What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Discussions on all aspects of the The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Andy H
User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4132
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Urmel » 19 Jan 2019 00:50

The ‘undoctrinal’ refers to the tanks undertaking a night attack. Not the tanks leading. More trolling and deliberate misstatements.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by MarkN » 20 Jan 2019 14:05

Gooner1 wrote:
18 Jan 2019 16:29
MarkN wrote:
17 Jan 2019 17:37
And that situation would have been infinitly more serious if the majority of front-line ATk troops had been sat around with "thumbs stuck up their arses" with no gun at all during 1941. A situation that would have existed if the decision had been made to drop 2-pdr production in favour of 6-pdr in the summer of 1940 and/or were waiting for the 100 3" ex.HAA guns under conversion to arrive.
More a case of switching some production, the estimated trade-off of which was 600 2-pdrs lost for 100 6-pdrs produced. No-one, I believe, suggested completely transferring 2-pdr production.
Dropping, as in lowering, production numbers of 2-pdr in favour of 6-pdr would have left units with thumbs up bum.
Gooner1 wrote:
18 Jan 2019 16:29
Total 2-pdr production for the year from August 1940 was 3,685.
Utter, utter, garbage. You're making it up. August-December 1940 (inclusive) 2-pdr procuction was less than 900.
It was in September, 1940, that the War Office first placed an order for a 6-pounder gun, and it was at that time that production prospects were analysed. The Chief of the Imperial General Staff examined the proposition put to him by the Ministry of Supply and agreed to a new factory being tooled for 6-pounders in the hope of getting 600 of these guns by the end of 1941. The Ministry of Supply, however, pointed out that even by changing only half the plant to 6-pounders the diversion of effort in the preparatory stages and the diversion of the plant would be such—and I quote their actual words—"That we should lose some 600 2-pounders this year to get only 100 6-pounders."
In effect, of the 730 or so historically produced Sept-Dec1940, they would lose 600 and, in return, receive 100 6-pdrs. That was the projection not your fantasy made up garbage to support your nonsense. Who knows what the trade off would have been in 1941 and onwards.
Gooner1 wrote:
18 Jan 2019 16:29
The ironic thing is that the 6-pdr anti-tank gun only took about half as many manhours to build as the 2-pdr anti-tank gun, so any 'lost' production would have soon been made up.
And yet, historical evidence would suggest that your "ironic" comment had little to do with real world issues and production.
Gooner1 wrote:
18 Jan 2019 16:29
The 3-inch guns would have cost next to nothing to have been made available.
And yet, they tried and failed to bring 100 into service during 1941. Clearly, "the cost" was far greater than you imagine.
Gooner1 wrote:
18 Jan 2019 16:29
Yes the PaK38 was a more effective ATk gun than the 2-pdr.
Hurrah! What was that 'baby steps'?
In this thread I have repeatedly stated the PaK38 was more effective than a 2-pdr.
Gooner1 wrote:
18 Jan 2019 16:29
But since the German pantsers shouldn't be able to see a well-camouflaged 2-pdr until well after it has driven into the 2-pdr effective range, the comparison to the PaK38 is irrelevant.
Oh dear! Crawling backwards again.
Not backwards. Refusing to have the discussion deliberately misdirected by you in an attempt to ignore and deny historical reality. The German pantsers shouldn't be able to see a well-camouflaged 2-pdr until well after it has driven into the 2-pdr effective range, the comparison to the PaK38 is irrelevant.
Gooner1 wrote:
18 Jan 2019 16:29
Do you know how many Pz.IV were used against the El Duda position?
Do you know how many field guns of AR.33 were used against the El Duda position?
Do you know what effect each of the two weapons had?

Do you know how many 2-pdr ATk guns were in the El Duda position?
Do you know where in the position each was located?
Do you know how many were lost?
Do you know how each of them was lost?
Insipid attempt to muddy the waters when the facts of the engagement - like so many during Crusader - are clear; tough German tanks, weak British guns.
And yet knowledge - or best that can be achieved - and analysis of the above is essential to understand the historical events at El Duda 29 November 1941.

