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

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

Post by Urmel » 19 Dec 2019 21:47

Gooner1 makes this work by inventing whole different tactics and behaviour so that the 3.7 can survive in an environment where the much smaller 6-pdr couldn’t. There is no point engaging with this nonsense.

Carl is unfortunately feeding this.
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Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by MarkN » 19 Dec 2019 22:26

Urmel wrote:
19 Dec 2019 21:47
Gooner1 makes this work by inventing whole different tactics and behaviour so that the 3.7 can survive in an environment where the much smaller 6-pdr couldn’t. There is no point engaging with this nonsense.

Carl is unfortunately feeding this.
What l find most amusing is the we are being asked to chase down the rabbit hole to reach the conclusion that the only answer to the mighty Pz.ll with its 20mm cannons was a battery of 3.7-inch HAA guns.

Moreover, this strange conclusion is what drives the "it wasn't tactical ineptitude, it was a inferiority in firepower".

:lol:

When evidence is produced that a single 6-pdr or 25-pdr gun was "killed" at Dahar El Aslagh by a KwK 39 or a 20mm cannon, l might take the posts seriously. When evidence us produced that they were the major contributor to "killing" the British guns, l will take real interest in the matter and willingly conceed the point.

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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 » 20 Dec 2019 03:58

Gooner1 wrote:
19 Dec 2019 12:31
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Dec 2019 00:23
Getting back to the PzK IVD. I've ridden about the Mojave desert as a artillery FO on tanks. Can categorically say observation from inside sucks. With binoculars & riding on the loaders hatch I could ID target in seconds. if the tank commander had time to scan with his bio we could be on target very quickly. Even with the commanders telescopic sights of the M60 or M1 it was problematic picking out camouflaged or entrenched targets at anything but close range. Even spotting our supporting batteries, where I had accurate map locations was slow. You may feel brave enough to think you will keep your head out the hatch while HE is incoming, but I've seen what normal densities of artillery fires will do in spreading those two cm bits of steel around. Good luck.
Excellent.

At what sort of distance do you think you could have spotted a big gun like the 3.7" neither moving nor firing, not dug-in but at least rudimentarily camouflaged on a quite crowded battlefield?

I suspect that that would be well within the killing distance of the 3.7.
Perhaps. Somewhere in my collection is a print of a photo I took in 1988 from a company commanders tank. Fourteen M60 tanks are in the picture, arrayed between 500 & 1500 meters distance. Absolutely none can be identified in the pic. At that distance they just blend in with the thin sage brush. Previous to taking the picture I had spent several minutes trying to pick them out to determine the difference between them & the 'enemy'. Maybe I located half of them. The targets we fired on as we maneuvered along the training corridor were easy to pick out when skylined, or uncamoflaged on bare patches. The umpires were not interested in hiding them, attacking them was the point of the exercise, Reconissance was not the object of the maneuver companies training.

So to answer the question
At what sort of distance do you think you could have spotted a big gun like the 3.7
Its not so much the range but the position relative to the ground, light, density of other vehicles/weapons, my distractions as FO, & time. Depending on circumstances the cannon might be difficult to identify at 800 meters, but easy at 3200 meters. ie: at the longer range you may be looking over some low ground at object on higher or rising ground. Objects on the low area may be invisible to a fast ten second scan due to heat distortions, or dust suspended in the air. While objects elsewhere have clear undistorted or unblocked light.

3500+ meters might be the answer to your question.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 20 Dec 2019 11:30

Urmel wrote:
19 Dec 2019 21:47
Gooner1 makes this work by inventing whole different tactics and behaviour so that the 3.7 can survive in an environment where the much smaller 6-pdr couldn’t.
Dougal, there is small and there is far away.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 20 Dec 2019 11:49

MarkN wrote:
19 Dec 2019 17:58
We can each and all speculate whether "shelling" includes or not direct fire weapons such as the Pz.lll KwK 39 orthe Pz.ll 20mm cannon as the narrative you posted doesn't specify whether it dies or not.

We can each and all speculate what effect each weapon actually achieved on the battlefield.

Your post is making no effort to understand what happened historically. Your post is a blatent attempt to mislead others. You have a preconceived answer that you are trying to push.

Do you have any evidence that any of the 6-pdr or 25-pdr guns were "killed" by either Pz.lll or Pz.ll guns?
"At seven o'clock heavy shelling started, and sixty tanks slowly approached the 4/10th Baluch, making use of the ground, hull down. They halted beyond effective anti-tank range, and all our six-pounders were knocked out of action without being able to retaliate with success."


People are free to believe your (to me, risible) belief that the German tanks just stood back then with their thumbs up their bums and waited.

I think most reasonable people would accept the assumption that those German tanks would be firing at the enemy. YMMV.

