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

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MarkF617
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Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by MarkF617 » 07 Nov 2019 09:00

Rommel thought it was a good idea to use his HAA to kill tanks, he then blamed his defeats on the RAF having air superiority and interdicting his supplies. The British used their HAA as HAA and blamed their defeats on German armour being too thick to penetrate. It seems to me that what is needed was adequate HAA and adequate, decent, perpose built anti tank guns which is what the British got. It was only during Crusader that the 2 pounder was found to be inadequate yet by Gazala the 6 pounder was in service and Grant Tanks with a 75mm gun had been delivred so there was no need to use HAA they just nedded more of what they had.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 07 Nov 2019 13:00

Richard Anderson wrote:
06 Nov 2019 19:05
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.
Not really paying attention to this thread? It was MarkN who claimed the existence of more 3" guns in British and South African hands in Egypt.

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.
Given the distance Axis planes had to fly to scatter a few bombs ineffectively over Alexandria and the Canal, then yes.

Shame that all those 3.7s in the Western Desert were unable to contribute to the ground battle in any way, unlike their 3.7 chums in Tobruk.
Purity of purpose, eh.

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.
You could just go back a couple of pages and review the exchange. BTW Oliver Lyttelton's speech was on 1st July 1942 :milsmile:

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).
The British gave those 36 guns to the Egyptian Army.
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.
126 3" guns is a huge number! Enough to give every Eighth Army division in Crusader one regiment of them, every brigade at Gazala a battery.

And that would still leave potential replacements of 112 guns allowing for the 24 Churchill Gun Carriers actually completed.

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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 » 07 Nov 2019 17:00

This is turning into a banner week. Three trolls going onto ignore.
"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 Urmel » 07 Nov 2019 19:27

I really don’t get what’s so difficult to understand about the concept that the 2-per was considered perfectly adequate by the powers that were prior to CRUSADER so that there was no reason for them to ditch it in favour of HAA guns?

Truly baffling.

The Tobruk reference is priceless. Yes they were used in the ground role as indirect artillery. I’d like to see evidence of them engaging any tanks at all in 1941.
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 MarkF617 » 07 Nov 2019 20:44

#529

 by Urmel » Today, 18:27

I really don’t get what’s so difficult to understand about the concept that the 2-per was considered perfectly adequate by the powers that were prior to CRUSADER so that there was no reason for them to ditch it in favour of HAA guns?

/quote]

This is what I was trying to say above. There was only a small time gap between the 2 pounder being found to be inadequate and the arrival of 6 pounders and Grants.

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

Post by MarkN » 07 Nov 2019 21:04

Gooner1 wrote:
06 Nov 2019 12:31
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.
No, not confused.

In 1942 an MP tried to score some political capital by causing a bit of mischief in the House. Fact checking was a bit difficult as there was a war on.

In 2019, poster Gooner1 googles something, anything to confirm his bias. Doesn't bother to fact check and then brings the same nonsense to AHF and whines about non-existant guns notbeing used as he would like.

You brought the nonsense to AHF, not Lyttleton.

You failed to fact check.

You decided to believe the nonsense and use it as the basis of your whining.

;)

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

Post by MarkN » 07 Nov 2019 21:11

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Nov 2019 17:00
This is turning into a banner week. Three trolls going onto ignore.
The one here is quite comical.

210 3-inch HAA/LAA guns left AA Command over an 18 month period. Why bother to find out where they went? I guess it could cramp his whining....

PS.
Somewhere on my HDs l have the official history of AA guns and ammo by Hay. One of those non published efforts found lurking in the archives. A load of other related items that l tracked down a couple of years ago. Are you interested in anything?

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

Post by MarkN » 07 Nov 2019 21:19

Gooner1 wrote:
06 Nov 2019 12:31
There were a great many more than 210 3" guns available to plink panzers. We have been over this several times.
Very rarely were any 3" guns available to plink pantsers. Very rarely close enough to be considered an option.

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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 » 07 Nov 2019 21:47

MarkN wrote:
07 Nov 2019 21:11
Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Nov 2019 17:00
This is turning into a banner week. Three trolls going onto ignore.
The one here is quite comical.

