Archer spg tank-killers?

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Alanmccoubrey
Financial supporter
Posts: 3010
Joined: 19 Sep 2008 13:44

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 01 Jun 2016 16:48

keith A wrote:.....so no tank kills then? ;)

On the infantry support comment I made I was referencing "With the Jocks" by Peter Smith where an Archer mistakes his platoon for enemy infantry and kills several....

regards

Keith
Perhaps that would be due more to the lack of German tanks when the Archer was eventually deployed than any lack of effectiveness of their 17 pounder guns.
Alan

User avatar
Sheldrake
Member
Posts: 2503
Joined: 28 Apr 2013 17:14
Location: London

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Sheldrake » 04 Jun 2016 13:23

Michael Kenny wrote:
Sheldrake wrote:I have just been working on chapter 13 of Gunners in Normandy. Here is a preview of some selected extracts from the battle for Hill 112.
What dates?
10 -11 July 1944 Op Jupiter

Michael Kenny
Member
Posts: 6368
Joined: 07 May 2002 19:40
Location: Teesside

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Michael Kenny » 04 Jun 2016 13:28

2nd kp SS102 July 10-11

July 10th
Task: counter-attack on Hill 112
Execution: Company at jump-off point at northern entrance of St. Martin; enemy pounds the whole area without rest with artillery fire since 01h45, fog everywhere. Hstuf Endemann issues oral orders because the radio is out of order: readiness at 05h30. 1st Platoon Ustuf Schroif on right flank, 3rd Platoon Ustuf Rathsack left flank. 1st Platoon reaches hedgerow halfway up the hill, comes under attack by fighter-bombers there, but without success and without suffering heavy losses. Heavy artillery fire on the sector of attack. 1st Platoon provides fire support from the hedgerow and 3rd Platoon attacks left from the hedge. 3rd Platoon provides support fire from a posittion some 200 metres from the square-shaped wood. 1st Platoon advances left from the wood. Only a few grenadiers gather behind the tanks. 3rd Platoon moves in between 1st Platoon and in this instance 1st Platoon receives anti-tank fire from the open country (Kusselgelände = only little vegetation with bushes and small trees) ahead. Tiger 213 (Uscha Piller) is disabled by AT hit and turned back. 1st Platoon backed up a bit and moved to the right. Tiger 231 (Ustuf Rathsack) knocked out a tank in the open countryside and Tiger 212 (Ustuf Schroif) knocked out 2 tanks and a AT gun, at the right side of the open country. This line is secured afterwards. While exploiting to the right flank by 1st Platoon, Tiger 221 (Hstuf Endemann) advances to the right into the open country and is missing ever since.


This is what happened to Tiger '221'

Tiger 221Hill112- (4).jpg
Tiger 221Hill112- (8).jpg
Note the frontal penetrations below
Tiger 221Hill112- (10).jpg


Ustuf Schroif used to communicate by handsignals with Hstuf Endemann up to this point and led the attack by radio. Artillery fire and fog had completely stopped by this time. Around 11h00 oral order by the Battalion is received to clear the open country. 1st Platoon backed up to the hedge to the right where 1st Platoon of 1st Company already was in place. 3rd Platoon takes up position in the square-shaped wood. In the afternoon the artillery barrage resumed. Shortly before a platoon of grenadiers arrived to secure the MLR. 2nd Platoon exploited to the left flank to prevent a massing of the enemy there. Company is in position 300 metres to the north of St. Martin – Esquay road. With the artillery barrage the fog returned. Grenadiers movedback on their own and gathered for a counter-attack. Counter-attack begins at 22h00. 3rd Platoon is in position 300 metres from square-shaped wood and provides securing fire. 1st Platoon swings to the left and advances into a sunken area 100 metres from the wood, receives strong enemy automatic and AT fire. Return fire with HE shells into the wood, until some grenadiers come up and give notice of own forces in the wood.

