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

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Gooner1
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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 Dec 2019 12:47

MarkN wrote:
05 Dec 2019 23:41
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?
By 'shortage of HAA guns' you mean "They were also in demand for their primary function of AA defence" listed last in the reasons? That "also" is a real killer blow.
And since when did 88s in German service at the front abandon AA defence as a function?

Sights might be a technical matter readily resolved but for optimum efficiency in a multi-role function the units would need practice in firing at ground targets, training in the co-operation with other arms and in rapid moves and deployment. You know, what certain HAA regiments in the UK had already been doing for over a year.

Also since when were German 88s limited to only a mobile role? Indeed they first came to inescapable prominence in a purely static role at Halfaya Pass.

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

Post by MarkN » 06 Dec 2019 13:57

Gooner1 wrote:
06 Dec 2019 12:19
Yeah, you're probably better off asking yourself those questions.
How so? I can't read your mind... :roll:

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

Post by MarkN » 06 Dec 2019 18:02

Gooner1 wrote:
06 Dec 2019 14:54
You can't seem to understand English too well either. Or, indeed, logic.
I don't understand why you feel the need to resort to insults.

You dropped a post quoting Beaverbrook from 1942. It included the following words:
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.
The findings of that enquiry, if it occured, would provide us all with the answer to the question that this thread is all about. Likely, the findings would tell us all what decisions were made and why. Each one of us may disagree with some or all of the findings, but at least we would all have the contemporary thinking.

Thus, I asked:
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: ↑
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?
You chose to ignore the question regarding the enquiry and responded as follows:
MarkN wrote: ↑
The issue circles around why some 3-inch (Gooner1) and/or 3.7-inch (Sheldrake) were not put into the hands of frontline formations.


The assumption being that there must be good reasons for that.
I asked what those assumptions were, who made them, what the reasons were and why they were good. And, whether these assumptions had anything to do with the enquiry.

That has resulted in you posting strange suggestions and insults.

Why?

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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 » 06 Dec 2019 18:42

Gooner1 wrote:
06 Dec 2019 12:47
By 'shortage of HAA guns' you mean "They were also in demand for their primary function of AA defence" listed last in the reasons?
That's not what the lessons learnt documentation from Greece say. As I posted [in post #598] they say:
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.
There were 3.7 inch AA guns available in the forward area during CRUSADER - in relatively small numbers defending RAF forward landing grounds in conjunction with slightly larger numbers of light AA. Given the state of Army/RAF relations after the Greek campaign, I would suggest that the need to be seen protecting RAF landing grounds was a key requirement for the Army at this point in time.

Note that I am talking about 1941 here. By mid-1942, there were probably more 3.7 AA arriving; but then, of course, there were 6-pdr A Tk guns arriving as well.

Regards

Tom
Last edited by Tom from Cornwall on 06 Dec 2019 21:50, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Don Juan » 06 Dec 2019 21:02

Has anyone got a reference for the Notes From Theatres of War?

I'd quite like to pick up a copy.
"The demonstration, as a demonstration, was a failure. The sunshield would not fit the tank. Altogether it was rather typically Middle Easty."
- 7th Armoured Brigade War Diary, 30th August 1941

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

Post by MarkN » 06 Dec 2019 21:40

Don Juan wrote:
06 Dec 2019 21:02
Has anyone got a reference for the Notes From Theatres of War?

I'd quite like to pick up a copy.
I've got some of them. Which ones are you after? If it's one's l've got, l'll send them on.

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

Post by Terry Duncan » 06 Dec 2019 23:29

Two 'non-content' posts from Gooner1 were removed by this moderator. Gooner1 can you please respond to people with meaningful answers and not flippant non-engagement or resort to insults? I am sure you are familiar with forum rules as you are a member of long standing, so please try to engage with meaningful replies.

Terry Duncan

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

Post by Don Juan » 08 Dec 2019 12:32

Mark - check your PM's.
"The demonstration, as a demonstration, was a failure. The sunshield would not fit the tank. Altogether it was rather typically Middle Easty."
- 7th Armoured Brigade War Diary, 30th August 1941

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 » 08 Dec 2019 19:22

Don Juan wrote:
08 Dec 2019 12:32
Mark - check your PM's.
Thanks for that... Will have a read on the train on Tuesday.

I've got the following Notes from Theatres of War:
No.1 - Cyrenaica : Nov41
No.2 - Cyrenaica : Nov-Dec41
No.3 - Russia : Jan42
No.4 - Cyrenaica : Nov41-Jan42
No.6 - Cyrenaica : Nov41-Jan42
No.7 - Russia : Mar-Apr42
No.10 - Cyrenaica & Western Desert : Jan-Jun42
No.13 - North Africa Algeria & Tunisia : Nov42-Mar43
No.14 - Western Desert & Cyrenaica : Aug-Dec42

I've also got part of...
No.16 - North Africa : Nov42-Mar43

I'll bundle them up for you when l get the time. I still owe Tom and Urmel something that l haven't been able to get round to. Soon.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 09 Dec 2019 12:38

Terry Duncan wrote:
06 Dec 2019 23:29
Two 'non-content' posts from Gooner1 were removed by this moderator. Gooner1 can you please respond to people with meaningful answers and not flippant non-engagement or resort to insults? I am sure you are familiar with forum rules as you are a member of long standing, so please try to engage with meaningful replies.

