Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

57mm Antitank M1

Discussion in 'Artillery' started by Danny Creasy, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. Danny Creasy

    Danny Creasy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    NW Alabama
    In my book I describe the action of the 335th Infantry Regiment on December 24, 1944. Major Gordon Bahe commanded their 3rd Battalion and was ordered to command a "delaying action" in Rochefort, Belgium. They were to slow the advancing center salient of Hitler's Unternehman Wacht am Rhein (wbka The Battle of the Bulge) – more specifically, the vaunted Panzer Lehr Division. He had assembled a mixed-bag of defenders including most of his own aforementioned battalion, a platoon of combat engineers from the 309th, my Dad's 3rd Platoon from the 2nd Battalion of the 29th, a tank destroyer platoon (M18 Hellcats), and last but not least, two platoons from his own regimental anti-tank company. These anti-tank soldiers were equipped with a pair of 57mm anti-tank guns. The Brits had originally designed the weapon and they called them "Six Pounders." I thought it was quite the coincidence that our local American Legion hall has two such artillery pieces straddling its flag pole. I couldn't resist the temptation of posing for a photograph standing between these two fine little workhorses of World War II.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,098
    Likes Received:
    116
    Location:
    MIDWEST
    we have a few in our city...one at a VFW...it appears to be 57mm.....then there was one near my home neighborhood, in the middle of a subdivision...near a road triangle...... I guess they had a lot to 'give' away....?? that should read M ''18''..no? one just had a misfire or something ...there is a thread on it
     
  3. Danny Creasy

    Danny Creasy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    NW Alabama
    True, it should. Brain to fingers, uh, help! I edited it. Thanks, bronk7
    .
     
  4. Natman

    Natman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Western Colorado
  5. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,445
    Likes Received:
    356
    Location:
    London UK
    Sensible stuff. The 6 Pdr/57mm was a good gun which had the confidence of its British detachments. Towed anti tank guns needed to be sited in pairs and to obtain flanking shots. Their detachments were as vulnerable as gunners in the Napoleonic or US Civil Wars and needed surprise.

    This gun was small enough to manhandle and could, in particular wioth Sabot (APDS) knock out heavy tanks. The first Pz VI Tiger captured by the British was knocked out by a 6 Pdr. In his famous attack at Villers Bocage, Wittman was most likely knocked out by a Sgt Bray's Rifle Brigade 6 Pdr.
     
  6. Danny Creasy

    Danny Creasy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    NW Alabama
  7. Danny Creasy

    Danny Creasy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    NW Alabama
    Here are a couple of action reports that were very instrumental in my research of the Rochefort engagement:

    Please note that the writer mistakenly refers to Major Bahe and "Major Ball", but he was a map/figure drawing son of a gun.
    http://www.tankdestroyer.net/images/stories/ArticlePDFs/825th_Activity_Rpt_Dec_1944-13_pages.pdf

    This one contains the actions of the unit with the M18 Hellcats (begins on page "67").
    http://www.tankdestroyer.net/images/stories/ArticlePDFs/638th_TD_Dec_1-31_44_History_of_Ops.pdf
     
  8. Natman

    Natman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Western Colorado
    I work on the TD website, always good to get some positive feedback.

    Steve
     
  9. Danny Creasy

    Danny Creasy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    NW Alabama
    Steve, please note that I added a second reference after your response. It took me a while to find it again.
     
  10. Natman

    Natman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Western Colorado
    The 638th has well written AAR's. I feel names within the text honors both the men who died/were wounded and the ones who survived.

    I noticed on the records index for the 638th that there is also a journal available for Dec, 44.
     

Share This Page