Terrängbil m/42 "The Coffin

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Terrängbil m/42 “The Coffin”

History

In 1941, when the tanks were consolidated into a separate unit, it was clear that there was an urgent need for a troop carrier that could both keep up with the tanks and provide protection from artillery fragments and small arms fire. Because of the war, there were no international suppliers, so the only option was to develop their own solution.

Tgbm42

AB Landsverk designed an armoured personnel carrier that was built on the chassis of a standard army lorry and had an armoured body with a similarly shaped cabin front and a troop door at the rear. In the service models, the front of the cab was modified and the rear door removed. After prototypes were developed, production was based on two chassis: a Volvo chassis and a Scania-Vabis chassis. The armour panels were manufactured by Bofors, Landsverk, Broederna Hedlund and Karlstad’s Mekaniska verkstad and then delivered to Volvo or Scania-Vabis for final assembly on their chassis.

The Volvo versions, Terrängbil m/42 VKP, had a fixed winch on the right side to pull the vehicle forward, while the Scania-Vabis version, SKP, instead had a winch on the left side that could be used for both forward and reverse pulling. The first authorised delivery was in 1944, after 38 vehicles failed due to stresses caused by welding the hardened steel. This was remedied by switching to a softer, hardened steel and heating the finished bodies in special furnaces to remove the stresses. In the 1950s, the vehicles were fitted with a ring mount for a twin machine gun on the bonnet and were given the designations Terrängbil m/42 VKPF and SKPF.

KP-bil

The specification of the m/42 depended on which engine it had and which company manufactured it: VKP for Volvo and SKP for Scania Vabis. The differences between the Volvo engine and the Scania engine were that the 4-cylinder engine of type 402/1 (Scania) had slightly more power, 115 hp at 2300 rpm, while the 6-cylinder engine of type FET (Volvo) had 105 hp at 2500 rpm. Although both engines ran on petrol and both engines had the same transmission (4 + 1), both versions had four-wheel drive and both engines could reach 70 km/h or 35 km/h off-road.

scania-vabistgb m42 inside lKP Inside l

International Use

The SKPF was used by the Swedish Armed Forces UN during the Congo crisis from 1961 to 1964, while the VKPF was retained for domestic use. 15 SKPFs were also purchased from UN and used by the Indian and Irish battalions in the Congo. After several KP gunners were shot in the waist in the Congo, armour was added to cover the gap between the roof and the machine gun ring.

tgb_m42 gunner seat
tgb_m42_NATO_Shield

REMO-Upgrade

The armoured body had sloped welded armour (REMO upgrade completely encloses the vehicle) with a thickness of 8 to 20 mm, which made it practically bulletproof. For entry and exit, the troop compartment had one armoured hatch each on the Rear of the vehicle, just in front of the rear axle wheels.

KPbil D l

Pre REMO-Upgrade, the troop compartment did not have a fixed roof, but had partially open sides from which infantry could fire as part of their role as infantry fighting vehicles. Instead of a fixed roof, the rear of the body had continuous side walls so that a tarpaulin could be placed over the troop compartment between the cab and the rear. By 1983, however, most remaining vehicles had been fitted with a new, fully enclosed troop compartment with embrasures and a rear door for quick egress.

KP Rear l

Specifications

  • Weight: 6.3 t
  • Length: 6.9 m
  • Width: 2.3 m
  • height: 2.9 m
  • Engine: scania-vabis 4 cylinder type402/1
  • Protection: 8 mm - 20 mm Sloped Welded Steel. (ALL)

Weapon trials & Service

Akan m40 Test run

Although the vehicles were always designed for fixed armament and had a circular opening in the bonnet, they did not initially have fixed armament and the opening in the bonnet was often closed with a hatch. Instead, the vehicles were equipped with storage compartments for the armourers’ weapons, ammunition and equipment, e.g. machine guns, hand grenades, portable anti-tank systems, etc. Early on, a vehicle with a 20 mm Akan m/40 autocannon was tested,

Akan m40 l

Ksp 39 History & service

kulspruta m/39 is the Swedish-made version of the Browning M1919, initially chambered in 8 x 63 mm and later in 7.62 x 51 mm as part of the (1983) REMO upgrade. But the first fixed standard armament was a single kulspruta m/39 machine gun mounted in a rotating turret ring on the driver’s cab sometime in 1944. This machine gun could fire either the 8 x 63 mm cartridge or the 6.5 x 55 mm cartridge, depending on which barrel was mounted.