Interesting that you consider such knowledge and analysis to be an "insipid attempt to muddy the waters". I guess that's why handwaving statements from you are the norm: you have no interest in historical reality.
Gooner1 wrote:
18 Jan 2019 16:29
Nevertheless, taking your quote and referring you back to a post I made much earlier in the thread. Brigadier Watkins post Op CRUSADER...
Over 2 years into the war, the British are still not training their various cap-badges to work as one; each cap-badge trains alone to deliver a sequenced element of a brigade/divisional plan. Commanders pay "lip service" to doctrine and ignore it in practice.
Brig. Watkins definitely seemed a bit upset about Brigadier Inglis's intended 'undoctrinal' use of 44 RTR in the NZ link up with the Tobruk breakout, at Duda:

"Watkins tried all he knew to dissuade me. His final argument was: “We can’t navigate these things shutdown at night”, to which my reply was, “My infantry have got to walk from the feet up, so surely your people can keep their damned lids open and look out the top.” I also said; “This is the way I propose the tanks will go.” (referring to the plan I had already made), “and they’re going to Duda whatever you say; but, if you can think of a better way, put it up to me and I’ll consider it.” After a measurable silence he said, “Well, if they’ve got to go, I suppose that way is as good as any.” The story in the Tank book I referred to is that Boomer persuaded General Freyberg and, apparently with great difficulty, myself to use the tanks; and one would gather that the whole thing was a tank party. There were in fact two main reasons why I insisted on the tanks going: –

I thought that if they rolled over the enemy positions in the dark before the infantry arrived they would horrify and shake the Jerrie’s usefully. Their orders were to go at their own speed independently of 19 Battalion and not to fire (because they’d hit nothing in the dark and the flashes of their guns would only mark them out to the German A/T guns) and to start firing green flares as they approached El Duda so that our troops there would know who they were.
But mainly I wanted them at Duda in daylight next day so that 19 Battalion could have proper support if they were counter-attacked by enemy armour.

In fact the tanks (less one Matilda and two light tanks – the Battalion HQ which moved with Hartnell) went in this fashion. 19 Battalion following at a considerable interval as the tanks drew away from them did a great deal of slaughter. The German fire was so badly directed that 19 battalion suffered no casualties at all, and the Germans make no fight of it at all at close quarters."
So? Nothing to do with 29 November. Nothing to do with doctrine.

More distraction, deflection and misdirection?

At this point I think I shall follow Urmel's comment. You're not the slightest bit interested in historical reality and facts. All you seem to post is more trolling and deliberate misstatements.

Good day to you.

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1800
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Gooner1 » 21 Jan 2019 13:17

MarkN wrote:
20 Jan 2019 14:05
Dropping, as in lowering, production numbers of 2-pdr in favour of 6-pdr would have left units with thumbs up bum.
Meh, home anti-tank units maybe but they had US 75mm and 18-pdrs to play with too.

Gooner1 wrote:
18 Jan 2019 16:29
Total 2-pdr production for the year from August 1940 was 3,685.
Utter, utter, garbage. You're making it up. August-December 1940 (inclusive) 2-pdr procuction was less than 900.
I always count a year as being 12 months. :D August 1940-July 1941 IOW.

It was in September, 1940, that the War Office first placed an order for a 6-pounder gun, and it was at that time that production prospects were analysed. The Chief of the Imperial General Staff examined the proposition put to him by the Ministry of Supply and agreed to a new factory being tooled for 6-pounders in the hope of getting 600 of these guns by the end of 1941. The Ministry of Supply, however, pointed out that even by changing only half the plant to 6-pounders the diversion of effort in the preparatory stages and the diversion of the plant would be such—and I quote their actual words—"That we should lose some 600 2-pounders this year to get only 100 6-pounders."
In effect, of the 730 or so historically produced Sept-Dec1940, they would lose 600 and, in return, receive 100 6-pdrs. That was the projection not your fantasy made up garbage to support your nonsense. Who knows what the trade off would have been in 1941 and onwards.

