The Ordnance Quick-Firing 17-pounder (or just 17-pdr)[note 1] was a 76.2 mm (3 inch) gun developed by the United Kingdom during World War II. In 1942 the Japanese introduced an improved anti-tank gun in the shape of type 1 47mm, but there were never enough of them and many units still had the 37mm. A contemporary (1944–45) Canadian Army survey questioned 161 army officers, who had recently left combat, about the effectiveness of 31 different infantry weapons. Anti-Tank Vehicles are arranged in a separate listing found here. This new weapon, the 3-inch 17-pdr, became one of the best anti-tank guns of the war, able to penetrate the thickest armour at normal battle ranges. The PIAT was based on the spigot mortar system, and projected (launched) a 2.5 pound (1.1 kg) shaped charge bomb using a cartridge in the tail of the projectile. With the Firefly the British and Canadians had a weapon to compare with the powerful German anti-tank guns. It was also used as the main armament for a number of armoured fighting vehicles. The Cruiser Mark VI Crusader was the main British mid war cruiser tank. The APDS was also considered to cause less damage to an enemy tank if it did penetrate the armour. [8], The PIATs' ammunition used the shaped charge principle, which, if the often unreliable early round design delivered it correctly to the target, allowed the warhead to penetrate almost all enemy armour types at close range. The German scientist Egon Neumann found that lining the recess with metal enhanced the damage dealt even more. WW2 Anti-Tank Weapons (1939-1945) Infantry / Small Arms. It was used to 'up-gun' some foreign-built vehicles in British service, notably to produce the Sherman Firefly variant of the US M4 Sherman tank, giving British tank units the ability to hold their own against their German counterparts. Cylindrical thick steel construction, effectively a sub-calibre practice round. When the Cromwell's replacement, the Comet, was at the design stage, the 75 mm HV concept was reworked to fire the same projectiles as the 17-pounder through a shortened 17-pounder barrel, but retaining the 3-inch cartridge case firing from a standard 3-inch breech.[6]. This enabled the gun to be pressed into service before its own carriage design was ready. 18 Pounder Field-Gun. [18] For his part Blacker received £25,000 (equivalent to £1,087,000 in 2020). However, the type also had some disadvantages: powerful recoil, a difficulty in cocking the weapon, and early problems with ammunition reliability. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). [1] Shortly after the trial of the Baby Bombard, Blacker was posted to other duties, and left the anti-tank weapon in the hands of a colleague in the department, Major Millis Jefferis. To prepare the weapon for firing the spigot mechanism, which was operated by a large spring, had to be cocked, and to do this was a difficult and awkward process. It also notes that it may be used "as a house-breaker". It was intended to fire the US 75 mm projectiles (AP shot and HE) at a higher velocity, avoiding a downgrade in armour penetration versus the 6-pounder, which the dual purpose 75mm was replacing. [25] Three PIATs were issued to every company at the headquarters level for issuing at the CO discretion – allowing one weapon for each platoon. [9] However, rather than using the conventional system of firing the mortar shell from a barrel fixed to a baseplate, Blacker wanted to use the spigot mortar system. However, production of the tank took time and few could be completed before the allied invasion of Normandy. Attached to the British 1 st Airborne Division were two batteries of anti-tank artillery. They became one of the most effective weapons on the battlefield, on both carriages and tanks. PIATs were supplied to or obtained by other nations and forces, including the Soviet Union (through Lend Lease), the French resistance, the Polish Underground, and the Israeli Haganah (which used PIATs during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War). The PIAT was used in all theatres in which British and other Commonwealth forces served. Used with the APDS shot, it was capable of defeating all but the thickest armour on German tanks. In late 1942 they were supplanted American tanks such as the M3 Lee and M4 Sherman. After firing on soft ground, the 17-pounder frequently had to be pulled out of the ground due to the gun recoil burying the trail spades. [42], Library and Archives Canada, Record Group 24, Battle Experience Questionnaires, Vol. The 17-pounder was also successfully trialled on the Australian-designed Sentinel tank, though no Sentinels equipped with this gun entered service with the Australian Army. BY CONFLICT. [18] Churchill supported Jefferis claims, but he did not get his way. [40], The Haganah