I tell you what though, why don't we both look into this and report back if we have found anything to support our respective viewpoints. :thumbsup:

How is it possible for the HAA guns to move but not the 6-pdr or the 25-pdr guns? Why didn't the 25-pdr fire smoke so the whole position could withdraw?
I have to do your reading for you now? " Here they awaited the enemy's next move, with orders to hold on to the last."

A tad more difficult for the 25pdrs to fire smoke when they are right up there with the infantry rather than traditionally deployed upto a few thousand yards further back, don't you think?

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

Post by Gooner1 » 20 Dec 2019 11:54

MarkN wrote:
19 Dec 2019 22:26

What l find most amusing is the we are being asked to chase down the rabbit hole to reach the conclusion that the only answer to the mighty Pz.ll with its 20mm cannons was a battery of 3.7-inch HAA guns.
You are welcome to believe that on 6th June 1942, 15th Panzer Division was solely equipped with Panzer II's …

You are also welcome to believe that the 20mm cannon on the Panzer II wasn't an effective anti-tank gun killer .. :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 » 20 Dec 2019 17:01

Gooner1 wrote:
20 Dec 2019 11:49
"At seven o'clock heavy shelling started, and sixty tanks slowly approached the 4/10th Baluch, making use of the ground, hull down. They halted beyond effective anti-tank range, and all our six-pounders were knocked out of action without being able to retaliate with success."

People are free to believe your (to me, risible) belief that the German tanks just stood back then with their thumbs up their bums and waited.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Gooner1 wrote:
20 Dec 2019 11:49
I tell you what though, why don't we both look into this and report back if we have found anything to support our respective viewpoints.
Crack on.
Gooner1 wrote:
20 Dec 2019 11:49
How is it possible for the HAA guns to move but not the 6-pdr or the 25-pdr guns? Why didn't the 25-pdr fire smoke so the whole position could withdraw?
I have to do your reading for you now? " Here they awaited the enemy's next move, with orders to hold on to the last."
No, you don't have to do my reading, it would just help if you did your own reading before posting. You suggest the HAA guns move, but the orders were to hold in to the last. Silly boy!
Gooner1 wrote:
20 Dec 2019 11:49
A tad more difficult for the 25pdrs to fire smoke when they are right up there with the infantry rather than traditionally deployed upto a few thousand yards further back, don't you think?
And yet the 25-pdr are right up there with the HAA too. Silly boy!

You have your idee fixe. So be it. But trying to push a completely unevidenced scenario as evidence of your supposedly amazing insight is just plain silly. But do crack on. It's a good laugh.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 20 Dec 2019 17:41

MarkN wrote:
20 Dec 2019 17:01
No, you don't have to do my reading, it would just help if you did your own reading before posting. You suggest the HAA guns move, but the orders were to hold in to the last. Silly boy!
:lol: What army were you in where 'move' = 'withdraw', silly boy.

And yet the 25-pdr are right up there with the HAA too. Silly boy!
Eh? Oh, just your usual comprehension fail :thumbsup:

Anyway a famous painting showing the 'British tactic be on their toes soon after first contact' whilst German Panzer II tanks wait without firing.

Image

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

Post by Sheldrake » 20 Dec 2019 20:41

This discussion has now circled the same buoy for some months. Perhaps a better analogy is a column lost in the desert anabais around the reference point cairns of oil drums like the lost army of Cambreses...

Can we reset the debate around some known points.

There have been many comments questioning the survival of the 3.7in Gun and hence its potential usefulness. Consider some facts

1. The Germans operated a mix of anti-tank weapons including long ranged 88mm guns. These disproportionately attracted attention and were feared by allied tank crews more than the more numerous 50mm or the 75mm guns that replaced them.

2. The 88 was no more survivable than the 3.7. It was a similar height and offered limited protection to its detachment.

3. Even though the 3.7in AA Gun was not used as an anti tank gun in the Normandy campaign, the August 1944 Nachrichtenblatt der Panzertruppen(1) included mention of the "9.2cm" AA/Atk guns that followed up allied attacks. No mention of 6 pdr or17 pdr guns or Firefly tanks. So even the Germans thought the 3.7in was the most effective anti tank in the British armoury.

There is an explanation how large towed guns survived despite the lack of cover.

Many of the battles in the western desert were often very confusing. It was not always easy to work out the exact composition and deployment of an enemy. Faced with a mass of enemy vehicles at a distance of a mile or two it was not always obvious what was the best target to fire at.