Uh, no. There was more than one factory producing 2-pdrs.

"The initial orders for 2-pounder tank and anti-tank guns went to the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, to a recently-erected Royal Ordnance Factory and to Vickers-Armstrongs. With the outbreak of war further capacity for the manufacture of anti-aircraft guns and 2-pounders was to be provided in new Ordnance Factories. From the summer of 1939 the erection of new Royal Ordnance Factories for guns followed in rapid succession; by 1941 at least ten Royal Ordnance Factories were engaged in making guns. Yet, so rapid had been the introduction of 'outside' firms, i.e. firms normally engaged in civilian manufacture, that by the end of 1942 only half the total output of guns of 40 mm. and over came from Royal Ordnance Factories. A proportion of the remainder came from Vickers-Armstrongs and Beadmores, but the larger part came from the 'outside' firms.
<>
From 1940 onwards 'outside' firms were also engaged in ever-growing numbers in the final manufacture of 2-pounder, 6-pounder and 17-pounder tank and anti-tank guns, 3-inch tank howitzers and 95-mm. howitzers.
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/ ... ion-8.html


The Official History on War Production also has this:

"It has already been mentioned that the worst deficiency of British tanks revealed by the battles of 1941 was that of firepower. This deficiency was relatively recent. The standard anti-tank weapon installed in the tank at the outbreak of war, the 2-pounder, was at that time superior to the 37-mm. gun carried on German tanks, and acquitted itself very well in the first Libyan campaign. This initial advantage was, however, soon lost: mostly through delays in the supplies of more advanced types and the over-cautious piecemeal advance of the War Office specifications. As mentioned above, by the summer of 1940 the Germans were known to be developing a new tank gun of 50 mm. with greater range and penetrative power than that of the British 2-pounder. The British reply to that gun was the 6-pounder, but unfortunately the reply was not made early enough."

And yet, historical evidence would suggest that your "ironic" comment had little to do with real world issues and production.
The historical evidence of real world issues and production is that the 6-pdr anti-tank gun took half as many man-hours to build as the 2-pdr anti-tank gun.
Therefore the decision not to retool for the 6-pdr was probably doubly a mistake.

And yet, they tried and failed to bring 100 into service during 1941. Clearly, "the cost" was far greater than you imagine.
It was tried to bring the 3-inch into A/Tk service - by much modifying an existing tank or by designing a new carriage for the gun - rather than just taking it into service on its existing mobile carriage. Perfect is the enemy of good and all that.

The German pantsers shouldn't be able to see a well-camouflaged 2-pdr until well after it has driven into the 2-pdr effective range, the comparison to the PaK38 is irrelevant.
And what is the effective range of the 2-pdr again? :roll:

Interesting that you consider such knowledge and analysis to be an "insipid attempt to muddy the waters". I guess that's why handwaving statements from you are the norm: you have no interest in historical reality.
The 'historical reality' of what happened at El Duda is well understood. You are attempting to plant trees to disguise the wood, by tedious and diversionary questions.

More distraction, deflection and misdirection?
Historical reality, dear boy.

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1800
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Gooner1 » 21 Jan 2019 13:37

Urmel wrote:
19 Jan 2019 00:50
The ‘undoctrinal’ refers to the tanks undertaking a night attack. Not the tanks leading. More trolling and deliberate misstatements.
You think everytime someone disagrees with you they are trolling or making misstatements? Grow up. :roll:

In battles involving Infantry tank attacks, the infantry tanks mostly led the infantry in the assault. If you or the other clown dispute that, argue with facts.