210 3-inch HAA/LAA guns left AA Command over an 18 month period. Why bother to find out where they went? I guess it could cramp his whining....

PS.
Somewhere on my HDs l have the official history of AA guns and ammo by Hay. One of those non published efforts found lurking in the archives. A load of other related items that l tracked down a couple of years ago. Are you interested in anything?
I'm always fascinated by that sort of thing...seeing what was originally said and then how it was interpreted - or twisted - by historians later. Right now I am having fun with the allocations of medium tanks within and without the American Army, especially the ETOUSA, during the war and discovering some interesting things that have been glossed over in the intervening years. Everyone talks about the "Great Tank Scandal", about how bad the Sherman was, crappy 75mm, and yadda-yadda, ad WOT-nauseum, without ever noticing the real scandal, the simple incompetence displayed by the Army Service Forces, War Department G-4, and the War Production Board, which left the tankers in the field wondering where all the war production was going, since they were effectively understrength to one degree or another from July 1944 through March 1945, bottoming out at three-quarters strength in March 1945...and were fighting from tanks pretty much accepted as obsolescent in mid-1943, from 6 June 1944 until around January-February 1945. This of course with the Americans enjoying almost unlimited resources, industrial potential, control of the seas, and a full panoply of ports in Allied hands by late November 1944.

The most interesting thing I have noticed is that British sources get very silent about Lend-Lease tank deliveries after 1 November 1944. I can find no accounting of the number bid for 1945 or the number received, so am inferring quite a bit from the exchanges between the London Munitions Assignment Board and AGF and the ETOUSA. If you have anything on that and the British reaction to being essentially frozen out of Lend-Lease medium tank deliveries 1 November 1944-8 May 1945 I would be happy to see it.

Cheers!
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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 » 07 Nov 2019 21:55

Urmel wrote:
07 Nov 2019 19:27
I really don’t get what’s so difficult to understand about the concept that the 2-per was considered perfectly adequate by the powers that were prior to CRUSADER so that there was no reason for them to ditch it in favour of HAA guns?
Well, a Troll's gotta Troll what a Troll's gonna Troll.
Truly baffling.
Exactly. This idiocy has been going round and round the drain in this thread alone for two days shy of a year and through 36 pages of mostly repetitive trolling drivel from Gooner1.
The Tobruk reference is priceless. Yes they were used in the ground role as indirect artillery. I’d like to see evidence of them engaging any tanks at all in 1941.
Or in 1942?
"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 Sheldrake » 07 Nov 2019 22:39

MarkF617 wrote:
07 Nov 2019 09:00
Rommel thought it was a good idea to use his HAA to kill tanks, he then blamed his defeats on the RAF having air superiority and interdicting his supplies. The British used their HAA as HAA and blamed their defeats on German armour being too thick to penetrate. It seems to me that what is needed was adequate HAA and adequate, decent, perpose built anti tank guns which is what the British got. It was only during Crusader that the 2 pounder was found to be inadequate yet by Gazala the 6 pounder was in service and Grant Tanks with a 75mm gun had been delivred so there was no need to use HAA they just nedded more of what they had.

Thanks

Mark.
That isn't ready the whole picture.

Alanbrooke Commander Home Army made the following diary entries on 18rd June 1941 that he was disappointed with the standard of anti tank weapons and that eh would start a campaign to improve matters. On 3rd July he spend thew afternoon making plans to employ 3" 20cwt AA guns to deal with any German heavy tanks. 10th July he watched more anti tank trials and notes some improvement but much more required. 9th September the anti tank trials included 2 pdr, 6 pdr, 25 pdr, 75mm,Bofors and 3.7"all firing. 21 July 1941 meeting with Lord Beaverbrooke to see about production of anti tank ammunition for 3 20 cwt and 3.7" Guns.

