Did the British use AAs as ATs?

Discussions on all aspects of the The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Andy H
Tony Williams
Member
Posts: 1342
Joined: 18 Feb 2004 04:31
Location: UK

Post by Tony Williams » 24 Aug 2004 03:50

The British didn't entirely ignore the anti-tank possibilities of the 3.7 inch gun. Among the ammo listed for it was: "Shot, AP Mk.5T. Solid steel shot weighing 28 lb...issued for use as an anti-tank shot for self defence, it had a penetration of 117mm/1,000 yards/30 degrees".

Should see off a Tiger...

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and Discussion forum

User avatar
SubSonic
Member
Posts: 94
Joined: 10 Feb 2004 19:23
Location: The kingdom of Sweden, County Scania

Post by SubSonic » 24 Aug 2004 17:28

The father of the the british AT generalmayor J.C.F. councluded one thing in 1920s that theres two great conserv poweers under sky of the lord- The catholic church and the british army. The younger onesd wanted to us AA 3,7 Inch etc as AT, but the old officers mostly refrused to use them as AT

Source: Rommels war in africa
author:Wolf Heckmann

User avatar
new2this
Member
Posts: 328
Joined: 21 Jul 2004 06:28
Location: US of A

Post by new2this » 24 Aug 2004 20:58

Guys, I don't know a whole lot about this stuff, but I'm wondering if the whole thing was that the british AA gun crews were issued AA ammunition. Possibly the Germans using them for coastal guns either used a different type of rounds, or made their own, or maybe AA and AT ammo was the same and the British crews were simply not permitted to use them. If there is someone on the board who has served in the AA or artillery units, they will most likely have the simple answer for us. Anyone?

User avatar
Erik E
Financial supporter
Posts: 4517
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 22:26
Location: Stavanger, Norway

Post by Erik E » 24 Aug 2004 22:36

Possibly the Germans using them for coastal guns either used a different type of rounds, or made their own, or maybe AA and AT ammo was the same and the British crews were simply not permitted to use them.

The Germans captured 6 guns at Bardufoss airport in Northern Norway after the British retreated from Narvik in 1940. Due to lack of guns, these AA guns were used as coastal artillery since no others were available. a 94 mm is fair enough for protection against a harbour or a bay. Remember these batteries were intended to fire at landingcrafts and transports, not armoured warships..... I doubt the Germans started any production of 94mm when they only had these 6 guns in Northern Norway...

If there is someone on the board who has served in the AA or artillery units,


I served in the artillery :)
But I`m afraid there are several questions still to be answered. It all relly depends on the fuze. Most timefuzes will also detonate on impact, but I have absolutely no clue of which fuzes the British AA units used in 1940, or later...
During the early years of the war (1939-41), there is no doubt that a 94mm AA HE grenade would knock out any German tank, actually I think tanks like the Pz35(t) or Pz38(t) would be in serious trouble even if the grenade had no fuze! The weight of the shell would have crushed the armour......

As for the German army, I have seen documents demanding every AA gun to be placed so it can be used against groundtargets. This btw goes from 105mm, all the way down to the 20 mm light flak batteries. This being mentioned, the German army mounted 3,7 and 4,7 cm AT guns for static defence even in 1945. Their way of thinking was " A weak gun is better than no gun"
I guess the answer lies with the commanders of the British army, and not the performance of the 94mm AA gun.

EE

User avatar
new2this
Member
Posts: 328
Joined: 21 Jul 2004 06:28
Location: US of A

Post by new2this » 25 Aug 2004 02:36

There ya have it folks. It's a very interesting topic, and it makes one wonder why the British wouldn't have used them for anything they could. Thanks for the info.

Tony Williams
Member
Posts: 1342
Joined: 18 Feb 2004 04:31
Location: UK

Post by Tony Williams » 25 Aug 2004 06:15

A couple of comments: against tanks (and assuming there was no AP to hand), the 3.7 inch would have been more effective firing HE shells without a fuze, although a 1940 German tank would probably have been wiped out whatever ammo was being used in such a large gun.

I think that the Germans had a lot more than six 3.7 inch guns - they probably captured a lot more in France. According to Hogg they put the ammo into production as the '9,4 cm St (e)'.

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and Discussion forum

User avatar
Erik E
Financial supporter
Posts: 4517
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 22:26
Location: Stavanger, Norway

Post by Erik E » 25 Aug 2004 16:48

I think that the Germans had a lot more than six 3.7 inch guns - they probably captured a lot more in France. According to Hogg they put the ammo into production as the '9,4 cm St (e)'.


Maybe i was a little unclear, but I was talking of Guns used as coastal artillery in Norway. I doubt the German army would ship grenades for 6 guns some 3000 kilometers :wink: Anyway, when these guns were used in Northern Norway, the battle of France were still raging so I doubt they started any distribution of French/British guns and ammo until atleast late 1940.

By then these guns had been operational up there for months, obviously with both British grenades and fuzes since no production of 9,4 were started in Norwegian factories.

EE

JonS
Member
Posts: 3935
Joined: 23 Jul 2004 01:39
Location: New Zealand

Post by JonS » 26 Aug 2004 01:19

Britsh use of 3.7-in in the ground role: Medenine, bottom of page. See also note 3, talking about use of these guns at Tobruk during siege.

Regards
JonS

Return to “The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth 1919-45”