The 40mm Bofors light anti-aircraft automatic gun was used extensively by the military in Australia during WW2. It was developed by A.B. Bofors of Sweden in 1929. It was adopted by the British Army in 1938 and by the U.S. Army in 1941. The German Army captured and used a number of Bofors guns captured from France and Poland.

It was used to defend airfields, and other military establishments against low level enemy attack. It fired a 2lbs (1kg) high explosive shell at 2,800 ft/sec (848m/sec) at 120 rounds per minute. The Bofors maximum ceiling was 7, 151 metres but the most effective ceiling was 3,787 meters.

The standard mounting for Bofors gun was a four-wheeled trailer unit. Two wheeled versions were produced for airborne units in the United Kingdom and USA. Self-propelled mountings were also produced for the protection of mobile columns.


Photo supplied by Graham Roberts

A 40 mm Bofor's anti-aircraft gun on The Strand in Townsville. Can anyone tell me which unit
this gun belonged to? I do not think it belonged to the 208th Anti-aircraft Battalion, US Army who
were in this same are on The Strand.


The Bofor's anti-aircraft gun was of a simple design and was readily able to be repositioned at short notice.


40mm Bofors at RAAF Townsville Museum


A 40mm Bofor's anti-aircraft gun at the Caboolture Warplane Museum


Anti-aircraft installations in Australia during WW2 


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

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 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 6 October 2002

This page last updated 15 January 2020