2Pdr vs 40mm Bofors

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Joe2, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. Joe2

    Joe2 Banned

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    What i really dont understand is that why did the British keep the 2 Pdr gun? It is one of the worst guns ever, so why diddnt they take it out of their tanks and stick a bofors AA gun there? it would probably fit (both where 40mm), but the Bofors would be a bit longer. Then you could transform a useless bag 0' bolts into a really useful infantry support tank, as any enemy infantry would get blown to peices by the 4cm bullets being spat out of the huge machine-gun.
     
  2. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    But would it have had any effect on tanks, really? That is the whole purpose the 2 Pdr gun, to take out tanks. You had towed Bofors guns which could be useful for that purpose. Tanks are more dangerous really to infantry than other infantry really. Other infantry can be hurt by machine gun, pistol or rifle fire, but the same can't really be said of a tank...
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I think its worth remembering that the 2pd was probably the best of the 37/40mm AT guns usd by all sides at the start of the war. The 6pd was designed to replace it but after the fall of France the army lost a huge proportion of its AT guns and we simply couldn't afford to switch production at such a critical stage.

    What personally I consider to be the criminal mistake was not designing the newer tanks to take the larger gun when the switch in production could be made. The Pz III started with a 37mm and ended up with a very capable 50mm L60 and 75 L24.
    Why didn't the replacement for the Matilda be big enough to take the 6pd or even a 25pd to support the infantry. The Valantine was no improvement on the Matilda and was a wasted oportunity.
    The Crusader could take the 6pd when available so it could be done.
     
  4. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    Yes, still I suppose they considered that there was no point at the time. I am sure they had their reasons although they did yes make a mistake in not switching to 6pd or even 25pd guns when they had the chance...
     
  5. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    hence the steady progression from 2 pdr 6 pdr and eventually a 17pdr armed tanks. too little too late perhaps but at least they equiped English tanks late in the war. No real difference from how the US Sherman was armed with a low muzzle velocity 75mm which was near useless against heavier armour of the Panthers and Tigers late in WW2
     
  6. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Really Emac44 you should know better "English tanks"!! Surely you are thinking of British tanks!
     
  7. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    The loading mechanism on the Bofors 40mm was much larger than the 2pdr. It wouldn't have fit in any of the tanks that carried the 2pdr; simple as.
     
  8. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    The British did put the 40mm Bofors into tanks, initially Crusaders and then the turrets were remounted onto Cromwells. These were AA mountings and there is no way a 40mm Bofors could replace the 2pd AT gun as they were much much larger.
     
  9. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Remember tank design was limited. after World War 1 and to my way of thinking this may have lead to why British tanks (happy now Merlin) were undergunned as in comparison to later model German tanks. remember the Mk1 Panzer was just armed with only machine guns and was a pure Infantry support tank. But tank design during the intrim between wars in England to my way of thinking was being dictated by the Versailles Treaty signed after WW1 and limited the design weight and characteristics of all military hardware including Tanks Warships and Aeroplanes at the time. It wasn't until in 1935 when the British began noticing that the Germans where manufacturing weapons of war despite the Versailles Treaty which Hitler was ignoring that Britain began a process of equiping for any forth coming conflict as best as she could. Hence the rapid development of the Spitfire and Hurricane monoplanes rather than Bi Plane designs from WW1. The French had already developed a Tank series called the Char B which was superior to any German Tank design and was up gunned to defeat any German tank hull. the major problem early in WW2 wasn't so much tank gun design or equipment in most cases was the lack of tactics to counter react Blitzkreig type of war fare employed by the Germans and with support of the Luftwaffer and Foward Observers intrenched with the Army of Germany at the time and artilerry support units combined gave the Allies no time to regroup and counter attack like for example at Arras. But putting a 40mm Bofor in a tank would have been pointless unless it was to be used in anti aircraft or infantry support and the Maltilda Mk1 had already suited that purpose according to the British armed with machine guns for infantry support vehicle
     
  10. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    The British tank design was good in the early 1930s. The British models coming into service during the early 1940s were equal to or superior to their German counterpart. But as Emac says, the tactics were all wrong. It's a shame because British and French armoured theorists were ahead of the Germans until the mid 30s.

    It wasn't until the desert war that Britain realised they needed new, more powerful, tanks. The final message to the British was hit home by the Pz.Kpfw IV/F2. And the Bofors 40mm would have been useless against it.
     