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by MarkN » 21 Jan 2019 16:52

Gooner1 wrote:
21 Jan 2019 13:17
MarkN wrote:
20 Jan 2019 14:05
Dropping, as in lowering, production numbers of 2-pdr in favour of 6-pdr would have left units with thumbs up bum.
Meh, home anti-tank units maybe but they had US 75mm and 18-pdrs to play with too.
Another handwave to misdirect and attempt to ignore and deny historical reality.
Gooner1 wrote:
21 Jan 2019 13:17
MarkN wrote:
20 Jan 2019 14:05
Gooner1 wrote:
18 Jan 2019 16:29
Total 2-pdr production for the year from August 1940 was 3,685.
Utter, utter, garbage. You're making it up. August-December 1940 (inclusive) 2-pdr procuction was less than 900.
I always count a year as being 12 months. :D August 1940-July 1941 IOW.
Whether you garbage was wrong numbers or another of your time shift comparisons, it is still garbage. The 600 loss of production prediction was from the 730 or so actually produced. Throwing out random big numbers to try and and make the loss inconsequential is just plain silly.

Nevertheless, more evidence that you're not the slightest bit interested in historical reality and facts. All you seem to post is more trolling and deliberate misstatements.
Gooner1 wrote:
21 Jan 2019 13:17
It was in September, 1940, that the War Office first placed an order for a 6-pounder gun, and it was at that time that production prospects were analysed. The Chief of the Imperial General Staff examined the proposition put to him by the Ministry of Supply and agreed to a new factory being tooled for 6-pounders in the hope of getting 600 of these guns by the end of 1941. The Ministry of Supply, however, pointed out that even by changing only half the plant to 6-pounders the diversion of effort in the preparatory stages and the diversion of the plant would be such—and I quote their actual words—"That we should lose some 600 2-pounders this year to get only 100 6-pounders."
In effect, of the 730 or so historically produced Sept-Dec1940, they would lose 600 and, in return, receive 100 6-pdrs. That was the projection not your fantasy made up garbage to support your nonsense. Who knows what the trade off would have been in 1941 and onwards.
Uh, no. There was more than one factory producing 2-pdrs.
Whether it was one factory or more, the official prediction was that 600 2-pdrs would be lost from production from that point until the end of 1940. Actual production September-December 1940 inclusive was just over 730 units.
Gooner1 wrote:
21 Jan 2019 13:17
"The initial orders for 2-pounder tank and anti-tank guns went to the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, to a recently-erected Royal Ordnance Factory and to Vickers-Armstrongs. With the outbreak of war further capacity for the manufacture of anti-aircraft guns and 2-pounders was to be provided in new Ordnance Factories. From the summer of 1939 the erection of new Royal Ordnance Factories for guns followed in rapid succession; by 1941 at least ten Royal Ordnance Factories were engaged in making guns. Yet, so rapid had been the introduction of 'outside' firms, i.e. firms normally engaged in civilian manufacture, that by the end of 1942 only half the total output of guns of 40 mm. and over came from Royal Ordnance Factories. A proportion of the remainder came from Vickers-Armstrongs and Beadmores, but the larger part came from the 'outside' firms.
<>
From 1940 onwards 'outside' firms were also engaged in ever-growing numbers in the final manufacture of 2-pounder, 6-pounder and 17-pounder tank and anti-tank guns, 3-inch tank howitzers and 95-mm. howitzers.
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/ ... ion-8.html
So? It's just more misdirection from you to avoid having to accept that if CIGS had opted for maximum 6-pdr output in September 1940, just for the period September-December 1940 the British Army would have lost 600 of the 730ish 2-pdr produced for the return of 100 6-pdrs. Instead of 730ish crews with ATk guns, there would have been 230 crews with guns and 500 crews with thumbs up bum. How many more crews would have been left with thumbs up bum during 1941 is impossible to determine.
Gooner1 wrote:
21 Jan 2019 13:17
Therefore the decision not to retool for the 6-pdr was probably doubly a mistake.
Then blame CIGS. It was he who gave the nod. But it seems to have been a concensus amongst the top brass at the WO. In otherwords, the user made the decision.
Gooner1 wrote:
21 Jan 2019 13:17
And yet, they tried and failed to bring 100 into service during 1941. Clearly, "the cost" was far greater than you imagine.
It was tried to bring the 3-inch into A/Tk service - by much modifying an existing tank or by designing a new carriage for the gun - rather than just taking it into service on its existing mobile carriage. Perfect is the enemy of good and all that.
Yep. That was the choice made. Right or wrong. Of course, you do realise that those 100 ex HAA barrels became available because there was a greater need for those non-mobile mountings to be used for something else and that the barrels were already knackered. But hey ho, good to see you've only bothered to cherry pick out the bits of information that help your nonsense understanding of history and ignore the unhelpful stuff.
Gooner1 wrote:
21 Jan 2019 13:17
The German pantsers shouldn't be able to see a well-camouflaged 2-pdr until well after it has driven into the 2-pdr effective range, the comparison to the PaK38 is irrelevant.
And what is the effective range of the 2-pdr again?
Penetration tables have been posted already in this thread. Feel free to scoll back to consult them.
Gooner1 wrote:
21 Jan 2019 13:17
Interesting that you consider such knowledge and analysis to be an "insipid attempt to muddy the waters". I guess that's why handwaving statements from you are the norm: you have no interest in historical reality.
The 'historical reality' of what happened at El Duda is well understood. You are attempting to plant trees to disguise the wood, by tedious and diversionary questions.