Terry Duncan
Happy to reply to non-fatuous questions with meaningful answers. :milwink:

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

Post by Gooner1 » 09 Dec 2019 12:53

On the assumption that there must be good reasons why 3" and/or 3.7" AA guns were not put into the hands of frontline formations because if it were not true then it must be that there were no good reasons for the 3" and/or 3.7" AA guns not being in the hands of frontline formations.

Which is also the answer to this whole thread. "What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA guns being used in the Anti Tank role." There were no good reasons for the QF 3.7-inch AA gun not to be used in the Anti Tank role.

At least by the time of the Gazala battles anyway.
A case could be made that by Crusader it needed someone of sufficient authority and brains a degree of foresight and a willingness to experiment and take risks to multirole the heavy AA guns but l'm not sure of lacking that qualifies as a 'good' reason.

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

Post by MarkN » 09 Dec 2019 15:18

Gooner1 wrote:
09 Dec 2019 12:53
On the assumption that there must be good reasons why 3" and/or 3.7" AA guns were not put into the hands of frontline formations because if it were not true then it must be that there were no good reasons for the 3" and/or 3.7" AA guns not being in the hands of frontline formations.

Which is also the answer to this whole thread. "What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA guns being used in the Anti Tank role." There were no good reasons for the QF 3.7-inch AA gun not to be used in the Anti Tank role.

At least by the time of the Gazala battles anyway.
A case could be made that by Crusader it needed someone of sufficient authority and brains a degree of foresight and a willingness to experiment and take risks to multirole the heavy AA guns but l'm not sure of lacking that qualifies as a 'good' reason.
So, just to clarify, the assumption you spoke of was all yours and the judgement that the reasons were good - in a sarcastic and opposite manner - was also yours. It has nothing to do with the inquiry that Beaverbrook mentionned in the quote you posted.

So, having circled that bouy for no gain, can you tell us what the findings were of the inquiry you brought into this discussion.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 11 Dec 2019 13:26

MarkN wrote:
09 Dec 2019 15:18

So, just to clarify, the assumption you spoke of was all yours and the judgement that the reasons were good - in a sarcastic and opposite manner - was also yours.
Uh, no. The assumption that there were good reasons not to use HAA is one that you held as recently as a few posts ago - " Shortage of HAA guns is a killer blow". :milwink:

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

Post by MarkN » 11 Dec 2019 20:53

Gooner1 wrote:
11 Dec 2019 13:26
Uh, no. The assumption that there were good reasons not to use HAA is one that you held as recently as a few posts ago - " Shortage of HAA guns is a killer blow".
:roll:

Multiple evidence - by more than one poster - has been presented in this thread to indicate the belief in Cairo and London that there was a significant deficiancy in HAA guns held against requirement (codified or perceived).

Not having enough HAA guns to do HAA work is a "killer blow" when considering the decision why HAA guns were not sent into the desert with front line units and jock columns to plink tanks. Being a "killer blow" is a way of saying it is obvious for us 80 years later to understand the decision made: right or wrong, good or bad, agree or disagree.

Unfortunately, the "killer blow" is merely historical evidence and thus has nowhere near enough credibility to slay the myths and falsehoods longingly perpetuated on the internet that hundreds and thousands of HAA guns were sitting idle in various warehouses or flogged off to the Russians etc etc.

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

Post by Sheldrake » 12 Dec 2019 00:59

MarkN wrote:
11 Dec 2019 20:53
Gooner1 wrote:
11 Dec 2019 13:26
Uh, no. The assumption that there were good reasons not to use HAA is one that you held as recently as a few posts ago - " Shortage of HAA guns is a killer blow".
:roll:

Multiple evidence - by more than one poster - has been presented in this thread to indicate the belief in Cairo and London that there was a significant deficiancy in HAA guns held against requirement (codified or perceived).

Not having enough HAA guns to do HAA work is a "killer blow" when considering the decision why HAA guns were not sent into the desert with front line units and jock columns to plink tanks. Being a "killer blow" is a way of saying it is obvious for us 80 years later to understand the decision made: right or wrong, good or bad, agree or disagree.

Unfortunately, the "killer blow" is merely historical evidence and thus has nowhere near enough credibility to slay the myths and falsehoods longingly perpetuated on the internet that hundreds and thousands of HAA guns were sitting idle in various warehouses or flogged off to the Russians etc etc.
Mark N Old chap,

I fear that your killer blow, like an ill aimed armoured strike in the desert lands in thin air.

Sure, there were people in London and Cairo who would argue that there weren't enough HAA for the HAA missions, but that misses the point, and ignores some truths of organisational behavior.

The key issue was whether HAA deployed in the anti tank role was more use OVERALL than its value in air defence. There was no great air threat to the ports or bases in Egypt or Palestine. The Luftwaffe and RA lacked the capability. Rommel's Panzers threatened Egypt n ot Kesselring's aircraft.

At the start of WW2 the Royal Artillery was split between AA and field artillery. Of course AA Gunners would fight to retain control of AA assets. The stovepipe structure meant that their only concern was air defence. In mid war the Gunners restriuctured to mrege the two commands, which suggets that this was recognised at the time as a BAD THING.

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