Kulspruta_model_39

Ksp 36 History & service

Kulspruta m/36 was the Swedish designation for the licenced M1917A1 manufactured by Carl Gustaf’s Gevärsfaktori in Eskilstuna for infantry support. The main difference was that it was calibrated to the standard 6.5×55 mm calibre. The 6.5 mm bullet proved too light for long range fire support and anti-aircraft, so in 1932 the heavier 8×63 mm Patron m/32 cartridge was developed. As this resulted in heavier recoil, a spring-loaded cradle replaced the backplate with a heavily sprung buffer that acted as an extension of the standard Browning recoil buffer. This also replaced the regular spade grips with grips integrated into the carriage. For air defence, a double mount was made for a matching pair of ksp m/36. The right rifle, which had no sight, was fed from the right, while the left rifle, with iron sights supplemented by a AA sight ring, was fed from the left. The cocking levers were located between the two guns, while the safeties and triggers were individual for the left and right guns. The special AA tripod had extended legs and chains to secure the tripod or hang weights from it to increase stability. These double cradles were also used as standard defences, mounted on a ring on the cabin roof, on off-road vehicles and armoured troop carriers such as the Terrängbil m/42 KP. The latter was used with good effect in the Congo crisis of the early 1960s. Until 1966, the ksp m/36 could use both the 6.5 mm and 8 mm ammunition. Conversion between the two ammunition types was done by exchanging barrels, cartridge bearings and bolts.

Ksp m36 l

In 1956, the existing vehicles received a new armament in the form of two kulspruta m/36 IV dbl anti-aircraft machine guns in a rotating ring mount on the cabin roof. Depending on the barrel, these could also fire 8 x 63 mm m/32 and 6.5 x 55 mm m/94 cartridges.

Ksp 58 History & service

The weapon originally came from the Fabrique Nationale in Belgium and was built as early as the 1950s. The Swedish Armed Forces acquired the machine gun in the late 1950s and licenced the weapon in Sweden. The first variant of the weapon had a calibre of 6.5 x 55 mm, but was converted to 7.62 x 51 mm NATO in the 1970s. The Ksp 58 is used by the Swedish armed forces and is available today in various versions.

ksp 58B l

During the REMO modernisation in 1983, the twin mount ksp m/36 was replaced by two 7.62x55 mm NATO kulspruta m/58 light machine guns in single mounts, one on the cabin roof and one at the rear on the new troop compartment roof. The new closed cabin also had three portholes on each side of the vehicle, which could be used as embrasures for assault rifles and the like.

Variants

WW2 (1944) m/42A

Tgb m/42 KP in late 1940s configuration, armed with a single ksp m/39 machine gun on the roof
KP_bil_1940s

Cold war (1956) m/42B

Same Hull design except, armed with a double-mounted Ksp m/36. instead of a ksp m/39.
kp m42 l

Congo Crisis (1960-1994) m/42C

After several KP gunmen were shot in the waist in Congo, armour plating was installed to cover the gap between the roof and the machine gun ring.
tgb_m42_NATO_Shield

REMO - Upgrade (1983-2004) m/42D

closed roof with embrasures and rear door, armed with two light 7.62 mm ksp 58B machine guns mounted in single mounts front and rear, six smoke grenade launchers, offset front outer armour removed for weight, new all-terrain wheels (wheel wells revised), power brakes and new road-legal lighting, 173 modified.
Tgb_m42_D_SKPF

Sources:
https://arsenalen.se/en/

https://www.the-blueprints.com/blueprints/tanks/tanks-t/72723/view/tgb_m-42/

https://www.gotlandsforsvarsmuseum.se/fordon/kpbil.htm
Images:

I have now found some info from the comment section from the old forum
There is a 8 x 63 mm Tungsten round that could penetrate up to 20 mm of armour. Helpful in the Congo against Greyhounds, or other Lightly armoured vehicles.

Ksp 39 ammunition AP 2 part 1
Ksp 39 ammunition AP 2 part 2

Source: The Swedish Military Ammunition Site

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According to this article the m/36 MG had access to an 8x25 optical sight. The article states that its only for ground crews, but does not clarify if vehicles are included in that category.

Would be a nice zoomy sight if correct.

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Here is some pics of the Tgb 42s