Nope. You have tried to evidence your opinion and beliefs with a very superficial write up of an engagment. When you make the effort to understand what really happened in history, you'll understand that that engagment is NOT a good example to support your opinion and belief. You have been deceived by the superficiality of the document you have read. You have been deceived by your own bias confirmation.

Enough.

Good day to you once more.

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4132
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Urmel » 22 Jan 2019 00:50

Gooner1 wrote:
21 Jan 2019 13:37
Urmel wrote:
19 Jan 2019 00:50
The ‘undoctrinal’ refers to the tanks undertaking a night attack. Not the tanks leading. More trolling and deliberate misstatements.
You think everytime someone disagrees with you they are trolling or making misstatements? Grow up. :roll:

In battles involving Infantry tank attacks, the infantry tanks mostly led the infantry in the assault. If you or the other clown dispute that, argue with facts.
No. I think that cherry picking and deliberate misstatements are trolling. You keep bringing out I-tanks, which operated under command of the infantry they were assigned to, when the discussion is about cruiser tanks. And you know it. Show us the examples of application of combined arms by a cruiser tank brigade during Crusader.
the facts of the engagement - like so many during Crusader - are clear; tough German tanks, weak British guns.
This has been deliberately overplayed to brush away the fact that the British cruiser tank commanders from Brigade up to Corps level were inept and not up to the job of defeating the Axis armoured forces, neither the Italians nor the Germans. The infantry with the I-tanks under command had to bail them out. No amount of DSOs and post-war obfuscation can detract from that fact. The key failure was that they were unable to conceive a combined arms battle, and thus kept sending in their tanks unsupported, again, and again, and again. Adding 3" AA guns wouldn't have changed a thing, for that reason. It would have had the same effect as handing viagra to an eunuch.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1800
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Gooner1 » 22 Jan 2019 13:12

MarkN wrote:
21 Jan 2019 16:52

Whether you garbage was wrong numbers or another of your time shift comparisons, it is still garbage. The 600 loss of production prediction was from the 730 or so actually produced. Throwing out random big numbers to try and and make the loss inconsequential is just plain silly.

Nevertheless, more evidence that you're not the slightest bit interested in historical reality and facts. All you seem to post is more trolling and deliberate misstatements.

Whether it was one factory or more, the official prediction was that 600 2-pdrs would be lost from production from that point until the end of 1940. Actual production September-December 1940 inclusive was just over 730 units.

