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

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

Post by Sheldrake » 28 Oct 2019 22:17

MarkN wrote:
28 Oct 2019 18:28
Gooner1 wrote:
28 Oct 2019 12:13
That's interesting. Any reason given for why these HAA Regiments were to deploy overseas with the 3" gun?
Contrary to some peoples' myths, they were still very much in use, and considered useful, as AA guns in field formations.
They might have been considered useful to HAA, but would have served the allied cause better if they had been deployed as anti tank guns.

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

Post by MarkN » 28 Oct 2019 22:44

Sheldrake wrote:
28 Oct 2019 22:17
MarkN wrote:
28 Oct 2019 18:28
Gooner1 wrote:
28 Oct 2019 12:13
That's interesting. Any reason given for why these HAA Regiments were to deploy overseas with the 3" gun?
Contrary to some peoples' myths, they were still very much in use, and considered useful, as AA guns in field formations.
They might have been considered useful to HAA, but would have served the allied cause better if they had been deployed as anti tank guns.
That's your opinion. Fair dos. But it was not the opinion of your own capbadge at the time. Now, whether they were right or you is impossible to gauge since your proposal was never put into practice and thus no quantifiable comparison can be made.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 Oct 2019 23:12

Sheldrake wrote:
28 Oct 2019 22:17
They might have been considered useful to HAA, but would have served the allied cause better if they had been deployed as anti tank guns.
The problem remains, the RA did not want to deploy an antiaircraft gun as an antitank gun. Instead, they wanted a more powerful antitank gun. Why, of course they couldn't put together a bodge-job like the PHEASANT antitank carriage for the 3" 20cwt gun as a substitute for the bodge-job antiaircraft carriage for the 3" 20cwt gun is beyond me, but apparently the thinking in the Army and War Ministry on such things was particularly fuzzy at this time. For example, Vickers proposed their 75mm QF HV as a replacement tank gun for the 6-pdr in early 1942, carefully ignoring the 17-pdr was already well under development and about to undergo trials as an antitank gun to replace the 6-pdr. So the War Ministry went on with two parallel systems, all the while missing that neither of them were going to fit in any of the tank turrets then in design (it was 14 months later they finally noticed the 75mm HV would not fit in the Cromwell turret). Of course, since they apparently never proposed the 75mm HV as an antitank gun as well as a tank gun anyway, it is just as likely they were trying to stay within their own lane - 75mm HV = Tank Gun as opposed to 17pdr = AT Gun - so it may be cruel to accuse them of myopia. Of course, I've never fathomed why Vickers would want to neck down a perfectly good 3" cartridge to 75mm (especially given the faulty design of American AP projectiles), just so they could use American 75mm projectiles in the project, but what the heck... :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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

Post by Gooner1 » 29 Oct 2019 11:57

MarkN wrote:
28 Oct 2019 18:28
"We know..." ??? Do we?

Is this shortage, or lack of shortage, simply a Gooner1 opinion or one defined by the powers that be at the time?
Or the simple knowledge that by the end of 1942 approximately 6,000 3.7-inch guns had been made.

But thanks for the flashback to the sadly missed Phylo Roadking.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 29 Oct 2019 12:14

Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Oct 2019 18:36
:lol: Yep. It seems pretty obvious that more than a few employed by the Army were not guns converted for Army service, but were simply ex-Navy guns manned by the Army, which would have had no earthly use in Army hands as an "effective high-velocity antitank gun".
You mean like this one?

Image

So what was the problem? Why did that inventiveness about improvising weapons systems, so evident in the preparations to face invasion Summer 1940, suddenly disappear?
Perhaps because a gun like this: was not seen by the RA as an effective high-velocity antitank gun given it had the same attributes they poo-pooed regarding the German 88mm. High silhouette, difficult to emplace and conceal, and etcetera?
Hard to believe the RA were still of that opinion when they got to see the 88's positions at Halfaya Pass and later the Omars.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 29 Oct 2019 12:34

Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Oct 2019 23:12
The problem remains, the RA did not want to deploy an antiaircraft gun as an antitank gun. Instead, they wanted a more powerful antitank gun. Why, of course they couldn't put together a bodge-job like the PHEASANT antitank carriage for the 3" 20cwt gun as a substitute for the bodge-job antiaircraft carriage for the 3" 20cwt gun is beyond me, but apparently the thinking in the Army and War Ministry on such things was particularly fuzzy at this time. For example, Vickers proposed their 75mm QF HV as a replacement tank gun for the 6-pdr in early 1942, carefully ignoring the 17-pdr was already well under development and about to undergo trials as an antitank gun to replace the 6-pdr. So the War Ministry went on with two parallel systems, all the while missing that neither of them were going to fit in any of the tank turrets then in design (it was 14 months later they finally noticed the 75mm HV would not fit in the Cromwell turret). Of course, since they apparently never proposed the 75mm HV as an antitank gun as well as a tank gun anyway, it is just as likely they were trying to stay within their own lane - 75mm HV = Tank Gun as opposed to 17pdr = AT Gun - so it may be cruel to accuse them of myopia. Of course, I've never fathomed why Vickers would want to neck down a perfectly good 3" cartridge to 75mm (especially given the faulty design of American AP projectiles), just so they could use American 75mm projectiles in the project, but what the heck... :lol:
If only there had been any spare tank chassis about from obsolescent tanks they might have bodged together perfectly serviceable self-propelled anti-tank guns. :?

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

Post by MarkN » 29 Oct 2019 14:28

Gooner1 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 11:57
MarkN wrote:
28 Oct 2019 18:28
"We know..." ??? Do we?

Is this shortage, or lack of shortage, simply a Gooner1 opinion or one defined by the powers that be at the time?
Or the simple knowledge that by the end of 1942 approximately 6,000 3.7-inch guns had been made.
As l suspected, the alleged non-shortage is a Gooner1 invention.

At the end of 1942, ADGB held 2,100 HAA guns against a requirement of 3,744. That's quite a non-shortage!!!
Gooner1 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 12:14
So what was the problem? Why did that inventiveness about improvising weapons systems, so evident in the preparations to face invasion Summer 1940, suddenly disappear?
No problem.

In summer 1940, Home Forces were desperate for anything. Hence the improvisations. Even they binned the improvisations once a sensible number of 2-pdr ATk became available. And how many HAA were taken out of AA duties during this period to be ATk guns? Nobody at the time believed there was a need for HAA guns to be reroled as ATk.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 29 Oct 2019 16:07

MarkN wrote:
29 Oct 2019 14:28
As l suspected, the alleged non-shortage is a Gooner1 invention.

At the end of 1942, ADGB held 2,100 HAA guns against a requirement of 3,744. That's quite a non-shortage!!!
Uh, that 'requirement' dates from August 1940. If you want to fantasise that that requirement was still in effect at the end of 1942, when the Luftwaffe strength facing the United Kingdom had shrunk by 90%, and that the decision to equip Torch forces with 3-inch HAA guns was because of a shortage of 3.7-inch HAA guns, well :lol:

In summer 1940, Home Forces were desperate for anything. Hence the improvisations. Even they binned the improvisations once a sensible number of 2-pdr ATk became available.
I bet the guys who had to give up their tasty 3-inch 12-pounder gun to get a frickin 2-pounder peashooter weren't best pleased.
And how many HAA were taken out of AA duties during this period to be ATk guns? Nobody at the time believed there was a need for HAA guns to be reroled as ATk.
Eh? Crap strawman but anyway:
"Preparations were made by all A.A. defences to assume a secondary ground-defence role; Bofors were provided with anti-tank ammunition, and sited to cover approaches to aerodromes, V.P.'s etc. Certain 3.7-inch guns suitably sited were given an anti-ship role, and preparations were made for barrages to be put on certain beaches. "
Report by the 6th Anti-Aircraft Division dated 2nd 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 » 29 Oct 2019 17:59

Gooner1 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 16:07
Uh, that 'requirement' dates from August 1940.
It does indeed. 14 August 1940 the HAA requirement for ADGB was raised from 2232 to 3744.
Gooner1 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 16:07
If you want to fantasise that that requirement was still in effect at the end of 1942, when the Luftwaffe strength facing the United Kingdom had shrunk by 90%, and that the decision to equip Torch forces with 3-inch HAA guns was because of a shortage of 3.7-inch HAA guns, well
Indeed well. Perhaps you would like to enlighten us all what the requirement was at the end of 1942 if not 3744. Handwaves are no better than an admission that you haven't got a clue.

PS. I never claimed 3" were semt to North Africa due to a shortage of 3.7". You just made that up.

