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

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

Post by MarkN » 01 Nov 2019 21:45

Sheldrake wrote:
01 Nov 2019 18:06
We have heard it said, and I dare say the Prime Minister will claim, that the weapons with which we are now fighting are weapons which were designed long ago, but that does not apply to the 88-mm. gun. It is true that the gun itself, while I will not say it is stale, was designed a good many years ago, but. what matters about that gun is its mounting—its all-round traverse, its self-propelled vehicle, and its general adaptation to use as an anti-tank gun. We could have done precisely the same thing with our 3.7 anti-aircraft guns. There is no technical reason, I am informed, why, if the factor of thought had operated on the British General Staff as ​ well as it operated on the German General Staff, we should not have had a weapon corresponding to the 88-mm. gun even before the Germans had it.

That remains a fair summary.

Don't you think it remarkable that it was possible for Parliament to debate the conduct of the war during the conflict itself? Many of the post war historical debates were first exercised on the floor of the Houses of Parliament.
They were indeed. The 2-pdr/6-pdr debate originated in the House. So did the Tripoli v Greece debate. And many more too.

And it is a shame that so many of the post war nonsense neglects to fact check before grandstanding.

What Jones says is very pertinent to this issue. The carriage and mountings for the 3.7" could have been designed from the outset to be dual purpose. But they weren't. There is a reason for that. Discussion about that choice (who, when, why, etc) is a very good discussion. A discussion that could well lead to justified criticism of those who made that choice. That choice certainly had significant impact on later decisions over the gun's use.

Whining about three regiments of non-existant guns not being available to plink pantsers is just daft.

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

Post by Urmel » 02 Nov 2019 11:34

MarkN wrote:
29 Oct 2019 17:59
Gooner1 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 16:07
"Preparations were made by all A.A. defences to assume a secondary ground-defence role; Bofors were provided with anti-tank ammunition, and sited to cover approaches to aerodromes, V.P.'s etc. Certain 3.7-inch guns suitably sited were given an anti-ship role, and preparations were made for barrages to be put on certain beaches. "
Report by the 6th Anti-Aircraft Division dated 2nd August, 1941
Bravo! You found a quote that doesn't support your position. Congratulations.

Bofors were indeed given an ATk role as standard and AP ammunition carried as SOP. In the desert too. The question of how to do more ATk, better ATk, perhaps more efficient and effective ATk was not swept under the carpet and/or ignored, alot of thought went into it and reroling 3 or 3.7" HAA was deemed unsuitable except as in a last ditch self-defence capacity.
The Germans referred to the Bofors as 'Pak/Flak' in war diaries, so this was a use they were aware of. This shouldn't be surprising, given that the Bofors had a defensive role which might put it into the advance path of enemy forces, e.g. during deep raids.

There is a big difference between defensive gun positions on fixed locations being prepared for ground defense, and assigning a mobile role to a very heavy AA gun that wasn't designed for this role.
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

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 02 Nov 2019 19:30

Hi,

I thought that the following details from the Operation Instruction of 16 Nov 41 in the war diary of 12 AA Brigade for November 1941 might be of interest (WO169/1568):
INTENTION
3. 12 AA Brigade will provide AA protection as required during the operation.

METHOD
4. D1 day is the day on which operations commence, the date is 18 Nov 41.

5. AA will be divided into two main groups:-

(a) Forward Group. Under Comd 12 AA Bde, for protection of Fighter LGs in MADDALENA area 505298. LGs 109, 110 and 111 are being vacated as soon as Ftr. Sqns. can operate from MADDALENA LGs.

(b) Rear Group. Under Lt. Col. Gregory, RA, OC 88 HyAA Regt, for protection of Bomber LGs 75 and 76 (area 610333), Desert RH 594332, No. 2 Fwd Base 575325, and SIDI BARRANI. This group will, to begin with, be directly under Army HQ.
So, 283 HAA Bty were to help protect LG.122; 261 HAA Bty were to help protect LGs.123 & 124; 276 HAA Bty were to remain protecting No. 2 Fwd Base; 281 HAA Bty were to help protect LGs 75 & 76; 200 HAA Bty were to help protect Desert RH; 291 HAA Bty were to help protect LGs. 75 & 76.

