Northover Projector

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Tartan_Smudger, Oct 27, 2005.

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  1. I am currently restoring the remains of a WWII Home Guard Northover Projector. There are plenty of websites with info about the weapon specs, projectiles, etc. but little about the weapon's origination.

    I am particularly trying to discover the origins of the name. Was Northover the name of the inventor? And the nearest date I have for the introduction is April/May 1940.

    When completed, the weapon will be displayed as part of living history/interpretation/museum diorama. So the information needs to be spot on.
     

  2. The Northover Projector

    [​IMG]
     
  3. The grenade used in the Northover projector was the green cap SIP grenade or No. 36 Grenade, although milk bottles filled with white phospherous were also issued (with the obvious rsult), and are still found hidden to this day.

    There were some 'home made' variations of the Northover projector. Some had the legs removed and were placed on wheeled carriages to make transportation easier. A slightly more elaborate version was designed by two members of the Buckinghamshire Home Guard. They produced a Northover 'Revolver' Projector which had a five-chambered revolving magazine. Another enterprising unit converted theirs to an AA? weapon, with one suspects more optimisom then sense.
     
  4. It might be a derivative of this bit of kit invented by this guy:
    The 29mm Spigot Mortar or "Blacker Bombard" was invented by Lieutenant-Colonel Blacker in the early years of WW2 as a cheap and easily produced weapon to replace ordnance lost at Dunkirk. It was extremely heavy (around 350lbs) and with a 4 legged portable mounting, reputedly needed a crew of 6 to move it. It perhaps says something for the strength of Slaidburn Home Guard members used to heavy agricultural labour, that they only seem to have required a crew of 3 or 4 men to use it.

    The weapon fired a 20lb fin-stabilized anti-tank bomb warhead containing a high explosive charge using black powder as a propellant. The weapon had the drawback of when the warhead hit its target, the fins had a nasty habit of flying backwards along the original trajectory with the resulting danger of injury to the firing crew. The "Bombard" had an effective range with the anti-tank bomb of around 100-150 yards, so the firing crew was expected to wait until any tanks were at close range. It was also capable of firing a 14 lb anti-personnel bomb with a maximum range of around 500 yards. They were fairly accurate and effective at short range. The weapon was rejected by the regular army but saw service with Home Guard and airfield protection units from 1941-1944
     

  5. Looks similar too:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Wasn't this tried on warships for AA - or was it something of similar name ?. Also post-Dunkirk, and the drawbacks sound familiar.
     
  7. Thanks Emptyeye. I've seen and been on all these sites before. I know what the weapon looks like.

    The one I am restoring was missing the firing mechanism (well most of it) breach and legs. All the work is completed except for the traverse. The new breach is chambered for .38 igniter blank.

    I'm well aware that there are two or three out there with Re-enactors. But it is the NAME of the weapon that I am concerned with. :wink:

    Will upload a piccy of it when it is completed OF COURSE!
     
  8. Yep, had a google today and its hard to find any sort of reference, the fact its called a 'Northover' does imply that some geezer did invent it. Might be a home guard guy though. Anyway, best of luck and let me see it when ist done please
     
  9. Emptyeye, as promised this was the first showing of the restored Northover Projector, formerly of the Ironbridge Division Home Guard (SHR6) Temporarily on a Bren SF tripod until I get round to building a new one for it!

    The event was part of the Home Front Recall series at Bishops Castle in Shropshire. The theme for the display was the British Resistance Organisation or Churchill's Auxiliary Units. it was on the 29th Oct.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Bit late with this but here's who it was named after.
    It was designed by a Home Guard officer by the name of Major H Northover. He apparently wrote directly to Churchill and arranged a demonstration, Churchill liked it and made sure it went into production. Between October 1940 and August 1941 over 8000 were produced and put into service. The idea was to equip each platoon with one, I suspect to appease H.G.s who were still suffering from a lack of rifles at that time.
     
  11. Just to add the Blacker bombard or spigot mortar was unrelated to the Northover. You may be interested in the book this info is from.
    It's titled "The Home Guard" and subtitled "the real story of Dad's Army" written by S P Mackenzie, published by Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-285331-7.
    Quite a fascinating read