The First Auto-Cannon—-The Maxim Pom Pom Anti-Aircraft gun,
The Maxim Pom Pom, aka the QF 1 pounder is one of the first practical anti-aircraft guns and the first rapid fire auto cannon. Created in 1890, it was originally designed to bring down observation balloons and later, during World War I, was used as an ground based countermeasure to airplanes. Designed by Hiram Maxim the Maxim Pom Pom was named after the sound of it’s firing a deep and slow “pom, pom, pom, pom, pom” sound. Essentially the Pom Pom was an enlarged version of the Maxim machine gun. It fired a 1 pound, 37mm exploding shell and had a maximum range of 4,500 yards. Before World War I the gun was used as an infantry weapon, especially by the Boers, who used Maxim-Nordenfelt built version during the Boer Wars. However, during WWI the British rarely used the Pom Pom against infantry. The Pom Pom saw some early successes, in 1914 Lieutenant O.F.J. Hogg became the first anti-aircraft gunner to shoot down an airplane, using an a Pom Pom to accomplish it. However, the gun was ineffective against large targets such as zeppelins, and gradually the Pom Pom was replaced with larger guns. Other countries, such as Germany, Belgium, and the United States also produced their own versions.