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 Ружичасти Слон » 24 Jul 2020 17:41

You can to find much interest informations and datas on topic here http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/3- ... -gun.3970/

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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 » 26 Jul 2020 11:12

Here's a document I previously posted in the ww2talk thread linked to above. This is from the Italian theatre:

3.7 pg1.jpg
3.7 pg2.jpg
3.7 pg3.jpg

Note this quote in section 3 on the mounting:
Mountings in CMF are all Mk III. These are mobile equipments and brought into action by lowering the platform to the ground and removing the front and rear axles. This occupies only a few minutes and if necessary the gun can be brought into action on wheels in a matter of seconds.
The only question here is whether the Mk.III mounting was available during the desert battles, and, if not, whether the earlier mobile mountings were equally flexible. If so, then the 3.7" AA gun was at least as quick to bring into action as the 88mm, and possibly even quicker.
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"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 Ружичасти Слон » 26 Jul 2020 14:12

Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 11:12
Here's a document I previously posted in the ww2talk thread linked to above. This is from the Italian theatre:

Note this quote in section 3 on the mounting:
Mountings in CMF are all Mk III. These are mobile equipments and brought into action by lowering the platform to the ground and removing the front and rear axles. This occupies only a few minutes and if necessary the gun can be brought into action on wheels in a matter of seconds.
The only question here is whether the Mk.III mounting was available during the desert battles, and, if not, whether the earlier mobile mountings were equally flexible. If so, then the 3.7" AA gun was at least as quick to bring into action as the 88mm, and possibly even quicker.
Can to be find on same topic
After second-hand reminiscence and quotes from memoirs, a first-hand comment may be useful

I spent 6 years with 3.7 HAA units, as gunner, NCO, troop officer and finally as troop commander before being posted to 14th Army where their sole HAA regt (101) had no jap a/c to fire at and was being used as infantry. So I ended the war as ` 25pdr troop officer.

The mobile 3,7 came in two main versions: the Mk 1 mounting introduced in 1938 was heavily over-engineered and over complicated. While it could be brought into action by a display team on a barrack square in 10 minutes or so, in the field on a rough and sloping terrain it might take 2 hours or more. This was the gun that armed the BEF and which my regt (82nd) took to Norway in 1940 (and left there). The Mk 111 mounting (Mk 11 was a static equipment) was a much less elaborate affair and though more ungainly, handier - though I have known it take on hour or more on exercises,

From the users viewpoint the main difference - and this is important - was that in the Mk 1 the layers faced forward and had open sights, so that they could have followed a tank had the occasion arose, on the Mk 11 the layers face the rear of the gun had no open sights, and could not have seen the target

Hence, there were only two ways the gun could have fired at a tank: either the No 1 could look along the line of the barrel and give orders - traverse right, up QE etc and hope for the best. Have you any idea what that means, following a moving target simply on simple commands? The alternative was to track the tank by the predictor, which meant that all four guns were firing at the same target: destructive, yes, but hardly an efficient use of equipment.

As for deployment, mobile units were expected to be able to engage thanks if necessary, and were indeed issued with solid shot AP ammo: but this was a secondary role and for use in emergency.

It will be reralised that usage in the two roles was basically incompatible. AT deployment needs to be up withe infantry or close behind, (as also with 25prds). A/C defence on the front line needs to be mainly against low=flying straftng, i.e LAA, 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikon. HAA is best deployed against high flyers on the L of C. airfield defence etc: its AT role is likely to be called for only if enemy break through the line (as happened at Tobruk).

In short. the 3.7 on HAA mounting was not used AT both for all the reasons given above, but because if was an inefficient weapon for that purpose. It could not easily be deployed for advancing troops, it was inefficient in a defensive role,

That the gun itself would have formed a highly effective AT weapon if mounted on a suitable equipment. But by the time that demands for HAA for home defence and strategic deployment with field army had been met, the highly efficient 17 pdr was coming off the production line. To have two equipments in the same role, demanding duplication of ammunition spares etc would be avoided at all costs by the supply people.

