Squad level firepower comparisons

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Brady
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 10 Sep 2019 16:36

Gary Kennedy wrote:
08 Sep 2019 13:08
The British Boys anti-tank rifle was issued on the basis of one per Rifle Platoon in the standard Infantry Battalion, and one per Section in the Motor Platoon of the Motor Battalion. There were further issues throughout the Inf Bn (including one per Section of three carriers) and the Motor Bn (one per carrier in the Scout Pls). It's generally said that units of the 1940 BEF were short of much equipment, but I've never seen any figures on the likely deficits of Platoon level items such as the Boys, Bren guns and 2-in mortars. The British Army's rifle launched anti-tank grenade was the No.68 but as I understand that was introduced during 1941, so too late for the BEF.

German anti-tank rifles were to be issued three per Rifle Company, handled by a section of an NCO and six men. Actual availability is again a bit 'fuzzy' and I'm not sure there were more than a handful, if indeed any, with units by May 1940.

I'm not sure the 1940 Italian Infantry Battalion had any organic anti-tank weapons. The French Army, sadly I've not a clue...

Gary
I came across this:

Image

From: The Anti-Tank Rifle, Zaloga:

Image

yantaylor
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by yantaylor » 10 Sep 2019 20:03

Hi Brady; Would the German army use the 2cm Panzerabwehrbüchse, in the same way as they used the 2.8cm sPzB 41 ?

Yan

Brady
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 10 Sep 2019 20:09

yantaylor wrote:
10 Sep 2019 20:03
Hi Brady; Would the German army use the 2cm Panzerabwehrbüchse, in the same way as they used the 2.8cm sPzB 41 ?

Yan
I honestly don't know, I would think not, I have not seen a TOE for a unit with the 2cm Panzerabwehrbüchse

yantaylor
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by yantaylor » 11 Sep 2019 12:12

I have just been looking at one of my Nafziger books and in regards to the 15th Panzer division circa 1941, the PzBu41 was relatively rare with only one issued to a single Panzerjäger section in each heavy company of each Infantry regiment, but in the following year [1942], these weapons are seen more frequently with three PzBu41 issued to each Infantry and Pioneer company.

Regarding the British and their use of the Boys, in 1944 each ammunition section in each mortar detachment had a Boys, these were carried in the sections 15 CWT truck which gives a total of three per mortar platoon.

Yan

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 12 Sep 2019 09:31

I've posted a query about the likely 'in use' date of the No.68 grenade on another forum, with a particular emphasis on whether it might have been issued to BEF units prior to May 1940. My instinct still thinks they weren't in the hands of troops until after Dunkirk, if anything comes up I'll post it. Early opinion (quite limited from two posts mind) is pretty much 'no'. I did find a date proper here;

https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/weapon ... renade.htm

Now whether that date of November 1940 is specific to Canadian troops in the UK it does not say. The earliest I've seen the No.68 mentioned on British WE tables is March 1941.

I also had a look back at a few sources on the likely issue date of the German anti-tank rifle. Again nothing solid, a quick scan through the various Gliederung charts from sturmpanzer.com shows no mention of them on the April 1940 or November 1940 issues, and likewise nothing for February 1941. The next set of charts cover late 1942 onwards, and Inf Regts are shown with three authorised per Rifle Coy, in line with their KStN. Does not preclude use in France in May-June 1940, but there may have been a gap between them being available, and troops actually receiving them and being trained to operate them.

Gary

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 12 Sep 2019 09:35

"Regarding the British and their use of the Boys, in 1944 each ammunition section in each mortar detachment had a Boys, these were carried in the sections 15 CWT truck which gives a total of three per mortar platoon."

Yan, I'm going to guess that you've seen that description in the old "British Army Handbook" by George Forty? There are a few reproductions of organisation charts in from British Army manuals, and the one for the Mortar Platoon is taken from the 1941 manual (which is why the Platoon strength is 46 all ranks). The Boys rifles were replaced on a one for one basis by the PIAT beginning in 1943, so the Mortar Platoon had three PIATs by 1944, and were not still lumbered with the Boys. I'd love to know if any 3-inch Mortar Detachment ever had to fire its Boys or PIAT in anger...

Gary

yantaylor
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by yantaylor » 12 Sep 2019 16:43

I certainly did Gary, I bought the Forty book years ago and thought his breakdowns was good, but I thought that issuing the boys this late in the war was a little odd, I thought the Home Guard would have got them all.
I will make some changes to my site, so thanks for the heads up!

Yan

Brady
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 12 Sep 2019 17:02

So pretty much the only place you might expect to find the Boys would be in the Far East in 44-45, if even then, in a front line unit ? They having been phased out in 43 ?

Btw thanks for all the great info one and all

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 12 Sep 2019 19:22

The replacement of the Boys was across the board, though as always there would be some units with a lower priority. I am self admittedly rubbish on the Far East but I'm sure the PIAT was available and in use from at least 1944 onwards.

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