Regards

Tom

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

Post by Gooner1 » 04 Nov 2019 16:06

MarkN wrote:
01 Nov 2019 20:58
You are peddling on this forum the idea that a significant number of guns existed that could have been put to better use. Where is your evidence that they ever existed?
There were plenty of guns in the Middle East that could have been put to better use. :milwink:

Image

Wrong question.
Wrong question because it was poorly worded? I'll try again. You stated 'Home Forces command wanted HAA guns for their units.' so how many HAA guns were in Home Forces commands and thus not listed under AA command?

Or to say it another way "what effort have you made to establish the historical facts to this? Or is it yet another of your soapbox renditions based on nothing?" :lol:
HAA guns were in many different commands in many plaves around the world. In June 1941, ADGB held 1,712 HAA guns. In June 1942, ADGB held 1,920 HAA guns. I'm sure even you understand that considerable more than 200 HAA guns were produced and delivered during those 12 months. Where do you think they went? Into some REMF warehouse in Egypt never to be seen again?
Production of HAA guns in the UK between July 1941 and July 1942 was 1,979. Good luck trying to prove they all went to active units!

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

Post by MarkN » 04 Nov 2019 17:56

:lol: :lol: :lol:
Gooner1 wrote:
04 Nov 2019 16:06
There were plenty of guns in the Middle East that could have been put to better use.
How does posting a picture of the Egyptian Army with a pair of their HAA guns in July 1940 help you substantiate your claim?
Gooner1 wrote:
04 Nov 2019 16:06
Wrong question because it was poorly worded? I'll try again. You stated 'Home Forces command wanted HAA guns for their units.' so how many HAA guns were in Home Forces commands and thus not listed under AA command?
Wrong question because it is based again upon either your illiteracy or deliberate attempt to misdirect and mislead. I wrote: "The reduction of HAA guns frequently cited by you or others from ADGB as evidence of surplus guns being wastefully squirreled away is actually evidence of guns changing command." New HAA guns were being allocated to different commands all round the world. Some were even being sold to foreign customers. It not just about Home Command or even guns only in the UK.
Gooner1 wrote:
04 Nov 2019 16:06
HAA guns were in many different commands in many plaves around the world. In June 1941, ADGB held 1,712 HAA guns. In June 1942, ADGB held 1,920 HAA guns. I'm sure even you understand that considerable more than 200 HAA guns were produced and delivered during those 12 months. Where do you think they went? Into some REMF warehouse in Egypt never to be seen again?
Production of HAA guns in the UK between July 1941 and July 1942 was 1,979. Good luck trying to prove they all went to active units!
I have no intention of proving anything. And certainly not to people such as yourself who think anything you imagine becomes reality as long as you can convince yourself not bothering to fact check is a credible way to learn about historical reality. If you want to live in your little fantasyland that hundreds of those 1,979 newly produced HAA guns were being squirrelled away in storage instead of being allocated to active units because l refuse to prove you wrong.... Ha ha ha....

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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

Post by MarkN » 04 Nov 2019 18:41

Richard Anderson wrote:
31 Oct 2019 18:38
You forgot 5a, the 1,000-odd American 75mm guns of various flavors gotten during 1940 and 1941. Except they required a two-man crew for training and elevation, which complicated the AT task considerably...which I believe was also the case with the 3" 20 cwt and the 4", although not the 25-pdr.
I did. It was off the top of my head! ;)

I even forgot to mention that some of those 75mm beasts were sent to Egypt during 1941 specifically for ATk duties.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 05 Nov 2019 13:07

MarkN wrote:
04 Nov 2019 17:56
How does posting a picture of the Egyptian Army with a pair of their HAA guns in July 1940 help you substantiate your claim?
Attentive readers will remember that the Egyptian Army had 36 of those 3" guns. They would have been put to far better use in British or South African or New Zealand hands where the fighting is rather than popping away ineffectually at the occasional raider over Cairo or Alexandria … :milwink:

Wrong question because it is based again upon either your illiteracy or deliberate attempt to misdirect and mislead.
How can a simple question be an attempt to misdirect or mislead or indeed, in this case, be illiterate? :lol: It is a mere request for information that you imply that you hold.