Gooner1 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 16:07
In summer 1940, Home Forces were desperate for anything. Hence the improvisations. Even they binned the improvisations once a sensible number of 2-pdr ATk became available.
I bet the guys who had to give up their tasty 3-inch 12-pounder gun to get a frickin 2-pounder peashooter weren't best pleased.
I wouldn't know, l haven't asked any. Have you?
Gooner1 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 16:07
And how many HAA were taken out of AA duties during this period to be ATk guns? Nobody at the time believed there was a need for HAA guns to be reroled as ATk.
Eh? Crap strawman but anyway:
Rather a pertinent question. The principle reason amongst many that HAA were not reroled into ATk guns was because the powers that be perceived a serious shortage of HAA guns and thus none were spare. To the extent that, even during the height of the invasion scare, HAA were NOT pulled off HAA to do ATk work. It's true that Home Command asked for some HAA to be transferred from AA Command to theirs in July 1940, but that was to be used in the HAA role not ATk.
Gooner1 wrote:
29 Oct 2019 16:07
"Preparations were made by all A.A. defences to assume a secondary ground-defence role; Bofors were provided with anti-tank ammunition, and sited to cover approaches to aerodromes, V.P.'s etc. Certain 3.7-inch guns suitably sited were given an anti-ship role, and preparations were made for barrages to be put on certain beaches. "
Report by the 6th Anti-Aircraft Division dated 2nd August, 1941
Bravo! You found a quote that doesn't support your position. Congratulations.

Bofors were indeed given an ATk role as standard and AP ammunition carried as SOP. In the desert too. The question of how to do more ATk, better ATk, perhaps more efficient and effective ATk was not swept under the carpet and/or ignored, alot of thought went into it and reroling 3 or 3.7" HAA was deemed unsuitable except as in a last ditch self-defence capacity.

Now you may feel that was the wrong decision. Fair dos. Unfortunately the credibility of your opinion is undermined by your handwaving.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 30 Oct 2019 12:02

MarkN wrote:
29 Oct 2019 17:59
The question of how to do more ATk, better ATk, perhaps more efficient and effective ATk was not swept under the carpet and/or ignored, alot of thought went into it and reroling 3 or 3.7" HAA was deemed unsuitable except as in a last ditch self-defence capacity.
Yeah I'm snipping all your trollish rubbish but I am genuinely interested if you have any evidence of "a lot of thought went into rerolling the 3-inch" anti-aircraft gun into anti-tank guns/dual-purpose guns in the Middle East?

As opposed to the rather lackadaisical efforts pursued in the UK, natch :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 » 30 Oct 2019 16:02

Gooner1 wrote:
30 Oct 2019 12:02
Yeah I'm snipping all your trollish rubbish but I am genuinely interested if you have any evidence of "a lot of thought went into rerolling the 3-inch" anti-aircraft gun into anti-tank guns/dual-purpose guns in the Middle East?

As opposed to the rather lackadaisical efforts pursued in the UK, natch
I appreciate that publically identifying yourself as an Arsenal fan has many drawbacks these days, overtly demonstrating poor literacy skills does nothing to improve your public persona.

Where did l claim "a lot of thought went into rerolling the 3-inch"? I cannot evidence something that exists only in your imagination.

Is your undestanding of history entirely based upon not understanding what you are reading and making up alternatives? You did the same thing yesterday by inventing the notion that l claimed 3" HAA were sent to North Africa due to a shortage of 3.7" and the day before by inventing a historical non-shortage of HAA.

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

Post by Gooner1 » 30 Oct 2019 17:19

MarkN wrote:
30 Oct 2019 16:02
Where did l claim "a lot of thought went into rerolling the 3-inch"? I cannot evidence something that exists only in your imagination.
Here: "alot of thought went into it and reroling 3 or 3.7" HAA was deemed unsuitable except as in a last ditch self-defence capacity. "

I wondered if you might have evidence of that 'lot of thought' pertaining to that the Middle East. Should have guessed it was just your usual trademark bullshitting. :milwink:
Is your undestanding of history entirely based upon not understanding what you are reading and making up alternatives? You did the same thing yesterday by inventing the notion that l claimed 3" HAA were sent to North Africa due to a shortage of 3.7" and the day before by inventing a historical non-shortage of HAA.
Well much of what you right is either misspelled gibberish or downright stupid so, uh. Anyway are you now claiming there was a shortage of HAA guns in late 1942 or not?

I am quite happy that Sheldrake provided the answer as to why several 3" HAA regiments were allocated for Torch. Superior mobility.

