PIAT

Nope.
It was an attempt to create a spigot mortar weapon that could be mounted in smaller craft, or on larger craft without replacing one of the 4" guns. As you know, FIxed Spigot weapons generate a lot of recoil. If you had fitted a hedgehog to a small craft you'd only get one shot as the hedgehog would have put itself through the deck. It was pretty close on the Flower class as is.
These ones were mounted hanging over the side of the boat to use the ocean as a water buffer to absorb the recoil.
 
Nope.
It was an attempt to create a spigot mortar weapon that could be mounted in smaller craft, or on larger craft without replacing one of the 4" guns. As you know, FIxed Spigot weapons generate a lot of recoil. If you had fitted a hedgehog to a small craft you'd only get one shot as the hedgehog would have put itself through the deck. It was pretty close on the Flower class as is.
These ones were mounted hanging over the side of the boat to use the ocean as a water buffer to absorb the recoil.
I only know Hedgehog really....


However, on a more serious note I assume the presence of the "recording pin" indicates a weapon under development rather than being a part of normal operation. Presumably they sat on some sort of float? If not how was the recoil force dissipated?
 
I only know Hedgehog really....


However, on a more serious note I assume the presence of the "recording pin" indicates a weapon under development rather than being a part of normal operation. Presumably they sat on some sort of float? If not how was the recoil force dissipated?
Correct, it was a trail weapon, fired off a pier if memory serves.

As to operation, think if you will, of what would happen if you replaced a rifle (standing in for our spigot and a source of recoil) stock with a sink plunger, then mounted the entire contraption to a really big spring. The spring is attached to something solid, such as a boat.
When the rifle is fired, the entire contraption compresses the stationary spring, and the sink plunger slams into the water, which acts as a break on the round head.
Once the water has absorbed the recoil, the spring returns it into battery.
 
Correct, it was a trail weapon, fired off a pier if memory serves.

As to operation, think if you will, of what would happen if you replaced a rifle (standing in for our spigot and a source of recoil) stock with a sink plunger, then mounted the entire contraption to a really big spring. The spring is attached to something solid, such as a boat.
When the rifle is fired, the entire contraption compresses the stationary spring, and the sink plunger slams into the water, which acts as a break on the round head.
Once the water has absorbed the recoil, the spring returns it into battery.
It may have been the pier at Weston-super-Mare: see chapter after this sentence. Was it called a 'water hammer' recoil absorption method? The Wheezers & Dodgers
 
A ridiculously simple question... What's the calibre of a PIAT?

Note: Calibre in this case would be the spigot width, not bomb width.
I'll get my gauge out and measure it for you. Here is a shortly to be available PIAT (I hope).

BTW, may have found a route into the Institute. Will have to wait until I'm back at work to see.

A1PIAT-050247.jpg
 
Hope you don't mind me posting this here, but I thought I would share this with you as it does mention a PIAT. It shows what determined (and brave) men can do when required.

I had never heard of the story of 'Tucker's Panthers' before today when I read Issue 132 of After The Battle (I got it for the Villers Bocage update). FYI He was only awarded a mentioned in despatches for what he did on the day.

Lance Corporal John Lincoln Tucker was a member of 14 Platoon, 27th NZ (Machine Gun) Battalion on the 16th April 1945. They were part of the spring offensive near Sesto Imolese in northern Italy.

'When we first heard the staccato whirr and clatter of a track vehicle starting up,’ says Lance-Corporal R. I. Tanner, ‘we thought it may have been a Red Cross Bren carrier coming up to pick up our wounded from the barrage. Our doubts were rudely dispelled when we saw the huge bulk of a Jerry tank, seemingly right on the top of us. It turned abreast of us with its 88 M.M. gun pointing straight at us (actually a Panther) and very slowly made to cross a paddock to the road….

‘We acted very quickly. First thing I remember was Tucker asking me for a Piat bomb…. I suddenly realised with some shame, I had left the bracket of 3 bombs back at the starting point. Tucker immediately suggested phosphorus grenades. All this happened in a matter of seconds…. Tucker, myself and [one or two others] threw our first salvo of 77s…. At least 3 hits were registered on this tank [which Tanner thought was a Tiger] …. The rubber tracks held the phosphorus and we were awestruck at the way it seemingly burst into flames….’ The tank headed towards a house near the crossroads.

Tucker reconnoitred towards this house, and on his return Lieutenant Sneddon and McIntyre went forward with him along a hedge and a ditch. Sneddon worked his way round to the left-hand corner of the house, while McIntyre took up a position behind the right-hand corner and Tucker behind a tree. After a few minutes Tucker crept over to McIntyre to tell him that there was a tank on the other side of the road about thirty yards away. By crouching down the two men could see its superstructure silhouetted clearly against the sky. They could also hear German voices. When a man raised himself above the turret, Tucker fired his Tommy gun and McIntyre his rifle. The German screamed and slid back into the hull of the tank.

While McIntyre kept up a steady covering fire, Tucker dashed forward along the hedgerow to where a path led from the house to the road. At the gateway he found a second Panther, which previously had been hidden from view by the hedge; it was less than twenty feet from him. He tossed a high-explosive grenade through its open hatch, and also threw a phosphorus grenade at the tank on the other side of the road. Flames immediately shot from the latter, and the crew of four or five rushed from it towards the house. ‘Tucker and I,’ writes McIntyre, ‘went to where I saw them, and came across a dugout. Tucker called on them to come out but getting no response blasted it with HE grenades. It was then that about 8 Italians came out, we questioned them where the Huns were, but they were very hazy about everything. T'was then we heard another tank start up for a getaway. Tucker said to me keep them covered while I have a look. He immediately raced towards the crossroads and attacked it [this was another Panther]…. at the time concentrated Spandau fire was raking the area from a criss cross angle.’