So? It's just more misdirection from you to avoid having to accept that if CIGS had opted for maximum 6-pdr output in September 1940, just for the period September-December 1940 the British Army would have lost 600 of the 730ish 2-pdr produced for the return of 100 6-pdrs. Instead of 730ish crews with ATk guns, there would have been 230 crews with guns and 500 crews with thumbs up bum. How many more crews would have been left with thumbs up bum during 1941 is impossible to determine.
:lol:

Your rantings are becoming a little insane.

From Hansard, 1st July 1942, the Minister of Production Oliver Lyttleton.

"Now I wish to turn to the matter of 6-pounder guns, heavier weapons and heavier tanks. It was in September, 1940, that the War Office first placed an order for a 6-pounder gun, and it was at that time that production prospects were analysed. The Chief of the Imperial General Staff examined the proposition put to him by the Ministry of Supply and agreed to a new factory being tooled for 6-pounders in the hope of getting 600 of these guns by the end of 1941. The Ministry of Supply, however, pointed out that even by changing only half the plant to 6-pounders the diversion of effort in the preparatory stages and the diversion of the plant would be such—and I quote their actual words—"That we should lose some 600 2-pounders this year to get only 100 6-pounders." This was a risk—a reduction in numbers—which, at that time, could not be accepted. The enemy were at the gates. The 2-pounder gun, whatever its deficiencies may be, in the open country of the desert is a very useful weapon in the hands of determined infantry or tank regiments in an enclosed country such as England. The production policy agreed between the War Office and the Ministry of Supply at the time was two-fold: that the utmost acceleration of production of 6-pounder guns should be secured, but that the production must be from new capacity so that the output of 2-pounders should not be interrupted. I think there can be no question that this decision, taken when the threat of invasions was still imminent, and when we might have been destroyed utterly if we had not had some weapons to our hands, was the right one."
https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hans ... column_245
A great debate.

Though the use of 'this year' is ambiguous it is clear the quote cannot be a reference to September to December 1940.

To be born in mind, however, is the fact that the 600-100 trade-off is only an estimation whilst the 50% fewer man-hours to build the 6-pdr AT gun over the 2-pdr AT is a measurement.
Then blame CIGS. It was he who gave the nod. But it seems to have been a concensus amongst the top brass at the WO. In otherwords, the user made the decision.
As if you would know there was a consensus. And no, the War Office and the Ministry of Supply were not the users.

Of course, you do realise that those 100 ex HAA barrels became available because there was a greater need for those non-mobile mountings to be used for something else and that the barrels were already knackered.
What was the greater need of the non-mobile mountings of the 3-inch guns? More importantly what has that got to do with the mobile carriages for the 3-inch gun of which 270 were produced in 1940 and 1941?
You have evidence that the barrels were all already knackered or are you bullshitting?
Penetration tables have been posted already in this thread. Feel free to scoll back to consult them.
Yep, and multiple reports showing the 2-pdr shot failing against the front armour of the Panzer III even at the closest range.
There is a table showing a 2-pdr shot penetrating the front of a PzIII though :milsmile: , the fourth shot at close range at the same spot as three earlier fails ….

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1800
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Gooner1 » 22 Jan 2019 14:03

Urmel wrote:
22 Jan 2019 00:50
No. I think that cherry picking and deliberate misstatements are trolling.
OK, then you are guilty of that.
You keep bringing out I-tanks,
Deliberate misstatement, you troll. I brought the action at the Omar up, in part, to show the difficulty of artillery in neutralising dug-in anti-tank guns (relevant to MarkN's beliefs in the events of the El Duda engagement).
The hours it took the large number of British guns (and tanks and infantry) to neutralise the 88s in Libyan Omar.
when the discussion is about cruiser tanks. And you know it. Show us the examples of application of combined arms by a cruiser tank brigade during Crusader.
The elements of 7th Armoured Brigade, besides the three regiments of tanks, were two batteries of 25-pdrs, one troop of anti-tank guns and one infantry company. 22nd Armoured Brigade had just the one battery plus an AT troop and a company to support them. 4th Armoured Brigade was far better off with a whole regiment of artillery and a whole infantry battalion!

