Home Forums WWII 6pdr Anti-Tank Gun Distribution at Gazala

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  • #136329
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Does anyone have a list of which units received 6pdr anti-tank guns before the Gazala battles in mid-1942, in particular which (if any) infantry battalion anti-tank platoons got them?

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #136334
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Not a primary source, but the counter mix of Frank Chadwick’s “Fall of Tobruk” boardgame

    https://boardgamegeek.com/image/175995/fall-tobruk

    seems to indicate (the first big digit on each counter is the anti-tank value) that 6-pounders were distributed to units in armoured brigades, so KRRC, Rifle Brigade and Guards.

    I would say that Frank Chadwick is normally good on his orbat research, although looking in Joslen I can find no mention of what seems to be 2 Seaforth being in 22 Armd Bde at this time, or, for that matter, ever.

    All the best,

    John.

    #136352
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Then again, there’s this:

    https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=104408

    It doesn’t seem to include battalion ATk, listing only support companies, but for the guns it does show there are 80 6-pounders, shared among five ATk regiments assigned to brigade groups, three in 1st and two in 7th Armd Div.

    All the best,

    John.

    #136361
    Etranger
    Participant

    In general the RA anti-tank regiments seemed to get the  6 pounder first, leaving the infantry to soldier on with the 2 pounder until adequate numbers were available, which corresponds with what John posted. Presumably the 37mm ATGs showing up in the Indian OOB are the Bofors ATGs that were more widely issued pending arrival of the 2 pounder.

    From that same thread comes this quote, and there’s also quite a bit of commentary on the presence of 2 pounder Vs 6 pounder guns in the Motor battalions at the time of Gazala (eg 1KRRC had 2 pounders, with 6 pounder ammunition in reserve stores(!); 9 KKRC had 4 X 6 pounders during the battle).

     Unfortunately much of the documentation during this period was lost. For instance, the Middle East Command War Diary Appendices entitled “Artillery Equipment Situation in the Middle East as of ….” that were completed on a roughly weekly basis are missing after the 14 February 1942 report until the 31 August 1942 report. As of 14 February only 48 6-pdr had arrived in the Middle East. There is a later report of 10 September 1942 that gives the average number of guns and the total number of rounds fired during the period in question. For the month ending 20 May the average number of 6-pdr available was 15, with 7,440 rounds fired. For the month ending 20 June the average number of guns was 128, with 47,700 rounds fired (and 41,600 rounds lost in the withdrawal). For the month ending 20 July the average number of guns was 257, with 55,069 rounds fired.

    #136362
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Many thanks both, especially for those orders of battle.  Unhelpfully, Carver records some infantry battalions receiving theirs in the middle of the Gazala battle.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #136365
    MartinR
    Participant

    In AHGCs Tobruk, the 6pdr was a rare beast and rather a nasty surprise for Germans used to 2pdrs.

    As noted above, the infantry were stuck with 2pdrs for most, if not all, of the battle. Which isn’t hugely surprising given the number of guns available.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

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