Available: 7
Claims: 3 Tank, 1 AT gun

July 11th
Task: Restoring main line of resistance. Clearing of the hill from enemy
Execution: Attack at 05h15 with grenadiers. 3rd Platoon in position 300 metres from square-shaped wood. Tiger 212 (Ustuf Schroif) knocked out 2 tanks. At 05h40 3 Panzer IV supported the attack. Resuming of attack at 06h00 and 1st Platoon advanced past the wood. Tiger 212 (Ustuf Schroif) knocked out another tank. 8 heavy AT guns and 15 armoured vehicles are destroyed altogether, the western edge of the wood was reached. Rest of the enemy fought down. Grenadiers were helped to occupy old MLR again. Tiger 232 (Uscha Winter) hit by AT gun from high ground opposite the road. Fight against enemy infantry on high ground opposite the road. Strong artillery barrages all day long on Hill 112. 2nd Company securing the taken positions.

Claims: 3 Tank, 8 AT gun, 15 Armoured vehicle
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Kingfish
Member
Posts: 2881
Joined: 05 Jun 2003 16:22
Location: USA

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Kingfish » 06 Jun 2016 16:37

The third photo does not appear to match the first two.

Unless it is an optical illusion, that large tree looks to be right next to the Tiger in the last photo, but absent in the other two.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

Michael Kenny
Member
Posts: 6368
Joined: 07 May 2002 19:40
Location: Teesside

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Michael Kenny » 06 Jun 2016 17:28

Check the damage to the top of the drivers visor in photos 2 and 3. Also note the rear gun sleeve where it enters the mantlet has fractured. Looks like a crack in photo 3. Its more pronounced on photo 2 and looks massive in photo 1

User avatar
Kingfish
Member
Posts: 2881
Joined: 05 Jun 2003 16:22
Location: USA

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Kingfish » 06 Jun 2016 17:53

Perhaps the Tiger was towed to a new location?

The second photo differs from the other two in that the guard just above the RH drive sprocket is missing
The turret also shows signs of later damage
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

Michael Kenny
Member
Posts: 6368
Joined: 07 May 2002 19:40
Location: Teesside

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Michael Kenny » 06 Jun 2016 18:04

Tiger 221Hill112- (1).jpg
Tiger 221Hill112- (11).jpg
Tiger 221Hill112- (5)v.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Seroster
Member
Posts: 3
Joined: 27 May 2018 01:43
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Seroster » 27 May 2018 01:54

Hello,

I decided to pop in (first post here!) as I was searching online for the story of the Tiger vs Archer and airplane. Currently I am researching the Archer.

There are other instances of Archers taking out German tanks. The most ferocious fighting involving Archers which I have found so far involved a troop of the 2nd Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment in support of the "Rileys" (Royal Hamilton Light Infantry or RHLI) at a position on the Goch-Calcar road, 20 Feb 1945.

Reportedly the Germans lost a total of 7 tanks in three separate attacks, at least 3 of which were Panthers.

There's a writeup of the action in the description of the medal awarded to Lt Heaps who was in command of the Archers, here:
http://www.rhli.ca/honourslist/heaps.html

But as you might expect, some units war diaries don't mention fight any enemy tanks at all.

Juha
Member
Posts: 269
Joined: 29 Sep 2005 10:38
Location: Finland

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Juha » 02 Jun 2018 22:27

Hello
During the attack on La Vaux on 1945-01-12 Archer troop leader Lt Young and gunner Cottingham from 61 ATk Regt got a MC and a MM respectively for broking track and sprocket wheel of a Panther which has produced much trouble to the attacking force. The Panther was then abandoned by its crew and. The Archer also destroyed a couple mg nets. But to my understanding also a Firefly crew from 1st Nottinghamshire Yeomanry claimed that same Panther.