Do you doubt that the artillery supported the armour about the best they could? Quite what miracles do you expect of them?

the facts of the engagement - like so many during Crusader - are clear; tough German tanks, weak British guns.
This has been deliberately overplayed to brush away the fact that the British cruiser tank commanders from Brigade up to Corps level were inept and not up to the job of defeating the Axis armoured forces, neither the Italians nor the Germans. The infantry with the I-tanks under command had to bail them out. No amount of DSOs and post-war obfuscation can detract from that fact. The key failure was that they were unable to conceive a combined arms battle, and thus kept sending in their tanks unsupported, again, and again, and again.
The key British failure at the opening of Crusader was lack of concentration. Concentration at the decisive point was even more important to the British because of their inferiority in armaments. Anything like similar numbers committed and the British have to tactically outperform the Germans massively to prevent them invariably winning the engagement.
Quite how and why the incantation 'application of combined arms' is supposed to magically alter these things I don't know.

Adding 3" AA guns wouldn't have changed a thing, for that reason. It would have had the same effect as handing viagra to an eunuch.
Surely that depends on who you add them to. Little chance of them going to the armoured brigades IMO, but they would be a formidable addition to 7th Support Group and 1st South African Division.

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1800
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Gooner1 » 22 Jan 2019 14:09

Anyone know what the 4/'s Oliver Lyttelton is referring to here?

"Mr. Lyttelton

I was referring to 6-pounders on field mountings. The House must not infer from what I have said about the 6-pounder that either the Government, the General Staff or the Ministry of Supply have been content to rest there and to develop merely this weapon. I think it would be true to say that the 6-pounder would give equality with the equivalent weapons of the enemy, but we must surpass them. As an anti-tank gun it is inferior to the 88 mm. used by the enemy, although the 88 mm. is less mobile. It might be inferred from reading the newspapers that except for a small number of 6-pounders we have no weapons similar to the 88 mm. gun of the Germans, which has been so skilfully employed in the present battle. Such an inference would be wholly wrong. We actually had in the Middle East enough guns for three regiments of 4/'s, and these have a great range and are quite capable of taking on the German 88 mm., although I do not want the House to think that these 4/'s were primarily designed as anti-tank guns. "

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hans ... column_245

Knouterer
Member
Posts: 1519
Joined: 15 Mar 2012 17:19

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Knouterer » 27 Jan 2019 11:57

4-inch naval guns presumably, of which some 40-50 were mounted on heavy 6x4 and 8x4 lorries in Britain in the summer of 1940 to beef up anti-tank defences. I'm not aware that any 4" guns were so used in North Africa, but the idea is not so far-fetched, the Italians had some success with truck-mounted guns of various calibres, including 102 mm naval guns.
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1800
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Gooner1 » 30 Jan 2019 16:08

Knouterer wrote:
27 Jan 2019 11:57
4-inch naval guns presumably, of which some 40-50 were mounted on heavy 6x4 and 8x4 lorries in Britain in the summer of 1940 to beef up anti-tank defences. I'm not aware that any 4" guns were so used in North Africa, but the idea is not so far-fetched, the Italians had some success with truck-mounted guns of various calibres, including 102 mm naval guns.
I was thinking that as a possibility but would there really be enough for three regiments, presumably 48 or 72 guns. worth?

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4132
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Urmel » 06 Feb 2019 14:30

Just leaving this here. Report by 2/Lt Sugden, 8 R.T.R., on actions 18-30 November 1941. Proving yet again that the infantry tankers were the brains of the R.A.C.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

MarkN
Member
Posts: 2549
Joined: 12 Jan 2015 13:34
Location: On the continent

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by MarkN » 02 Jul 2019 14:42

Two snippets I've bumped into relating to earlier discussion in this thread.