Without strict fire control there was probably a temptation to shoot at the target that posed the greatest danger to the firer. Tanks are big, threatening and advertised their presence with clouds of dust as they moved. Tanks are bullet magnets and attract fire away from artillery and other troops in their company. One example was the surprising survival of the 25 pounder guns of the Chestnut Troop'(A Bty) RHA when deployed over open sights alongside one of the Grant equipped RTR regiments. The tanks lost half their number. The Gunners lost no 25 Pdrs. From the German tank or anti tank gunner's POV the threat was from the big new Grants so they loaded AP rather than HE. The Germans may never have identified the field guns or deployed their own artillery effectively.

Additional 3.7inch and 3 " Guns, would have complicated then German and Italian problem. An Axis commander who knew that there was NO British with a range over 1,000 metres had an easier tactical problem to solve than a commander who could not be sure that his tanks will be picked off at 2,000 metres. There did not need to be many long range anti tank guns. It was enough to know that they existed. A few blackened tank hulks and some horror stories would be enough.

1. Jentz Panzertruppen vol II, p190)

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

Post by MarkN » 20 Dec 2019 22:45

Gooner1 wrote:
19 Dec 2019 15:28
If under uncomfortably effective fire and not dug-in, the 3.7s can also move. Preferably under cover of smoke laid by artillery (those not being used as ersatz anti-tank guns).
How do HAA guns have the ability move about and avoid being picked off - but the 6-pdr and 25-pdr guns cannot? Where are the 25-pdrs laying smoke and why couldn't they do it for themselves, the 6-pdr gunners and anybody else in the position? Why does it take the presence of an HAA battery for the commander to come up with the idea of using smoke to move about?

Have you moved on from the Ball of Fire narrative and now just relating some fantasy scenario swooshing around in your head and your head only?

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

Post by MarkN » 20 Dec 2019 23:07

Sheldrake wrote:
20 Dec 2019 20:41
1. The Germans operated a mix of anti-tank weapons including long ranged 88mm guns. These disproportionately attracted attention and were feared by allied tank crews more than the more numerous 50mm or the 75mm guns that replaced them.
They attracted disproportionate attention in US Army circles, Parliament and in post war literature. There is little reference to the 88mm in British war diaries and reports.
Sheldrake wrote:
20 Dec 2019 20:41
2. The 88 was no more survivable than the 3.7. It was a similar height and offered limited protection to its detachment.
Correct. The 88mm had, l believe, a much better time to fire and time to bug out and more determined commanders to win the battle.
Sheldrake wrote:
20 Dec 2019 20:41
3. Even though the 3.7in AA Gun was not used as an anti tank gun in the Normandy campaign, the August 1944 Nachrichtenblatt der Panzertruppen(1) included mention of the "9.2cm" AA/Atk guns that followed up allied attacks. No mention of 6 pdr or17 pdr guns or Firefly tanks. So even the Germans thought the 3.7in was the most effective anti tank in the British armoury.
And.....?
Sheldrake wrote:
20 Dec 2019 20:41
There is an explanation how large towed guns survived despite the lack of cover.

Many of the battles in the western desert were often very confusing. It was not always easy to work out the exact composition and deployment of an enemy. Faced with a mass of enemy vehicles at a distance of a mile or two it was not always obvious what was the best target to fire at.

Without strict fire control there was probably a temptation to shoot at the target that posed the greatest danger to the firer. Tanks are big, threatening and advertised their presence with clouds of dust as they moved. Tanks are bullet magnets and attract fire away from artillery and other troops in their company. One example was the surprising survival of the 25 pounder guns of the Chestnut Troop'(A Bty) RHA when deployed over open sights alongside one of the Grant equipped RTR regiments. The tanks lost half their number. The Gunners lost no 25 Pdrs. From the German tank or anti tank gunner's POV the threat was from the big new Grants so they loaded AP rather than HE. The Germans may never have identified the field guns or deployed their own artillery effectively.
In Libya, throughout 1941 and deep into 1942, British armour tended to be knocked out by own goal (breakdown, poor command ) or German 50mm gun. Not 88mm. Your point about fixating on a perceived threat is very valid. Several instances of British donkey wallopers charging German pantsers only to be carved apart by an unseen screen of German 37 and 50mm ATk guns.
Sheldrake wrote:
20 Dec 2019 20:41
Additional 3.7inch and 3 " Guns, would have complicated then German and Italian problem. An Axis commander who knew that there was NO British with a range over 1,000 metres had an easier tactical problem to solve than a commander who could not be sure that his tanks will be picked off at 2,000 metres. There did not need to be many long range anti tank guns. It was enough to know that they existed. A few blackened tank hulks and some horror stories would be enough.
Could the British find a way to incorporate the HAA into their manouver units and formations?

