PIAT

Please excuse thread drift.

If not already posted, the two Clarkson programmes mentioned on here are on Youtube. His THE VICTORIA CROSS: FOR VALOUR includes Maj Robert H. Cain VC, and the likes of Bill Speakman VC. That, and The Greatest Raid of All made a couple of years later, are some of JC's best work, I agree.
Thanks I've seen them on youtube but couldn't save them to my pc because of bbc copyright rules.
I think many people see him as a loud and opinionated person (because it's true) but in those programs he shows nothing but absolute admiration and respect for the sacrifice those people made for us.
 
The early version of the PIAT didn't have the facility for firing at high elevation, but it soon became apparent that it could put bombs onto a target similar to a mortar. So was modified to include a telescopic front monopod, a straight shoulder piece replaced the original curved pattern and a quadrant sight, affixed to the rear sight casing, was graduated for ranges from 100 yards to 370 yards, high and low angle, was fitted. A white line was painted on the casing to assist in aiming.
Is that what the guy who "engaging the house" is actually doing? Engaging something on the far side of the house?

Perhaps the "canal crossing" aspect of PIATushka is a bit like "Water Tanks for Mesopotamia" and it was intended to plaster the next street not the other side of the canal?
 
Let me introduce you to BAe archives sometime... Oh wait I can't becuase you hardly ever get a response from them! Can you imagine what discoveries await in BAE archives? I can, which makes it all so frustrating.


Sounds all to familiar. I once spoke to an archive manager asking about the providence or background of one of his exhibits. His response was "I don't know, I found it in a skip along with some other stuff. I loaded up my car, but by the time I got back the skip was gone."

In the case of the (possibly) LSMR records, they were handed to a train spotters club of some description for safe keeping. The bobble hatted freaks then binned everything that wasn't related to trains.
I had access to AV Roe (Middleton site) and a variety of Warton records (which included an insane number of photographs) for a while when I was contracting for BAES, sadly they have (or at least at the time had) a policy of internal only and they had a nasty habit of binning stuff, which to someone keen on history was pretty galling.
I led the project to replace the extremely ancient engineering parts system for the V bombers that had become re-fuelers and it included a variety of other older marks and all the engineering drawings and parts specs, the data was subject to security as a whole blob though even though some of the airframes had been completely scrapped decades before.
Getting data from BAES isn't likely to happen unless you get an inside source willing to go up the chain to get permission, plus the records are in silo's mostly attached to their old parent companies and not centrally archived or preserved.
When the Chorley munitions site was closed (by one of the guys I worked with) many of the records dating back decades were destroyed, I don't think they were digitised first either.
Sometimes I think this country has an active, wilful desire to erase bits of its history which is a damn shame.
 
(...) Perhaps the "canal crossing" aspect of PIATushka is a bit like "Water Tanks for Mesopotamia" and it was intended to plaster the next street not the other side of the canal?
At the time noted in @Red Hander 's post ( https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/piat.52191/post-9213160 ) the Canadian army had just finished being heavily involved in the capture of territory along the Sheldt to open the port of Antwerp for shipping. The Germans had heavily fortified the area and made good use of canals as defence lines. We may speculate that this could possibly have created some heightened interest in finding ways of assisting canal crossings.
 
At the time noted in @Red Hander 's post ( https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/piat.52191/post-9213160 ) the Canadian army had just finished being heavily involved in the capture of territory along the Sheldt to open the port of Antwerp for shipping. The Germans had heavily fortified the area and made good use of canals as defence lines. We may speculate that this could possibly have created some heightened interest in finding ways of assisting canal crossings.
That's an excellent point. There's at least one instance where they ramped up Wasp flamethrower-carriers to fire 'indirectly' across a canal at a range that exceeded the Wasp's normal range, so something like the multi-PIAT, designed to saturate a small area at close range with HE would probably have been an improvement.
 
The way I read Red Handers edited post is that there was no specific target in mind, the Canadians wanted to give the Germans a taste of their own medicine and plaster positions with a rain of bombs. But why use PIATS and not use mortars? You could not reload the PIAT vehicle easily, whereas I spoke to a veteran of the Royal Norfolk Regiment (he was an officer) and his 2 inch team could fire 4 or 5 rounds before the first one had landed.
 
The way I read Red Handers edited post is that there was no specific target in mind, the Canadians wanted to give the Germans a taste of their own medicine and plaster positions with a rain of bombs. But why use PIATS and not use mortars? You could not reload the PIAT vehicle easily, whereas I spoke to a veteran of the Royal Norfolk Regiment (he was an officer) and his 2 inch team could fire 4 or 5 rounds before the first one had landed.
I wonder if the RCE were trying to create something akin (well, the closest they could get) to the saturation effect of a Nebelwerfer - the weapon the GOC wanted to retaliate against? You can fire several mortars at once, but that implies using a fairly wide area to set up several two man teams (for a 2") and a supply of rounds, all aiming at a given area. Whereas - based on the use of either a truck or carrier mounted battery, the idea was to drive to a position, fire 18 rounds at once, and drive off. The problem seems to have been that 300 yards was too close to the target for safe use - certainly in relatively flat terrain. Perhaps it was a case of needing to be seen to be trying something, given the GOC's request?
 