The generals did know what they were doing They used what they had in the most efficient way they could: it might not have been ideal, but always remember, "the ideal is the enemy of the good" by the time you have developed the ideal, it is usually too late.
It be logic for to think was possible "if necessary" for to fire very quickly when on wheels. But was be possible for to fire one time two times three times or more times ? It seems to me sentence in document was write on context emergency and was not write it was be proceedure for to make battle with many fires.

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

Post by EwenS » 26 Jul 2020 14:27

From Wiki

Ammunition
Initially, there were HE and shrapnel shells, both fitted with a time fuze. Fuze No.199 was igniferous (i.e. powder-burning) with a maximum running time of 30 seconds. Fuzes No. 106 and 107 were mechanical time fuses; both proved unsatisfactory. Fuze No. 208, with a maximum running time of 43 seconds, became the standard fuze. A great improvement in 1942 was the introduction of Machine Fuze Setter No. 11, on Mounting Mk. IIC and Carriage Mk. IIIA, which raised the rate of fire to 20 rounds per minute.


Mounting IIC was a fixed mount. MkIIIA was a mobile carriage.

From Allied Artillery of WW2:-

The original Mk.I saw the fuze set by hand with a fuze key - like a big spanner. The round was then hand loaded and the gun fired manually. Max rate of fire 8rpm.

1939 saw the first Machine, Fuze Setting. "This was a box with a follow-the-pointer dial; the gunner set the machine to match the predictor pointer, and another gunner then entered the nose of the shell into a hole in the box; then, a mechanical key gripped the fuze and set the time ring. The gunner then withdrew the round and loaded it."

"MFS {Machine Fuze Setting} No.11 appeared in 1942. It was attached to the gun cradle and consisted of a tray into which the loading gunner dropped the round. He hit a switch and the tray lifted and dropped the round into the loading tray; the round was thrust forward, so that the fuze entered the setter, was set, and then withdrew, and the loading tray swung across to position the round behind the breech. A rammer drove the round into the gun, the breech closed, the loading tray returned to the setting position and the gun fired automatically."

So each of these improvements speeded up the fuzing action and reduced the "dead time" meaning the round, with its time fuze, was more likely to arrive in the right place at the right time so increasing accuracy in the AA role. I don't see that the Mk.III would be much better in the AT role than earlier marks. None of the changes seem to affect the amount of time needed to get the gun into action.

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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 » 26 Jul 2020 18:10

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
26 Jul 2020 14:12

Can to be find on same topic
After second-hand reminiscence and quotes from memoirs, a first-hand comment may be useful

I spent 6 years with 3.7 HAA units, as gunner, NCO, troop officer and finally as troop commander before being posted to 14th Army where their sole HAA regt (101) had no jap a/c to fire at and was being used as infantry. So I ended the war as ` 25pdr troop officer.

The mobile 3,7 came in two main versions: the Mk 1 mounting introduced in 1938 was heavily over-engineered and over complicated. While it could be brought into action by a display team on a barrack square in 10 minutes or so, in the field on a rough and sloping terrain it might take 2 hours or more. This was the gun that armed the BEF and which my regt (82nd) took to Norway in 1940 (and left there). The Mk 111 mounting (Mk 11 was a static equipment) was a much less elaborate affair and though more ungainly, handier - though I have known it take on hour or more on exercises,

From the users viewpoint the main difference - and this is important - was that in the Mk 1 the layers faced forward and had open sights, so that they could have followed a tank had the occasion arose, on the Mk 11 the layers face the rear of the gun had no open sights, and could not have seen the target

Hence, there were only two ways the gun could have fired at a tank: either the No 1 could look along the line of the barrel and give orders - traverse right, up QE etc and hope for the best. Have you any idea what that means, following a moving target simply on simple commands? The alternative was to track the tank by the predictor, which meant that all four guns were firing at the same target: destructive, yes, but hardly an efficient use of equipment.

As for deployment, mobile units were expected to be able to engage thanks if necessary, and were indeed issued with solid shot AP ammo: but this was a secondary role and for use in emergency.

It will be reralised that usage in the two roles was basically incompatible. AT deployment needs to be up withe infantry or close behind, (as also with 25prds). A/C defence on the front line needs to be mainly against low=flying straftng, i.e LAA, 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikon. HAA is best deployed against high flyers on the L of C. airfield defence etc: its AT role is likely to be called for only if enemy break through the line (as happened at Tobruk).

In short. the 3.7 on HAA mounting was not used AT both for all the reasons given above, but because if was an inefficient weapon for that purpose. It could not easily be deployed for advancing troops, it was inefficient in a defensive role,

That the gun itself would have formed a highly effective AT weapon if mounted on a suitable equipment. But by the time that demands for HAA for home defence and strategic deployment with field army had been met, the highly efficient 17 pdr was coming off the production line. To have two equipments in the same role, demanding duplication of ammunition spares etc would be avoided at all costs by the supply people.

The generals did know what they were doing They used what they had in the most efficient way they could: it might not have been ideal, but always remember, "the ideal is the enemy of the good" by the time you have developed the ideal, it is usually too late.

This document seems to indicate that it was very much possible to provide open sights and a sighting telescope for the Mk.III mounting:

Open Sights Mounting.jpg

Generally it is better to refer to original primary source documents rather than to veteran reminiscences, which are frequently misleading.

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
26 Jul 2020 14:12

It be logic for to think was possible "if necessary" for to fire very quickly when on wheels. But was be possible for to fire one time two times three times or more times ? It seems to me sentence in document was write on context emergency and was not write it was be proceedure for to make battle with many fires.
That may be correct, but I think the same would likely apply for the 88mm as well. i.e. the speed into action for both guns would be based on the time available to set up as good a shoot as possible in the circumstances, and I am not convinced that the 3.7" is necessarily inherently slower.
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"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 Michael Kenny » 26 Jul 2020 19:42

So what great practical advantage did the barn-door 3.7 inch have over the 6 pdr and the 17 pdr that merited wholesale dumping of the (then) current AT production?
Is expecting such a change realistic given the decision to run with the 2pr when the 6 pdr was available?
Is there an example of an engagement where a lack of adequate AT weapons to counter the German tanks was THE decisive factor?

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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 » 26 Jul 2020 20:00

Michael Kenny wrote:
26 Jul 2020 19:42
So what great practical advantage did the barn-door 3.7 inch have over the 6 pdr and the 17 pdr that merited wholesale dumping of the (then) current AT production?
Is expecting such a change realistic given the decision to run with the 2pr when the 6 pdr was available?
Is there an example of an engagement where a lack of adequate AT weapons to counter the German tanks was THE decisive factor?
I'm not personally arguing for the use of the 3.7" AA gun - I think the British were correct not to employ it in the A/T role. All I'm providing evidence for is that there were no reasons for not employing it that did not also apply to the 88mm. i.e. there was nothing especially awkward about the 3.7" that made it a different proposition to the 88mm.

Here's another report from Italy. Note the bit I've highlighted that states that the 3.7" guns referred to have accumlated over 2000 miles. That's a LONG distance for a WW2 campaign, which again suggests that the 3.7" was not an especially difficult piece of equipment to drag around.

2000 miles.jpg

So the principle reasons given for the 3.7" being a more difficult weapon to employ - that it was cumbersome to move around, slow to get into action, difficult to produce adequate sights for - don't appear to be supported by the documentary evidence.
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"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 Ружичасти Слон » 26 Jul 2020 20:10

Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 18:10

Generally it is better to refer to original primary source documents rather than to veteran reminiscences, which are frequently misleading.
Yes. I agree.

Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 18:10
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
26 Jul 2020 14:12

It be logic for to think was possible "if necessary" for to fire very quickly when on wheels. But was be possible for to fire one time two times three times or more times ? It seems to me sentence in document was write on context emergency and was not write it was be proceedure for to make battle with many fires.
That may be correct, but I think the same would likely apply for the 88mm as well. i.e. the speed into action for both guns would be based on the time available to set up as good a shoot as possible in the circumstances, and I am not convinced that the 3.7" is necessarily inherently slower.
What that person was write was be good for to understand it was not be good for to say answer was have only one number. Was be many variables.

