PIAT

As an aside to the "adaptor to fire mortar rounds" discussion, was there only ever the shaped charge round for the PIAT or did they perhaps build an alternative PIAT round designed for the mortar shelling type purpose?

Very interesting discussion and resources incidentally lads, good read this thread.
I have only ever seen the HEAT round.
The thought occurs that surviving PIAT manuals are likely ten a penny, and they would include any mention of a 2" adaptor.

But looking at that base I'd be very sceptical it could work:
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
This is a very good find, and worth bookmarking for anyone who is interested in primary source material on what sort of weaponry may have seen service in the Soviet Union during WWII.

A few of the items that I found particularly interesting are:
  • 56 130 mm guns complete. These were supplied as Admiralty items. These would appear to be Soviet standard guns for naval mounts built to order in the UK.
  • 210 30" Martin and 240/" Colt Browning complete with 120 spare barrels. Both of these are different versions of the same gun. These are likely WWI left overs and came with some of the ships which were listed as having been supplied.
  • 26,000 Rounds 455". This is pistol ammunition. Either the Soviets had some British pistols left over from WWI or the Civil War, or the ships' armouries came with pistols.
  • Close to 40% of the aid to the Soviets listed was in the form of food, raw materials, and industrial machinery.
Raw materials included copper and aluminum from Canada, industrial diamonds from Africa, jute from India, rubber from Ceylon and the Far East, sisal from East Africa, graphite from Ceylon, tin from Malaya and the UK, wool from Australia and New Zealand, and food from Ceylon, India, Africa, and the West Indies. This really underlines a point which was made on another thread about how the UK and the Soviet Union (via the UK) were able to draw on the resources of the entire world, while Germany was limited to the resources they could find in the territories they directly occupied, trade for from their few allies, and the limited amount they could import from adjacent neutrals. This would have severely hampered the Germans throughout the war.
All of this material shipped at a time when we were skimping on our own defences in the far east. Second front my arse they could have kicked off against the Japanese and at little cost to themselves open a second front!
 
As an aside to the "adaptor to fire mortar rounds" discussion, was there only ever the shaped charge round for the PIAT or did they perhaps build an alternative PIAT round designed for the mortar shelling type purpose?

Very interesting discussion and resources incidentally lads, good read this thread.
I have never heard of one.. The problem with finding substitutes for shaped charge projectiles is that they are large and light.. they do not hold much explosive and most of the volume is filled with fresh air. This is the opposite to what you want in an explosive or pyrotechnic payload, which is invariably small and heavy.

This makes designing interchangable HEAT and other projectiles very difficult from a ballistics point of view. It would certainly be impossible to ballistically match such projectiles so that the same sights or sight setting could be used. This is one of the reasons we stuck with HESH in tank guns.. HESH and 120 SMK are ballistically identical and reduce the number of sight settings needed.

HEAT projectiles are really only good at punching holes in things. Even with a fragmentation collar, the lateral zone of damage is pretty limited.. I remember an RUC landrover being hit by an RPG just in front of the dashboard.. the jet punched a small hole across the top of the engine compartment and cut a few wires, but the paint was hardly scratched on the outside, and the crew barely woke up. WW2 HEAT were less efficient than modern designs and did produce more collateral damage, but not that much...
 
I have only ever seen the HEAT round.
The thought occurs that surviving PIAT manuals are likely ten a penny, and they would include any mention of a 2" adaptor.

But looking at that base I'd be very sceptical it could work:
That's a 2"Mortar smoke bomb.. The HE bomb had a 161 fuze..
 
I have never heard of one.. The problem with finding substitutes for shaped charge projectiles is that they are large and light.. they do not hold much explosive and most of the volume is filled with fresh air. This is the opposite to what you want in an explosive or pyrotechnic payload, which is invariably small and heavy.

This makes designing interchangable HEAT and other projectiles very difficult from a ballistics point of view. It would certainly be impossible to ballistically match such projectiles so that the same sights or sight setting could be used. This is one of the reasons we stuck with HESH in tank guns.. HESH and 120 SMK are ballistically identical and reduce the number of sight settings needed.

HEAT projectiles are really only good at punching holes in things. Even with a fragmentation collar, the lateral zone of damage is pretty limited.. I remember an RUC landrover being hit by an RPG just in front of the dashboard.. the jet punched a small hole across the top of the engine compartment and cut a few wires, but the paint was hardly scratched on the outside, and the crew barely woke up. WW2 HEAT were less efficient than modern designs and did produce more collateral damage, but not that much...
The thing is that shaped charges tend to have a liner, often in something like copper, that is considerably more dense than explosive filler. A factor of about 5 for copper, so replacing the liner with more explosive will fill much more volume for no increase in mass. Even if you did fill the internal volume with explosive, you probably wouldn’t change the overall mass that much.