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

Post by MarkN » 30 Oct 2019 19:19

Gooner1 wrote:
30 Oct 2019 17:19
MarkN wrote:
30 Oct 2019 16:02
Where did l claim "a lot of thought went into rerolling the 3-inch"? I cannot evidence something that exists only in your imagination.
Here: "alot of thought went into it and reroling 3 or 3.7" HAA was deemed unsuitable except as in a last ditch self-defence capacity. "
:roll:

I wrote:
MarkN wrote:
29 Oct 2019 17:59
The question of how to do more ATk, better ATk, perhaps more efficient and effective ATk was not swept under the carpet and/or ignored, alot of thought went into it and reroling 3 or 3.7" HAA was deemed unsuitable except as in a last ditch self-defence capacity.
The it (underlined and in bold) above refers to "The question of how to do more ATk, better ATk, perhaps more efficient and effective ATk". Basic literacy is needed. Nothing else. It does not refer to any random nonsense you want to invent.

Off the top of my head.

1) At a very early stage it was recognised that something more powerful than the 2-pdr would be required in the ATk role. The 6-pdr was proposed and accepted. However, its gestation and introduction was delayed by the WO prioritising maximum production of 2-pdrs.

2) Post BEF, massive shortage of ATk capability staring everybody in the face. All manner of surplus, stored, unwanted guns brought back to use as an immediate stopgap.

3) Bofors 40mm LAA units were given the tools, the training and the secondary role to do ATk as SOP.

4) 25-pdr field units were given the tools, the training and the secondary role to do ATk as SOP.

5) 'Surplus' 18-pdr field guns were reroled to do exclusive ATk work.

6) When 3" gun mountings were needed for the UP project, surplus 3" tubes were allocated to the Churchill ATk carrier project.

7) Some 3.7" units dabbled and equipped themselves, then were officially recognised as, having a 'last ditch' ATk capability/role.

Plenty of thought went into doing ATk more effectively. Most of the time choices accompanied those thoughts. The number of HAA reroled into ATk is a good indicator of how that solution ranked in their thinking and choices.

Criticize their choices if you wish and call them incompetent.
Make an argument to say they never considered reroling HAA into ATk if you wish and call that incompetent.
But stop looking a fool by pretending handwaves are credible thought and trying to mislead others with your inventions.
Gooner1 wrote:
30 Oct 2019 17:19
I am quite happy that Sheldrake provided the answer as to why several 3" HAA regiments were allocated for Torch. Superior mobility.
Mobility and time into action. All laid out in a memo in October 1939 explaining why the WO preferred to send 3" HAA over to France rather than 3.7" HAA.

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

Post by Sheldrake » 30 Oct 2019 22:10

MarkN wrote:
30 Oct 2019 19:19
Gooner1 wrote:
30 Oct 2019 17:19
MarkN wrote:
30 Oct 2019 16:02
Where did l claim "a lot of thought went into rerolling the 3-inch"? I cannot evidence something that exists only in your imagination.
Here: "alot of thought went into it and reroling 3 or 3.7" HAA was deemed unsuitable except as in a last ditch self-defence capacity. "
:roll:

I wrote:
MarkN wrote:
29 Oct 2019 17:59
The question of how to do more ATk, better ATk, perhaps more efficient and effective ATk was not swept under the carpet and/or ignored, alot of thought went into it and reroling 3 or 3.7" HAA was deemed unsuitable except as in a last ditch self-defence capacity.
The it (underlined and in bold) above refers to "The question of how to do more ATk, better ATk, perhaps more efficient and effective ATk". Basic literacy is needed. Nothing else. It does not refer to any random nonsense you want to invent.

Off the top of my head.

1) At a very early stage it was recognised that something more powerful than the 2-pdr would be required in the ATk role. The 6-pdr was proposed and accepted. However, its gestation and introduction was delayed by the WO prioritising maximum production of 2-pdrs.

2) Post BEF, massive shortage of ATk capability staring everybody in the face. All manner of surplus, stored, unwanted guns brought back to use as an immediate stopgap.

3) Bofors 40mm LAA units were given the tools, the training and the secondary role to do ATk as SOP.

4) 25-pdr field units were given the tools, the training and the secondary role to do ATk as SOP.

5) 'Surplus' 18-pdr field guns were reroled to do exclusive ATk work.

6) When 3" gun mountings were needed for the UP project, surplus 3" tubes were allocated to the Churchill ATk carrier project.

7) Some 3.7" units dabbled and equipped themselves, then were officially recognised as, having a 'last ditch' ATk capability/role.

