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

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

Post by MarkN » 28 Nov 2019 17:22

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
28 Nov 2019 05:57
Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Nov 2019 22:38
MarkN wrote:
21 Nov 2019 21:07
I've been waiting patiently for poster Gooner1 to use his favoured source to provide the answer to the thread's original question. It seems it will not be forthcoming. So, from NFTW (Notes From Theatres of War) No.10
4. Use of AA guns in an anti-tank role
Only two minor actions have occured between anti-aircraft guns and tanks in the recent operations. In one, some 3.7-in guns had a shoot at tanks with inconclusive results; and in the other, German tanks were taken on at 1,500 yds range, and one was knocked out. These guns are not used regularly against tanks because of their lack of mobility and of suitable sights, and because of the time taken to bring them into action. They were also in demand for their primary function of AA defence.
Thirty-nine pages before the other shoe dropped. It may be a record. :lol:
I have some references for these actions, and others where the weapon was deployed for At gunnery but nothing entered the kill zone. But thread is not really about the stated subject, so I thought why bother.
Why bother?

Well, as the "Host - Allied sections" you might have thought it sensible idea to make a proactive effort to keep the thread on subject and/or rooted in historical reality rather than falsehood.

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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 » 28 Nov 2019 18:14

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
28 Nov 2019 05:57
I have some references for these actions, and others where the weapon was deployed for At gunnery but nothing entered the kill zone. But thread is not really about the stated subject, so I thought why bother.
Indeed, this thread, as so many, seems to be more about how to craft an a-historical narrative, based upon opinion and wishful thinking, rather than actually finding out about "what prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role". Oh, and denying evidence that helps answer the question.
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Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 29 Nov 2019 03:43

MarkN wrote:
28 Nov 2019 17:22
...
Well, as the "Host - Allied sections" you might have thought it sensible idea to make a proactive effort to keep the thread on subject and/or rooted in historical reality rather than falsehood.
Others had posted the same information, other info and sources, and pointed in the correct directions. Sheldrakes post 15 on 12 Nov 2018 08:06 is a early one in the thread. But several of the members here seem to be more concerned with forcing a narrative & preserving their ego than actually reading others posts & exercising analytical skills.

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

Post by Urmel » 30 Nov 2019 22:50

Meanwhile, in the real world, when Panzerregiment 8 tried to bring up 88 guns to Ed Duda on 29 November, they failed because the guns were damaged in artillery fire. Because it's really quite difficult to move big guns like that in a live firefight without being punished.

https://rommelsriposte.com/2008/09/22/c ... n-ed-duda/
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 David Thompson » 02 Dec 2019 03:24

A post from Gooner1, containing several claims unsupported by sourced facts, was removed pursuant to forum rules and prior warnings.
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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 Dec 2019 13:21

David Thompson wrote:
02 Dec 2019 03:24
A post from Gooner1, containing several claims unsupported by sourced facts, was removed pursuant to forum rules and prior warnings.
Hmmm ...

Anyway

Lord Beaverbrook, House of Lords 1st July 1942

"There is another suggestion about shortage of equipment—I am not dealing with quality, only quantity—and that is the reference to the German 38 mm. gun. That is an anti-aircraft gun built for that purpose and adapted by the enemy for anti-tank purposes. An anti-aircraft gun does not have to have an armour-piercing shell but an anti-tank gun must have. Other considerations are involved when use is made of that anti-aircraft gun for anti-tank purposes. It is probable that the enemy had not more than fifty of those 88 mm. guns adapted for anti-tank purposes. The guns have been in existence for a long time. They were used in the Middle East last year and they were used as long ago as the Battle of Flanders. But we had an anti-aircraft gun too, a most valuable gun called the 3·7. It is a little larger than the German 88 mm. and a year ago production was; launched of an armour-piercing projectile in order to equip the 3·7 gun for anti-tank purposes. It was the Prime Minister who wanted the production of the armour-piercing projectiles, so that that gun could be used as an anti-tank gun. Forthwith there was put into production an armour-piercing projectile for the purpose of using 3·7 guns against enemy tanks.