and the emerging Israel Defence Force (IDF) used PIATs against Arab armour during the 1947–1949 Palestine war. [30] And in occupied France, the French resistance used the PIAT in the absence of mortars or artillery. It was used as an anti-tank gun on its own carriage, as well as equipping a number of British tanks. [17] The Ministry of Supply had already paid Blacker £50,000 for his expenses in relation to the Bombard and PIAT. 2. British AT Guns. [23] It was possible to use the PIAT as a crude mortar by placing the shoulder pad of the weapon on the ground and supporting it. Fully developed 17-pounders started production in 1943 and were first used during the Italian Campaign. Date Released: 2009: Contents: 32 figures: Poses: 8 poses: Material: Plastic (Fairly Soft) Colours : Green: Average Height: 23 mm (= 1.66 m) Review. As a result, it had to be towed by a gun tractor, such as the Morris Quad, M3 Half-track or the Crusader, as it could not effectively be moved by its gun crew alone, especially on poor ground. At the beginning of World War Two anti-tank guns were small weapons pushed about by their crews, but by the end of the war anti-tank guns could weigh as much as 12 tons and needed a huge tractor to move them about the battlefield. The PIAT was designed in 1942 in response to the British Army's need for a more effective infantry anti-tank weapon and entered service in 1943. They first saw action in February 1943. The 1943 manual simply describes the service bomb as "H.E." The resulting Cruiser Mark VIII Challenger had a longer hull and provided a larger turret, allowing the 17-pounder to be mounted along with space for a second loader, thought to be required for the gun's larger ammunition. EFC was the basis of calculating the wear effect of propellent charges. Blacker called the weapon the 'Baby Bombard', and presented it to the War Office in 1941. The Ordnance QF 2-pounder (QF denoting "quick firing"), or simply "2 pounder gun", was a 40 mm (1.575 in) British anti-tank and vehicle-mounted gun employed in the Second World War.. The Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt, or just 6-pounder, was a British 57 mm gun, serving during the Second World War as a primary anti-tank gun of both the British and United States Army (as the 57 mm Gun M1). [4] US tanks began to use the 76 mm gun M1 instead. The origins of the PIAT can be traced back as far as 1888, when an American engineer by the name of Charles Edward Munroe was experimenting with guncotton; he discovered that the explosive would yield a great deal more damage if there were a recess in it facing the target. of WW1 & WW2 (in those days, these guns were not used by Infantry, but most certainly, used in the Anti-Tank role) In WW2, the 25 Pdr. MODERN ARMIES. With defeat to the Axis an unacceptable reality, British engineers went on to develop some of the most recognizable firearms of World War 2. Towed Anti-Aircraft Cannon. In the anti-tank role, it was replaced after the war by the 120 mm BAT recoilless rifle. There are a total of [ 35 ] WW2 Anti-Tank Guns (1939-1945) entries in the … After Korea, the gun was largely replaced in the tank role by the Ordnance QF 20 pounder, and in the anti-tank role by the BAT, MOBAT and 120 mm L6 WOMBAT series of recoilless rifles. There are a total of [ 16 ] WW2 Soviet Anti-Tank Guns (1939-1945) entries in the Military Factory. Although the 75 mm HV was a promising weapon, it proved to be too big for the Cromwell tank, which was ultimately fitted with the normal QF 75 mm gun in use on other British tanks. [10], The PIAT was 39 inches (0.99 m) long and weighed 32 pounds (15 kg), with an effective direct fire range of approximately 115 yards (105 m) and a maximum indirect fire range of 350 yards (320 m). Between 19 and 25 September 1944, during the, This page was last edited on 23 December 2020, at 21:27. The bomb can penetrate the armour of the latest known types of enemy A.F.Vs. 4.7cm Bohler M32. [9] By effectively putting the barrel on the inside of the weapon, the barrel diameter was no longer a limitation on the warhead size. The new 50-calibre long gun, known as the Vickers HV 75 mm, fired a 75mm projectile attached to a necked down 3-inch (76.2 mm) 20 cwt AA gun cartridge through a modified breech. A. 10,450, Weekly Reports, Canadian Small Arms Liaison Officer Overseas, 1941–1945, C-5167, Guide Technique de Sous-Officiers du l'Infanterie 1954, "Blacker, (Latham Valentine) Stewart (1887–1964)", "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)", "Russia (British Empire war assistance)—House of Commons debate", "Vũ khí Việt Nam trong hai cuộc kháng chiến", SMLE No.1 Mk III* & Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk.I, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=PIAT&oldid=995973587, World War II