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Thread: British Antitank weapons.

  1. #1
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    Default British Antitank weapons.

    The Stanchion Gun cal .55




    The idea of a rifle, which could challenge the armour of tanks, was not new when the threat of a second world war was becoming reality. Already during WWI an increased performance of specially designed rifles enabled the soldiers to pierce the armour of tanks with the help of an easily portable anti-tank rifle.Originally called the Stanchion, it was renamed to honour one of its principal designers, Captain Boys, to become the Boys Anti Tank rifle. A nightmare for beginners, it proved to be a quite easy to handle if the firer that it had to be gripped tightly.

    Its use was wide-spread over most theatres of war, being used both as a portable infantry anti-tank rifle and a weapon fitted into armoured cars, but had the greatest success in North Africa, where it could handle the front armour of most Italian tanks. The mobile style of European warfare with the mailed fist of massed tanks, introduced by the Wehrmacht and aptly called 'blitzkrieg', did not give the firer enough time to wait and let its prey approach, therefore its success on the battlefields of Europe was limited. It was last used in 1942 in the Far East.

    French officer shooting the Boys.



    The Boys also had a Mk. 2 airborne variant, with a shorter barrel, feather-filled butt pad and some aluminium parts. However, the side effects prevented it from any kind of greater success - the short barrel turned up the volume of the already deafening report, while decreasing the penetration of the round. Fortunately by the time it came around there was However, the inter-war period saw a gradual increase in thickness of tank armour, demanding a concurrent development of anti-tank rifles.


    The British designers began their work in 1934 and within two years the result of their work was complete. The callibre was .55 inch, giving the gun a mighty recoil. In attempt to reduce it, a muzzle break was another option in view, the P.I.A.T.fitted and the whole mechanism mounted into a cradle, buffered by a powerful spring. As this could not of course solve the problem completely, the butt was thickly padded in addition. The whole rifle was 63.5in or 162cm long, weighing 36 pounds or 16.3 kilograms. It was fed from a 5-round box magazine, had a muzzle velocity of 810metres per second and could puncture 21mm of armour at 200 meters.


    This gun was also adquired by the URSS and the U.S.M.C (marines) wich have several succeses agaist the lesser armored japanese tanks in the Pacific.

    Boys of the U.S.M.C.




    Russian Bren Carrier with the .55 ATR Kursk July 1943.


  2. #2
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    Nice plate of ospreys "Men-at-Arms"


  3. #3
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    The Boys anti-tank rifle is one of those weapons which often gets mentioned in worst weapons of WW2 threads, which is quite unfair because it was one of the best anti-tank rifles of ww2.
    Its problem was one which all anti-tank rifles suffered from,the large increase in armor of the tanks designed from 1938.

  4. #4
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    It wanst a bad gun but also was not particulary powerful until the introduction of the tugsten core ammo.

    The weapon was effective to about 300 yards (300 m) as an anti-tank and anti-vehicle weapon. There were two main service loads used during WWII, the W Mark 1 (60 g AP at 747 m/s) and the W Mark 2 ammunition (47.6 g AP projectile at 884 m/s). Later in the conflict, but too late for service use, a much more effective high velocity round was developed, this fired a tungsten cored Armour-Piercing, Composite Rigid (APCR) design at 945 m/s. The W Mark 2 projectile was able to penetrate up to 3/4 inch (20 mm) of armour at 100 yards (~91 m). The armour plate inclined at 70° from the horizontal ie 20 degrees from the direct line angle of fire - the effective thickness being ~21.5 mm. Its effective range against unarmoured targets (e.g. infantry), was much further. Although useful against the early tanks, the increases in vehicle armour during WW2 left it largely ineffective for anti-tank duties and it was replaced in service by the PIAT anti-tank weapon. It still saw some use against bunkers, machine gun nests, and lighter vehicles. In the Western Desert the large bullet could throw up splinters from rocks to cause casualties and it continued to be used in the Pacific theatre against Japanese tanks; the Japanese did not replace their older lightly armoured tanks, spread out across the Pacific and South East Asia, with newer ones until later in the war. The weapon had been designed with these lighter tanks in mind.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rifle,_...,_.55_in,_Boys


    APC ammo:








    http://www.municion.org/55boys/55boys.htm




  5. #5

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    Going back quite a few decades now..

    I was working in a well known auction house, during one of the 'firearms amnesties' A chap arrived at the door, saying he was bringing in a few old guns for disposal (you were allowed to sell the things if you didn't want to just jhand them in to the police.

    An interesting collection that his father had kept from Home Guard days, mostly fairly ordinary, but included was one of the above mentioned Anti tank rifles - complete with three rounds as I recall.

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    Disposal a Boys ?...too bad.

    Another of the weird antitank weapons of the Home Guard.




    Extracted from enciclopedya of WW2 weapons- Chris Bishop/Barnes Noble.

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    I bet the white phosphorus bomb would have been very effective against infantry, and possibly against armor with a lucky hit...

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    Up towards the end of the war, Boys rifles were used to sink a number of German midget submarines which were running very close to the Belgian shore, a few hundred yards off it in fact. A single hit at the waterline on the conning "tower" would cause it to fill with water and sink.

    Not a lot of people know that, and unfortunately I have given the magazine which recounts the story to a friend in England.
    1884 electric cartridge. Look similar to anything?

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    Interesting, another use I have read fopr this weapon is knocking out light flak mountings and their crew in the Operation Jubilee by the british commandos.

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    I have nothing to bring to this debate except some wiki specs of the Boys, although I always though it was called the Boyes.

    http://www.securityarms.com/20010315.../2500/2577.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boyes_rifle

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    I have nothing to bring to this debate except some wiki specs of the Boys, although I always though it was called the Boyes.
    No it was named in honour of a Captain Boys, who was a member of the development team, who died just before its final acceptance by the British army

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    Spigot mortar

    As normal looking for something else turned up the spigot AT weapon. Now having looked at the pictures I have seen the implement before but thought they were AA positions. The pivot is what stood out, as it seemed to be made of excellent steel that had not tarnished over 60 years. This was outside Apple Pie RE depot Longmoor. Look at the one below, this has been in the sea!




    It would seem that it is very easily concealed and moved, but not a one man band.




    As to its effectiveness I could not say.
    The \'eathen

    The \'eathen in \'is blindness bows down to wood an\' stone;
    \'E don\'t obey no orders unless they is \'is own;
    \'E keeps \'is side-arms awful: \'e leaves \'em all about,
    An\' then comes up the regiment an\' pokes the \'eathen out.

    Rudyard Kipling

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    Quiet weird. It have an hollow charge.?

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    The PIAT was actually also a spigot mortar.
    1884 electric cartridge. Look similar to anything?

  15. #15

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    This image shows the Head of the blacker bombard 29mm spigot mortar they came in 2 sizes 14lb and 20lb.The 14lb was nose fuzed and the 20lb was base fuzed
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Copy of Allan's 080.jpg 
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