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Post Info TOPIC: Allied anti tank measures 1918


Legend

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Allied anti tank measures 1918
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I enclose the 2nd part of my description of WW1 anti tank measures - this deals with the (rather bitty) Allied approach. There are many holes and I hope some of you may have further info (such as were any of those AT rifle grenades ever used?)


 


I've put picture references in the text and enclose the pictures seperately.



-- Edited by Centurion at 13:13, 2006-07-07

-- Edited by Centurion at 13:14, 2006-07-07

Attachments
ag1.jpg (16.1 kb)
ag2.jpg (16.3 kb)
ag3.jpg (35.4 kb)
FG1.jpg (15.8 kb)
sa1.jpeg (55.1 kb)
ta1.jpg (150.9 kb)
TG1.jpeg (39.7 kb)
tt1.jpg (68.4 kb)
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Field Marshal

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Excellent! Fills up all the gaps very nicely. Will post in a day or two!


All the best


 



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According to Martin Farndale (History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, Western Front 1914-18), British artillery doctrine during 1918 included "forward sections" of field guns detailed to fire over open sights at enemy infantry and tanks.


P.J. Campbell was a subaltern serving with an Army Brigade of field artillery in 1917-18. His very readable memoir, "In the Cannon's Mouth", includes an episode when he commanded a forward section of two 18-pdrs in the summer of 1918. He was rather pessimistic regarding his chances of survival, if attacked.



-- Edited by Rhomboid at 02:59, 2006-07-08

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Field Marshal

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Sorry - I can't seem to edit out the "smiley" emoticon. That should read " two eighteen pounders".

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Legend

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Thanks for this


I've read your fascinating attachment (RTF caused my system no problem). Desperate times indeed. However Campbell's detachment appears to have been assigned a 'sacrifice guns' (to use a common piece of terminology) role rather than a specific anti tank task. His job (even more hairy) was to face whatever came at him, infantry or tanks (or indeed anything else) for as long as possible (much the same sort of task as the defenders of Calais faced in 1940). Not very nice for the gunners so assigned to put it mildly, but not part of a coherent anti tank strategy.


18 pounders seem to have been used in a sort of 'plug the gap' role to meet emergencies from what ever cause.



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Corporal

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Thanks for the information. A very interesting read. I wonder how the AT rifle granade was deployed. ie direct fire or lobbed?

regards

Martynsmile.gif

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Almost ALL British rifle grenade fire (direct & indirect) was basically lobed. With out a major bracing support (like an upright at the back of the trench) angles below about 20 degrees were not achieveable.

Especially with rod grenades pressures & recoil were extreme. For damned good reason most Rifle Grenade Rifles were tighly wrapped in several layers of wire! This to strengthen, protect from failure etc.

Next the AT rifle grenades were fired at something - significant quantities issued & most of these fired. I very much doubt that they were fired at tanks or even vehicles much.

Ian Skennerton "The British Service Lee" records stocks of 75,493 of No 44 AT Rodded grenade held in France at the end of the war. Since well over 100,000 were made and issued (there is some aurgument as to the total but approx 125,000 to 150,000 seems reasonable give the ranges I have found).

Stocks of No.s 23 H.E.  rodded, 35 H.E.  rodded & 36 H.E. cup combine to almost 4Million as a comparison.

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Brigadier

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This is a great and unique article (I don't know any other publication summing up all WW1 Allied anti tank measures, contrary to German). However here are my comments on some excerpts of the article, I found some mistakes and I also have doubts:

 

The Americans also had an antitank rifle grenade the M9 AT (not to be confused with todays M9 grenade launcher) that looked very similar to the French grenades but I have not been unable to determine if was actually in service in 1918.

According to Darryl W. Lynn's "Grenade Recognition Manual Volume 1: US Grenades and Accessories" M9 anti-tank grenade was adopted on 30 December 1940 and it was quickly replaced (not later than in 1942) by M9A1 anti-tank grenade. So Americans didn't produce anti-tank grenades during WW1.

 

The French decided that the 37 mm Puteaux trench gun would also suffice as an anti tank gun. At Reims on June 1st 1918 a concealed battery of such guns knocked out a German tank. In the same battle a second concealed battery drove off a second German tank. The French appear to have adopted the tactic of surrounding some heavy machine gun positions with dug in and concealed trench guns. The machine gun positions were designated targets for the German tanks and so became the bait in a tank ambush. Apart from its relatively low muzzle velocity this gun had many of the attributes of an infantry anti tank gun; a low profile, easy portability and a small crew. It was also adopted by the American Expeditionary Force but it is not known if it was used in an anti tank role by US troops.

I think that ambush at Reims on June 1st 1918 was done with famous French 75s, not 37 mm trench guns. At least this is what's written in both books by Rainer Strasheim and Max Hundleby. But maybe Centurion described another incident, also on 1st June and used other sources? However what I'm sure about is that Strasheim & Hundleby did not write anything about French trench guns shooting at German tanks on 1st June.

And I'm sure that Americans did not use trench guns against German tanks, because to the best of my knowledge Americans have never fought against German tanks during WW1.

 

I can find only one account of an Allied aircraft attacking a German tank directly. This was at Soissons where a German tank (probably an A7V) was attacked after its crew had already abandoned it, removing its machine guns.

According to books by Strasheim & Hundleby there were two aircraft attacks on German tanks during WW1.

