The 45 mm anti-aircraft gun (21-K) was a Soviet design adapted from the 45 mm anti-tank gun M1937 (53-K). This was a copy of a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) German weapon designed by Rheinmetall that was sold to the Soviets before Hitler came to power in 1933 that had been enlarged to 45 mm (1.8 in) in increase its penetrating power. It was used by the Soviet Navy to equip almost all of their ships from 1934 as its primary light anti-aircraft gun. It was used in World War II and during the Cold War as the Soviets exported their WWII-era ships to their friends and allies. However it was not very effective as its slow rate of fire and lack of a time fuze required a direct hit to damage targets.