I have no intention of proving anything.
Of course you don't dear. I never expected it. You are the sort "who think anything you imagine becomes reality as long as you can convince yourself not bothering to fact check is a credible way to learn about historical reality." :milwink:

The reality of course is that there were plenty enough of the 3.7" guns to be used well forwards with the troops.
Unfortunately the dedicated sights required for them to be used in an anti-tank capacity had to be developed for them in the Middle East base rather than a precision optics maker in the UK as a top priority.

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

Post by MarkN » 05 Nov 2019 14:05

Gooner1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 13:07
Attentive readers will remember that the Egyptian Army had 36 of those 3" guns. They would have been put to far better use in British or South African or New Zealand hands where the fighting is rather than popping away ineffectually at the occasional raider over Cairo or Alexandria …
Attentive readers will be aware that Egyptians can do whatever they like with their own guns. And, in their eyes, what better use for an HAA gun than to defend their own cities from aircraft.

The British had their own mobile 3" HAA, so did the South Africans. If they don't want to use their own HAA guns plinking pantsers, why should the Egyptions divert theirs from defending their own population?
Gooner1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 13:07
How can a simple question be an attempt to misdirect or mislead or indeed, in this case, be illiterate? It is a mere request for information that you imply that you hold.
New HAA guns were allocated to various commands around the globe.

Questionning me how many were held in just one of those commands does not help understanding of this issue. It is just an attempt to misdirect and aid in your denial of historical reality. Or you are unable to understand plain English.
Gooner1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 13:07
The reality of course is that there were plenty enough of the 3.7" guns to be used well forwards with the troops.
Unfortunately the dedicated sights required for them to be used in an anti-tank capacity had to be developed for them in the Middle East base rather than a precision optics maker in the UK as a top priority.
Middle East Command certainly did have a good few HAA guns especially from late 1941 onwards. However, the number they had still fell short of requirement. There remained a significant shortage of HAA to do HAA. Under such circumstance, was it wise to take HAA guns off HAA duty and send them chasing around the desert?

Then factor in they had just reroled a load of 18-pdr field guns to do ATk exclusively and taken delivery of a bunch of ATk 75mm guns. Why take HAA off HAA duty?

As regards optics. That could be a good discussion. What do you know about the decisions made, who made them, why they made the choices they did and so on? Or is just another of your silly handwaves?

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

Post by Gooner1 » 05 Nov 2019 15:58

MarkN wrote:
05 Nov 2019 14:05
Attentive readers will be aware that Egyptians can do whatever they like with their own guns. And, in their eyes, what better use for an HAA gun than to defend their own cities from aircraft.
The Egyptians wouldn't just give their guns away, they'd get first dibs on new brand spankers bofors and 3.7s (what aren't sunk) plus plenty of baksheesh all round. :milwink:
The British had their own mobile 3" HAA, so did the South Africans. If they don't want to use their own HAA guns plinking pantsers,
:roll: Those guns were local not located thousands of miles away.
The British should have moved some of their many redundant 3" AA guns to North Africa. D'uh.
Questionning me how many were held in just one of those commands does not help understanding of this issue.
:lol: You just can't answer is all.
There remained a significant shortage of HAA to do HAA.
Rubbish. There may not have been enough guns to fulfil some artificial requirement. There was plenty enough to meet the few air raids directed on the Delta.
Under such circumstance, was it wise to take HAA guns off HAA duty and send them chasing around the desert?
The Germans and Italians thought the use of heavy anti-aircraft guns to protect their forward troops from air attack and to keep/drive the British away from their ports and rear areas an excellent idea.
Then factor in they had just reroled a load of 18-pdr field guns to do ATk exclusively and taken delivery of a bunch of ATk 75mm guns. Why take HAA off HAA duty?
Who says 3" and later 3.7" AA guns up with the forward troops can't still shoot at enemy aircraft? The Axis ones usually did.