On several occasions you have pointed to the 103 HAA Regt in 1941. What exactly was their intended role? Was it darting around the battlefield as a sort of fire brigade unit or was it a more static last line of defence type thing? Or something else? Are there any reports that describe lessons learned and recommendations of how it could / should be introduced into a more recognised dual role? The ME doesn't ever seem to have even experimented with putting HAA into manouver units and formations. Is that because of the 103 HAA Regt experience?

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

Post by Michael Kenny » 20 Dec 2019 23:41

Sheldrake wrote:
20 Dec 2019 20:41


3. Even though the 3.7in AA Gun was not used as an anti tank gun in the Normandy campaign, the August 1944 Nachrichtenblatt der Panzertruppen(1) included mention of the "9.2cm" AA/Atk guns that followed up allied attacks. No mention of 6 pdr or17 pdr guns or Firefly tanks. So even the Germans thought the 3.7in was the most effective anti tank in the British armoury.



1. Jentz Panzertruppen vol II, p190)
That is not what it says.
jentz.jpg

I have never seen a confirmed use of the 3.7 AA in the direct-fire AT role in Normandy. It would be something I would notice and remember. I am fairly sure the inclusion of the '9.2cm' above is just a way of explaining the failure of the panzers. I remember reading one Panzer Commander telling his tanks not to crest Verrieres Ridge as it meant certain death and for sure that was just Infantry AT weapons.

Special AT 'Flak' Units were used in Normandy and they were deemed a total failure because they lost more guns than claimed tank kills.

Pickert:
Screenshot_uig21.jpg
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Re: What prevented the QF 3.7-inch AA gun being used in the Anti Tank role.

Post by MarkN » 20 Dec 2019 23:54

Sheldrake wrote:
20 Dec 2019 20:41
Additional 3.7inch and 3 " Guns, would have complicated then German and Italian problem. An Axis commander who knew that there was NO British with a range over 1,000 metres had an easier tactical problem to solve than a commander who could not be sure that his tanks will be picked off at 2,000 metres. There did not need to be many long range anti tank guns. It was enough to know that they existed. A few blackened tank hulks and some horror stories would be enough.
Not only is there the issue about the British finding a way to incorporate HAA guns into their manouver units and formations, there is the parallel question over what effect the 88mm had on British tactics.

Your point is premised upon the "complication" being significant; that the problem was significant enough to make a profound change to the German/Italian tactics to the benefit of the British. How about looking at how the British adapted their tactics to the presence of the 88mm, to what extent, and the consequences of doing so.

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

Post by Sheldrake » 21 Dec 2019 01:44

Michael Kenny wrote:
20 Dec 2019 23:41
Sheldrake wrote:
20 Dec 2019 20:41


3. Even though the 3.7in AA Gun was not used as an anti tank gun in the Normandy campaign, the August 1944 Nachrichtenblatt der Panzertruppen(1) included mention of the "9.2cm" AA/Atk guns that followed up allied attacks. No mention of 6 pdr or17 pdr guns or Firefly tanks. So even the Germans thought the 3.7in was the most effective anti tank in the British armoury.



1. Jentz Panzertruppen vol II, p190)
That is not what it says.

jentz.jpg


I have never seen a confirmed use of the 3.7 AA in the direct-fire AT role in Normandy. It would be something I would notice and remember. I am fairly sure the inclusion of the '9.2cm' above is just a way of explaining the failure of the panzers. I remember reading one Panzer Commander telling his tanks not to crest Verrieres Ridge as it meant certain death and for sure that was just Infantry AT weapons.

Special AT 'Flak' Units were used in Normandy and they were deemed a total failure because they lost more guns than claimed tank kills.
Michael,

I agree with almost everything you have written. However, I am not sure I put my point across.

I cannot find any account of 3.7in HAA engaging tanks in Normandy either. But that is the point. Even without any use of HAA the ONLY weapon mentioned specifically in the August notes is the "9.2 cm AA/Atk guns"

It is the same story on the allied side. The myth is that the German 88 was the tank killer. This was initiated by allied tank crews that reported every anti tank gun as an "88" and given additional impetus by Hans von Luck's Op Goodwood anecdote. Pickert's post war comments illustrate this. But by this time the Germans had enough Pak 40 and SP guns not to need to mis-employ their HAA

Big AA/Atk guns had a psychological impact on enemy tank crews. By choosing not to deploy ANY of the 3in or 3.7in HAA as anti tank guns the British denied themselves the opportunity to put the frightners on the panzer crews.

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

Post by Urmel » 21 Dec 2019 11:31

Gooner1 wrote:
20 Dec 2019 11:30
Urmel wrote:
19 Dec 2019 21:47
Gooner1 makes this work by inventing whole different tactics and behaviour so that the 3.7 can survive in an environment where the much smaller 6-pdr couldn’t.
Dougal, there is small and there is far away.
I wish there was a function to mute idiots and trolls on this forum.
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

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