Battle Experience Questionnaire

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Paul Reed, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Well I suppose the original soldier from the questionnaire is not here to defend the PIAT and as I have no experience in the things whatsoever, I'm inclined to believe Tom and Brian.

    Just had a shufti on youtube, not a lot to go on but this video, which I'm sure has been posted on here before goes to show just how much of a cumbersome piece of equipment the PIAT was.

    YouTube - PIAT british antitank weapon in WW2
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Well I suppose the original soldier from the questionnaire is not here to defend the PIAT and as I have no experience in the things whatsoever, I'm inclined to believe Tom and Brian.

    Just had a shufti on youtube, not a lot to go on but this video, which I'm sure has been posted on here before goes to show just how much of a cumbersome piece of equipment the PIAT was.

    YouTube - PIAT british antitank weapon in WW2

    Marcus,
    That was posted before.
    Brian ( sapper ) nearly had kittens viewing it. ;)
    It's utter rubbish, the bloke doesn't know how to use it at all.
    let's not go there again on this thread.
    There's already one on the forum about that video clip.
     
    canuck likes this.
  3. JWilly48519

    JWilly48519 Junior Member

    Sorry to necro-respond to this thread, but often old exchanges like this form the "research" for subsequent learning, so it's best to correct inaccuracies in them.

    (...)The projectile is so designed, that when it hits a hard surface. The front casing fuses into a solid shot that penetrates steel or anything hard. (...) If fired as a mortar, the only danger to the enemy is if it actually falls on his head. For on firing. if it fires at all? will fire the solid shot straight down into the ground. The fin will fly up in the air...Thats it.

    All WWII AT projectors (PIAT, M1 and M9 bazookas, panzershrek, panzerfausts, etc.) were used at times for direct- and indirect-fire against infantry, other soft targets, and light buildings, even if only HEAT projectiles were available. For physics reasons, HEAT projectiles typically used high-velocity explosives such as RDX, and had very light-weight cases. Because only about 15-20% of the flattened-spherical energy release was directionally distorted by the Munro Effect, detonation of such projectiles resulted in large numbers of relatively low-mass fragments with very high initial velocity, with an other-than-forward directionality not much different from what one might expect from a non-HEAT round. Thus the injury potential of such a round detonating within several meters of an unprotected infantryman was very high. However, except for large case chunks i.e. the fin assembly, the injury potential dropped off rapidly with distance due to low fragment mass and consequent quick velocity loss.

    Panzershrek and panzerfaust were available only in HEAT, and generally German standing orders were to not use them against soft targets because replenishment was chronically short and it was desired to retain them for AT use. The Allies OTOH tended to have lots of ammo, and therefore ignored and sometimes informally encouraged use of HEAT rounds in this manner when they were what was available.

    The American M1 bazooka did have a WP-fragmentation round that was sometimes available in the field, and was reputed to be quite effective for anti-personnel fire into buildings, and also provided a useful ability to put masking smoke in front of a suddenly materializing enemy unit firing upon one's own unit.

    As to the PIAT, rounds were commonly available in three flavors...HEAT, HE and WP. Field availability of the HE type among ground-supplied units was said to often have been good...WP, less regularly so, but obtainable on request through channels. "Mortar" use or any other soft-target use often used an HE or WP round, depending on target characteristics. The HE round was reputed to have quite a wallop, having lighter fragments but more filler than a three inch mortar round. Thus for instance when it was desired to blow a hole in a light masonry structure, such that blast was the determining factor, and tank support was not readily available, a PIAT HE round was an excellent choice.

    HEAT round...shown with sealed aluminum packing containers for propellant cartridge and fuze element still clipped to fin assembly, as it would come out of the shipping tube:
    [​IMG]

    HE round:
    [​IMG]

    WP round:
    [​IMG]
     
    von Poop and Owen like this.
  4. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    One question I failed to answer, that was why would anyone be killed as soon as the Piat was fired? Sorry I missed that. here is the answer. The panzer's are always accompanied by panzer grenadiers. You have to get up very close to a tank to have any chance at all of hitting it,Then you would be pounced on by the Grenadiers Quickly.

    Now to be fair..I have £100 to anyone that could fire a PIAT from the hip. I am dead serious.... the money is yours if you can get hold of one. I will take that bet at 2 to 1 your fifty against my 100.
    But before anyone starts, first tell me how to run with a piat with a heavy projectile loose in the front tray....? as soon as you8 move...Even getting up... the bloody thing will slide out its tray.If you fire it from the hip then you are in danger of a fractured spine.

    Now I doubt no one here. But it must be said, that there are those around that are not who they claim to be. No name no pack drill!

    Now for legal reasons I am not going to name this source other than to say this... A article was written and came up on the Internet that was oddly enough exactly the same tale as I had written previously....... Coincidence? That is for others to decide.

    At a Normandy reunion, (At pegasus) there was a really smart Para office with all his campaign medals and awards....except for one thing he was far to young to have been around....That is all I am prepared to say...And even that with a pleasant smile
    Sapper
     
  5. Alan Allport

    Alan Allport Senior Member

    Canadian Battle Questionnaires such as these form part of the source base for an interesting book that came out last year (which I haven't read yet but which sounds intriguing):

    Canadians Under Fire: Infantry Effectiveness in the Second World War. By Robert Engen. Montréal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7735-3626-5. Appendixes. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Pp. x, 245. $34.95.

    "In Canadians Under Fire, Robert Engen assesses the Canadian infantry's battlefield performance during the Second World War and addresses scholars' claims that Allied infantrymen were ineffective combatants. In particular, American journalist and military writer S.L.A. Marshall alleged that only 15-25% of American riflemen used their weapons in battle and that this "ratio-of-fire" was universally applicable. Engen collects new evidence from battle experience questionnaires distributed to Canadian Army officers in 1944-1945, part of a British War Office project that sought to incorporate tactical details on combat into army training. Engen focuses on the 161 Canadian infantry officer surveys available at Library and Archives Canada and his thesis is two-fold: while the questionnaire responses demonstrate "that the tactical combat effectiveness of Canadian infantry in the Second World War was much greater than has sometimes been allowed in the historical literature" (p. 7), they also represent, "possibly for the first time, a direct refutation of Marshall's observations of a highly ineffective ratio of fire in Allied troops" (p. 8)."

    Best, Alan
     

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