Chevrolet M/1937 124mm Nordenfeldt - Desperate measures

With one 124mm Nordenfeldt rapid firing cannon

NOTE! That the truck in this picture is another variant mounted the 65mm Hotchkiss cannon, but it is mounted in the same way

1x 124mm Nordenfeldt rapid firing cannon


-Manufacturer: SA John Cockerill, Searing, Belgium
-Caliber: 12.4cm L/44
-Whole cannon lenght: 5.549.2 Millimeter
-Barrel lenght: 5.264.2 Millimeter
-Rifling: 36 Rifles Circular with uniform twist on the last 8 calibres. End twist 6 degrees. The rifles have the same depth and width
-Ammunition: uncertain, most likely saphe and he
-Ammunition stowage: Uncertain, it was stored in crates on the pllatform as seen in the picture above, the amount in each crate vary according to caliber
-Montage: Consists of the plinth, stand, cradle with brake cylinder, side alignment device and height alignment device
-Type: Nordenfeldt with eccentric screw mechanism
-Cannon Material: Steel (Martin - Siemens), Forged, Hardened in oil and annealed. It is a jacketed cannon made up of a core tube and a jacket
-Serial number: 3

Fuel: Gasoline
Doors: 2
Transmission: Rear wheel drive, manual
Model: One and a half ton with “stakebody” like platform

1x 6-Cyl in-line eigne
-Rated (SAE): 29.4
-Max Bhf (adv.): 78 @ 3200 RPM
-Per Cu. In. Displacement: .360
Max eigne speed (Adv.): 4000 RPM
Max torque (adversited): 170 Ft.Lbs 850 to 1150 RPM
Rev. at Max Torque: 1,100 rpm



This cannon was taken from the Minelayer HNoMS Vale

Norway only had 8 of those cannons, where they first served on the old monitor vessels. When these monitors were taken out of service and scrapped, these 8 cannons were removed and 4 of them were taken and used by Bolærne Fort as coastal artillery, and the 4 others were put on some of the 2nd class gunboats (HNoMS Vale, Uller, Brage and Vidar), when those were remodeled to minelayers, and on these 4 vessels this cannon replaced the large caliber bow cannon’s. On the ship the cannon had a armored shield, wich thickness is unknown but jugding from the pictures it looks to be 35 Millimeter thick in Specail steel. The given weight wich is 3155kg has the shield and affutage/footing included, with the armored shield removed and the different footing, the weight is much less.

Due to lack of weapons, vehicles and such equipment, cannons were taken from various naval vessels and mounted on these trucks, mostly civilian, privately owned trucks were put into use, and mounted these cannons on them. there are many stories about this, and many of the cannons are still standing around, both far out in the terrain and in farmers’ yards. These vehicles saw combat, several have been damaged, and some were destroyed so the Germans could not use them. (not sure if there were any fatalities, but not unlikely)

Due to this cannon being significantly heavier than both 65mm and 76mm cannons, this will affect the performance of the vehicle, making it slower and the recoil will have more of an impact

Here I have quoted an interview, conducted by the Norwegian Lars Børge Sæberg (I like to credit the person who was lucky enough to interview him!)
Admiral Pettersen, who in 1940 was lieutenant and commander of the cannon cars. When the alarm went off on the night of 20 April, he drove two cannon trucks to Ljosnes. When the German boats came beyond Storsund, he opened fire with the big cannon. But the ammunition was designed for moderate fire, so the 65mm barrel exploded! “I was thrown several meters away from the car,” Pettersen said. But he immediately jumped onto the other truck and opened fire with the 37mm cannon. Otherwise, the distance was too long, and the German speedboats continued towards Uskedalen.

Some history regarding the resistance and the fights
The first encounter with the German invasion fleet took place at the entrance to Korsfjorden at 01:45 on the night of 9 April 1940. The German warships were there confronted by the fjord boat “Manger”, which had been hired as a guard boat for the Norwegian navy. When there was no response from the warship, two red signal lights were sent up to report foreign vessels on their way in. The German cruiser “Köln” then tried to deceive the Norwegian watchdog by signaling that they were the British cruiser HMS Cairo". On board “Manger” the signal was misinterpreted as “sei ruhig” (keep calm). Thus, the crew send up several signal lights.

For navy captain Johan Ulstrup, it was now a matter of preventing or delaying the foreign warships that were on their way to Bergen. He got in touch with the 2nd Naval District by phone and got permission to lay out sea mines in Lerøyosen. They managed to lay seven mines before the German naval vessels appeared. The invasion fleet passed Lerøyose without being hit by the mines or cannon fire from Lerøy fort. The Germans interpreted the shooting as a warning shot and therefore did not return fire. For them it was important to maintain the illusion that they were a British fleet on their way to Bergen to help Norway in the event of a German attack.

The Norwegian naval vessels in the area made several attempts to get into a position to attack the foreign fleet, but without closing. The German warships made a short stop just before the entrance to Byfjorden. Infantry soldiers boarded smaller vessels, and just before 4 o’clock in the morning the attack on Bergen was under way. In the meantime, Ulstrup and the minesweeper “<Tyr” had gone on to Grimstadfjorden to lay a mine belt of 16 sea mines at the entrance to Vatlestraumen. The torpedo boat “Sæl”, which was stationed in Brandasund, was ordered to get to the Lerøy section as soon as possible, and was placed there under Ulstrup’s command.

Throughout the night, Ulstrup had made several attempts to get in touch with the leadership in the 2nd Naval District to get further instructions and orders. In Bergen, the German invasion fleet had entered the harbor under cannon fire from Kvarven and Hellen fortress. Infantry were seen ashore from smaller vessels and motor torpedo boats with support from German bombers. At around 07.30 the fighting for the city was over, and the connection with Bergen and the surrounding districts was broken. A short time before, Ulstrup had received orders that all resistance should be stopped.

Ulstrup ignored the order and continued the military activities in the Lerøy section. After the German attack force had passed, the minesweeper Tyr" and the guard boats “<Alversund”, “Lindås” and “Manger” went to Klokkarvik to confer. There they were informed about the situation and about the mines that had been laid out. In the coming days, it was up to the Norwegian naval vessels in the Lerøy section to warn merchant vessels against entering Bergen, and to ensure that they were not hit by the mines. It was mostly solved by piloting the ship and showing them to various safe anchorages. They also attacked German boats camouflaged as merchant ships, which managed to break through to Bergen.

In Sunnhordland, the connection with Bergen was also broken, and the local scheduled boats were cancelled. Sheriffs and crisis councils set about securing the supply of food and supplies. Transport and mobilization of soldiers also had to be arranged. During the evening of 9 April, there were reports that Bergen was occupied by the Germans, and that all those mobilized were to be sent to Voss. Mobilization posters were hung up at a number of assembly points, and instructions were sent as to where and when the soldiers should meet. From the same evening and in the days that followed, a steady stream of conscript soldiers was sent to the mobilization site at Voss.

In order to protect this transport and establish a defense in Sunnhordland, the guard boat “Smart” with Captain Hauge was sent to Uskedal to set up a headquarters. Hauge arrived on the day of 9 April and got in touch with the 2nd Naval District, which had then moved to Voss. The Norwegian navy in Hordaland had been split in two and therefore had to be reorganized. What was left of naval combat forces outside Bergen was encouraged to search either north or south. Those who went north were included in what was named “Sognefjordens Sjøforsvarsavsnitt”. At the same time, a corresponding department was established in Sunnhordland, which was called -Hardangerfjorden Naval Defense Section. In the next few days, naval vessels from the Lerøy section and several nearby areas arrived here.

After ship traffic in Leroyosen had stopped, it was up to Tyr and the other naval vessels in the Leroy section to get to Uskedal. The torpedo boat “Sæl og vaktbåtane Alversund”, “Lindaas” and “Haus came to Uskedal on 12 and 13 April, while Tyr” arrived only on 16 April. The guard boat 'Manger had remained in Hjellestad, where the ship’s commander dismissed the crew three days after the German attack. The torpedo boat “Storm” capsized on its way to Uskedal. The crew was instead transported to Stord, and there joined the local defence.

The task for the Norwegian naval force in Sunnhordland was to defend the entrance to the Hardangerfjord. If it closes, it would prevent the Germans from penetrating in and landing soldiers who could take part in an attack against Voss. At the same time, the naval force was to protect the further mobilization in Sunnhordland.

In order to build up the new naval defense district, it was necessary to collect what they could of boats, weapons and personnel. One of the biggest difficulties was getting weapons. Already on 9 April, the Germans had captured Bergen and Ulven camp in Os, and thus also most of the I.R. 9 had weapons and equipment there. This led to it being the military depot of I.R. 10 at Voss that had to be used. Despite several requests, they could not dispose of weapons at first to build up a defense in Sunnhordland. The problem was solved by requisitioning private rifles from local shooting teams. Weapons that had been seized by the Germans were also stolen from German-controlled areas.

Since the mobilization of soldiers for the 4th Division was in full swing, the newly established naval defense district had to use gunners and volunteers to expand and strengthen close defence. In order to give this force greater impact, it was decided that the crew from Lerøy Fort should be transferred to Sunnhordland together with several sentries from the surrounding area. Lieutenant Sven Bugge with the guard boat “Haus” was assigned to pick up the soldiers. The commander of Lerøy fort, Captain Tangen, on the other hand, had dismissed the soldiers and left the fort together with the second-in-command, as he thought the German planes were too close. Weapons and equipment for 30-40 men were still at the fort, and Bugge saw to it that this was collected before the departure for Uskedal. They also tried to bring the cannons and searchlight to the fort, but failed. To prevent the Germans from using these, the searchlight was instead pushed into the sea and vital parts removed from the cannons.

A little more history regarding the cannoncars
At 22.15 the alarm went off in Uskedal. Several German vessels were observed heading south through Langenuen, and the naval defense section prepared for battle. The torpedo boat “Stegg”, which was on its way out on another mission, had to turn around in a hurry and was ordered to remain in Herøysund until further notice. This night there was a full moon, calm weather and good visibility.

The Norwegian defense of Uskedal consisted mainly of local gunners and crew from the boats of the navy. Several of the ship’s guns from the guard boats had been dismantled and transferred to trucks, which gave them greater mobility. The steamship “Tindefjell”, which had been transferred from Leirvik on 11 April, acted as a communications centre. Apart from this, there was also an extensive reporting service. A volunteer corps was also set up in Uskedal with 25 marksman squads under the command of a conscript ensign. They were supposed to sew for guard duty and close defense. Weapons and ammunition for them were collected from Lerøy fort.

At 01.30 the Norwegians observed that the one German pioneer squad was seen ashore at Dimmelsvik by two motor torpedo boats and “Schiff 18”. The guard boat "Haus>> was then at the dock there, and the crew managed to seek cover just before the Germans arrived. Afterwards, the German vessels headed towards Uskedal, where “Tyr” and two gun trucks on land opened fire. One truck was put out of action when the cannon exploded at the first shot. The German vessels laid out a covering screen so that they could hide away. During the attempt to do this, “Schiff 18” ran into an islet, but later got free of its own engine.

Some time later, “Schiff 221” put the second German pioneer troop ashore at Trones, close to Herøysund. It was then 05.30. Now the pioneer soldiers could advance towards Uskedal from both sides with the support of the warships. The last gun truck was sent south to delay the German advance until they received reinforcements. The Germans nevertheless pressed forward, and the gun truck had to retreat. On the way north, the car ran out of petrol and was driven into the ditch. A vital part of the cannon was removed before the Norwegian soldiers advanced towards Uskedal on foot.

While the battle was going on in Uskedal, the torpedo boat “Stegg” first came into battle with “Schiff 221”, and then with the artillery ball ship “Bremse”, "Stegg had sought cover on Herøy to be able to use the front cannon against “Schiff 221”. During the exchange of shots, “Stegg” was hit by a projectile in the water line which exploded inside the ship. The shot caused a large leak ahead and started a fire which made it impossible to obtain more ammunition. The exchange of fire continued, but when the fire spread and they ran out of ammunition on deck, orders were given to abandon ship. Around 06.30, “Stegg” exploded. The crew had then only got a short distance away from the ship, but no one was seriously injured.

The minelayer Tyr" had in the meantime reached a bay at Skorpo, just outside Uskedal. They had gone out to attack the German infantry force in the south, but were gradually chased away by German machine guns and fire from “<Bremse”. The crew went ashore on Skorpo to take away weapons and equipment. Suddenly, German motor torpedo boats came in at great speed and laid down along the side of “Tyr”, Six men were taken prisoner by the Germans when they tried to get away in a rowing boat. The rest of the crew managed to get over to Ølve during the evening. The Germans took “Tyr” in tow back to Bergen, together with the guard boat “Haus”.

A little more about the fights, wich the cannoncars were used in
As the Germans pushed forward, it became clear that the Norwegian force on land was in danger of being surrounded. To avoid this, the soldiers who were in position along the Uskedal River were forced to withdraw to Uskedal. The order to retreat was given at 9 o’clock in the morning. The two German pioneer troops could then advance, and they met in Uskedal. There they set about securing the area. Allied equipment, weapons and other military equipment left behind by the Norwegians were destroyed.

There is no reliable information about the German casualties during these battles, but in one of the German reports it was said that 2-3 pioneer soldiers were injured. The Norwegian force was able to retreat up Uskedalen or up the mountain towards Omdalen. After this, the volunteer corps was disbanded.

The torpedo boat “Smart” was sent for repairs at Sunde. The guard boat “Lindaas” was supposed to supervise the entrance to the Hardangerfjord, but was lying on Halsnøy. Instead, a ship was requisitioned to supervise ship traffic in the Hardangerfjord, and she reported everything of interest to Uskedal and the 2nd Naval District. Civilian lookout posts were also established on both sides of the fjord.

On 23 April, Ulstrup had 15 mines transferred from Sognefjorden Sjøforsvarsdistrikt. Two of the mines were immediately taken on board a boat that had been requisitioned. The rest of the mines were stored on a quay at Skorpo. While the Norwegians organized the defense of Sunnhordland, the Germans were on the defensive. In the following days, the Germans sent several patrols towards Norheimsund. During a reconnaissance trip on 16 April, a motorcycle patrol of six men was shot down by Norwegian forces in Steinsdalen. It became clear to both the Norwegians and the Germans that this front was important and had to be maintained. The Germans continued with the reconnaissance in the area and concluded that this was where the main front lay. In reality, it was just a matter of a quickly assembled Norwegian group consisting of marines from the torpedo boat “Smart” and some soldiers who had managed to get out of Bergen. The soldiers tried their best to organize the local defense in Kvam while they waited for reinforcements to arrive. A battle group named the Nordheimsund group consisted of two troops from I.R. 10 and a half squad from the 3rd pioneer company. They were sent down from Voss to strengthen the guard in the area. On 23 April, however, the battle group was chased out of its positions at Fossen Bratte. The Germans had thus managed to open a new flank towards Voss.

On 23 April, the Germans sent in bombers to break down the resistance around Voss. For several days to come, the bombing caused great destruction at Vossevangen and the surrounding area. The Germans had planned a major operation which was to be launched on the night of 25 April. Voss was to be attacked from three sides by three different battle groups. One of these battle groups consisted of the minesweeper “M-1”, “Schiff 18”, D/S “Kong Olaf” with support from four motor torpedo boats. Soon Ulstrup and his crew were to have an unpleasant encounter with this battle group.

124mm Nordenfeldt rapid firing cannon

-Picture is how it was mounted on the monitors, so here the montage/stand and armored shield has to be excluded

The minelayer HNoMS Uller was captured by german forces. long story short, the Norwegians attacked the boat with the F.58 HE115N and sunk the vessel. it’s still in the same place today, and recently someone dived down and filmed the wreck, wich then showed the 124mm cannon! so here it is, a identical cannon from HNoMS Vale’s sistership. here wee see hwo thick the shield is too.

The pictures are taken by a gopro underwater, images may appear a little weird



Most important sources

En norsk mineleggers motstandskamp | MilitærHistorie
-This tells a little about the various cannons that were mounted on trucks

Sitated a couple lines

  • For several days the vessel was hidden, before the journey continued to Uskedal on 15 April. There, Captain Ulstrup was installed as commander of the newly established Hardanger Naval Section, and command of the ship was taken over by Ensign Karl Sandnes. Captain Ulstrup ordered two smaller guns belonging to two guard boats put ashore, as well as the minelayer’s own 37 mm guns. Some of the cannons were mounted on trucks to act as mobile support.
  • Other Norwegian support that was sent were the aforementioned trucks with mounted cannons from the guard boats. From shore, the vehicles tried to get shots in on the German boats, but were only of limited help. “Tyr”'s outdated weapons meant that the minelayer’s contribution in the battle was not much better than that of the trucks. Within a short time, “Sæl” was sinking, and “Tyr” had no choice but to return to Uskedal.

I have also discussed this on a lot of forums, i can include this also. but i dont know if that kind is accepted here? is it is, i will provide.

there are among other things people who have done more research than me, and that eiter had the connection that the soilders were family, even as close as parents, one of them even interwieved one of those manning the 65mm verison, where the cannon blew!

these trucks were used basically where i am living, so i have the possibility to travel and take pictues etch of the remains, if needed.


Various sources
Norsk Militærhistorisk Forening | Facebook
Motiv: Sprengt 65mm kanon montert på lastebil - Uskedal april 1940 - Forsvarets museer / DigitaltMuseum
Porten til Hardanger. Leiar - PDF Gratis nedlasting (picture of the truck)


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You had me at

didn’t read anything after that

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Small update
Added the serial number of the cannon


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small update, foldered the history part and cannon specs to make it loook less messy