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Thursday, January 5, 2012

British Airlanding Anti-Tank Platoon

By Dirty Jon
I needed a real Airlanding Anti-Tank Platoon asset for the British Paratroopers out of A Bridge Too Far, and I found a really good deal on eBay that included both the 6-pounder and 17-pounder box sets. I had been using my regular Late War British models and it just doesn't look cool to have them out there with the Paratroopers, so..... here we go!


The 6-pounders (and the U.S.-built M1, of which 4,242 pieces were received) were initially issued to the Royal Artillery anti-tank regiments of infantry and armoured divisions in the western theatres (four batteries with 12 pieces each), and later in the war to the six-gun anti-tank platoons of infantry battalions. An airlanding battalion had an AA/AT company, with two four-gun AT platoons. The Far East theatres had lower priority and different organization, reflecting lower tank threat. The gun was also employed by Commonwealth forces, in formations similar to the British ones.

The 6-pounder first saw action in May 1942 at Gazala. It made an immediate impact on the battlefield as it was able to penetrate any enemy tank then in service. In the most celebrated action, the 6-pounder guns of 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (together with part of 239 Anti-Tank Battery Royal Artillery under command), destroyed more than 15 enemy tanks in the action at 'Snipe' during the battle of Alamein. However, over the next year the Germans introduced much heavier designs into service, notably the Tiger I and Panther. The standard 6 pounder shot was effective frontally at short ranges as shown in the Armour plate experiment, but proved ineffective at extended ranges. It was the 6-pounder gun that accounted for the first Tiger destroyed in North Africa when mounted in the Churchill tank (which was the first western tank to knock out the Tiger I in tank vs tank combat).

I love these guys in Ambush. They get ROF 3, and AT 10 which is very, very good. Springing these on PzIVs or even StuGs can do serious damage with the high rate of fire.

If deployed in cover, they might be able to survive to deal another blow. Being Fearless Veteran, they will be hit on a 5+ in cover and get a 5+ gun save -- a good chance to have a gun or two around after taking revenge fire.


Equipment and Notes
6pdr Anti-Tank Gun
Gun Shield

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