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Old June 9th, 2006, 06:43 AM

Helm Helm is offline
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Default 2 pounder HE shot ?

I've noticed that the British 2lber can fire HE AFAIK, it never could, indeed that was possibly it's main drawback in the early years. I recall a conversation with my father who served with 1 RTR during WWII regarding this but he also mentioned it could in the right hands put up a tremendous rate of fire if the loader laid the shells along his forearm and used the arm like a loading rack slamming the shells home with his free hand.
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Old June 9th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: 2 pounder HE shot ?

The 2 pounder always did have an HE round, it was just not issued as a regular item til later on in the war.

Early doctrine was that the gun was for fighting tanks, and the MG to deal with infantry, so no HE issued.

Later on, it was issued as a limited item (the HE content of a 40mm high velocity shell was not much use really). The Australians made thier own version with a base fuse.

So it is made available for some later war users of the 2 pounder (not the littlejohn squeezebore choke adaptor of course!


Cheers
Andy
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Old June 9th, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: 2 pounder HE shot ?

Quote:
Helm said:
I've noticed that the British 2lber can fire HE AFAIK, it never could, indeed that was possibly it's main drawback in the early years. I recall a conversation with my father who served with 1 RTR during WWII regarding this but he also mentioned it could in the right hands put up a tremendous rate of fire if the loader laid the shells along his forearm and used the arm like a loading rack slamming the shells home with his free hand.
It could definately fire HE - "Shell, HE, Mk 2T", for example. IIRC there was in fact two different HE rounds made, an early one available from the start of the war and a later, and much better one, made for the Australian Army and used extensively against the Japanese. There is a reference to British tanks using HE in France in 1940. In 1944, British armoured car crews also complained that the use of the Little-John squeeze-bore adapter on their 2-pdr guns prevented them from firing HE, which also implies that they did in fact have that type of ammunition available.

There is a number of different explanations as to why 2-pdr HE was rarely carried in tanks, one being that it was not very effective, which I find hard to believe. Even if it wasn't very good, it would clearly have been better than nothing?
A more reasonable explanation is that production of the 2-pdr HE round was discontinued for a while after Dunkirk for reasons of production: The 2-pdr in tanks as well as anti-tank guns was primarily anti-tank weapons, not artillery and with the pressures put on British industry post-Dunkirk, dropping the HE round was considered acceptable.

Claus B
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Old June 9th, 2006, 10:18 AM

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Default Re: 2 pounder HE shot ?

That seems a reasonable explanation,my father joined after Dunkirk so may have thought it was purely AP in use I do know he said it would have made life a lot safer and easier in the desert if they had a useful HE round

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Steve
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Old June 9th, 2006, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: 2 pounder HE shot ?

Actually the okes in the desert preferred MG rounds, at least the Seffricans did. Occasionally on the Marmon-Herrington my dad was a crewman on, they would issue 2pdr HE rounds. They would leave them behind for more MG rounds. You can sweep a machinegun as you ride, you can't sweep a 2pdr.

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