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My 'Normandy Tank Killers'

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by Martin Bull, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    OK, a cheeky heading - they've probably never been near Normandy.

    But I recently added something to my collection which has taken me years to find - an inert 17-pr A/T shell, similar to the type used by the Sherman Firefly. The projectile has been fired and recovered ( strangely, with no damage ) and the brass casing is dated 1944. It sits on the right of my complete PaK/KwK 36 'Tiger 1' 88mm A/T round and makes an interesting comparison.

    [​IMG]

    One of my great interests is the armoured fighting in Normandy and I'm very pleased to have these two shells in my collection.

    ( BTW, that 17-pr is heavy ! You wouldn't want to drop it on your foot....)
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Got a chance to handle some modern AP penetrators a few years ago. As you say not light. The long rod was particularly deceptive that way.
     
  3. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Boy I'd love to have a cannon shell like that, the biggest I have now is a 20mm and a few 50.'s...........I would especially like to have an 88. If you have an extra lying around Martin, I'd be happy to take it off your hands :D
     
  4. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I got a 40mm Bofors shell from a Derwent Class patrol boat stationed here in Darwin when I was about 12...by the time I was 16 I had turned it into the best looking bong you've ever seen!
     
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  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    They're getting harder to find over here.....it took me four years to put together the 88 ; projectile, shellcase , correct electric primer and fuze all being bought separately at various militaria fairs. But I'm just an old skinflint - a complete round was for sale at the recent Detling show for £320.....
     
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  6. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Great comparison photo, Martin. The case of the 88 illustrates a greater powder capacity and boy is that 17 pounder projectile huge!!. Now you can search for a Konigs Tiger round!
     
  7. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    At the risk of making myself very unpopular - I've got one !

    [​IMG]

    BTW, the very small shell in the pic is an early-war 3.7cm KwK A/T - which shows just how far tank-against-tank firepower progressed in four years.......
     
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  8. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Well, more popular in my book! That is a fantastic comparison as the 37MM was a common AT round at the beginning. That 88 is HUGE !! I know there were not many, some 400 + , but the idea of your Cromwell or Sherman being hit by one would be bone chilling. Well if any bones would be left ! It would give a new definition to the term "Brew up" I would have dropped my cup of Fortnum & Mason tea and run !!!

    Thank you for the illuminating post!

    Gaines
     
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  9. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Thanks, Gaines - I'm glad you liked the pic.

    It's being able to see and handle relics like this which gives some insight into the engineering difficulties which must have been overcome - just think of the increase in recoil, breech pressures, etc......
     
  10. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Oh Sir Martin you dirty dawg you. That is a hefty piece.
     
  11. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    It certainly is, PzJgr....and so are the guns which fired it. As well as the King Tiger, the PaK43 also caused havoc among Allied armour. This one is a genuine Bulge relic - sadly, my car didn't have a towing hook ... :(

    [​IMG]
     
  12. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Pleasing item, Martin.

    Aren't they rather tricky to track down in decent nick?
    We once chatted to a bloke from Cobbaton Combat with a 17pdr on display at a show along with a decent selection of available ammunition, including APCBC & Sabot. He reckoned the collection of cased rounds was probably worth more than the actual gun.
     
  13. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Hello Adam

    Yes, ironically, 17prs are far harder to find than 88s. I've been looking for ages without success but recently a few wartime-dated rounds have appeared at the bigger fairs such as Beltring. Mine, being a fired round and AP, was 'cheap' at £150. Decent APCBC rounds tend to go for around £350 - if you can find one. There was one Sabot round on a stall at Beltring - asking price, £650.

    Anyhow, it's proudly dated '1944' so is fine for my collection. For my purposes, the two represent the type of shell Wittmann fired at Villers-Bocage, and the type which ended his life a few weeks later at St. Aignan.
     
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  14. scott livesey

    scott livesey Member

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    kiddy stuff, this is a real projectile
    sharonandshellsmall.jpg
    at 20 miles, this could ruin your whole day. the lady is 5'4". taken at USS South Dakota memorial.
     
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  15. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Yes indeed, naval shells are in a totally different league. And of course, they played a vital role in the Normandy fighting - killing, among many others, SS-Brigadefuhrer Fritz Witt, CO of the Hitlerjugend Division, on 14th June 1944.
     
  16. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    Seeing as we are showing off our 88s......
    1537623073944.jpg
     
  17. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    How about some diversification into "Ardennes Tank Killers"? Maybe a little 76mm HVAP-T?

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    We seem to be developing a nice WW2 Forums arsenal here......:cool:
     
  19. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    That would go rather nicely with an HVSS 76mm Sherman... Wouldn't it...
    Know anyone who's got one?
    Eh?

    I want it to be live.
     
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  20. scott livesey

    scott livesey Member

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    i wonder why the projectile i showed was never fired during Normandy battles. the navy just sent a couple of old battleships and they left, along with any other USN bombardment force, after a month or so.
     

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