3" 20Cwt A/A gun conversion to Anti tank

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by DavidW, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    In " The development of artillery tactics and equipment" there lies thee following quotation......

    (Talking about the need to improve British anti tank capability and the development of the 17pdr, which it was hoped would enter production for the end of 1942)

    "" But the immediate military situation was serious and something had to be done to tide over the interval that must elapse before the production of the new 17Pdr got into its swing. with this object in view, 100 old 3" 20Cwt A/A guns were collected, provided with a special 12.5lb shot, and mounted half in Churchill tanks, and half on 17Pdr carriages. The production of the latter being in advance of the guns. The Churchill mounting was handicapped by its small (7 degrees) internal traverse, and the guns so mounted were allotted for home defence only. Of the remaining 50 guns mounted on the 17Pdr carriage, 25 were allotted to the Middle East and 25 to home forces. "" (P127).

    I am keen to know more about the 25 allotted to the M.E.F, can anyone help?

    I understand that they were re-classified as 3" 16Cwt guns.

    Original thread here..... http://www.weaponsofwwii.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6799

    Thanks, David.
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  3. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Hi Clive.

    Thanks for your interest.

    George was involved in the original discussion. There are a few of us scattered about, trying different forums and knowledge bases to see if we can come up with an answer.
  4. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Hi DavidW....

    This has been discussed several times on AHF - in connection with the "mounted on Churchill tanks" bit...which is of course the legendary Churchill Gun Carrier.

    The issue of the 3" guns converted to carriage mounts for A/T use often gets discussed alongside that, for obvious reasons - but noone has ever managed to turn up any more detail at all than that in your first post.

    Regarding this -

    There is now considerable question over whether as many as the full 50 were ever built...http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=114&t=188306&hilit=Churchill+gun+carrier

    Interesting to see some asking on a Canadian forum about them, as it appears that some 24 men in a troop of the Calgary Regiment were away training on them at the time of Dieppe. The Calgary Regiment was the only formation ever formally "issued" with them, and only for a very short time.

    Fist time I've seen the name "Pheasant" applied to them though!!!
  5. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Phylo. Thanks for that.

    Doesn't look like I will have much luck then.

    It has been suggested that the A/T gun conversions would have been allocated to the Corps A/T Regiments. If this were true, might there not be a mention of them in the relevant Regimental Diaries?
  6. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Should be...but as noone has produced such a mention yet, then the assumption has to be....!

    Don't give up though; look how long it took me tor each some sort of conclusion in respect of CS tanks!!!
  7. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    I understand the diaries in question for October 1942 would be....

    X Corps: 73rd, 76th 84th.

    XIII Corps: 57th, 65th & 102nd.

    XXX Corps: 61st, 149th, 3RHA, 7thNZ & 1st SA.

    However, if they arrived much before then, the Corps Regiments might have differed somewhat.
  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    s I understand the situation - when the 3.7' AA gun was installed in London primarily - many - if not the most 3" AA guns were sold
    to Russia - who used them as A/T guns against the Germans - some were captured and used against 8th Army by Rommel until his 88mm had
    a better carriage - then the 88mm became No 1.

  9. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    That's a new twist!
  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David W

    Not really as I knew that along time ago - Rommels 88mm Gun was probaby the best in ww2 - as it proved itself in both Spain in the Civil War and in France in the 40's BUT and similar to our 17 pounder - it needed a new carriage which it had in the desert - the old 3" AA gun was then left to rot - what really bugged us in the Tanks was that many 3.7: AA guns stood idle in Egypt when they could have been used to offset the effect of the 88mm - but it took along time - i.e.. Battle of the bulge - '45 for the 3.7" to be
    officially classed as an A/t gun- way too late -athough it had proven itself at Medenine ( LATE '42) alongside the 4 only 17 pounders
    then were sent back to the uk for abetter carriage - never did see them again until late in Italy…

  11. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Sorry Tom, the twist I was referring to was the captured "Russian" 3" A/T gun being used by Rommel against the Brits.
  12. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

  13. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    On Rommels first foray from El Aghaila- after Beda Fomm in early '42 - he had to use the ex Brit / Russian 3in A/T gun as the carriage for his 88mm was too weak - similar to the first 4 x 17 pounders which landed with the Torch force and were whistled down
    to Monty at Medenine on the 25 pounder carriage- thence back to the UK for a better carriage - to re -appear with a Canadian Battery
    and were all lost at the aproaches to Diadem - more were forthcoming after Florence but only in Shermans as the Churchill turret
    ring was too small for the big 17 pounder ….


    David not too strange as we all used whatever was to hand at the time
  14. idler

    idler GeneralList

    MacKenzie's Home Guard, quoted in Clarke's Britain's Final Defence, mentions:
    Clarke goes on to tell the standard tale of the Churchill Gun Carrier and the 17pr-carriaged 3" 16cwt guns but has anyone considered it's the RA staff history that's in the wrong? Given that 17pr carriages weren't available for the first operational 17pr guns (the Pheasants), the use of 4.5" Howitzer carriages seems plausible.
  15. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    IMHO the 76.2 mm A/T and SP A/T guns used by the DAK were ex-Russian 76 mm divisional gun M1936 (F-22) and 76 mm divisional gun M1939 (USV) German named them as 7.62 cm PaK 36(r) and 7.62 cm PaK 39(r).
  16. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    The jury is still out for me Idler – Pemberton was pretty definite about the hybrid’s deployment but maybe this was only ever a plan.

    This conversation was getting fragmented so I have reposted my comments here.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019

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