Plenty of thought went into doing ATk more effectively. Most of the time choices accompanied those thoughts. The number of HAA reroled into ATk is a good indicator of how that solution ranked in their thinking and choices.

Criticize their choices if you wish and call them incompetent.
Make an argument to say they never considered reroling HAA into ATk if you wish and call that incompetent.
But stop looking a fool by pretending handwaves are credible thought and trying to mislead others with your inventions.
Gooner1 wrote:
30 Oct 2019 17:19
I am quite happy that Sheldrake provided the answer as to why several 3" HAA regiments were allocated for Torch. Superior mobility.
Mobility and time into action. All laid out in a memo in October 1939 explaining why the WO preferred to send 3" HAA over to France rather than 3.7" HAA.
Mark,
I am afraid these read as a litany of well rehearsed excuses for failure. Whatever explanations can be offered, the British Army failed to make use of heavy AA guns to cover the shortfall in anti tank guns when these were critically needed in the Western Desert.

Alanbrooke's intervention, as C-n-C Home Forces in July 1941 suggests that someone with nous could have worked it out, and someone with authority could have made things happen. No one in Middle East command sparked or extracted a digit.

The farcical programme to mount 3" guns on Churchills failed to achieve anything whatsoever. The idea of mounting an artillery piece was not difficult to implement. Alfred Becker did it in his spare time in 1940 and managed to turn out 1900 conversions before the British had built a single tracked SP anti tank gun.

This whole sad story of failed of tactical and technical innovation should be a case study on the curriculum of every staff college.

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

Post by MarkN » 31 Oct 2019 00:37

Sheldrake wrote:
30 Oct 2019 22:10
Mark,
I am afraid these read as a litany of well rehearsed excuses for failure.
That's an opinion that l have no problem with.

Each of the items l mentionned off the top of my head are historical events and choices made. At each point the choice could have been 'let's rerole some of our mobile HAA'. But it wasn't.

I have no problem with somebody criticising those decisions from a startpoint of historical reality.

Unfortunately this subject is adorned with criticism coming from historical falsehood: thousands of 3.7" squirreled away by REMFs in warehouses, hundreds of surplus 3" guns sent to Russia, nobody doing anything about improving ATk capability, and on and on.
Sheldrake wrote:
30 Oct 2019 22:10
Whatever explanations can be offered, the British Army failed to make use of heavy AA guns to cover the shortfall in anti tank guns when these were critically needed in the Western Desert.

Alanbrooke's intervention, as C-n-C Home Forces in July 1941 suggests that someone with nous could have worked it out, and someone with authority could have made things happen. No one in Middle East command sparked or extracted a digit.
My understanding is:
1) that HAA was perceived as being in such short supply, guns could not be diverted to an ATk role;
2) 2-pdr was not universally accepted as being past its sell by date until the Gazala reverse in 1942 Yes there were moaners during Crusader but thre were just as many reports of it still being effective. Before that, units were overclaiming by such a degree that no problem could possibly be discerned.
3) the biggest moaners were the donkey wallopers whose own tactics were largely to blame for their reverses and their determination to keep their doctrinal 3-man turret over firepower,
4) the RA ATk gunners were far less whiney about the 2-pdr but their doctrine of mobility before combat effectiveness ruled out any application of a cumbersome HAA gun.

With the wounderous benefit of hindsight, perhaps it was the wrong decision. We will never know. But there were institutional obstacles at all levels of this issue: it didn't suit the end users' doctrine (gunner or donkey walloper), there was no common recognition that the 2-pdr was inadequate and the perception of an overwhelming shortage of HAA. Right or wrong, I'm not in the slightest surprised by the choices made.
Sheldrake wrote:
30 Oct 2019 22:10
The farcical programme to mount 3" guns on Churchills failed to achieve anything whatsoever. The idea of mounting an artillery piece was not difficult to implement. Alfred Becker did it in his spare time in 1940 and managed to turn out 1900 conversions before the British had built a single tracked SP anti tank gun.
A complete waste of time and effort. However, the programmes existence is evidence that the issue was being looked into and choices being made. They were just not the choices that you believe should have been made.
Sheldrake wrote:
30 Oct 2019 22:10
This whole sad story of failed of tactical and technical innovation should be a case study on the curriculum of every staff college.
It is an issue that you and I agree would make an excellent staff college research project and discussion topic. The fact that it isn't, l think, highlights the real lessons to be learned are not the lessons those institutions want to learn. Better to try and forget and bury the entire issue and allow myths and historical falsehoods to dominate the debate.

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