As regards optics. That could be a good discussion.
Not with you it wouldn't be! :lol:

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Nov 2019 16:50

Gooner1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 15:58
:roll: Those guns were local not located thousands of miles away.
The British should have moved some of their many redundant 3" AA guns to North Africa. D'uh.
:roll: right back at you. We have gone over the numbers for you over and over again. There were not "many" redundant 3" AA guns in North Africa in British hands. Attentive readers will note there were 431 guns diverted to Army service, which include the 36 delivered to the Egyptian Army, the 22 delivered to the Soviets, the 50 delivered to the Churchill Gun Carrier project, the 8 delivered to South Africa prewar and 4 delivered during the war, 4 in Gibraltar, 16 in Malta, the c. 87 lost in France, the c. 8 lost in Norway, 8 lost in Hing Kong...
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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

Post by Gooner1 » 05 Nov 2019 17:50

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Nov 2019 16:50
:roll: right back at you. We have gone over the numbers for you over and over again. There were not "many" redundant 3" AA guns in North Africa in British hands. Attentive readers will note there were 431 guns diverted to Army service, which include the 36 delivered to the Egyptian Army, the 22 delivered to the Soviets, the 50 delivered to the Churchill Gun Carrier project, the 8 delivered to South Africa prewar and 4 delivered during the war, 4 in Gibraltar, 16 in Malta, the c. 87 lost in France, the c. 8 lost in Norway, 8 lost in Hing Kong...
Don't catch MarkNitis Rich, I am talking about the 210 3" AA guns which went out of service with AA Command between June 1940 and December 1941. Minus the 50 allocated to the Churchill Gun Carrier if you like. You could add the 152 still in service with AA Command in December 1941.
Anyway, no shortage.

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

Post by MarkN » 05 Nov 2019 23:59

Gooner1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 15:58
The Egyptians wouldn't just give their guns away, they'd get first dibs on new brand spankers bofors and 3.7s (what aren't sunk) plus plenty of baksheesh all round.

Those guns were local not located thousands of miles away.
The British should have moved some of their many redundant 3" AA guns to North Africa. D'uh.
Attentive readers - and those interested in historical reality not grandstanding historical garbage c will remember that the British and South Africans had mobile 3" HAA guns in Egypt. They were not a thousand miles away either.

D'uh!!!
Gooner1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 15:58
Rubbish. There may not have been enough guns to fulfil some artificial requirement. There was plenty enough to meet the few air raids directed on the Delta.
If you want to make an argument that the requirement was an inappropriate number, then make it. Don't just handwave that you know better than the military staff who set that requirement.
Gooner1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 15:58
The Germans and Italians thought the use of heavy anti-aircraft guns to protect their forward troops from air attack and to keep/drive the British away from their ports and rear areas an excellent idea.
But the British military staff thought otherwise.
Gooner1 wrote:
05 Nov 2019 17:50
Don't catch MarkNitis Rich, I am talking about the 210 3" AA guns which went out of service with AA Command between June 1940 and December 1941. Minus the 50 allocated to the Churchill Gun Carrier if you like. You could add the 152 still in service with AA Command in December 1941.
Anyway, no shortage.
For someone who handwaves about how non existant 4" or 4.5" guns and howitzers should have been plinking tanks, it is no surprise you handwave that non existant 210 spare 3" HAA guns should be plinking tanks too.

I know doing some research to understand what happened to them could cause a problem for your soapbox whining, but deliberately not fact checking as a way to sustain your ignorance and is most comical.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 Nov 2019 01:51

MarkN wrote:
05 Nov 2019 23:59
But the British military staff thought otherwise.
So did the Luftwaffe.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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

Post by Gooner1 » 06 Nov 2019 12:31

MarkN wrote:
05 Nov 2019 23:59
Attentive readers - and those interested in historical reality not grandstanding historical garbage c will remember that the British and South Africans had mobile 3" HAA guns in Egypt. They were not a thousand miles away either.
And now you will go on to list those 3" mobile guns in Egypt in British and South African hands just prior to Crusader - Not! :lol:

Funny how you are so often guilty of what you accuse others of. :milwink:
If you want to make an argument that the requirement was an inappropriate number, then make it. Don't just handwave that you know better than the military staff who set that requirement.
I'm not questioning the requirement for AA guns - though clearly exaggerated - I am calling rubbish on your crass statement that "There remained a significant shortage of HAA to do HAA".