I do not know if the 3·7 gun has been adapted to anti-tank purposes or work in the desert, but it is a better gun than the 88 mm. The 88 mm. weighs 7½ tons and the 3·7 weighs 9 tons;. The 88 mm. has a lighter projectile than the 3·7. The 3·7 will destroy the armour of any German tank. I make that statement confident that I cannot be accused of over-optimism. It will penetrate the armour of any German tank. Its elevation is zero to 85". Whether the 3·7 gun was used as an anti-tank gun I cannot say—possibly others can—but if it was not then there is necessity for an inquiry in that direction. There is necessity to look ​ into it and see that in future it is made use of for anti-tank purposes. "

Alan Brooke's role in trialling the 3.7" in an anti-tank role as C-in-C Home Forces has been commented on several times. Post 545 from Sheldrake
"103 HAA Regiment were converted to become a mobile unit in Jan 1941 - receiving vehicles and drivers and eventually a mobile cookhouse. On 26 July they were assigned the "Bargain" role as a strategic Anti tank reserve. This was followed by training for the officers along field artillery lines, anti tank shoots and field exercises culminating in Ex Bumper. There was quite a bit to do to turn British HAA into effective dual role weapons, including rearranging other priorities."

90th HAA Regimental Diary Normandy
"All three Batteries were kept hard at it during the middle of July and ground gained here and there kept Reconnaissance parties on their toes.Several re-deployments of guns were made and the advance,whilst slow,was sure. On the 20th July, 272 Battery were called upon to deploy "B" troop guns in an anti-tank role to cover the TILLY-BAYEUX road, and these orders made one appreciate the thoroughness of training in ENGLAND,when anti-tank gunnery had been studied and practiced during the periods in the CHEVIOT HILLS.
During 15th July the Prime Minister visited an Observation Post used by 285 Battery and he watched with interest the effect of "air -bursts on enemy positions
About this period fire support was given to the 49th (West Riding) Division and 50th (Northumbrian) Division, in their attacks on VILLIERS BOCAGE and EVRECY"

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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 Dec 2019 19:44

We know the HAA guns had AP rounds. Whether the order to hurry along their production was politically driven or not is neither here nor there, the round existed.

We know that there had been serious discussion in Home Command and in the corridors of London regarding the ATk issue, the guns, the quantities and the qualities.

We know that, on occasions, HAA guns did take pot shots at enemy pantsers and were, albeit as a last resort, roled specifically to provide an ATk defence line.

All discussed during the preceeding pages.

So, what really prevented HAA to be more ATk focussed?

The issue circles around why some 3-inch (Gooner1) and/or 3.7-inch (Sheldrake) were not put into the hands of frontline formations.

Thus, the only words of real interest to take the discussion forward are thus...
Gooner1 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 13:21
Whether the 3·7 gun was used as an anti-tank gun I cannot say—possibly others can—but if it was not then there is necessity for an inquiry in that direction. There is necessity to look ​ into it and see that in future it is made use of for anti-tank purposes. "
Tell us Gooner1, did an inquiry occur and what were the findings?

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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 Dec 2019 12:12

MarkN wrote:
04 Dec 2019 19:44
The issue circles around why some 3-inch (Gooner1) and/or 3.7-inch (Sheldrake) were not put into the hands of frontline formations [in Middle East Command].
The assumption being that there must be good reasons for that.

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

Post by Sheldrake » 05 Dec 2019 12:48

Gooner1 wrote:
05 Dec 2019 12:12
MarkN wrote:
04 Dec 2019 19:44
The issue circles around why some 3-inch (Gooner1) and/or 3.7-inch (Sheldrake) were not put into the hands of frontline formations [in Middle East Command].
The assumption being that there must be good reasons for that.
This cannot be proved. Individuals will make up their own minds about what constitutes a "good Reason." In his earlier book Shelford Bidwell made the point that there were lots of explanations most people think that the Germans were right to consider AA as dual purpose from the start of the war. To me the fact that Home forces managed to have an AA in a dual purpose role by July 1941 is quite compelling evidence that it could have been done in the Middle East - if someone sufficiently senior had thumped the table. Neither Wavell nor Auckinleck got involved in looking at this particular problem Tinkering with the weapon mix was way down Wavell's lengthy list of strategic problems and Aukinleck's interventions in tactics were in the wrong direction of decentralization.

Last week I visited the excellent South African Military History Museum. They have a 3" 20 cwt and the information board says that four were deployed with the 1st South African AA Regiment in East Africa and the Western Desert.
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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 Dec 2019 14:48

Gooner1 wrote:
05 Dec 2019 12:12
The assumption being that there must be good reasons for that.
What assumption?

Who made the assumption?
What were the reasons in this assumption?
Why were they good reasons?

Is this assumption connected to the enquiry you posted about?

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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 Dec 2019 15:15

Sheldrake wrote:
05 Dec 2019 12:48
Last week I visited the excellent South African Military History Museum. They have a 3" 20 cwt and the information board says that four were deployed with the 1st South African AA Regiment in East Africa and the Western Desert.
Interesting.

