76mm Obukhov Gun (76 ItK 34 OK)
A 76 mm Canet-type fixed coastal cannon from the Russian Obukhov factory from 1902. The cannons were modified in 1934 to be suitable for air defence. The cannons were the legacy of the Tsarist Russian armed forces. Large numbers of the weapons were left behind when the Tsar’s troops left Finland in 1917–1918. The newly established Finnish Defence Forces immediately took up the abandoned weapons.
As the anti-aircraft equipment suffered from shortcomings both in terms of quality and quantity throughout the 1920s, it was decided in 1934 to modernise some of the old Obukhovs, designed as naval and coastal cannons, for anti-aircraft use. They were equipped with a base designed in Finland, and the barrels were bored to increase the calibre by 1 mm. In addition, the Obukhovs received new sights designed for aerial targets.
The resulting cannon was not the best possible. Because of the cannon’s complicated and clumsy threaded breechblock, the actual firing speed was just a few rounds per minute. In addition, it was also discoved that the sights were ill-suited for air defence. Nevertheless, the Obukhovs served in the air defences of Helsinki and Jyväskylä throughout the Winter War. At the beginning of the Continuation War, the cannons stationed in Helsinki were transferred to the coastal defence, while the Jyväskylä battery remained protecting the city until the end of the Continuation War. After the war, most of the cannons were handed over to the coastal artillery. The cannon model was permanently phased out in 1966, when all 75 and 76 mm anti-aircraft weapons were ordered to be removed from the Defence Forces’ cannon inventory.
The Anti-Aircraft Museum has three Obukhov cannons on display. One can be seen next to the parking lot near the entrance, another one here and a third on the side of the yard next to a footpath, along with the Vickers, Breda and Bofors cannons. The cannon’s technical specifications can be found at the cannon exhibited along the footpath.
References: Vehviläinen Raimo et al., Itsenäisen Suomen Ilmatorjuntatykit 1917–2000, Sotamuseon julkaisuja I, Helsinki 2005; Palmu Pentti, Yön yli päivään – Suomen Ilmatorjunnan vaiheita 1925–1990, Ilmatorjuntaupseeriyhdistys Ry, Helsinki 1989; Ilmatorjuntamiehet Lohtajalla 1952–2002, Pääesikunta 2002