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The way I read Red Handers edited post is that there was no specific target in mind, the Canadians wanted to give the Germans a taste of their own medicine and plaster positions with a rain of bombs. But why use PIATS and not use mortars? You could not reload the PIAT vehicle easily, whereas I spoke to a veteran of the Royal Norfolk Regiment (he was an officer) and his 2 inch team could fire 4 or 5 rounds before the first one had landed.
I was wondering exactly the same thing. KISS principle.
 
I wonder if the RCE were trying to create something akin (well, the closest they could get) to the saturation effect of a Nebelwerfer - the weapon the GOC wanted to retaliate against? You can fire several mortars at once, but that implies using a fairly wide area to set up several two man teams (for a 2") and a supply of rounds, all aiming at a given area. Whereas - based on the use of either a truck or carrier mounted battery, the idea was to drive to a position, fire 18 rounds at once, and drive off. The problem seems to have been that 300 yards was too close to the target for safe use - certainly in relatively flat terrain. Perhaps it was a case of needing to be seen to be trying something, given the GOC's request?
I think you hit the nail on the head there. We tried it and got these results. Now have your PIATS back.

As a shoot and scoot weapon it had the disadvantage of having to be loaded at the firing point. Whilst the bombs had a clip that located them into the PIAT it didnt mean that they could not come adrift if jolted hard enough.
 
I think you hit the nail on the head there. We tried it and got these results. Now have your PIATS back.

As a shoot and scoot weapon it had the disadvantage of having to be loaded at the firing point. Whilst the bombs had a clip that located them into the PIAT it didnt mean that they could not come adrift if jolted hard enough.
Good point (re. having to be loaded at the site of launching).
I suppose they were trying to come up with an equivalent of the Nebelwerfer but the GOC perhaps hadn't considered that the Nebelwerfers were artillery, with an appropriate range. Better retaliated to with a battery of 25 pounders harassing the Germans.
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
I think that's a range-finder. It seems to be mounted on a tripod and is facing the same direction as the Vickers in the background.
It certainly is a range finder. I have one just like it.
 
May have had something to do with the filling as well. Early bombs were filled with 808B, and there were some issues with filling from it, as it left a cavity around the fuse. Equally there were some other defects within the warhead (My notes say something about 'cambric pleating', whatever the hell that is!).
PIAT bomb propulsion cartridge. This is what gave that fearsome recoil.
View attachment 387426
Cambric is a a densely woven cotton cloth. It's grey/unbleached at weaving, then bleached and dyed afterwards, if a colour is desired (as opposed woven from bleached, dyed thread). Final colour is probably unimportant in an explosive charge. My guess is that cambric pleating is the wad of what looks like grey felt at the top of this sectioned charge.

(I hope I've attached these two quotes correctly and the pic displays alright.)
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
I wonder if the RCE were trying to create something akin (well, the closest they could get) to the saturation effect of a Nebelwerfer - the weapon the GOC wanted to retaliate against? You can fire several mortars at once, but that implies using a fairly wide area to set up several two man teams (for a 2") and a supply of rounds, all aiming at a given area. Whereas - based on the use of either a truck or carrier mounted battery, the idea was to drive to a position, fire 18 rounds at once, and drive off. The problem seems to have been that 300 yards was too close to the target for safe use - certainly in relatively flat terrain. Perhaps it was a case of needing to be seen to be trying something, given the GOC's request?
The Canadians hand land mattress which was better, probably saw that and thought they could do something local!
 
Cambric is a a densely woven cotton cloth. It's grey/unbleached at weaving, then bleached and dyed afterwards, if a colour is desired (as opposed woven from bleached, dyed thread). Final colour is probably unimportant in an explosive charge. My guess is that cambric pleating is the wad of what looks like grey felt at the top of this sectioned charge.

(I hope I've attached these two quotes correctly and the pic displays alright.)
Thanks, but I fear its something else. As the pleating was later replaced in the warhead (not the charge) to improve reliability.
 
Thanks, but I fear its something else. As the pleating was later replaced in the warhead (not the charge) to improve reliability.
Ah, well, I guess I was reaching too far.

Now I see where it is, could varnished/waxed cambric be a weatherproofing layer in the charge?
 
Just a thought, is it to de-bond the explosive from the casing for some reason?
 

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