  11. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Regarding design - British tanks in their capabilities were restrained by the Treasury rather than any Treaty, e.g. the Matilda 1 was designed to a price. Hence Britain was equiped with many Light Tanks fit just for recon. work.
    The Versailles Treaty - was a Treaty imposed on Germany as losers of WW1. The Treaty banned military aircraft - but to get around that Germany (well before Hitler) provided the 'Police' with fighters!
    In theory for Germany the War came too early - the Pzw 1 wasn't meant for active service - it was only a training tank; fortunately for them they had plenty of Czech tanks to appropriate.
    British tactics - the tank commanders who put their ideas into practise during the Salisbury Plain manurveurs in the thirties - were put into other areas. Pile was in comand of the anti-aircraft artillery, and Hobart was a private in the Home Guard - later rescued to assemble his D-day 'funnies'. So the British Army had to undergo 'on-the-job' training in North Africa.
    But to get back to the 'thread' as has already said the 40mm was an AA gun, whilst the 2 pdr was a gun that fired armour piercing solid shot.
     
  12. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Not so Merlin the treaty applied to the Allies as well. with the limiting of say warship size and construction and this was self imposed as the idea between the Allies from WW1 was that WW1 was a war to end all wars so why equip yourself with weapons heavier than needed so to speak. Germany"s Army was to be only 100,000 for self defence purposes alone. Yet the Germans later ignored this during the 1930's and retooled and equiped. But we are getting of the thread some what. Remember the 88mm was also an anti aircraft weapon though not in same calibre as a 40mm Bofor. The 88mm was a multi tasked weapon used in anti tank and equiping German tanks like the Tiger but also could be used in normal artillery usage as well and we know the Germans were very skilled in the use of the 88mm in what ever threatre of war it was used for anti tank anti aircraft anti personal etc etc. remember too that during this period an old form of ballistics for tank and anti tank weapons was re-emerging solid shot shells with a discarding sabot shell casing. discarding sabot rounds lended their usage from an earlier period of artillery shells fired by muzzled loaded guns from the previous century. Any way getting back to the 2 pdr vs the bofor the 2pdr was developed against light armour of say just about 25mm thickness and below. It however could be defeated against sloped armour and during WW2 both Germany and Russia were developing armour on tanks which were indeed sloped or rounded as in the turret of a T34 for example. the reason behind sloped armour was purely by physics alone. slope 25mm of armour will give it from the horizontal twice its thickness alone if you are trying to penetrate it will solid shot or a squash head round fired at the armour quite a simple realistic idea employed by the Axis and other Allies of our own. so how does one defeat a tank with say over 100mm of sloped armour during the period of history. develop weapons that indeed could defeat heavily armour tanks design the 17 pdr and later the 90mm tank guns which could defeat 100mm sloped armour vehicles it was a sheer case of ballistics to use against armour though the 17 pdr was limited and was just an 78mm gun in comparison. Unfortunately the 90mm was to little to late but by then war was nearly over in Europe any way. Ballistics in anti tank weapons have come along way since WW2 with the development of Corbhan Armour etc and the up gunning of main battle tanks to 120mm and above which can fire nuclear deplete rounds at tanks
     
  13. merlin

    merlin Member

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    You say the Treaty applied to the Allies as well, but then you go on to say that it was an attitude of mind - which is it!?
    All my books are packed away, ready to move house in the near future - probably be off-line for awhile! But I still say the Treaty imposed the victors terms on the vanquished - but after time the victors got bored with ensuring that the terms were kept to.
    Yes, the end of WW1 with its horrendous casualities, created a sense of 'never again' plus a climate of pacifism among the general public - who wouldn't pay - the Depression didn't help. Countries couldn't afford an naval arms race - hence limitations (Treaty of Washington was one) on warship tonnage by class.
    The 2 pdr gun as used in British tanks, as I recall, could not fire high-explosive shells only the solid shot i.e. they were only effective against other tanks. Whereas the larger calibre guns were more multi-purpose - as you say with the option of discarding sabot shells. Rommel could use his 88's where he wanted, whereas the British 3.7" AA gun was tied to anti-aircraft use - besides its mountins weren't as flexible.
    It wasn't just the turret of the T-34 but also the front of the tank itself, that had sloped armour. And the benefit was not just the extra distance the 'slope' gave - but the deflection it imparted to hits.
    Contrast the style of the Panther with that of the Tiger - the former is a Germanised T-34, while the Tiger could be said to be an up-sized Pzw 4.
    British tanks didn't get sloped armour till the Centurion came along.
     
