some of the best AT guns in the world, though I am not really certain about what numbers we may be talking about.

    Another problem, which has been mentioned already in this TL is the problem of mobility that Superheavy, and to a lesser degree, Heavy AA guns have. Even if these weapons do not need to be moved about constantly, some work could be done in regards to that, by procuring dedicated artillery tractors, either wheeled, Half or fully Tracked. These same vehicles could pull double duty as Heavy Industrial/Commercial vehicles, seeing use in both Forrestry and Mining. Same problem will have to be adressed with Field AA and AT weapons, as they are certainly going to grow in size and weight, and Horsepower and Manhandling can only do so much. So there is a possibility that Finnish military is a bit more motorized then it was OTL, if only in regards to its various support branches, caused by the much capable, larger and heavier guns they are lugging around. Some sort of subsidy system could perhaps be of use there, with the state subsidysing suitable tractors and trucks, which could then be taken into military service in times of need.

    Lastly, conventional artillery may also benefit immensely, due to dedicated production facilities being established for AA artillery production. Even a several more batteries of modern heavy and medium artillery could really be of an immense value to the Finns once Soviets come, especially if they also have suitably high stocks of munitions to go with them. Larger industrial facilites may also mean that production of other war related material is also increased ITTL, again benefiting Finns in their struggle.

    Great work @Jukra, keep it up.
     
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  18. formion Well-Known Member

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    Who was Christides? I cannot find anything about him.
     
  19. Jukra Well-Known Member

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    https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achilles_Christides (1863-1923)

    Achilles Kyriakos Christides was a Greek-Ottoman-Finnish businessman who founded well known Finnish tobacco company Fennia, known best for it's Työmies (Worker) brand. He donated two Savoia S.9 flying boats for the nascent Finnish Aviation Service in 1920, unfortunately they crashed in the Alps with loss of all crew in OTL. He was interested in charity and public relations, donating money not only for defense but also for social democratic organizations, something very unusual in Finland at the time.

    ITTL he decides to support long recuperation of Väinö Mikkonen and decides to support his aims with some sum of money.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. formion Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2011
    Very interesting! Thank you for the answer.


    In general the timeline seems very promising. Keep up the good work!
     
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