The 45 mm anti-aircraft gun (21-K) was a Soviet design adapted from the 45 mm anti-tank gun M1932 (19-K). This was a copy of a German weapon designed by Rheinmetall that was sold to the Soviets before Hitler came to power in 1933 that had been enlarged to to reuse a large stock of old 47mm ammunition. It was used by the Soviet Navy to equip almost all of their ships from 1934 as its primary light anti-aircraft gun until replaced by the fully automatic 37 mm 70-K gun from 1942 to 1943. It was used in World War II and during the Cold War as the Soviets exported their World War II-era ships to their friends and allies. However it was not very effective as its slow rate of fire and lack of a time fuze required a direct hit to damage targets.Design
The 46-caliber21-K was a minimal adaptation of the 53-K anti-tank gun that was created by taking the latter's barrel and mounting it on a simple pedestal mount. Its semi-automatic breech automatically ejected the cartridge
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