infantry weapons of the United Kingdom, Pages containing London Gazette template with parameter supp set to y, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using multiple image with manual scaled images, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Initially used solely by the Royal Artillery’s anti-tank regiments comprising of four batteries, each with 12 guns. Manual says green, but museum examples seem to be brown. There are a total of [ 70 ] WW2 British Guns (1939-1945) entries in the Military Factory. Despite the difficulties in cocking and firing the weapon, it did have several advantages. British Anti-Tank Guns By Jason Rahman February 2019. [note 2] Additionally, a new recoil mechanism, based on that of the 6-pounder was developed to further shorten the recoil, while also shortening the gun cradle. The first versions on modified field gun carriages were rushed out to Tunisia in May 1943 to combat the new German Tiger tank. does not absorb moisture. During the Warsaw Uprising, it was one of many weapons that Polish Underground resistance fighters used against German forces. During WW2 Canada used artillery including anti-tank guns of British design and many guns were built in Canada. The Spigot mortar design allowed a large calibre powerful shaped charge bomb[7] giving greatly increased penetration power over the previous anti-tank rifles, allowing it to remain effective for the rest of the war; its construction was relatively simple and robust without a conventional barrel; there was no back-blast (unlike the contemporary American bazooka) that might endanger friendly troops and give the user's position away, this also meant that the PIAT could be used in confined spaces as in urban warfare; compared to the previous anti-tank rifles the muzzle blast was minimal, also a potential concealment issue. Before the Second World War the standard machine gun armament for British tanks was the Vickers .303 machine gun. ARMOR. Instead of a barrel, there was a steel rod known as a 'spigot' fixed to a baseplate, and the bomb itself had a propellant charge inside its tail. In November 1941 during Operation Crusader, part of the North African Campaign, staff officers of the British Eighth Army were unable to find even a single instance of the Boys' knocking out a German tank. The A30 specification reduced weight and enabled the use of Cromwell tank components as a design expedient. BY TYPE. The British were no exception. [15], It entered service in mid-1943, and was first used in action by Canadian troops during the Allied invasion of Sicily. The standard REI ATG (as well as for their light SPATs (Semovente da 47/32) and ‘medium’ tanks (Carri M13/40, M14/41, and M15/42)) was the Bohler 47mm (early models were L/32 (32 calibre lengths), later ones L/40)). [10] Blacker eventually designed a lightweight mortar that he named the 'Arbalest' and submitted it to the War Office,[11] but it was turned down in favour of a Spanish design. The 6pdr AT Gun was introduced in 1942, joining the lighter 2pdr, the new gun was more capable of dealing with the increasing thickness of Axis armour. The moving spigot rod in the PIAT design was unusual, and served to help reduce recoil sufficiently to make it a viable shoulder fired weapon.[3]. The PIAT requires a trough-like adapter to use it. Typically the guns were grouped together in anti-tank battalions each with three batteries made up of four troops which operated four guns each. Britain Anti-Tank Weapons – Anti-Tank Grenades: Grenade Rifle No. Self-propelled anti-tank guns Self-propelled anti-tank guns are anti-tank guns mounted on … Each battery was organized in 6 Troops, four of which were each equipped with 4 of the Ordnance, Quick Firing 6 pounder Anti-Tank Gun, Mk IV (L/50), mounted on the Mk III (Airborne) Carriage. WW2 Anti-Tank Guns (1939-1945) Armor / Land Systems. These were the 1 st Airlanding Ant-Tank Battery, RA and the 2 nd (Oban) Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery, RA. [41], PIATs were also used by French and Việt Minh forces during the First Indochina War. Normally APC or APCBC was fired. It was heavy, which meant that it was difficult for infantry to handle effectively, and was outdated; by 1940 it was effective only at short ranges, and then only against armoured cars and light tanks. A custom designed carriage for the 17 pounder comprising: In the immediate post-war era in the Middle East, Arab national armies - Transjordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq - mainly used British manufactured artillery, including the towed 17-pounder. The Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank (PIAT) Mk I was a British man-portable anti-tank weapon developed during the Second World War. [8], As part of the Lend Lease agreement, between October 1941 and March 1946 the Soviet Union was supplied with 1,000 PIATs and 100,000 rounds of ammunition. So the 6pdr was gun the troops always had to hand locally to defend themselves, with the 17pdr being deployed into areas that divisional HQ felt needed stiffening. [3] Production of the Challenger was cancelled, and more Shermans were converted until about 50% of Shermans in British service were Fireflies. [21] Users of a small stature often found the cocking sequence challenging, as they did not have the sufficient height required to pull the body up far enough to cock the weapon; it was also difficult to do when lying in a prone position, as was often the case when using the weapon in action.