Juha

User avatar
Attrition
Member
Posts: 3733
Joined: 29 Oct 2008 22:53
Location: England

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Attrition » 04 Jun 2018 01:09

[quote="Michael Kenny"]2nd kp SS102 July 10-11

[i]July 10th
Task: counter-attack on Hill 112
Execution: Company at jump-off point at northern entrance of St. Martin; enemy pounds the whole area without rest with artillery fire since 01h45, fog everywhere. Hstuf Endemann issues oral orders because the radio is out of order: readiness at 05h30. 1st Platoon Ustuf Schroif on right flank, 3rd Platoon Ustuf Rathsack left flank. 1st Platoon reaches hedgerow halfway up the hill, comes under attack by fighter-bombers there, but without success and without suffering heavy losses. Heavy artillery fire on the sector of attack. 1st Platoon provides fire support from the hedgerow and 3rd Platoon attacks left from the hedge. 3rd Platoon provides support fire from a posittion some 200 metres from the square-shaped wood. 1st Platoon advances left from the wood. Only a few grenadiers gather behind the tanks. 3rd Platoon moves in between 1st Platoon and in this instance 1st Platoon receives anti-tank fire from the open country (Kusselgelände = only little vegetation with bushes and small trees) ahead. Tiger 213 (Uscha Piller) is disabled by AT hit and turned back. 1st Platoon backed up a bit and moved to the right. Tiger 231 (Ustuf Rathsack) knocked out a tank in the open countryside and Tiger 212 (Ustuf Schroif) knocked out 2 tanks and a AT gun, at the right side of the open country. This line is secured afterwards. While exploiting to the right flank by 1st Platoon, Tiger 221 (Hstuf Endemann) advances to the right into the open country and is missing ever since.[/i]

This is what happened to Tiger '221'


Tiger 221Hill112- (4).jpg

Tiger 221Hill112- (8).jpg

Note the frontal penetrations below

Tiger 221Hill112- (10).jpg



[i]Ustuf Schroif used to communicate by handsignals with Hstuf Endemann up to this point and led the attack by radio. Artillery fire and fog had completely stopped by this time. Around 11h00 oral order by the Battalion is received to clear the open country. 1st Platoon backed up to the hedge to the right where 1st Platoon of 1st Company already was in place. 3rd Platoon takes up position in the square-shaped wood. In the afternoon the artillery barrage resumed. Shortly before a platoon of grenadiers arrived to secure the MLR. 2nd Platoon exploited to the left flank to prevent a massing of the enemy there. Company is in position 300 metres to the north of St. Martin – Esquay road. With the artillery barrage the fog returned. Grenadiers movedback on their own and gathered for a counter-attack. Counter-attack begins at 22h00. 3rd Platoon is in position 300 metres from square-shaped wood and provides securing fire. 1st Platoon swings to the left and advances into a sunken area 100 metres from the wood, receives strong enemy automatic and AT fire. Return fire with HE shells into the wood, until some grenadiers come up and give notice of own forces in the wood.

Available: 7
Claims: 3 Tank, 1 AT gun

July 11th
Task: Restoring main line of resistance. Clearing of the hill from enemy
Execution: Attack at 05h15 with grenadiers. 3rd Platoon in position 300 metres from square-shaped wood. Tiger 212 (Ustuf Schroif) knocked out 2 tanks. At 05h40 3 Panzer IV supported the attack. Resuming of attack at 06h00 and 1st Platoon advanced past the wood. Tiger 212 (Ustuf Schroif) knocked out another tank. 8 heavy AT guns and 15 armoured vehicles are destroyed altogether, the western edge of the wood was reached. Rest of the enemy fought down. Grenadiers were helped to occupy old MLR again. Tiger 232 (Uscha Winter) hit by AT gun from high ground opposite the road. Fight against enemy infantry on high ground opposite the road. Strong artillery barrages all day long on Hill 112. 2nd Company securing the taken positions.