He was write
Mk 1 mounting = 10 minutes or so - 2 hours or more.
Mk 111 mounting = up to one hour or more

Specification for design was be 15 minutes

Document from you was write "a few minutes".

3.7 inch was be inherently slower than 3 inch. It was much inherently slower for that BEF commanders on 1940. and Chiefs of staff on 1940. was want to send 3 inch on France not 3.7 inch.

It seems to me difference on 88mm and 3.7 inch was not be on time but be on tactical thinks of Germany army and British army. Germany army was put most often 88mm on fix antitank role on stutzpunkt. British army was put 3.7 inch on fix antitank role most rare.

On june 1941. year Germany army on Afrika on border area was have 12 88mm. 8 was be on fix antitank stutzpunkt 4 was on mobile with 8.panzer regiment. It was same on november 1941. year. On june 1941. year 88mm on stutzpunkt was destroy mostest tanks. Almost 100 was matilda infantry tanks. 88mm on mobile was destroy only small number tanks. It was be same again on november 1941. year.

It seems to me when British army was put 3.7 inch on fix antitank position on front line was can to destroy many Germany tanks. But British army commanders was chose for not to do that. I was read on topic many messages for to explain why British commanders was chose like that.

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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 » 26 Jul 2020 20:43

Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 20:00

So the principle reasons given for the 3.7" being a more difficult weapon to employ - that it was cumbersome to move around, slow to get into action, difficult to produce adequate sights for - don't appear to be supported by the documentary evidence.
Its 3 of the reasons not all of them. The sheer size of the thing means it is NOT a front-line AT weapon and once it gives away its position then it is a very vulnerable soft target. If the tanks come to you then engage them but to go looking for them would be a fatal mistake.
It offered no significant advantage over the current AT weapons either. I also remember a post here that showed that 3.7 inch production could not keep up with AA demand so why on earth would they compound that shortage by giving guns to the army? The whole history of WW2 AT guns has been distorted by a gross over-estimation of the importance of the German 8.8cm AA in the AT role and the 'need' for an Allied copy.

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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 » 26 Jul 2020 20:55

The three reasons I gave were in comparison with the 88mm, not reasons for not employing it per se.

i.e. the fact that it was huge and could be more usefully employed elsewhere also applied to the 88mm.
"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 Ружичасти Слон » 26 Jul 2020 22:04

Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 20:00


So the principle reasons given for the 3.7" being a more difficult weapon to employ - that it was cumbersome to move around, slow to get into action, difficult to produce adequate sights for - don't appear to be supported by the documentary evidence.
Compare on what ?

Compare on 3 inch on 1939. year and 1940. year for to go France on AA task on documents was write choice was be 3 inch and some or reason was be tactical mobility.

Compare on 2 pdr and 6 pdr on 1940. year and 1941. year and 1942. year on antitank task on Afrika on documents was write 3.7 inch not have good tactical mobility. Can to remember in Afrika Britain army was put 2 pdr and 6 pdr on trucks for to make better tactical mobility.

Compare on 88mm for to go on front line it seems to me was to be same answer. When 88mm was be in Britain army was to be same decision. Decision was be same on 3 inch on 3.7 inch and on 88mm. Decision not be on tactical mobility. Decision was be on tactical thinks and avails of guns.

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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 » 26 Jul 2020 22:34

Going to repost this paragraph, as none of you appear to be capable of fucking reading it
Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 20:00
I'm not personally arguing for the use of the 3.7" AA gun - I think the British were correct not to employ it in the A/T role. All I'm providing evidence for is that there were no reasons for not employing it that did not also apply to the 88mm. i.e. there was nothing especially awkward about the 3.7" that made it a different proposition to the 88mm.
"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 Ружичасти Слон » 27 Jul 2020 10:51

Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 22:34
Going to repost this paragraph, as none of you appear to be capable of fucking reading it
Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 20:00
I'm not personally arguing for the use of the 3.7" AA gun - I think the British were correct not to employ it in the A/T role. All I'm providing evidence for is that there were no reasons for not employing it that did not also apply to the 88mm. i.e. there was nothing especially awkward about the 3.7" that made it a different proposition to the 88mm.
There is two parts on topic.

