PIAT

One thing that I was not aware of was considerable issues with the 17pdr's accuracy - at least according to @California_Tanker 's videos.
Only with the sabot round. The other ammo was accurate enough.
 

HE117

LE
Only with the sabot round. The other ammo was accurate enough.
The sabot round took a long time to tame.. the earlier pot sabots were plagued with separation issues, and there was a bit of an argument between the pot and petal schools of thought. It was not until later when better high speed photography was available that they could see what was causing the problems..

In many ways the success or failure of these systems depends on the competence and resources available to the development teams sitting behind the weapon. It is interesting to compare and contrast the performances of private manufacturers such as Vickers and the government funded establishments such as Woolwich and latterly the Fort. The former were always better at serial production, but tended to stick with a design, even when it was obsolete, the latter would often come up with better solutions, but sometimes struggled to pick the winner and get it practically into the field.

Much of the UK late and post war expertise in anti tank gunnery was as a result of accelerated development in the late 30s along with the arrival of Polish and Czech expertise. Post War, the results of raiding the Rheinmetall archive was, IMHO the main accelerator that led to the 105 L7's success, in addition to an extremely competent R&D capability and the ability of the bodgers and hammermen of ROF Nottingham to turn their fantasies into reality..!
 
I had a right palm to the forehead moment when I read about the original 3" gun they wanted for the cromwell failing to fit. It was a HTF did that happen ?
 
German technology was behind British. Their armour was of lower quality, and as they lacked certain critical materials they tended to build bigger to compensate. Somewhere on here I had an disagreement with someone about weapon penetration and calibres of tank guns. He was rather surprised to find that a 6-pounder has nearly the same performance as a German 75mm.
Actually, I've been getting it (well, this anyway...) for rather a long time. But it's good to see someone agrees!

I've just read through a section that explained that some of the Churchill regiments that went to France with a mix of 'old' 6pdr and 'new' 75mm main armaments declined to change over their 6pdrs to give them a good mix of anti-tank and HE capability. Also that HE rounds were fired at Tigers and Panthers not so much in a hope of penetration as that the crews would mistake them for the start of an artillery concentration and so frighten them off.

There were a lot of odd perceptions after Dunkirk, some excusable and some not so. 'The 2pdr was rubbish' - it obsolescent but still perfectly adequate at normal engagement ranges, unlike the Kraut 37mm which hung on a lot longer. The Army was forced to keep it longer than desirable because it was either them or nothing whilst tooling and manufacture of the 6pdr started. 'French tanks were good, better than ours' - really, the Somua, the best of a bad bunch by a very long way, was the size of a barn door compared to a cruiser, with a crappy little gun and one-man turret.

We were certainly top of the class when it came to anti-tank ammunition. Standard solid shot was replaced by APC (armour-piercing capped), then APCBC (armour-piercing capped, ballistic capped) then APDS, which in both the 6pdr and 17pdr made them a generation better. We tried APCR (armour-piercing composite rigid) in the 6pdr but the lightweight, fixed shell over the core made it 'float' at longer ranges. It was the standard Kraut round.

@QRK2 the 17pdr generated a lot of flash and dust (obscuration) on firing, which might affect sighting for a second round. I'll watch the video.
 
I had a right palm to the forehead moment when I read about the original 3" gun they wanted for the cromwell failing to fit. It was a HTF did that happen ?
Two 75mms were proposed for the Cromwell generation: one from the ROF which was essentially a bored-out 6pdr (there was a bit more to it than that) and one from Vickers. The Vickers version was more powerful but bigger, so wouldn't fit into the Cromwell turret, after a bit of hammering and filing it became the 77mm in the Comet.
 
I'm writing a narrative for a battlefield tour to Normandy that's supposed to happen in May, but doing it is good for the soul anyway. I'm using Chester Wilmot's 'Struggle for Europe' and the Official History and 'Stout Hearts' plus the relevant Battleground Europe booklets for detail. The perceived wisdom has always been that the PIAT and 6pdr gun were useless against Kraut tanks but I am amazed by the number of times that either or both were used to see them off. The PIAT may have been seen a last resort and the weapon of a brave soul but it was the last bang that a lot panzer crews heard. Similarly, the 6pdr firing APDS would go through the front armour of anything but a Jagdpanther at 500yds.

