You know, we're really not saying alot that is different. It's just that when we get to the end of our historical reasearch and analysis, you plump for the notion that 3.7-inch HAA guns reroled as ATk guns would have had a positive effect on the mobile battlefield if only somebody had bothered to try it by focussing on the physical capabilities and attributes of the weapon itself - whereas I focus more on the reasons why nobody tried it and lament the chances that they would have been used effectively.
Indeed. There was significant resistence to putting HAA guns into (mobile) frontline formations even from the gunners themselves. Remember, how often were they put into such formations as HAA guns let alone reroled as ATk assets? Institutionally, the user, in the ME and in Home Command resisted such a move and, even with the efforts of the GoCinC HC (Brooke) putting his weight behind the move, succeeded.
Now, were they resisting for the sake of resistence or was there some other imperative, driver or understanding that had greater influence on their decsion-making?
Absolutely true. But for some reason, the user decided to do away with all that and concentrate on mobility and survival. Portee was supposed to be simple a means of transporting ATk guns: carry rather than tow. The gun was supposed to be taken off the back of the lorry and placed into a fire position with the lorry withdrawing in the same way that a towing Quad or tractor would have done. But almost immediatly, portee became faux pantser. The troops stopped taking their guns off their lorries. They even got into the habit of firing on the move. Mobility and survive was prioritized over concealment and battlefield success.Sheldrake wrote: ↑23 Dec 2018 02:38#2 Anti tank guns don't usually do a lot of movement, even in mobile battles. The deploy and fire from where there. Hooked in guns and detachments in unarmoured tractors are vulnerable to just about any thing.
#3 There is a father ted phenomena related to survivability A 2 pounder or 50mm pak is smaller than a 3.7" or 88mm HAA. But the HAA can open fire from far away.
They are just as hard to see at the range at which they will engage a tank in per terrain as per the Western Desert.
Absolutely agree.Sheldrake wrote: ↑23 Dec 2018 02:38If you want to talk about indirect fire solutions to identified anti tank positions, use field artillery not tanks. British CS tanks in the western desert lacked the range to engage HAA guns at 2,000m and neither British nor German tank crews were professionals in the indirect fire business. I don't know the probable error in range for the 75mm L24 firing HE. Do you, or anyone else on the board dedicated to Axis forces point me in the direction of an HE range table for this gun?MarkN wrote: ↑20 Dec 2018 19:51The Pz.IV firing HE in a support role was a threat to soft targets not pantsers. The British had CS pantsers to do the same job. The Pz.IV can still lob his HE from behind the hill, or sand dune, or whatever - thus putting out of reach of a direct-fire 3.7-inch gun despite being within range. Given the Germans already used the 88mm as an ATk weapon, understanding its capabilities and value on the pantser battlefield, I'm sure they already had a plan in mind should the British show up with a troop of 3.7-inch guns. I imagine the Germans would probably have come up with a workeable solution on the hoof before the battle had ended. The idea that a handful of 3.7-inch guns would have been a game changer is, in my mind quite daft. The 88mm was not a game changer for the Germans either.
It was not easy to accurately estimate the range or location of objects in the desert. Field artillery was surprisingly survivable, especially when firing alongside tanks. I read of an account of The Chestnut Troop RHA brought up its 25 pdr guns in support of the Grants at Gazala firing over open sights. All guns survived unlike half the Grants.
My constant referral back to the CS pantser is predicated upon poster Gooner1 and his obsession with the Pz.IV at el Duda; the British had a pantser (CS) that could do exactly the same thing. I have written on several occasions that it could be done even better by Fld Arty.
The key element to all this is that the British believed they were conducting combined-arms warfare when they were not. Combined-arms warfare is not having different capbadges under the same command and acting out their own missions sequentially according the watch. Combined-arms warfare is when the different arms cooperate to defeat the shared enemy by the most effective means. Op CRUSADER is a great example of how the two sides acted out their differing understanding of combined-arms.
I don't believe it tilted the table at all. I'm not even sure that it was that much of a concern. At least, not enough to excite somebody enough to break the resistence and experiment with a battery in a frontline formation. It became the focal point for some as a tool of blame shifting: we're failing because they've got 88s. I don't think the Germans would have been worried by it at all. A slight tweek of the tactics and that's all.Sheldrake wrote: ↑23 Dec 2018 02:38The capability of the 88mm gun to hit tanks at long range cast a profound psychological shadow over British and American tank crews. It may not have been a game changer, but it tilted the table. Owning a weapon system that worried the enemy is generally a good thing.