Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

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Peter H
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Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Peter H » 23 Sep 2009 10:48

Italian Breda 47mm AT guns were used by the Australian 2/4th Anti Tank Regiment in Malaya.From captured Italian stocks in North Africa.The regiment had an authorised 36 gun strength but I don't know how many Bredas were available.They used a mix of 2 pounder ATs,Bredas,and US 75mm field guns.

Most likely some of the Bredas also ended up in Japanese service later.

Photo from the AWM
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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 23 Sep 2009 14:44

I’m not sure the Australians had them

The Battle for Singapore – Peter Thompson
P145: Percival had 7 Field Rgts (5 x 24 guns, 2 x 16 guns), 1 Mountain Rgt (24 guns), 2 Anti Tank Rgts (1 x 48 guns, 1 x 36 guns), and 2 Anti Tank batteries (1 x 8 Breda guns; 1 of 6 x 2 pounders)

Singapore Burning – Colin Smith
Re Defences before Jitra

P233 They had with them four Breda anti-tank guns with UK British crews – booty from the conquest of Italian East Africa...

Saeki blundered straight into the Punjabis’ road-block and immediately lost his leading Type 95 to one of the Bredas firing at almost point blank range.

Steve
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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Zaf1 » 23 Sep 2009 16:02

The remnant of the Breda gun in Malaysia, found near an Indian army defensive position at Gurun, Kedah where the British lost heavily to the Japanese attack
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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Zaf1 » 23 Sep 2009 16:35

The 11th Indian Division retreated to Gurun south of Jitra. The Japanese attacked on the 14th December 1941 but they were held off temporarily by the guns of the 88th Field Regiment and 80th Anti-Tank Regiment. The Japanese attacked again later and the 6th Indian Brigade under Brigadier Lay was over-run

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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 23 Sep 2009 17:20

To add confusion to who the Breda Guns were issued to, Colin Smith continues with the idea it was 80th AT Regt RA, But Richard Holmes suggests it was a battery of 22nd Mountain Regt IA

Singapore Burning – Colin Smith
P327. They were also covered by two of the three anti-tank guns under Brigadier Stewart’s command, the usual captured Italian Breda’s in the hands of the UK British gunners from the 80th Anti Tank Regiment.

The Bitter End (The fall of Singapore 1941-42) – Richard Holmes & Anthony Kemp
P72 – Until arrival of 80th AT Regt, only AT in III Corp was 7 Italian Breda Guns, manned by 22nd Mountain Regiment

Steve
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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Zaf1 » 24 Sep 2009 00:14

The 1/14th Punjab Regiment and two Bredas were sheltering from the very heavy rain when Japanese tanks arrived at Asun broke through their line near the bridge.

During the withdrawal from Kodiang some Indian troops of 1/8th and 2/16th Punjab regiments and the guns of the 7th Indian Mountain Battery with seven anti-tank guns were caught on the other side of the bridge at Maggoi when the bridge was prematurly demolished

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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Peter H » 24 Sep 2009 01:10

Thanks,so also used by British & Indian units.

Bredas in Australian service in The History of the 4th Anti-Tank Regiment 1940-1945 as mentioned in the discussions on Malaya artillery units here:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/594514/m ... +Artillery

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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 28 Sep 2009 09:10

Theres an interesting thread going on in the Fortifications forum here
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=44977

Looks as if the Italians had copied or licenced a Austrian gun, the Bohler!

Steve
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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Ironmachine » 28 Sep 2009 10:40

Fatboy Coxy, your link seems to be broken.
Anyway, it is a well-known fact that the Breda 47mm anti-tank gun was a licenced copy of the Austrian Böhler 47mm anti-tank gun. See, for example:
The little Böhler 47mm anti-tank gun was first produced in 1935 and is thus sometimes known as the Model 35. It was first produced in Austria but its use soon spread outside Austria and licenses to produce the gun were taken up by Italy. In fact the Italian production run reached a point where the Böhler gun became regarded as an indigenous Italian weapon, the Canone da 47/32 M35.
http://www.comandosupremo.com/Cannone4732.html

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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 14 Oct 2009 19:35

Apologies Ironmachine :oops: , I tried to edit the link, thinking that was ok. Here it is in full

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... &p=1377045

The Bohler 47mm anti tank gun was also used by the Dutch, and the Japanese captured at least 21 in Java.
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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 16 Oct 2009 21:02

It might be useful to look at how the Anti Tank forces were built up.