The entire anti-tank comparison thing appears to be skewed in favour of the Krauts. It's true that a 75mm KwK42 or 88mm KwK43 would go through all Allied tank front armour at 1000yds, but they would also go through all German front armour at the same range, and the British 17pdr, especially with APDS was just as good. The 6pdr is regarded as a poor second but using APDS was the equal of the Pak40 using APCR at normal engagement ranges and infinitely better than the Pak38, which was still in frontline use at VE Day.
Go here:

. . . and help yourself to anything that takes your fancy.

Directly relevant where Normandy is the concerned is the transcript entitled "10 Myths of the Wehrmacht", and the "Colossal Cracks" thesis is well worth a look too,
 
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Two 75mms were proposed for the Cromwell generation: one from the ROF which was essentially a bored-out 6pdr (there was a bit more to it than that) and one from Vickers. The Vickers version was more powerful but bigger, so wouldn't fit into the Cromwell turret, after a bit of hammering and filing it became the 77mm in the Comet.
Aiui, the 77mm was derived from the gun intended to fit Cromwell. If I read it right, no bugger checked to see if the original gun would fit Cromwell. So it was an ooh, ahh, errm....bugger moment . Don't know if a bottle of Scotch and X rounds for the mess Webley were issued.
Iirc, the rebored 75 mm was in response to the big fail.
 
This was attributed to the German use of the Panzer.
Up to a point that's spot on.

What perhaps it overlooks is that dastardly Jerries weren't interested in using their dinky-toy tanks against the bigger better (and more numerous) ones of Britain and France: the rapscallions did all that nasty outflanking / attacking weak points / moving faster than their opposition stuff, which us Allies couldn't deal with.

In effect - as at 1940 the two opposing forces were fighting 2 different wars.
 
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Up to a point that's spot on.

WHat perhaps it overlooks is that dastardly Jerries weren't interested in using their dinky-toy tanks against the bigger better (and more numerous) ones of Britain and France: the rapscallions did all that nasty outflanking / attacking weak points / moving faster than their opposition stuff, which us Allies couldn't deal with.

In effect - as at 1940 the two opposing forces were fighting 2 different wars.
Interesting thought - if we'd had the same tactical nous and combined arms, could we have defeated them in France, in 1940?
 
Up to a point that's spot on.

WHat perhaps it overlooks is that dastardly Jerries weren't interested in using their dinky-toy tanks against the bigger better (and more numerous) ones of Britain and France: the rapscallions did all that nasty outflanking / attacking weak points / moving faster than their opposition stuff, which us Allies couldn't deal with.

In effect - as at 1940 the two opposing forces were fighting 2 different wars.
Nonsense and other comments :D

British doctrine was exactly the same as German one: Don't fight him at his strong points,use that big engine to go fight somewhere were he is weak, then you can breakthrough and rip him apart. Equally, the British recognised that the best counter to a tank was another tank, which is why we started them with hole poking guns in 1920 and the Vickers No.2.

Where it all went tits up for the British was not deploying tanks with the BEF. Our tanks had to be shipped across to France and then the units were thrown into the fighting at the front in a desperate effort to halt the Germans.
 
Interesting thought - if we'd had the same tactical nous and combined arms, could we have defeated them in France, in 1940?
My answer would be "in theory, based on relative strengths, and assuming we mastered manoeuvre warfare: Yes"

But we never did master manoeuvre warfare. Instead, continuing the theme of fighting different wars, we defeated their style of warfare-by-small-fast-elites by deploying warfare-by-massively-industrialised-economies.

And don't forget that the bulk of the Jerry forces were stuck with (what I have seen recently characterised HERE as) Pferdekrieg - horse-drawn warfare.

Versus General Motors et al?

Madness.
 
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My answer would be "in theory, based on relative strengths, and assuming we mastered manoeuvre warfare: Yes"

But we never did master manoeuvre warfare. Instead, continuing the theme of fighting different wars, we defeated their style of warfare-by-small-fast-elites by deploying warfare-by-massively-industrialsed-economies.
I'm sure O'Connor would be making unhappy noises at that comment.
 
British doctrine was exactly the same as German one: Don't fight him at his strong points,use that big engine to go fight somewhere were he is weak, then you can breakthrough and rip him apart.
But Brit execution of said doctrine was (as it is to a great extent now) overlaid with a command philosophy that effectively inhibited rapid, flexible action by being top-down-driven, and reliant on comprehensive direction and coordination from above. By contrast, Jerry-think starts from the recognition that every order given represents yet another constraint on the freedom of action of its recipient (see The Art Of Command in my Scribd collection).

