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#1 max

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 10:15 AM

Hello Everyone

I have a picture of my Grandfather (front row, 6th from left see below) taken during the war in front of , what I thought to be British tanks. He was in the 71st Anti Tank Regt, RA, 53rd (Welsh) Division. On second viewing I think they may actually be self propelled guns. What do you guys think? Any information on this, or any other info regarding 71/ATK ,Anti-tank tactics or techniques in general, will be very gratefully received.

Best regs

Andy

[ 27. November 2003, 05:03 AM: Message edited by: max ]

#2 Heartland

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 10:23 AM

Something wrong with the link? Try this:

Posted Image

Perhaps your host doesn't allow linking. Slapped the pic into my temporary directory so people can help out...

[ 27. November 2003, 04:25 AM: Message edited by: Heartland ]
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Rush of blood and over we go..."
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#3 max

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 11:02 AM

Thanks mate

#4 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 03:41 PM

The vehicle in the picture is an Archer self-propelled anti-tank gun. The chassis is the Valentine tank. An open topped superstructure was built on the front end of the vehicle. A 17pdr AT gun was installed facing rearward over the engine.
The Archer therefore had to "back up" into combat.

#5 max

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 07:20 PM

Thanks for the info. Its very interesting that the gun went into action "backwards" with the engine exposed. Wouldn't this fact make it very vulnerable in action?
Thanks again

Andy

#6 Martin Bull

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 07:55 PM

An advantage of the design was that the vehicle was low and compact. The gun was considered to be overall quite satisfactory; appearing in NW Europe from October 1944 and remaining in service with the British Army until mid-1950s.

I'm guessing here, but it was probably mainly used in the 'hull-down' position and therefore the 'front', er, back... :confused: - would have been reasonably well camouflaged from view; aided by the low silhouette.
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#7 max

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 08:05 AM

Hello Martin, thanks for that. Have you any idea what the anti-tank units would have been using pre October 1944. My grandad did mention something about 25 pounders but to my eternal shame I wasn't really listening. Unfortunately its too late to ask him now.

Andy

#8 Mahross

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 06:24 PM

Max - it would probably have been towed 17 pounders. Possible towed by a crusader prime mover. That was the statndard equipment of infantry division anti-tank regt.

#9 max

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 08:21 AM

Thanks Mahross

#10 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 03:43 PM

The British infantry division anti-tank regiment was divided into four batteries of three sections each. Two of the batteries by 1944 were self propelled with one of several tank destroyers, including the Archer, Achilles (US M-10 with 17pdr) and, Wolverine (US M-10). The other two batteries initially had 6 pdrs that were replaced by 17pdrs as production permitted. Towing vehicles for these could be trucks, Carden-Lloyd universal carriers (often refered to as "dragons"), or tracked vehicles like redundant Crusaders with the turret removed. In infantry divisions trucks or carriers were far more common.
The entire regiment had a strength of about 560 officers and men.
Your photograph shows what appears to be one section, most likely the one your grandfather served in.
The Archer in combat was generally used defensively. It would drive to a good covered / camoflauged firing position and was to engage enemy armor as it advanced. The battery would be employed as a unit rather than as single vehicles. This made the unit more effective in combat as individual vehicles could shift firing positions while others in the battery continued to engage. This made it harder for the enemy to locate and engage the tank destroyers.

#11 Philip Barnett

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 06:38 AM

Something wrong with the link? Try this:

Posted Image

Perhaps your host doesn't allow linking. Slapped the pic into my temporary directory so people can help out...

[ 27. November 2003, 04:25 AM: Message edited by: Heartland ]


I have this picture as well, My Father in Law Martin Joyce (second from left back row) told me it was taken just before the victory parade in Hamburg. They had spent the day polishing their 17 pounder for the parade.




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