Antitank Rifles.

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by von Poop, May 8, 2008.

  1. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    ' ant the so celled bazooka plates on German armor put on in Russia put on because of the Russian anti tank rifle being able perpetrate the side week spots.
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Regarding them in France during 1940:

    There were very few heavy/medium tanks in France and Belgium.

    I think I have read roughly an equal amount of comments on the Boyes Rifle knocking out tanks and rounds not penetraing the armour. I wonder how many of the later are of 'Tommy Atkins' just having a traditional moan -British soldiers are good at that ;)
     
  3. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    As an infantryman I would prefer a weapon that is going to 'kill' a tank. In my time as an active infantryman we had the 'Charlie Gee' The Carl Gustav 84mm anti tank gun. The use of this weapon could be used in the stalking role where we would hope to use our ability to remain undetected and hit the tank on the weaker areas - not frontal. We would stalk -ideally in threes, one to fire the CG, one to load and one with the No2 kill the crew as they attempted to exit the tank. Any weapon that keeps a tank battened down reduces its ability to 'see' periscopes are no substitute for the mark one eyeball. I met an old hand in the mess at a reunion , who described the Boys as a big bang, a hell of a recoil and bugger all else. I fired (as a cadet the 94E Energa) grenade from the SLR. this was a hollow charge anti tank weapon - with a maximum sighted range of 75 yards even if it took a track off - the aim would be to kill the crew as they bailed out.
     
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

  5. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

  6. keithgr

    keithgr Junior Member

    I hope you do not mind me saying, I would have thought in a adult forum it would be better to write in a adult way.
    For example,-- becuz,-yea, and other ways of writing.[ 1 instead one.][knowS]

    Keith[/quote]
     
  7. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    Me too! But the Energa grenade would go a lot further than 75 yards. While carrying my section Energa at the School of Infantry in January 1963 (it was a trifle chilly) I was kicked in the butt and asked why I was not engaging the target tank which had appeared at about 100 yards. My explanation that it was out of range was not accepted and I eventually fired at about 200 yards (way beyond the range of the sights), but my (inert) grenade only just missed behind the tank.

    On a range later, I saw a live Energa hit the inside of the turret ring of a turretless Sherman. The jet produced emerged from the side of the tank having penetrated about a foot of (rather old) armour. So it was not altogether useless (and made a lot less noise and dust than an 84mm - or a 3.5 for that matter). And I am sure you would prefer to carry an Energa than an 84mm!

    Chris
     
  8. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    One thing to remember is that in the first couple of years of the war - even anti-tank gun ordnance wasn't very sophisticated - APC or APC(BC)....if not just solid shot I.E. great big bullets themselves :( Anti-tank rifles would penetrate light face-hardened armour....so actually would AP munition in a HMG! :mellow:

    It's worth reading Hugh Montefiore's Dunkirk to see the number of occasions when German tank crews were forced to abandon their vehicles when they came under AT-rifle fire or even just heavy machinegun fire :lol: because there was one thing inside a tank that could be knocked out by an anti-tank rifle....the crew! And add to them any vital wiring or cabling or piping that controlled the blasted (sic) thing or made it run.

    1940 WAS a strange time for modern warfare - not only would German tank crews get out and run when faced with HMG and AT-rifle fire....German infantry would run when attacked by - bren gun carriers!

    And of course - Italian armour in the Western Desert had a rather legendary brittle face-hardened armour ;) So the anti-tank rifle remained useful there for 18 months-two years longer than in Western Europe. For example, it armed a suprising number of British and Commonwealth wheeled armoured vehicles in North Africa.
     
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  10. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Range of 94E - yes the grenade would travel further the sighted range was 100 not as I said 75!- the sights were 25/50/75 and 100yds max. Below a diagram for the 94 and projector for the No4 rifle. Tales of 'stroking the trigger!' With no pistol grip - dire warnings of damaged fingers.





    standard-2.jpg
     
  11. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  12. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    I found this Canadian training film about the Boys Rifle very amusing - it's on YouTube of course. "Stop that Tank!" Canada (ca.1942) 1/3 - YouTube

    I was also amused to find that Australian troops nicknamed it 'Charlie the Bastard' due to it's savage recoil. I'll have to look for it, but I'm sure there's an account in either Diary of a Staff Officer or one of the Gun Buster series in which a Boys crew destroy an AFV and actually hit the gun barrel, splitting it along its length. Or might that have been something of a propaganda morale booster?
     
  13. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  14. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    I thought members might be interested in reading a short extract from my Dad's Dunkirk memoirs. He was with the BEF and as the following para illustrates, one of Dad's comrades proved onlt too well with his life that the Boyes worked ...
    Thanks
    Paul

    "Our battalion had an excellent commanding officer in Lieutenant Colonel Steel who was very understanding and considerate since we were experiencing such adverse conditions – having been upgraded from a labour battalion to an active service role in such a short time must have put a dreadful strain on all our officers. The enemy made a probing attack against us with light tanks and infantry and we succeeded
    in knocking out one tank and scattering the infantry. During the afternoon, three light tanks were seen approaching our positions; the black cross was clearly visible. None of us had been given the responsibility of the Boyes anti-tank rifle, which was suspected of having terrific recoil. This situation, of course, like many other situations we experienced, was the result of our lack of training in England. One of
    our young officers, Second Lieutenant Hewson, took it upon himself to attack the enemy. He succeeded in knocking out one of the tanks, but the flash from the antitank
    rifle gave his position away and as he was endeavouring to change his position he was fired upon by the enemy and killed. The German infantry who accompanied the tanks made a show of making an attack upon us and we retaliated aggressively, killing many of them and causing them to withdraw. We were so incensed over the death of our brave young officer! We recovered Second Lieutenant Hewson’s body the next day and he is buried at Fort-Mardyck near Dunkirk. "

     
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  15. DanielG

    DanielG Senior Member

    The purpose of the anti-tank rifle was the same as the earlier anti-tank guns, to penetrate the armour with a chuck of steel and bounce it around inside the tank thereby causing all sorts of mayhem. The amount of damage done would of course depend on the size of the shot. The rifle would be more anti-crew than anti-tank.
     
  16. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I think I'd mildly dispute that to a certain extent, Daniel.

    Certainly true in the AT rifle's brief 'golden age', when Armour was thin, but the longest WW2 usage of the things can be said to be the Soviets deploying them in packs of PTRS/PTRD for the duration of the war, and their doctrine seems to have become one similar to the modern large calibre 'Anti-materiel' rifles (if somewhat less stand-off than the modern use) - one of breaking track-links, vision blocks, and other mechanical essentials on the target vehicle.
    Hopes for easy penetration maybe faded early on (though Turret Schurzen's deployment does maybe imply that there was still a certain fear of internal spalling among the German machines), but there were other ways of skinning the armoured cat - a death-of-1000-cuts sort of attack.
     
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  18. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Those guys are too old.
     
  19. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    I always like it when people point out that anti-tank rifles had unpleasant muzzle blasts and a powerful recoil.

    They might as well be telling you what religion the Pope is.
     
  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

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