Madsen 20 mm cannon

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Madsen 20 mm cannon
20 mm Madsen.jpg
Madsen 20 mm cannon
Type Autocannon
Place of origin Denmark
Service history
Used by See users section
Wars World War II
Winter War
Continuation War
Chinese Civil War
Weight 55 kilograms (121 lb)
Length 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
Barrel length 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) L/60[1]

Cartridge 20 x 120 mm
Cartridge weight .29 kg (10 oz) AP
.32 kg (11 oz) HE
Caliber 20 mm
Barrels air-cooled
Action recoil-operated
Rate of fire 400 rpm (cyclic)
250 rpm (practical)
Muzzle velocity 900 m/s (2,953 ft/s)
Effective firing range 500 m (1,640 ft)
Maximum firing range 2,123 m (6,965 ft)
Feed system 10, 15 or 60 round magazine[1]
20x120 mm Madsen
Type Autocannon
Place of origin Denmark
Production history
Manufacturer Kynoch
Rim diameter 28.9mm[2]

The 20 mm AA Machine Cannon M/38 was produced by the Danish company Dansk Industri Syndikat (Danish Industry Syndicate) - DISA - in Herlev near Copenhagen and was used by the military of Denmark in different types of mounting. This cannon was originally constructed by Colonel V. H. O. Madsen and was therefore widely known as the 20 mm Madsen Cannon. A version with a necked-out 23 mm round was also produced, generally known as the 23 mm Madsen.

The mountings were also produced by DISA in the following types:[3]

  • Light Field Mount - Primary anti tank mount, could be folded up and stowed on a motorcycle sidecar
  • Universal Mount - Dual purpose mount, fitted with wheels it could be towed by its crew.
  • Mobile Anti-Aircraft Mount - Dedicated AA mount.
  • Tri-axial Mount - Light weight mount intended for fortifications and naval use

There were also a number of locally designed mounts.

This type of machine cannon was a very well functioning weapon,[citation needed] which was exported by DISA to several countries.

The 20 mm machine cannons of the Danish Army were responsible for knocking out eleven armoured cars and two Panzer I's during the German invasion before the order to surrender came through.[4]

A Madsen cannon aboard a Nuoli-class fast gunboat

Self-propelled Mounts[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Chamberlain, Peter (1975). Anti-aircraft guns. Gander, Terry,. New York: Arco Pub. Co. p. 6. ISBN 0668038187. OCLC 2000222. 
  2. ^ An introduction to collecting 20 mm cannon cartridges Archived 2012-10-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Jessen, Halvor (1946). Automatic Standard Arms of Modern Warfare XI. Compagnie Madsen. 
  4. ^ Gert, Lausen. "The German occupation of Denmark". Archived from the original on 2013-10-15. 

External links[edit]