Extract from General O'Moore Creagh post BATTLEAXE notes:
It is the GUN that wins the Tank v Tank Battle. Incidentally our 2pdr proved to be excellent.
Extract from VCIGS note to CIGS, 25 August 1941.
I have stressed the need for getting the 6pdr gun into our Cruiser tanks as soon as possible at recent Tank Bosrd meetings, but at the moment there is, l'm afraid, rather a tendency in the Ministry of Supply to put this off for fear that the total number of tanks produced might be reduced.

User avatar
Sheldrake
Member
Posts: 2350
Joined: 28 Apr 2013 17:14
Location: London

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Sheldrake » 02 Jul 2019 17:05

Gooner1 wrote:
22 Jan 2019 14:09
Anyone know what the 4/'s Oliver Lyttelton is referring to here?

"Mr. Lyttelton

I was referring to 6-pounders on field mountings. The House must not infer from what I have said about the 6-pounder that either the Government, the General Staff or the Ministry of Supply have been content to rest there and to develop merely this weapon. I think it would be true to say that the 6-pounder would give equality with the equivalent weapons of the enemy, but we must surpass them. As an anti-tank gun it is inferior to the 88 mm. used by the enemy, although the 88 mm. is less mobile. It might be inferred from reading the newspapers that except for a small number of 6-pounders we have no weapons similar to the 88 mm. gun of the Germans, which has been so skilfully employed in the present battle. Such an inference would be wholly wrong. We actually had in the Middle East enough guns for three regiments of 4/'s, and these have a great range and are quite capable of taking on the German 88 mm., although I do not want the House to think that these 4/'s were primarily designed as anti-tank guns. "

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hans ... column_245
Oliver Lyttleton the Minister for War production and an ex soldier knew his terminology. Hansard may have mis-recorded 3.7" as 4" as it noted the 24 pounder gun! I think he referring to the 3.7 which was in the Middle East - but was not as good an anti tank solution as lots of 6 pounders.

By 1st July 1942 3.7" guns had been belatedly trialed in the Aberdeen battle at Gazala(Gunners at War- Bidwell) and were being deployed in a multi role on the El Alamein line in desperation.

This extract was from the vote of confidence debate after the fall of Tobruck. Democracy in action in wartime.

User avatar
Andy H
Forum Staff
Posts: 15029
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:51
Location: UK and USA

Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Andy H » 31 Aug 2019 22:39

Hi

My apologies but I've not read all the 30+ previous pages but thought I'd add this (please ignore if already mentioned)
from 'Fire-Power (British Army Weapons and the Theories of War 1904-45) by Shelford Bidwell and Dominick Graham.
Pg230-231:-

"There has been much argument at the time, and since, over the refusal to use the 3.7 heavy AA gun in the same manner as the German 88.
Although to a non-military eye it looked very similar to the 88, it was in fact a much heavier gun altogether, depended on a more sophisticated fire-control system and was without a telescopic sight, but these technical challenges could have been overcome.

The REAL REASON for retaining it for its proper role was that the outcome of the Desert War depended on the winning of air control by the RAF. This required that's irs fighters should be freed as far as possible from the close defence of the base installations, vital to all three services and the airfields. Air defence was based on a combination of guns and aircraft, so clearly any reduction in the number of guns would rquire an increase in the number of fighter aircraft reserved for purely defensive work. IT WAS A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES.

The number of guns required to make a significant impact would have been 2 regiments, or 48 guns plus a reserve of around 50%, as casualties in gun versus tank engagements were always heavy. These two units would have required complete retraining and reorientation, for the two types of work require different patterns of deployment, different attitudes, perhaps even different CO's...….In any case even if the guns had been made available, its doubtful if the desert commanders would have made use of them correctly, in view of the hash they made of the employment of all their other artillery"

Regards

Andy H

Return to “The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth 1919-45”