Sunday, 4 August 2013

Ordnance QF 2-Pounder ATG - Really Crap?

When I first was bitten by the wargaming bug I, like everyone else, read at face value books and wargames magazine articles about the BEF, the Western Desert Force and 8th Army. In most if not all of these books the 2-pdr ATG was universally condemned as a rubbish weapon. Ineffective against later German tanks.......And there's the rub right there: 'later German tanks'. Of course it couldn't penetrate the armour of Panzers IV, V & VI! It was designed when such things did not exist; it was designed to combat the tanks available at the time. In this role, as it turns out, it was a superlative weapon hampered only by the lack of a HE round. A HE round was developed but never produced which is, of course, a drawback for the tank-gun version of the 2pdr.

It would appear that its innovative design gave it a 360 degree traverse and higher hitting power than the comparable Pak36 & Hotchkiss 25mm guns. The fact that it remained in service throughout WW2 is testament to the gun's usefulness. It was displaced by heavier ATGs as heavier German tanks appeared but remained a deadly opponent against the types of tank it was designed to combat. Thus in the Far East it was more than a match for all Japanese tanks.

I am about halfway through the build of Zvezda's 2pdr model gun. I have to say that I have enjoyed the build and been amazed at the sci-fi look of the gun as it's gone together. It must be those tripod legs which give it a very strange look. But then it's only strange because we're so used to the post 1942 ATG orthodoxy.

Here's some pictures of the gun without its shield and crew:

Secret Vickers Plans

2pdr Front

2pdr Side

So, to answer the title's question. Was the 2pdr ATG as crap as legions of half-assed articles and books have stated? No, it wasn't. It was a gun of its time and in its time was an effective, reliable and useful gun. The fact that it remained in front-line service against tanks it was never designed to fight is no fault of the gun's. Look to the politicians and the planners if you want someone to blame.

PS: In response to Chris Kemp's query I found this on the Lone Sentry site: 2pdr ATG

UATH!



10 comments:

  1. Ah the patent tiger/panzer tickler.
    Booom.....whizzz.....KLANG!!!!

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    1. Oh, it was you who wrote all that trip about the 2-pdr then? ;-)

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  2. I did read (and promptly lost the reference) in a regimental history that the reputed 600 yard range was a problem with the sights rather than the gun.

    The history stated that when the gun was properly calibrated, it would fire accurately out to 1000 yards. If this rings any bells and anyone has the reference, I would be most grateful!

    Kind regards, Chris

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    1. Chris, I found this reference:

      http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/artillery-in-the-desert/british-equipment.html

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  3. Cool, note to self - order immediately!

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    1. Al, do so! Compared to a couple of their other gun kits this is not in the least bit fiddly and goes together without any alarming squeaks or bends.

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  4. A good little review James. I think it could still knock out any Japanese tank right until the end...Not that that makes it a winner!

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    1. Hi Paul, thank you for your kind words :-) I don't think the 2-pdr was a war-winner by any means but it was really effective against the tanks it was designed to fight. So those Ha-Go and Chi-Ha tanks better watch out lol

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  5. I love that model. I was trying to put together a BEF force and bought a few of them. Only one has been made so far though.

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    1. I started with the BEF motif and then thought I'd leave 1940 France to the French & Germans. I'm currently converting the BEF toys into a Westernish Desert Force with that astounding Caunter-camo scheme!

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