Apparently Tucker's first phosphorus grenade set fire to the rubber on the tank's bogies, for it made off along the lateral road whirling smoke and flame like a Catherine Wheel. By this time 14 Platoon and also 13 Platoon, coming up on the left, had reached a very deep ditch alongside this road. When the tank approached, Walker, who had brought up 13 Platoon's Piat, fired a bomb at it. He says the Panther was ‘only about 30 yds away or less when I fired scoring a hit just below the turret…. Lt Sneddon was knocked out by the blast. He was just behind me and he rolled back down into the ditch.’ The tank continued down the road and disappeared in the dark ness. It was discovered after daybreak in the ditch in front of a house.

Sergeant Ward, Tanner and McCoy went to a house on the far side of the crossroads, where they found another tank, probably a Tiger. ‘It seemed to be smoking and appeared to have engine trouble, which led me to believe it had already been attacked,’ writes Tanner. ‘We hit it and it tore off…. It stopped, we made another strike, whereupon it staggered off as we pursued it with the last of our phosphorus grenades. It took a desperate zigzag course across country and eventually burst into a great sheet of flame, where it could be seen next day, a gutted wreck….

‘We returned to the last house to find Tucker…. He gave me instructions to make a quick search of the outhouses. His last words to me, or anyone else for that matter, were “Dont be more than a minute or two”. So the 3 of us made a quick round while Tucker walked back to the platoon, via the Xroad. In a minute or two we followed. The Jerry's were more active now and several Very light flares caused us to duck as we reached the crossroads. It was here that Sgt Ward noticed a man lying right in the middle of the Xroad. I thought it was just another Jerry, but Ward insisted it was a Kiwi, so by the light of another flare I dragged the body off the road into the roadside ditch.’

Lance Corporal John Lincoln Tucker had been killed by a bullet which had pierced a nail file, his paybook and a notebook. ‘We couldn't believe it. Tucker seemed to lead a charmed life…. It was a very sore point with the men of 14 Platoon that this quiet spoken, dauntless, slim built, unassuming man of few words was not awarded the highest decoration for his unprecedented action in sealing the fate of three of these so called invincible steel monsters and their crews.’

Company Headquarters was established in the house alongside the lane where Tucker had disabled the two Panthers. ‘The C.O. brought down the emergency S.O.S. arty fire on our immediate front and from then on we had no further enemy activity from that direction,’ says Bell. ‘However a casa on our extreme left … was pestering us with sporadic spandau fire. … Lieut. Hayes, of 13 pn, took a recce patrol to investigate this enemy position. He reported back in due course that he considered it very strongly held.’

Men from 14 and 13 Platoons attacked two spandaus dug in under haystacks near the house in front of which the Panther had gone into the deep ditch. Lance-Sergeant Burton remembers ‘using up all the H.E. grenades we had between us, in order to silence the two “spandaus”…. It was very open ground, and it was a matter of wriggle on one's stomach to within grenade range, as the intermittent fire from Jerry was only inches above the hair on the back of one's neck. It was so dark at that hour that all you could see from ground level was the outline of the haystacks and the house behind.’ At dawn about twenty-five prisoners were taken from the house without much opposition.

Bell had been unable to make contact with Lieutenant Smith (15 Platoon) on the right flank. ‘This at the time was most disturbing as I was being asked by 2 Coy [which was following 3] for the “O.K.” to piat a casa somewhere on their right flank. I could not possibly give such an O.K. as Smith would be some where in the locality. Some time afterwards Sgt Ward did a good job in locating this pn.’ It had met little opposition and had pushed on to the objective and dug in, but Smith had been separated from his wireless set and unable to report his position.

The company's casualties had been remarkably few: one killed and six wounded; on the other hand it had accounted for many Germans, and had captured three tanks and destroyed a fourth.

5c7c0f68ae31ed9d62d3a4a5c0f5f923.gif
 
Last edited:
Visited the Blacker family today.

Most of those are loaded with full sized plans from Blacker's experiments! Some bloody interesting stuff cropped up, I'll be writing the stuff up at a later date. It has been eventful! including some kind of magazine fed 88mm rocket gun on a carriage, or that could be slung from under a plane's wing.
Don't worry they're all out of the basement now.
 
Story about Coldhayes, recounted by my host yesterday.

He's there in the kitchen with Blacker's* wife. There's a colossal explosion outside rattling the windows, dust floating down from the ceiling and such-forth. Lady Blacker doesn't bat an eye lid. A few moments later LVS Blacker ambles into the kitchen, and is smoldering slightly, with badly singed eyebrows.
Lady Blacker: Everything all right dear?
LVS: (ears still ringing) What? Oh yes, yes, everything's fine, thanks.
LB: It's just that we heard a bit of a tiny explosion?
LVS: Oh, yes, nothing to worry about.

Off he potters to his basement to work out what went wrong.

Equally, there was a second thing relating to the decommissioning of Blackers lab mentioned earlier. Apparently some years after the Blackers had sold Coldhayes there was a bit of re-modelling work going on down in the basement. They knocked down a wall, only to find Blackers emergency stash of Nobels 808, which he'd bricked up and concealed in case of German invasion/Communist take over/Government crack down on explosives or some such future need.

*Weirdest thing yesterday, when ever I've talked about this subject I use the name 'Blacker' to identify the LVS Blacker, of course talking to a Mr Blacker at his home, I couldn't. The first time I slipped up it caused some amusement.
 

Similar threads


New Posts

Latest Threads

Top