22nd Mountain Regt IA arrives with 12th Indian Brigade in Malaya in 1939 as part of Force Emu. The Regt is equipped with 3.7 inch howitzers, not suitable for anti tank work.

Operation Compass begins in the Western Desert in Dec 1940, by Feb 1941 its over and a large number of Italian guns are captured, including the Breda 47mm AT Gun. Some of these are shipped to Malaya. Japanese records indicate 9 Breda guns captured.

February 1941, one battery of Australian 2-4 Anti Tank Regt arrived in Singapore with the 22nd Australian Bde. Australian records state Regt was equipped with a mix of 2 pounder, 75 mm and ‘some Breda guns’

August 1941, 27th Australian Bde arrives, with two more batteries of 2-4 Anti Tank Regt.

80th Anti Tank Regt RA arrives in Singapore, Nov 1941, equipped with 48, 2 pounder AT guns in 4 batteries of 12 guns

85th Anti Tank Regt RA arrives in Singapore on the 13th Jan 1942 with the 53rd Infantry Brigade Group, equipped with 48, 2 pounder AT guns in 4 batteries of 12 guns

125th Anti Tank Regt RA arrives in Singapore on the 29th Jan 1942, along with the rest of the 18th British Division. Unfortunately the ship carrying their equipment, Empress of Asia , is sunk. With no guns, the regiment is converted to an infantry role.
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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 18 Oct 2009 13:35

Further detail on Anti Tank OOB's

The War against Japan (Vol 1 The loss of Singapore) – MG Woodburn Kirby
P204 – Book notes 4th Mountain Btty deployed Breda guns which were given an anti tank role.

http://www.comandosupremo.com/Cannone4732.html
Web site notes 47mm Breda gun could be multi purpose, and broke down for pack mules

The Far East Theatre, 1941-1946 – Farndale, Martin Sir
Australian 2-4 Anti Tank Regt arrived with 12x 2pdrs and 24x 75mm guns

Steve
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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 21 Oct 2009 17:17

Taken from the Diary of
Brigadier E.W. Goodman, D.S.O., M.C.
2-14th October 1941
I don’t think anything special happened during this period. I probably did a bit of exploring of the neighbourhood in the car. I think we had our one and only Div HQ exercise when the whole HQ turned out and set itself up in a rubber plantation about six miles down the Klang road. Sometime about the 4th October I was made artillery adviser to III Corps HQ in KL. So sometimes I had to go up there when they wanted me. The chief problem as I remember was to produce a scheme for a unit to man half-a-dozen or so Italian Buda combined AA and anti-tank guns, captured in the Middle East and sent on to Malaya.

Steve
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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 24 Oct 2009 21:37

Nine is a magic number.

Nine 47mm Breda AT guns captured by the Japanese during the Malaya/Singapore campaign

Nine AT guns formed the British Brigade AT Companies serving with the BEF in 1940. These were equipped with 25mm AT Guns.

Maybe the idea was to form an AT company along the lines of the Brigade Companies, but lack of trained gunners was one frustration, which is maybe why an Indian Mountain battery was used/converted, and 2-3 guns may have been used to train Australians with the expectation of more guns to come from the middle east.

Steve
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Re: Italian Breda AT Guns in Malaya

Post by Peter H » 25 Oct 2009 03:09

Thanks,interesting information.

The guy here on his blog mentions the Breda but his pic is way off the mark
http://1942malaya.blogspot.com/2009/07/ ... k-gun.html

AWM 009288

AIF AT Gun in Malaya,September 1941
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