  14. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    I do realize the differences in Tank design on the T34 etc Merlin. Was using the Turret as an example of why it was sloped and the hull etc and of deflection of shot on such a hull and turret and i do realize the the Germans did copy the T34 ideas to be used on a Panther. However ballistically say the 2pdr was fine on tanks or armour personal vehicles with armour under 25mm which wasn't sloped etc the 88mm with its different mountings was a multi tasked weapon then placed into an Battle Tank gave it another whole range of purposes. But the draw backs for a such large calibre weapon and Tank to house it was a comprimise on speed endurance and weight. Look at the size of say a King Tiger Tank armed with an 88mm and the size and weight of the armour add in fuel consumption per mile and it begins losing ground some what in comparison at the time to lighter armed tanks. saving grace for the Tiger Tank crews most were very skilled gunners and tank crews with a very lethal weapon on hand they had to be because in my opinion a Tank like the King Tiger was an expensive luxury Germany could not afford. Brilliant Tankers but with tank with comprimises to fuel and prone to mechanical problems and logistics. I see it as both why the Allies self imposed the treaties on themselves as much as it was on Germany. prior to WW2 Merlin. And to pick up your point about the Washington Treaty in my opinion as you have pointed out limiting Naval warships in size to me was a hang over from the Versailles Treaty and yes due to economic pressures at the time including the Depression an naval arms race was out of the question. But it just wasn't naval matters but limiting the size of the military overall. For example how many Aircraft did the USAAF or Air Corp have prior to WW2 what was the size of their fighter and bomber wings how many tanks did the US Army have prior to WW2 and before they began conscription into the military in the US? What was their total armed division of the US Army etc. was the military in most countries other than Germany being negelected as yes there was a pacifist type of atmosphere generally and due to economic depression didn't help. But given all this was it Governments individually running down the military and abiding by treaties and such like the Versailles and Washington Treaties. why spend money on gun design when according to various Treaties it wasn't going to be used any way? I think Merlin you and i can agree to disagree of why this all occured. I feel we are reaching similar conclusions but from different angles and approaches and still the 2pr was near useless on heavily armed MTB's etc and the Bofor was best suited for anti aircraft. By the way Merlin 25pdrs were used as anti tank Battle and Seige of Tobruk by Aussie Gunners if i recall correctly. M2A1 105mm howitzer can be used in anti tank as well firing a 105mm squash head. but besides all that we are debating Merlin the poor British tommy and Commonwealth Troops at first were armed with 2pdrs and 6 pdrs in under armoured and undergunned tanks and some of those variants of tanks had very poor mechanical records as well. The Germans and the Russians learned the lessons well on tank and gun design during WW2 and use of in battle. And more so the Germans in developing Tank Tactics and use off. We can argue all day until the bovines need milking Merlin the sad fact is that British Tanks and crews had equipment that wasn't being up graded to meet the challenges of a changing battle field and nothing can change that in history no matter how long we debate it
     
  15. Joe2

    Joe2 Banned

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    That was the answer i was looking for. Thanks

    But why where most British tanks not very good during the war? It was really until 1944 they produced a tank comparable to the sherman(cromwell) and '45 when a tank was produced to be on equal terms with the tiger (comet). The Americans had such a tank in 44 (Pershing). The Russians had a tank comparable to the tiger in '43! (JS1/2). Lucky Devils...
     
  16. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    the answer Joe is 42:p :p :p
     
  17. Joe2

    Joe2 Banned

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  18. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    sorry Joe had a flash back to Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxzy
     
  19. Joe2

    Joe2 Banned

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  20. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    It was a joke where they commissioned this computer to determine the meaning of life, the universe and everything and then it came up with the Answer of 42. So a new computer was commisioned that was much bigger to come up with the question that gave the answer... Anyway, the JS-1/2 were not really very good in comparison with the Tiger/King Tiger tanks as not very good opticals and less well trained crews. I mean you would need a very good tank to make up for the fact that the Soviet Crews were only getting 24hrs or so of training, while the German crews were well trained and had just swept through almost the whole of Europe... In short it was a victory of numbers rather than the JS-1/2 or 3 actually being equal to a German tank crew.
     
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