Das Reichswehr (a tiny cadre of 100,000 effectively comprising ruthlessly selected future commanders) spent several years under Von Seeckt before the war, developing an entirely different approach to command, control, decision-making and coordination, building on habits that had their seeds in the time of Napoleon*. We Brits have never got our collective heads round it, despite banging on about it from the time of 'Ginge' Bagnall in the 1970s to the turn of the last century :-D

* Somewhere I have on an ancient HDD, a quote from the time of Wellington, with a Prussian comparing german troops to packs of hunting hounds, and brit troops to circus dogs, performing little tricks at their master's barked command. Hurtful, but the cultural gap between the Brit military and the demands of an auftragstakitik mindset appear to be un-bridgeable to this very day. You might want to read Command of British Land Forces In Iraq from my Scribd page and ponder this last point.
 
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A bit of a surprising find here (for the 'WTF?' category) and way outside the subjects of military use of the PIAT: In 2008 Florida police seized a working PIAT which had been used by a drug dealer to intimidate clients. The press article reported that one of the arrested had fired the weapon the previous year. The police identified the weapon as being British but it was called, in press articles, a 'rocket launcher' or a 'British bazooka

View attachment 359257
Christ. Just went to try and get this image licenced for my book... $250! Yeah, that won't be happening.

On the plus side, glancing again at this image, there's a clue to the story that it was fired. Note it has the practice round tray in place? This I susect makes it easier to create something that will fly out the open end after a loud bang.
 

QRK2

LE
* Somewhere I have on an ancient HDD, a quote from the time of Wellington, with a Prussian comparing german troops to packs of hunting hounds, and brit troops to circus dogs, performing little tricks at their master's barked command. Hurtful, but the cultural gap between the Brit military and the demands of an auftragstakitik mindset appear to be un-bridgeable to this very day. You might want to read Command of British Land Forces In Iraq from my Scribd page and ponder this last point.
It would be interesting to see a comparison with RN command doctrine of the same period which seems much more flexible. Though from my recollection by 1914 (See 'Rules of the Game') they had fallen in line with their land based brethren.
 
It would be interesting to see a comparison with RN command doctrine of the same period which seems much more flexible. Though from my recollection by 1914 (See 'Rules of the Game') they had fallen in line with their land based brethren.
I claim no knowledge of matters Naval, and I'm presuming (probably mistakenly) you're referring to doctrine for the RN divisions ashore in the 1914-18, about which i know little. Also not sure what you mean by 'same period'. Von Seeckt took on the running of Das Reichswehr in 1919, but in practice he was continuing - very systematically - the evolution of C2 based on experience in 14-18,which culminated on the Hun side with Sturmtruppen tactics, that were emulated by the Brits, who in turn developed a highly capable all-arms mode of operations that kicked the Boches back to Hermany in The 100 days. That was no mean achievement, and its well worth reading Paddy Griffith's Battle Tactics of the WEstern Front to get a good view of the whole process of tactical/technological evolution from Somme to Armistice.

After 1918, however, the bested Boche got on with figuring out how to do it better come the second half, while the Brit regular army got on with what it is best at: being smug, and expecting to deploy pretty much the same methods, but with better kit, with the same success come the next fracas.

The thing is, that the way command is exercised has much more to do with un-surfaced assumptions and beliefs than it has to do with what is written down. IN the 1990s I worked for 4 years at HQ ARRC, either side-by-side with a German, or as the SO2 to a German SO1, having played host for a year previously to a German student at Staff College.

The upshot of this was the slowly dawning realisation that while the Germans were quite clear about how their Army and ours conformed in all respects to NATO doctrine, they all thought the Brit/US approach to command was barkingly slow and bureaucratic, but - for the most part - they found it difficult/impossible to articulate the underlying principles of their approach, as indeed do most soldiers in most armies: it's just 'the way we do things around here', and has been since the day they joined.
 
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Christ. Just went to try and get this image licenced for my book... $250! Yeah, that won't be happening.

On the plus side, glancing again at this image, there's a clue to the story that it was fired. Note it has the practice round tray in place? This I susect makes it easier to create something that will fly out the open end after a loud bang.
Bloody hell! Stock/press photo prices are mad.
I am looking forward to publication. Let us know when it is out and I will pick up a copy.
 
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