The one described above was near Fort de la Pompelle on June 1st 1918 and the tank was captured Mark IV (Hedda from Abteilung 11), not A7V. The aeroplane was driven away by fire of two machine guns removed from the tank (the crew left it because the tank was seriously damaged).

On August 30th 1918 A7V 562 Herkules was bombed by enemy aircraft in the Bourlon Wood assembly area. Three men were killed and 11 wounded.



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Commander in Chief

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The French 75s were the great tank killers throughout, they claimed

- 27 May 1918: two Beute-Mk. IVs (Abt. 12)

- 31 May 1918: one A7V (529)

- 01 June 1918: one A7V (527), three Beute-Mk.IVs (Hedda, Heinz, Lotte) - not counting Liesel and Ännchen, which were only hit later, after already having been abandoned

- 15 July 1918: four Beute-Mk.IVs

 

There was only one direct attack on a German tank by an airplane, or more exactly on a tank crew while bailing out. On 01 June, a French flyer, most probably an obtrusive artillery spotter, was driven away by Hedda's machine guns at a time when the tank had already been disabled by a ruptured track due to a 75-mm hit. On all other occasions, it was area bombing that hit tanks or personnel, not direct attacks.



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MZ


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The Mle 1897 was still going strong as an anti-tank gun in WW2 - the Germans built >3500 PaK 97/38 anti-tank guns by dropping the Mle 1897 barrel and recoil assembly into a PaK 38 carriage. The Vichy French knocked out British light tanks during the invasion of Madagascar with Mle 1897 guns.

Regards,

Charlie



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mad zeppelin wrote:

The French 75s were the great tank killers throughout, they claimed

- 27 May 1918: two Beute-Mk. IVs (Abt. 12)

- 31 May 1918: one A7V (529)

- 01 June 1918: one A7V (527), three Beute-Mk.IVs (Hedda, Heinz, Lotte) - not counting Liesel and Ännchen, which were only hit later, after already having been abandoned

- 15 July 1918: four Beute-Mk.IVs

 

There was only one direct attack on a German tank by an airplane, or more exactly on a tank crew while bailing out. On 01 June, a French flyer, most probably an obtrusive artillery spotter, was driven away by Hedda's machine guns at a time when the tank had already been disabled by a ruptured track due to a 75-mm hit. On all other occasions, it was area bombing that hit tanks or personnel, not direct attacks.


 

Great summary on 75s, thank you MZ!

I have a few questions:

1. Do you remember where did you find information that the plane which attacked Hedda belonged to Escadrille 200? Do you know anything about this unit? I was unable to find info on it. I'm only sure that it was not a fighter unit. I'm curious if it is possible to find info which type of aircraft it was and maybe even who were the pilot and observer (very likely it was a two-seater).

2. Do you know incidents other than that on August 30th of area bombing which hit tanks and/or personnel of German tanks during WW1?

3. Do you know anything on hand or rifle grenades being used agains German tanks? Which weapons other than French 75s (and airplane on August 30th) destroyed or damaged German tanks during WW1? Are there any proofs that 37 mm trench guns were really used in anti-tank role in 1918?



-- Edited by Albert on Sunday 17th of March 2013 06:38:44 PM

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Commander in Chief

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I think 'Esquadrille 200' was mentioned in the History of the Fort de la Pompelle in the Great War, which was on sale there a long time ago.

The tank units unloading from train for the action on 01 November 1918 (Abt. 12, 13, 14) were bombed as well.

Other weapons effective: Mk.IV 6-pounder (A7V 561, 2 Mk.IV females of Abt. 16); German 7.7-cm FK (Wagen 219 of Abt. 15); anti-tank mines (4 Beute-Mk.IV on July 15).

French 37-mm: negative



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MZ


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mad zeppelin wrote:

I think 'Esquadrille 200' was mentioned in the History of the Fort de la Pompelle in the Great War, which was on sale there a long time ago.

The tank units unloading from train for the action on 01 November 1918 (Abt. 12, 13, 14) were bombed as well.

Other weapons effective: Mk.IV 6-pounder (A7V 561, 2 Mk.IV females of Abt. 16); German 7.7-cm FK (Wagen 219 of Abt. 15); anti-tank mines (4 Beute-Mk.IV on July 15).

French 37-mm: negative


 

Thank you very much, MZ!

Is it "Le Fort De La Pompelle Haut Lieu De La Guerre 1914 - 1918" that you had in mind?

 



-- Edited by Albert on Sunday 17th of March 2013 08:05:50 PM

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Is it "Le Fort De La Pompelle Haut Lieu De La Guerre 1914 - 1918" that you had in mind?

 



-- Edited by Albert on Sunday 17th of March 2013 07:56:50 PM


 Yes, I think that's the one. If it isn't in there, it's in the Guide Michellin.



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MZ


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mad zeppelin wrote:

Is it "Le Fort De La Pompelle Haut Lieu De La Guerre 1914 - 1918" that you had in mind?

 



-- Edited by Albert on Sunday 17th of March 2013 07:56:50 PM


 Yes, I think that's the one. If it isn't in there, it's in the Guide Michellin.


 

Thanks, I'll have to buy and check.

Gentlemen, looks like after we established facts we can change some brought up above errors in http://landships.info/landships/tank_articles.html?load=tank_articles/Allied_Anti_Tank.html



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