Brooke was a very busy chap, dashing around inspecting formations, attending lots of meetings, planning exercises, and reviewing doctrine. In the middle of a busy schedule he picked anti tank weapons as a weak area and giving a dual role to HAA as an important part of the solution. Sure, partm of the reason was the unwarranted threat of heavy tanks a year ahead of the Pz VI. In the Western Desert had a different, but related problem. Home army were worried about penetrating heavy tanks at relatively short range. In the western desert the problem was engaging tanks standing off at long range, beyond the range where 2pdr or 25 pdr could penetrate tank armour. HAA was a solution to both.

Alanbrooke was a someone who could make things happen. ( I suspect the SP 3" 20cwt project would not have gone off the boil if Brooke had remained CinC) The opposite of "extracting a digit" is a state of mind picturesquely referred to in some military circles as "thumb up bum and mind in neutral." Frankly there was quite a lot of that attitude around.

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

Post by MarkF617 » 08 Nov 2019 00:43

No. The problem in the Western Desert was German anti tank guns, the solution was combined arms with 25 pounders.
Brooke was trying to prepare a defence against heavy tanks that didn't exist in a country that had left it's heavy weapons in France and priority given to Egypt for new production and therefore short of anti air and anti tank weapons duel perpose guns would seem a good solution.
Also the tactical situation is completely different, Brooke is preparing the defence of a coast where static guns can easily be used as duel perpose, in the desert highly mobile guns with a low profile are better. Remember that most of the tanks lost to "88s" were actually taken out by PAK. The solution was the 6 pounder and tanks with a larger gun. Crusader was won with 2 pounder AT/tank guns and 37mm tank guns, Gazala was lost with 6 pounder anti tank guns and 75mm tank guns. This shows that the problems were with the tactics not the weapons.

Thanks

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

Post by Sheldrake » 08 Nov 2019 10:18

Let me make some slight corrections to this for you
MarkF617 wrote:
08 Nov 2019 00:43
No. ONE problem in the Western Desert was German anti tank guns, the solution was combined arms with 25 pounders.

.... the tactical situation is SLIGHTLY different, Brooke WAS NOT preparing the defence of a coast where static guns can easily be used as duel purpose, in the desert highly mobile guns with a low profile are better.
Yes, Identifying and solving the problems caused by aggressive use of anti tank guns was a major problem facing the British in the Western Desert. It wasn't the only one. The British also needed to find a way to engage German tanks that engaged British field and anti tank guns beyind their effective range.

Minor point. Brooke's defence was based on aggressive mobile operations. Static coastal defences which were handed over to coastal divisions and the Home Guard. He was using the mobile HAA as dual purpose. As early as July 1941 at least one HAA unit (103 HAA) was given a secondary anti tank role.

The point is that Brooke found a way to incorporate HAA into the field army anti tank plans. Maybe it took someone with Brooke's authority, energy and seniority to overcome institutional barriers and individual lethargy. Wavell or the Auk could have done something similar, if the tactical problem had attracted their personal attention.

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

Post by MarkF617 » 08 Nov 2019 10:52

I think the main difference is that Brooke perceived a need for bigger anti tank guns in july 41, whereas there was no such need perceived in the desert at that time. They were, mostly, happy with the 2 pounder which could knock out any tank fielded by the Grrmans at that time from a reasonable range.

Thanks

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

Post by Gooner1 » 08 Nov 2019 12:12

Urmel wrote:
07 Nov 2019 19:27
I really don’t get what’s so difficult to understand about the concept that the 2-per was considered perfectly adequate by the powers that were prior to CRUSADER so that there was no reason for them to ditch it in favour of HAA guns?
Surely supplementing the 2-pdr not ditching it. And it depends what you mean as perfectly adequate.
In Summer 1940 the Bartholomew Committee stated "Now that the Germans can obtain exact details of the powers of penetration of our present weapons it must be assured that they will increase armour accordingly. We should therefore hasten the production of the 6-pounder anti-tank gun."
Australian 6th Division in August 1941 had no difficulty with advising "The problem of engaging the tanks at long ranges is one for the Fd Arty."
At the least the powers that be in the Desert can be accused of complacency before Crusader.

The Tobruk reference is priceless. Yes they were used in the ground role as indirect artillery. I’d like to see evidence of them engaging any tanks at all in 1941.
Which is why I said ground support. :wink:

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