Claims: 3 Tank, 8 AT gun, 15 Armoured vehicle[/i][/quote]

'Tis but a scratch! They won't be struck off charge.

georgios
New member
Posts: 1
Joined: 09 Oct 2018 17:43
Location: Greece

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by georgios » 09 Oct 2018 18:05

The Archer was conceived as a means to give some mobility to the 17pdr anti-tank gun. The gun faced backwards to avoid having an extremely long barrel sticking out in front of the vehicle. Disliked by its crew for being open topped it suffered also from a thin armour on the upper part though the case was better protected.(due to it's Valentine origin). It was used in the anti-tank batteries of infantry divisions. Finally the main reason for not being able to fire on the move, besides the fact that gun and driver faced in opposite directions, was that if the driver did not abandon his seat at the moment of firing he would be decapitated by the recoiling breech of the gun.

Juha
Member
Posts: 269
Joined: 29 Sep 2005 10:38
Location: Finland

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Juha » 11 Oct 2018 00:53

IMHO the claim that the driver would be decapitated by the recoiling breech of the gun if he stayed on his seat during firing is a myth. From a British army docu: "A [Archer] driver said that there was very little room between the breech and his head. It was pointed out to him that there was a deflector guard in between the breech and his head, and should the breech come further back than this during the recoil, it would mean that something had broken or come adrift, and he would be in trouble, even if he was another couple of feet away from the gun." Not very encouraging but somewhat typical to the British Army. Maybe the reason behind the myth is that while the orginal A/T gun had fairly long recoil, the tank gun and the gun istalled on Archer have very short recoil, a 30 ton tank or 15 ton Archer could absorb much more recoil energy than the field carriage.

User avatar
Sheldrake
Member
Posts: 2503
Joined: 28 Apr 2013 17:14
Location: London

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Sheldrake » 11 Oct 2018 09:41

The history of the 5th Argyll's (91st Anti tank Regiment) describes the 17 Pdr M10 (the best anti tank gun in the world) compared with the SP Valentine Possibly the silliest engine of war ever invented)
the M.1O has quite a lot to offer. It is extremely fast. ................... The M10 is extremely reliable, requiring the absolute minimum of
maintenance. It is roomy inside. The open top—even taking into account the danger of sniping and the minute risk of a direct hit—gives good observation and saves any tendency to claustrophobia and premature exhaustion among the crew. Above all the 360° traverse is the indispensable
feature which made the 1'7-pdr M.10 the best S.P. in the world. Every one of these advantages was forsworn in the SP Valentine, which made its self-consclous appearance in early 1945 and, in some quarters was regarded as a strong candidate for the title of the silliest engine of war ever invented. The very Idea of an $'P'.gun which fires over its own posterior is one which it is difficult to take seriously. I met only one man in my life who preferred the Valentine and that was a Brigadier in the Reichswald. He said that the M.l0 was noisy and cumbersome, and if we had that weapon he did not want us anywhere near him or his troops. Fortunately this heresy left me so completely speechless, that I was saved from saying something which would have amounted to rank insubordination.
Major Desmond Flower MC

The same author also commented that they unit operated at its best when operating independently or under command 6th Guards ASrmopured Brigade. One Guards squadron commander preferred a troop of M10s as SP artillery to a troop of 25 Pounders. The 17 Pdr M10 could be used as an assault gun.

Delta Tank
Member
Posts: 2246
Joined: 16 Aug 2004 01:51
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Oct 2018 18:14

Sheldrake

I thought the gun on the German Panther was the best anti-tank gun of World War II?

Mike

User avatar
Sheldrake
Member
Posts: 2503
Joined: 28 Apr 2013 17:14
Location: London

Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Sheldrake » 11 Oct 2018 19:30

Delta Tank wrote:
11 Oct 2018 18:14
Sheldrake

I thought the gun on the German Panther was the best anti-tank gun of World War II?

Mike
Sorry I misquoted Desmond Flower. He wrote "Best SP Anti tank gun of WW2" He was a very confident 17 Pdr M10 user.

Return to “WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic”