A textbook example of a milk truck with an AA-gun used by Finnish Defence Forces. There isn’t a whole lot known about this combination, but from the photo we can tell it’s just as simple as it gets: AA gun with it’s original mount lifted on back of a truck and bolted on. Both the truck and AA-gun are relatively well known.
Ford V 3000 S was manufactured in Germany and decent amount of them were handed to Finland together with the StuG III assault guns. They were initially used for logistics, later to pull different artillery pieces and in 1951 also as mobile AA platform. For 1940s it was quite simple, yet advanced truck.
95hp V-8 gasoline engine
5 forward and 1 reverse gears
85 km/h top speed
20 ITK 40 VKT = 20mm, AA-cannon, adopted to service in 1940, manufactured by Valtion Kone Tehdas
A modern light anti-air cannon by all accounts. It was designed by Aimo Lahti, based on his Lahti L-39 anti-tank rifle. The first guns got into service in 1941, though it only got into real numbers in 1943 and production ceased soon after the war. The only modification done to them after the war was the switch to pendulum-sights. The 200 guns remained in service until 1970s and in storage until 1988.
The gun shared certain similarities with the German 20mm Flak guns: The same 20x138mmB cartridge, same barrel length and was fed from 32 round box magazines. It’s commonly used 360rpm fire rate was also similar, but it could be adjusted to 700rpm, meaning the twin guns could throw their 64 rounds into air in three seconds. The twin mount weighted 652kg in action and had elevation from -10 to +90 degrees.
It is not known exactly how long and widely used the combination of this truck and AA-gun was. Despite numerous photos of the gun, I haven’t found a single one being pulled by a vehicle or horses. The simple wheeled carriage is very light construction and doesn’t appear suitable for high speed movement at all, rather it’s just for the crew to move it into position. It appears the gun was used on board truck to cover movement of heavy artillery units. In destination the light gun would be quickly dismounted and dug in ground for cover and camouflage.
The use of Ford V 3000 in FDF seem to have ended in 1960s as Finland bought more modern trucks, but this was not the end of AA-gun trucks in their use. The first successor in this line was the German Unimog truck with 30 ITK 62 (HS.831) cannon. Later came different Sisu trucks with twin 23 ITK 61 (ZU-23-2) and possibly also with ugpraded 23 ITK 95, which appear to be still in common use. Lack of designation for the truck with the AA-gun still remains an issue for one who tries to search information about them.
D 666/9 Lastkraftwagen 3 t Ford V 3000 S
Itsenäisen Suomen Ilmatorjuntatykit 1917-2000, Raimo Vehviläinen, Ahti Lappi, Markku Palokangas, 2005
Autocannon, Anthony G. Williams, 17.2.2023