Given the infrequency and ineffectiveness of Axis air raids in the Delta there was, of course, ample HAA to do HAA. :milsmile:

For someone who handwaves about how non existant 4" or 4.5" guns and howitzers should have been plinking tanks,
Ah, you are confused again. It was Oliver Lyttleton, Minister of War Production, who suggested in Parliament that the very extant 4.5" guns could be used to plink tanks. :milsmile:
it is no surprise you handwave that non existant 210 spare 3" HAA guns should be plinking tanks too.
There were a great many more than 210 3" guns available to plink panzers. We have been over this several times.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 Nov 2019 19:05

Gooner1 wrote:
06 Nov 2019 12:31
And now you will go on to list those 3" mobile guns in Egypt in British and South African hands just prior to Crusader - Not! :lol:
This is becoming surreal. :welcome:

As of 30 November 1941 there were 36 3" 20 CWT guns with the Egyptian Army in Egypt. They were mobile guns (on the four-wheel cruciform platform). WO169/950, HQ AA GHQ MEF Location Statement - AA Units - Middle East Situation as at 16 Noevember 1941.
There were 4 (four) 3" 20 CWT guns with the British Army in the Western Desert. They were semi-mobile guns (with the two-wheel limber). WO169/950
There were 4 (four) 3" 20 CWT guns (Naval fixed mount) in Palestine. WO169/950
There were 8 (eight) 3" 20 CWT guns in Eritrea, which came from South Africa. CMDT F.J. Jacobs, "Anti-Aircraft Artillery in the Second World War", Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, (Vol 7, Nr 1, 1977), pp. 8-17.

That is all.

Next I expect you will go on about how this is actually just before Crusader rather than just prior to Crusader as you asked for.
I'm not questioning the requirement for AA guns - though clearly exaggerated - I am calling rubbish on your crass statement that "There remained a significant shortage of HAA to do HAA".

Given the infrequency and ineffectiveness of Axis air raids in the Delta there was, of course, ample HAA to do HAA. :milsmile:
Ample?
Tobruk had 29 heavy (including 8 captured Italian) and 56 light (including 34 captured Italian) AA guns.
There were 73 heavy (probably including one captured Italian) and 258 light (including 19 captured Italian) AA guns in the Western Desert.
There were 90 heavy and 100 light AA in Egypt in British hands.
There were 36 heavy and 4 light AA in Egypt in Egyptian hands.
Ah, you are confused again. It was Oliver Lyttleton, Minister of War Production, who suggested in Parliament that the very extant 4.5" guns could be used to plink tanks. :milsmile:
No, not surreal, stupid. Either you understand that Lyttleton had no idea what he was talking about or you, like he, have no idea what you are talking about. The 4.5" gun in action weighed over 16 and one-half tons. As of 16 November 1941, there were 2 (two) in the Middle East. They were at Aden.
There were a great many more than 210 3" guns available to plink panzers. We have been over this several times.
Yes, we have gone over it several times. There were not "many" redundant 3" AA guns in North Africa in British hands. There were 4 (four). If you want to extend "North Africa" to include the entire Middle East, there were 16 (sixteen). If you want to extend "British" to include the Egyptian Army, there were 52 (fifty-two).

Attentive readers will note there were 431 guns diverted to Army service, which include the 36 delivered to the Egyptian Army, the 22 delivered to the Soviets, the 50 delivered to the Churchill Gun Carrier project, the 8 delivered to South Africa prewar and 4 delivered during the war, 4 in Gibraltar, 16 in Malta, the c. 87 lost in France, the c. 8 lost in Norway, 8 lost in Hong Kong, at least 4 in New Zealand, 4 in the Western Desert, 50 converted to 3" 16 CWT antitank guns, 4 British supplied and 24 Australian manufactured in Australia, and et cetera. If you can manage the subtraction, there were >126 guns "available to plink panzers", not <210.
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