PIAT

Part Three.

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Caption: SOGERI VALLEY, NEW GUINEA. 1943-09-19. TEST OF THE PROJECTOR INFANTRY TANK ATTACK MARK 1 AT A RANGE OF 75 YARDS. NOTE BOMB EXPLODING ON STRIKING PILLBOX.
Note: the pillbox was a log/earth type captured from the Japanese.

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Caption: SOGERI VALLEY, NEW GUINEA. 1943-09-19. TEST OF THE PROJECTOR INFANTRY TANK ATTACK MARK 1 AT A RANGE OF 75 YARDS. NOTE BOMB EXPLODING ON STRIKING PILLBOX.

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Caption: SOGERI VALLEY, NEW GUINEA. 1943-09-24. CLOSE UP OF THE BOMBS USED IN THE PROJECTOR INFANTRY TANK ATTACK MARK 1 WHICH DID NOT EXPLODE IN THE SHOOT AGAINST THE TEST PILLBOX. THESE BOMBS WILL BE DESTROYED BY AN ARMY BOMB DISPOSAL UNIT.
(It would be interesting to know the hit/detonation ratio. References to the PIAT being used in the Far East often refer to the weapon's effectiveness against bunkers).
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Caption: SOGERI VALLEY, NEW GUINEA. 1943-09-24. CLOSE UP SHOWING WHERE A BOMB FROM A PROJECTOR INFANTRY TANK ATTACK MARK 1 HAD PENETRATED A LOG AND EXPLODED IN A PILLBOX, DURING A TEST SHOOT BY THE NEW GUINEA FORCE TRAINING SCHOOL.

A number of similar images have not been posted as they are the same pillbox from different angles.

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Caption: SOGERI VALLEY, NEW GUINEA. 1943-09-19. PREPARING TO FIRE THE PROJECTOR INFANTRY TANK ATTACK MARK 1 DURING A TEST OF THE MISSILE AGAINST JAPANESE PILLBOXES. LEFT TO RIGHT: VX85020 LIEUTENANT S. P. MOWBRAY, CHIEF INSTRUCTOR WEAPONS WING; VX85018 WARRANT OFFICER 1 (WO1) DRUITT, AUSTRALIAN INSTRUCTIONAL CORPS, SMALL ARMS SCHOOL, BONEGILLA; TX10815 WO1 A. A. WHITTON, AUSTRALIAN INSTRUCTIONAL CORPS, SMALL ARMS SCHOOL, BONEGILLA.
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Caption: SOGERI VALLEY, NEW GUINEA. 1943-09-24. NX134018 SERGEANT N. J. KING, INSTRUCTOR OF THE NEW GUINEA FORCE TRAINING SCHOOL INSPECTING THE RESULTS OF AN ATTACK AGAINST A PILLBOX WITH A PROJECTOR INFANTRY TANK ATTACK MARK 1.

There are a number of other photos of this series on the AWM website. Most are of the bunkers pre and post attack. The one below is reproduced as, while I have read of the skill with which Japanese bunkers were camouflaged, the photo shows just how hard they would have been to spot.
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Them's unusually big pouches... Or at least the left one is.

 
That's a nice picture, it brutally brings home how bloody close you had to get.
They are nice images. Way too close if there's an LMG in the bunker...
I am looking for images/info about the 29mm Spigot Mortar (Blacker Bombard) atm. There are remarkably few images considering the production run. They were used in North Africa but we were rapidly heading backwards at the time so there may not have been much chance for the war photographers to snap them. The one firm reference I have found re. Tobruk is that a promised delivery of the mortars had not materialised.
Off topic, I saw one image of a Northover Projector in Malaya, which was a surprise. :)
 
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ugly

LE
Moderator
The jungle can be a problem with log bunkers and limited fields of fire, in close country 50 yards may be long range.
 
The jungle can be a problem with log bunkers and limited fields of fire, in close country 50 yards may be long range.
In the photo you can see that trees have been cut down or blown up, and undergrowth cleared to form the practice range. If the area was not prepared we would not have even been able to see the bunker from the perspective of the camera.
 
That's a nice picture, it brutally brings home how bloody close you had to get.
And, judging by the 5 unexploded bombs, there seems to have been a strong possibility that, even if you did manage to hit the target, the bomb wouldn't then explode,
 
And, judging by the 5 unexploded bombs, there seems to have been a strong possibility that, even if you did manage to hit the target, the bomb wouldn't then explode,
I haven't seen reports of a horrible number of blinds for a PIAT, so I wonder if it's a problem with the round and temperature, or the target. Remember these were designed and tested on armour plate, not wooden logs. You'll note most of them have their hollow cahrges crushed and the fuse probe extended still. Which might indicate they were having trouble getting a clean hit.
 
I haven't seen reports of a horrible number of blinds for a PIAT, so I wonder if it's a problem with the round and temperature, or the target. Remember these were designed and tested on armour plate, not wooden logs. You'll note most of them have their hollow cahrges crushed and the fuse probe extended still. Which might indicate they were having trouble getting a clean hit.
One of the French chaps who used PIAT as an ad hoc mortar reported that the rounds would sometimes not detonate on bunker roofs (the chap was talking about landing craft-mounted PIAT being used against land targets). The construction of the bunkers was not noted but, given the context, I would assume log/earth. I will find the quote.

Edit: I had actually posted it earlier in this thread:

'For my part, I did not believe too much in this projectile. Having used it once
on a blockaus (quite rare), in sections of coconut trees, hidden in a hut, the
projectile, did not explode! Was it due to humidity? Who knows! The 20m / ma took over
quickly, thankfully !!'
 