You was write
Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 20:00


So the principle reasons given for the 3.7" being a more difficult weapon to employ - that it was cumbersome to move around, slow to get into action, difficult to produce adequate sights for - don't appear to be supported by the documentary evidence.
1.part of topic. Problem on tactical mobility

Statement is not correct.

On 1939. year and 1940. year Brtiain commanders BEF and Chiefs of staff was want to send most 3 inch on France and only some small amount 3.7 inch. On reason for choice was tactical mobility of 3.7 inch was not so good.

On Afrika in 1940. year 1941. year and 1942. year Britain army commander was think 3.7 inch was not be antitank role on reason about bad tactical mobility and bad avails.

You can to find datas and evidences on this on British archives. Evidence can to find on topic on page 39.

From thinks Britain commanders 3.7 inch was not have good tactical mobility for to be antitank gun and for to have on front line units.


2.part of topic. Was choice of Britain army commanders correct or not correct.

Everyone must to speculate for to make judges on decisions. Nobody can to know what will can to be result on Britain was for to have 3.7 inch on front line. Topic is 48 pages. Many persons was write much opinions. Who was write correct answer ? Everything on 2.part is opinions.



It seems to me when persons make comparison 3.7 inch on 88mm it was be mistake. Decisions by Germany army commanders and Britain army commanders was not make comparison gun on gun. 88mm was not on good side of tactical mobility and 3.7 inch on bad side of tactical mobility. Tactical mobility on 88mm was be bad to. It was be reason why Germany army commanders on Afrika was put 8 guns on fix antitank tasks and 4 on mobile antitank tasks.

Britain army commanders was decide 3.7 inch was have bad tactical mobilility on comparison with self tactical thinks and needs.

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

Post by EwenS » 27 Jul 2020 11:09

Re the time taken to dig the 3.7” in, two points come to mind.
1. It may be stating the obvious but are you simply lowering it from its wheels on to a flat piece of ground or physically having to dig it in to “bring it into action”? And what is the terrain you are attempting this in?
2. Increasing complexity. One you move to the guns with built in fuze setters, these are relying on feeds from the troop/battery predictors to set the fuzes for the AA role. So there are electrical connections to make between gun and predictor and testing those links, so adding to the time taken. If used in the AT role presumably these links would not be necessary so speeding the process.

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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 » 27 Jul 2020 14:17

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
27 Jul 2020 10:51
You was write
Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 20:00


So the principle reasons given for the 3.7" being a more difficult weapon to employ - that it was cumbersome to move around, slow to get into action, difficult to produce adequate sights for - don't appear to be supported by the documentary evidence.
It seems to me when persons make comparison 3.7 inch on 88mm it was be mistake. Decisions by Germany army commanders and Britain army commanders was not make comparison gun on gun. 88mm was not on good side of tactical mobility and 3.7 inch on bad side of tactical mobility. Tactical mobility on 88mm was be bad to. It was be reason why Germany army commanders on Afrika was put 8 guns on fix antitank tasks and 4 on mobile antitank tasks.

Britain army commanders was decide 3.7 inch was have bad tactical mobilility on comparison with self tactical thinks and needs.
Yeah, but the statement I made that:
Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 20:00
So the principle reasons given for the 3.7" being a more difficult weapon to employ
Was solely in reference to the 88mm. i.e. it should be read as:
Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 20:00
So the principle reasons given for the 3.7" being a more difficult weapon to employ than the 88mm
which is why I made this statement in the previous paragraph of the same post:
Don Juan wrote:
26 Jul 2020 20:00
I'm not personally arguing for the use of the 3.7" AA gun - I think the British were correct not to employ it in the A/T role. All I'm providing evidence for is that there were no reasons for not employing it that did not also apply to the 88mm. i.e. there was nothing especially awkward about the 3.7" that made it a different proposition to the 88mm.
i.e. I am not making the argument that you think I am making.

The British did not use the 3.7" in the A/T role because they did not want to, and any subsequent technical reasons suggesting that it would be more difficult to employ than the 88mm I think are spurious. If the 88mm had been a British weapon, would the British have used it in the A/T role? No, they obviously wouldn't have.
"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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