I wonder what is meant by 'guns modified for the anti-tank role'. The 1897/33 (which had a split trail - primarily to increase traverse to a little short of 60 degrees - here's that theme again) or some accessories to assist the normal field gun version in the role (such as portable turntables and anti-tank sights)?Robert Forczyk in his book Case Red, mentions briefly that French 75 batteries were each supposed to have 2 guns modified for the Anti Tank role. He didn't really go into detail about what that invovled. I'm afraid I don't have access to the book anymore to get a reference.
- Posts: 2002
- Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23
- Posts: 3332
- Joined: 28 Apr 2013 17:14
- Location: London
This is where Pemberton has value. He references the second dispatch of the commander BEF and the conclusion that the Germans will be up armouring their tanks against 2 pounder shot and the need to expedite production of the 6 pounder. His second reference is to reports from June that some units reported 2 pounder shot bounced off tanks.
The corollary of this is the myopia the British Gunners had in imaging the implications of this logic on what they could have done make life more difficult for Germans, but did not. The fate of Op Brevity and Op Battleaxe ,made the British acutely aware of the threat posed by the 88mm AA gun in the ground role in the desert. Logically they should also have been worked out that there weren't very many of them. A handful of 3 inch 20 cwt or 3.7 inch AA guns were likely to have had a disproportionate effect on German aggressiveness. There was a big difference between knowing that no British anti tank guns could KO a Pz IV at 2km and the knowing that some could.
The human brain is notoriously bad at make rational choices regarding low risk events. Look at the reaction to the relative risks of dying of a blot clot from a vaccine (less likely than being struck by lightening) or dying from Covid.
- Host - Allied sections
- Posts: 9069
- Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
- Location: USA
The French doctrinal document I've seen, and sketches of the defense of the Moroccan infantry division at Gembloux May 1940 show a portion of the divisions artillery, the 75mm gun, were emplaced forward to more directly support the AT guns. The illustrations are schematic rather than scale drawing, but suggest the 75mm were roughly 1000 meters behind the AT guns.Damper wrote: ↑11 Apr 2021 21:30Robert Forczyk in his book Case Red, mentions briefly that French 75 batteries were each supposed to have 2 guns modified for the Anti Tank role. He didn't really go into detail about what that invovled. I'm afraid I don't have access to the book anymore to get a reference.
German accounts from these battles in Belgium describe the French artillery fires as effective, in large volumes and rapidly shifting from target to target. However the German accounts don't differentiate between artillery fires from close or long ranges.
Two years later there are examples of the Red Army using their division 76.2mm field artillery cannon in the AT role. It appears from the few sources I've seen the division artillery was split in two groups. A portion of the batteries were trained first for shorter range fires, ideally between 1,200 & 500 meters, and longer range indirect fires. Its not clear if the split was 50/50 or some other proportion. As with the French a schematic illustration showed the Soviet AT guns in the forward portion of the defense zone and the directly supporting 76mm guns in the rear portion of the zone.
- Posts: 4387
- Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
- Location: The late JBond
Just a note that in the war diary of 25 Field Regiment RA both the AT round and the HE round with a specific fuze are considered good against tanks.
There was a lot of review after CRUSADER regarding AT tactics of the 25-pdr.
The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42