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PIAT Gunners

 
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Joe



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 105
Location: Luton (UK)

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 12:06 pm    Post subject: PIAT Gunners Reply with quote

Hey guys.

So I've always had a love for the PIAT and at the latest event I have basically been confirmed as the PIAT gunner of the group (good or bad depending on your point of view, lol). Here's some pics:









I guess the main thing I want to ask if you guys know any info (or can refer me to any info) on how the PIAT was effectively used in the field (other than just dumping it as soon as you acquired it, lol). I know enough about the actual weapon to talk until the cows come home (too my mates amusement and the reason why I was made AT gunner). But other than aiming for the tanks tracks I'm rather clueless on how they were used in battle.

Take the window picture for example. I know that an advantage was that they didn't have blowback allowing your mates to stand behind you (theoretically, alot of crap can still come off it). But at the same time it could really only be fired prone. I mean, the bloody recoil was enough to break a mans shoulder! I could imagine on a window it could easily come off and break your foot!

Most importantly I want to know how it was held to fire. As you can see in the first photo I had my right on the trigger and my left hand under the 'guard' to help keep it up whilst pressing in my shoulder hard to keep it balanced. Whilst it felt more comfortable, I'm not quite sure if it is correct.

Also I'd like to know more on how they carried it about. I tried the strap thing at the weekend as well and while it was comfortable, I couldn't get it on and off without assistance it was darn heavy and tight! Although as you can see, I adopted the shoulder carrying technique (which I had seen in a newsreel) and was alot easier to do myself, but harder to carry for longer!

Also I'd like to know if they would have taken any other weapons with them, even if sidearms. Because I'd feel rather vulnerable with only a PIAT to protect me.....

So yeah, any info or pointers towards info would be very much appreciated.

Joe.
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Sarge: We'll join the fight after the three booms.
Private: Boom, boom, boom.
Me: Does that mean now?
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leecas
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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Posts: 3558
Location: London, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is some nice background with some pictures.

http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/weapons/lightweapons/lightantitank/piat.htm

Nice pics BTW.
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1Lt. Lee Cassar (Re-enactor)
Dog Company 2/506th
101st Airborne
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Yorkie
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Joined: 04 Dec 2006
Posts: 940
Location: Brampton, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.mlrsbooks.co.uk/bookstore/index.php/prod406.html?&qry=piat

You can get the official 1942/1943 manual here. 7 quid for a CD copy.
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(Re-enactor)Sgt. Glynn Tromans, 3 Tp, 3rd Para Sqdn, RE.
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Backspasm
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Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 592
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The osprey infantry anti tank tactics book says that when fired the force of the spring coming forward would give a nice jerk, and then the propellant blast would push you back. Considering these 2 forces it seems more likely that you would have it on a table or such behind the window.

You would also have a 2nd man with you (ideally) as a loader with an smg to help defend you and carry extra bombs.

I hope that helps somewhat.
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Cpl Ian McNish (Re-Enactor) 6th airborne
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Joe



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 105
Location: Luton (UK)

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That article was rather interesting Lee, thanks!

Yorkie I'll check my funds and see what I can scrounge up. Will certainly be an interesting read. Might get the book and then leave on our display or something to 'spice it up'.

Backspasm, that was something I personally thought as well. I was finding it hard enough to balance it on that sill let alone keep it balanced before/whilst firing! According to the article Lee posted there was actually a delay between pulling the trigger and the round being fired. But this also meant it could only be fired prone, although you would have thought with extra support from a table crouching would be possible? Will look into it.

A No.2 would be ideal, but we're currently trying to obtain a No.2 for a Bren gunner, I think I might struggle to gain a No.2 for the PIAT. lol.
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