The histograph suggests the South Africans took a battery of 8 (not 4) to East Africa and then Egypt. But, on arrival in Egypt, the men were reroled onto LAA Bofors. See here: https://www.ajol.info/index.php/smsajms ... 289/133945. The guns seemingly returning to South Africa.

I also have several documents from Kew indicating/confirming eight 3-inch guns with the South Africans in East Africa.

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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 Dec 2019 16:47

MarkN wrote:
05 Dec 2019 15:15
Sheldrake wrote:
05 Dec 2019 12:48
Last week I visited the excellent South African Military History Museum. They have a 3" 20 cwt and the information board says that four were deployed with the 1st South African AA Regiment in East Africa and the Western Desert.
Interesting.

The histograph suggests the South Africans took a battery of 8 (not 4) to East Africa and then Egypt. But, on arrival in Egypt, the men were reroled onto LAA Bofors. See here: https://www.ajol.info/index.php/smsajms ... 289/133945. The guns seemingly returning to South Africa.

I also have several documents from Kew indicating/confirming eight 3-inch guns with the South Africans in East Africa.
I could have sworn I already covered the SA 3"? Very good article by F. A. Jacobs in Scientia Militaria back in 1977.
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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 » 05 Dec 2019 21:34

Sheldrake wrote:
05 Dec 2019 12:48
To me the fact that Home forces managed to have an AA in a dual purpose role by July 1941 is quite compelling evidence that it could have been done in the Middle East - if someone sufficiently senior had thumped the table.
I expect there were debates about AA ongoing at senior levels in the summer of 1941 in the Middle East, after all, in the lessons learnt documentation (WO201/2738) from the Greek Campaign several relevant points were made about the importance of AA:-
Thirdly, an adequate scale of A.A. defence for the security of bases, aerodromes and installations is essential, and must be far higher than that provided in GREECE or as yet in the Middle East.

- 7 -

23. We think it is also appropriate at this point to emphasise the need for a higher scale of A.A. weapons for forward troops and Army and R.A.F. convoys on the road. The feeling of being able to hit back undoubtedly has a beneficial effect on the morale of our own troops and a deterrent effect on enemy aircraft out of all proportion to the damage actually inflicted.
It is probably relevant to this discussion that the army in the UK had just witnessed the RAF secure air superiority over the UK whilst the Army in the Middle East had just witnessed the feeble air support provided to the Greek and Crete campaigns driven from the skies and suffered the subsequent impact of being on the receiving end of the rampant Luftwaffe.

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 MarkN » 05 Dec 2019 23:41

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
05 Dec 2019 21:34
I expect there were debates about AA ongoing at senior levels in the summer of 1941 in the Middle East, after all, in the lessons learnt documentation (WO201/2738) from the Greek Campaign several relevant points were made about the importance of AA:-
The Notes from Theatres of War were produced in London. However, they reflect the 'lessons learned' through the eyes of the theatre commanders not those of the WO in London.

The paragraph l posted earlier (my underlining)...
4. Use of AA guns in an anti-tank role
Only two minor actions have occured between anti-aircraft guns and tanks in the recent operations. In one, some 3.7-in guns had a shoot at tanks with inconclusive results; and in the other, German tanks were taken on at 1,500 yds range, and one was knocked out. These guns are not used regularly against tanks because of their lack of mobility and of suitable sights, and because of the time taken to bring them into action. They were also in demand for their primary function of AA defence.
As far as GHQ ME was concerned, there were officially four reasons why the guns were not used routinely as ATk guns. Sights is a technical matter that can readily be solved once the need is identified. Shortage of HAA guns is a killer blow only diminished by a Gooner1 handwave. Mobility and time to fire are, l believe, key to understanding too. Mobile does not always mean mobile. ;) How long does a mobile column have to set up their guns and to pack away when told to bug out?

I suspect the precise role given to 103 HAA Regt in the UK was somewhat different to that of the 'standard' Jock Column in the desert.

I wonder, does Sheldrake have any detail if how 103 HAA Regt was expected to operate in the ATk role?

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

Post by Sheldrake » 06 Dec 2019 01:08

MarkN wrote:
05 Dec 2019 15:15
The histograph suggests the South Africans took a battery of 8 (not 4) to East Africa and then Egypt. But, on arrival in Egypt, the men were reroled onto LAA Bofors. See here: https://www.ajol.info/index.php/smsajms ... 289/133945. The guns seemingly returning to South Africa.
Perhaps thie gun in the museum is one of the returned guns. I hadn't seen one before. There wasn't one in Firepower

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