Piats

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by kingarthur, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Sorry...I have to disagree here The whole purpose of the PIAT projectile was to burn through a tank, and for the blast to follow through. As an anti infantry weapon it was completely useless, the whole of the blast is concentrated on the front of the bomb.the metal casing that serves to form the penetrating shot. There is precious little blast in any direction, so as a bomb landed the whole of the blast would fire down into the ground as it landed......In That respect and with all the experience it would seem that a catapult would cause more damage.

    All explosives have very different characteristics. A well trained Sapper would be aware of what they do. For example...Amanol is a widely used HE. But it has the characteristic of "Lifting Upwards" great for road demolition. While others have a "Cutting" effect. Coupled with the various types of primers detonators and fuses it is a science unto itself.

    I liked the "Instantaneous Fuse" run out a long length from the charge, and it does fire the charge instantaneously
    Coloured Yellow if I recall fro 66 years ago?
    sapper
     
  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Brian, the PIAT was clearly used as a mortar and the bomb caused a devastating explosion when it hit buildings or strongpoints. This is witnessed in many infantry accounts of the war in Europe. I'm presuming you never witnessed one being used against a structure? And in an RE field company I suspect you would only have, what 3 PIATs anyhow?
     
  3. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    Sorry...I have to disagree here The whole purpose of the PIAT projectile was to burn through a tank, and for the blast to follow through......


    I think I have a diagram of this somewhere..


    Interesting blog here, about 1/5 way down page:

    World War II: The Bazooka and Piat

    Note it was eventually considered too dangerous for practice after the war. It does say HE shrapnel warheads were also available.
    They were also dropped in great numbers to the French Resistance, who's main targets were probably not tanks.
     
  4. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Paul... The best thing for bringing down buildings was the tank with the Mortar on the front that fired huge charges.... Usually by the armoured RE.

    The mere construction of the PIAT projectile makes it useless against infantry.. But if you choose to believe otherwise? Ok by me...All I would ask is this...have a look at what it does and why ..Sapper
     
  5. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    ...All I would ask is this...have a look at what it does and why ..Sapper

    This should do it...
     

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  6. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Paul... The best thing for bringing down buildings was the tank with the Mortar on the front that fired huge charges.... Usually by the armoured RE.

    The mere construction of the PIAT projectile makes it useless against infantry.. But if you choose to believe otherwise? Ok by me...All I would ask is this...have a look at what it does and why ..Sapper

    There were many occasions when tanks and AVREs were not available. The use of the PIAT in a mortar role at Arnhem is well documented in account after account of men who were there. The Canadian Battle Circulars also hint at that it was commonplace in their units in NWE.

    I know what the PIAT does Brian, and what it AT round was designed to do, but there is clear evidence from primary sources that the PIAT was used in the role mentioned above. I'm afraid that just because your unit never did it, or you never saw it, doesn't mean it didn't happen.
     
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  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Only a couple of many mentions of PIAT from The Scots Guards 1919-1955, Erskine:

    Pg 260
    In the initial assault L/Sgt MacPhail had commanded the leading section and at a range of but twenty yards had silenced with two bombs from a P.I.A.T. a dugout which was a nodal point of the German defences.

    Pg 572
    The advance on Hechtel began through fairly thick and enclosed country. The first enemy to be encountered appeared with a towed 88 mm anti-aircraft gun. They were just over a wall in front of Lt. Llewellyn's Platoon and were spotted by Guardsman Pettigrew through a hole in a door; without thought to the extreme danger involved he at once loaded his P.I.A.T., and fired a bomb through the wood of the door, setting fire to the gun and killing several of its crew, and thus confounding the training manuals which stated that a P.I.A.T bomb would explode on the first contact after firing.
     
  8. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    I suspect if you find the original instructions for the weapon it will give its use as anti-tank function capable of perforating current model armoured vehicles and reinforced concrete at a range up to 100 yds and also as a mortar up to 350 yds. (It may be 'Notice No. 24 (1943)')
     
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Would anyone want to stand next to a squash-head/shaped round going off, whether into soft ground, or through a building?

    I certainly wouldn't, & the PIAT bomb carried a hefty charge, c.2.5Lbs of HE filling for a standard bomb (?).

    I seem to recall reading of German soldiers using Panzerfausts as mortars, so why not a PIAT?, even though they're different launching systems. Any old port in a storm if you're foot-slogging across incredibly dangerous parts of Europe, and the official heavy weapon support's not immediately to hand.
     
  10. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    ...without thought to the extreme danger involved he at once loaded his P.I.A.T., and fired a bomb through the wood of the door...


    Nothing at all to do with this:

    YouTube - Le Piat D'or (wine) advert 1980s (1988)

    Would anyone want to stand next to a squash-head/shaped round going off, whether into soft ground, or through a building?
    No, not me!
     
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  11. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    ...and the official heavy weapon support's not immediately to hand.

    In WW1 trenches, I understand a 12 gauge shotgun and a sharpened shovel were known to be quite useful.
     
  12. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The PIAT for demolition? Fine.. But as a mortar? The design of the bomb makes the front of the casing turn into a solid metal shot, and the blast follows forward. The fin comes back.

    There is no doubt that it was highly effective against armour. I have witnessed it first hand... The hole in the tank looks as though it had been burned through with an oxy acetylene cutting torch, But a neat round hole.

    AS to its value otherwise. Go and look for yourselves about the bomb.
     
  13. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Does anyone know of a video showing the PIAT being fired?
     
  14. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

    A video would be interesting viewing indeed
     
  15. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I know I always drag it out when this PIAT/Mortar thing rears it's head, so apologies for the repetition.
    But unless these Canuck chaps in Europe during 1944/5 were only thinking of firing directly while on very steep reverse slopes, I'd say they definitely had a 'mortarish' effect in mind.
    (fired in 2 salvos of 7 apparently, when I get the chance I'll scan in a closer shot of the firing arrangement):

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

    Great picture, nice bit of innovation there
     
  17. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Kingarthur -
    In my experience many Canadians were innovators - 2 man bridge - telephone hand set welded to back of tank for instant communication with crew - Piat / Mortars - Kangaroos - a very long list to make Battle much more comfortable !
    Cheers
     
  18. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Here we go.
    from the now sadly out of print 'Making Tracks' Carrier book by Chamberlain & Ellis:

    piat-carrier.jpg

    The rather more detailed Nigel Watson in his book tells us that this was the 16th Field Company of the Royal Canadian Engineers operating near Nijmegen on the 14th of December 1944 (and points out it is in fact one bank of 7, and another of 8)
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
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  19. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Does anyone know of a video showing the PIAT being fired?
    Brief PIAT usage footage here, about halfway through - firing at an old Stug.
    NEWSBRIEFS - British Pathe
    (you may have to sit through an advert first, but a small price to pay for the entertainment Pathe have given me this year.)
     
  20. gaspirator

    gaspirator Member

    I know I always drag it out when this PIAT/Mortar thing rears it's head, so apologies for the repetition.
    But unless these Canuck chaps in Europe during 1944/5 were only thinking of firing directly while on very steep reverse slopes, I'd say they definitely had a 'mortarish' effect in mind.
    (fired in 2 salvos of 7 apparently, when I get the chance I'll scan in a closer shot of the firing arrangement):

    [​IMG]


    That's a really weird arrangement! There must be a good lever system to fire off each bank, as just firing one PIAT takes the strength of your hand. I see the rubber butt pads have been removed and the muzzle plugs (cork on a chain) are hanging down.

    Are these Canadian Engineers using PIATS as mortars because they don't have proper mortars on issue, or did they have a specific task in mind??

    - Pete
     

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