[22]. Other British Tank Armaments. BY TYPE. [3] It could be carried and operated by one man,[3] but was usually assigned to a two-man team,[20] the second man acting as an ammunition carrier and loader. FH marks the performance against face hardened armour (FHA), as opposed to rolled homogeneous armour (RHA). COUNTRIES. From 1943, one PIAT team was allocated to each infantry platoon in a jungle division[27] – the tropical light infantry formation that was the standard front-line Australian division in the South West Pacific theatre. The recoil caused by the detonation of the propellant blew the spigot rod backwards onto the spring; this reduced the shock of recoil and automatically cocked the weapon for subsequent shots, eliminating the need to manually re-cock.[7][21]. [13] However, when the weapon was tested it proved to have a host of problems; a War Office report of June 1941 stated that the casing was flimsy and the spigot itself did not always fire when the trigger was pulled, and none of the bombs provided exploded upon contact with the target. BY CONFLICT. When the mortar was to be fired, the bomb was pushed down onto the spigot, which exploded the propellant charge and blew the bomb into the air. COUNTRIES. Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily primary operator. 1. Blacker took exception to this and suggested to Jefferis that they should divide any award equally after his expenses had been deducted. Trajectory slightly different to service bomb. [23] Due to the short engagement distances and the power of the bomb, the crew could be in the bomb blast zone so hard cover was desirable; on open training grounds this might be a slit trench. British anti-tank guns of WW2: the Ordnance QF 6-PDR by Chris Chant on 30/09/2015 The Ordnance QF 6-pdr was a British 57-mm (2.24-in) gun which was the British army’s mainstay in the anti-tank role during the middle of World War II, and was also used as the main armament in … Mountain guns were also used because of their ability to be broken down and carried by pack animals. A separate weapon, this fired 17-pounder projectiles in a more tank-compatible form, and ultimately replaced the need for 17-pounder tanks late in the war. [13] Blacker then developed a shaped charge bomb with a propellant charge in its tail, which fitted into a shoulder-fired launcher that consisted of a metal casing containing a large spring and a spigot; the bomb was placed into a trough at the front of the casing, and when the trigger was pulled the spigot rammed into the tail of the bomb and fired it out of the casing and up to approximately 140 metres (150 yd) away. But he did not abandon the design, and eventually come up with the Blacker Bombard, a swivelling spigot-style system that could launch a 20-pound (9 kg) bomb approximately 100 yards (90 m); although the bombs it fired could not actually penetrate armour, they could still severely damage tanks, and in 1940 a large number of Blacker Bombards were issued to the Home Guard as anti-tank weapons. HOME. Once this was achieved, the body was then lowered and turned to reattach it to the rest of the weapon, and the PIAT could then be fired. NH = non-hygroscopic; i.e. The 17-pounder produced a very large muzzle flash due to the large amount of propellant in its cartridges. BY DECADE. As the war came to a close, the 17-pounder was also deployed on the Centurion tank, until ultimately being replaced by the 20-pounder. [14], At the time that he developed the Baby Bombard and sent it off the War Office, Blacker was working for a government department known as MD1, which was given the task of developing and delivering weapons for use by guerrilla and resistance groups in Occupied Europe. MANUFACTURERS. The United States Army did not use the 17-pounder, though the gun was offered to US forces with a number of Sherman tanks modified for testing. The PIAT was first used during the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, and remained in use with British and other Commonwealth forces until the early 1950s. 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