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A recent (well, now) find from the web. From a Korean website, which is here: 본격 아른헴 그라드 - 기갑 갤러리

The (auto translated caption is: 'P.I.A.T Ong is piled up in the Iraq Booty Warehouse')

The best I can find in terms of cross-referencing is a post from Reddit, here:
Which threw up the other two images. Pretty frustrating. In terms of the source of the PIATs, I'd defer to other posters. The weapons seem stored sans removable parts so were they stored as supplied, presumably with the other parts packed away also?

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One of the French chaps who used PIAT as an ad hoc mortar reported that the rounds would sometimes not detonate on bunker roofs (the chap was talking about landing craft-mounted PIAT being used against land targets). The construction of the bunkers was not noted but, given the context, I would assume log/earth. I will find the quote.

Edit: I had actually posted it earlier in this thread:

'For my part, I did not believe too much in this projectile. Having used it once
on a blockaus (quite rare), in sections of coconut trees, hidden in a hut, the
projectile, did not explode! Was it due to humidity? Who knows! The 20m / ma took over
quickly, thankfully !!'
A high rate of failures for that reason would have fairly major implications for the "Piatushka" upthread.
 
I haven't seen reports of a horrible number of blinds for a PIAT, so I wonder if it's a problem with the round and temperature, or the target. Remember these were designed and tested on armour plate, not wooden logs. You'll note most of them have their hollow cahrges crushed and the fuse probe extended still. Which might indicate they were having trouble getting a clean hit.
I noticed that. The low velocity, curved trajectory and curved target can't have helped. It must have been a vile job to take on a nearly-invisible bunker in Burma when the PIAT was the best weapon available. The M79 grenade launcher seems to have been devised for the job by the time of Vietnam.
 
To be honest, I wasn’t there. The Germans did kill prisoners. In the case mentioned by @Red Hander they took them prisoner on that occasion. Whether it was because they ‘fought harder’ is rather subjective and I doubt troops from the 1940 and 1944 incident were at both locations to compare.

It’s a possibility that the week or more behind enemy lines and cut off may have impressed the Germans on that occasion. They may have even had orders to take prisoners. It’s frankly speculation on all parts.
I wasn't there either, but I've heard of people who were that believe some of their friends had been murdered and people who were not to be found, dead or alive, where they'd last been seen. Massacres elsewhere are known about because there were survivors. By that stage they were probably getting better at ensuring there weren't any witnesses.
 
I wasn't there either, but I've heard of people who were that believe some of their friends had been much and people who were not to be found, dead or alive, where they'd last been seen. Massacres elsewhere are known about because there were survivors. By that stage they were probably getting better at ensuring there weren't any witnesses.
I’ve spoken to, or at least listened to; Arnhem vets on a few occasions. I don’t recall any of them mentioning anything like that, but in general I was listening to their tales rather than questioning. It did include one gent who was taken prisoner at Arnhem who accompanied us on a Rhine crossing tour.
 
The jungle can be a problem with log bunkers and limited fields of fire, in close country 50 yards may be long range.
Reading of the ground war in Vietnam, it was often less than 50 feet when engaging bunker complexes.
 
I haven't seen reports of a horrible number of blinds for a PIAT, so I wonder if it's a problem with the round and temperature, or the target. Remember these were designed and tested on armour plate, not wooden logs. You'll note most of them have their hollow cahrges crushed and the fuse probe extended still. Which might indicate they were having trouble getting a clean hit.
My assumption would be the log/earth construction and the fairly damp conditions would make for a pretty spongy target impact surface, PIAT rounds were designed to blow holes in armour plate which is a tad more rigid.
I still find it a bit surprising that PIAT's were an OK stand-in for a mortar, but there's plenty of evidence in this thread that they served as such so I take it as gospel.
 
My assumption would be the log/earth construction and the fairly damp conditions would make for a pretty spongy target impact surface, PIAT rounds were designed to blow holes in armour plate which is a tad more rigid.
I still find it a bit surprising that PIAT's were an OK stand-in for a mortar, but there's plenty of evidence in this thread that they served as such so I take it as gospel.
Photos suggest a two-man PIAT team carried six rounds (?). Crawling to within range of an LMG bunker and knowing that you might hit the target without result can not good have been for morale.

Off the topic of bunkers, etc, an account of legionnaires capturing a PIAT and ammunition from guerrillas in Algeria in Feb 1956.

Source:

PMAH 10ème DP - ENPA - Cap Matifou
PDFhttps://www.enpa-capmatifou.com › Aero

French

'Alert! crossing south of Duvivier. On the night of February 25 to 26, two katibas who
have managed to cross the dam are chased by the Regiment. After a harassment
health, in the early morning of the 26th, the HLLs take control of the Legionaries-paratroopers who hold
Heights. It will take ten hours of fighting, the intervention of the supports, a replenishment
in ammunition plus several maneuvers of IHL under a well-adjusted fire, for
to overcome the fellaghas. A most impressive balance sheet increases the fabulous
Blade of hunting of the regiment: 197 HLL killed, seven prisoners, the booty is considerable: eight
machine guns, 116 machine guns, 46 machine guns, three pistols,
lets, a PIAT mortar with 24 shells, 154 grenades, 28 anti-tank rockets and 60,000 rounds.'
 
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My assumption would be the log/earth construction and the fairly damp conditions would make for a pretty spongy target impact surface, PIAT rounds were designed to blow holes in armour plate which is a tad more rigid.
I still find it a bit surprising that PIAT's were an OK stand-in for a mortar, but there's plenty of evidence in this thread that they served as such so I take it as gospel.
A possible reason why the Bombard was so loved by the Indian army.
 

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