But having two natures is a bit of a pain all the way through the logistics chain, especially when there are other assets to do the job better.
 
The thing is that shaped charges tend to have a liner, often in something like copper, that is considerably more dense than explosive filler. A factor of about 5 for copper, so replacing the liner with more explosive will fill much more volume for no increase in mass. Even if you did fill the internal volume with explosive, you probably wouldn’t change the overall mass that much.
In WWII, at least in the PIAT it was normally steel. Although Brass was used on some early rounds.
 
The thing is that shaped charges tend to have a liner, often in something like copper, that is considerably more dense than explosive filler. A factor of about 5 for copper, so replacing the liner with more explosive will fill much more volume for no increase in mass. Even if you did fill the internal volume with explosive, you probably wouldn’t change the overall mass that much.

But having two natures is a bit of a pain all the way through the logistics chain, especially when there are other assets to do the job better.
Not really.. the liner is very thin and the mass of material involved is minimal compared with the overall mass. If you filled in the air void in front of the liner, you would probably double the weight of the warhead and significantly move the centre of gravity.. In most light AT rounds, the airspace is around twice the volume of the explosive charge..

The HE anti personnel round for the RPG7, the OG7, is tiny when compared with the HEAT warhead. It is the same diameter as the launcher bore and only pokes out a few inches when loaded. It only uses the launch charge and has no booster rocket. The grenade warhead occupies the space used by the rocket motor on the PG7 HEAT round...
 
Not really.. the liner is very thin and the mass of material involved is minimal compared with the overall mass. If you filled in the air void in front of the liner, you would probably double the weight of the warhead and significantly move the centre of gravity.. In most light AT rounds, the airspace is around twice the volume of the explosive charge..

The HE anti personnel round for the RPG7, the OG7, is tiny when compared with the HEAT warhead. It is the same diameter as the launcher bore and only pokes out a few inches when loaded. It only uses the launch charge and has no booster rocket. The grenade warhead occupies the space used by the rocket motor on the PG7 HEAT round...
I always wondered why one was so much smaller than the other.
 
Some of the Russian ones may have been palmed off to the Poles, these fellas are allegedly in Warsaw in 1944. They may have been air dropped by the RAF though, so at least two sources of supply. The Russians did say that they supplied some ant tank rifles to the uprising, and given the noted imprecision with which they describe things, they could have meant that epitome of British AT technology which was the PIAT.
polepiat.jpg
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Some of the Russian ones may have been palmed off to the Poles, these fellas are allegedly in Warsaw in 1944. They may have been air dropped by the RAF though, so at least two sources of supply. The Russians did say that they supplied some ant tank rifles to the uprising, and given the noted imprecision with which they describe things, they could have meant that epitome of British AT technology which was the PIAT.
View attachment 349976
Some of the Russian ones may have been palmed off to the Poles, these fellas are allegedly in Warsaw in 1944. They may have been air dropped by the RAF though, so at least two sources of supply. The Russians did say that they supplied some ant tank rifles to the uprising, and given the noted imprecision with which they describe things, they could have meant that epitome of British AT technology which was the PIAT.
View attachment 349976
Nice MAS 38 back there, I'm assuming stolen from a German police unit
 
From the above source:

Jefferis had designed the PIAT for regular infantry, but he was quick to realize that it could be adapted for use by Gubbins’s saboteurs. ‘Once Millis had the hollow charge bit between his teeth, he raced off with it,’ said Macrae. He designed a whole range of sabotage weapons that were given the collective name, Beehive. ‘The smallest weighed only 6 lbs but would drill a nice hole through two inches of armour plate or a yard of concrete.’ A single saboteur could now take on virtually any target, however well protected.

The threatened Beehive article:
OVERLORD'S BLOG: Beehive

I can picture HE117 galloping towards me with his red pen out already :safe:
 
There is a photo here from Arnhem (weapons captured at Oosterbeek on 20/09/44). There is an object in the projectile tray - it looks like it could be the practice round sub calibre insert inverted to protect the tray, or is it a protective insert used when air-dropping PIAT? Thoughts welcome.
I think it’s the ‘adaptor plate’ mentioned earlier. Presumably resupplies would drop the whole ‘box’ of PIAT kit complete to CES, rather than the troops who landed who probably wouldn’t land with training bits of kit.
 
I think it’s the ‘adaptor plate’ mentioned earlier. Presumably resupplies would drop the whole ‘box’ of PIAT kit complete to CES, rather than the troops who landed who probably wouldn’t land with training bits of kit.
That's likely it: more efficient to drop items as stored rather than remove bits from each equipment first.
Off topic a bit but it's from a book which contains the German photos of Arnhem. It's very odd (but obviously a good thing) to see the SS accepting the surrender of soldiers when they behaved so dreadfully in other parts of Europe.
 

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