WORLD WAR 2 ANTI-TANK RIFLES

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Len Tracey
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WORLD WAR 2 ANTI-TANK RIFLES

Post by Len Tracey »

G'day all,
While doing some general research, I jotted down a summary of the main ATR I could find that were used during WW2. This came out as follows:
  • Lahti L-39: (Finland) 20mm semi-auto, 50kg, MV 800m/s
    Type 97: (Japan) 20mm semi-auto, 52kg, MV 790m/s
    Solothurn S18/100: (NEI) 20mm semi-auto, 50kg, MV 735m/s
    Boys 0.55” ATR: (British Commonwealth, Belgium) 14mm bolt-action, 16kg, MV 884m/s
    PTRD – 41: (Soviet Union) 14.5mm bolt-action, 17kg, MV 1114m/s [also PTRS semi-auto version 20kg]
    Panzerbuchse PZB-39: (Germany) 7.9mm bolt-action, 11.6kg, MV 1210m/s
    WZ-35: (Poland) 7.9mm bolt-action, 10kg, MV 1275m/s
I've noted the calibre, weight & muzzle velocity for comparison. Generally, they seem to fall into three categories: light (the two 7.9mm rifles), medium (the Soviet and British 14mm/14.5mm rifles) and heavy (the three 20mm guns).
The thing I found most interesting though was the comparison of muzzle velocities. Both light ATR are within 65m/s of each other, as are the three heavy ARTR. However there is a whopping 230m/s difference between the British Boys ATR and the Soviet PTRD-41, despite only a 1kg difference in weight. This probably explains why the Boys was considered such a poor weapon by many. Its anti-tank capability compared to the Soviet model must have been woeful. You got all the weight for none of the performance.

Well, after considering this I came up with the following house rules to reflect these differences in size, weight and performance:

Heavy ATR (20mm) [AT 3, HE 1] require a crew of 5 and cannot move if the crew falls below 3 personnel, cannot move and fire

Medium ATR (14mm) [AT 2, HE 1] require a crew of 2+ and, if the crew falls to 1 man, lose 1 pip from each movement dice and cannot move and fire. PTRD-41 & PTRS can re-roll one of their armour penetration dice.

Light ATR (7.9mm) [AT 2, HE 1] can be operated by a single man at no detriment. Can move and fire just like a rifle.

So, what do people think? Happy to take questions and criticisms.
Cheers

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7dot62mm
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Re: WORLD WAR 2 ANTI-TANK RIFLES

Post by 7dot62mm »

Neat ideas, especially the portability issues. I'll probably steal them :)

I hadn't realized an ATR could move and fire.

In my gaming I've re-coculated the ATR performances of the Boys and the PTRD/S using ammunition available on the Finnish front and they came out at AP 2 and 3, respectively. But the Brits had better Boys ammo so it is possible that in BEF etc. use the stats would be different.

Len Tracey
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Re: WORLD WAR 2 ANTI-TANK RIFLES

Post by Len Tracey »

My understanding is that ATR can fire and move, just like any other rifle type weapon. However, with half firepower dice it will take a miracle to have any effect on a target.
I've read a few Australian reports on the Boys ATR, and even against Japanese tanks its seemed to have little effect. In Malaya they fired 15 rounds to immobilize one Type 95 (don't know how many actually hit). From what I can gather, its AT performance was similar to the much lighter German and Polish ATR but with an extra 5-6kg in weapon weight (roughly a 50% increase). Looking at pictures, the Soviet ATR had much longer barrels, which might explain their much greater muzzle velocity.
Cheers

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: WORLD WAR 2 ANTI-TANK RIFLES

Post by Truscott Trotter »

When firing at vehicles moving does not effect your strike dice , according to p55 it gives you a -1 on your to hit roll.

Other than that I like the proposed rules on the ATRs

My recent reading of BEF at Dunkirk was most of em threw the Boys in the earest ditch

batesmotel34
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Re: WORLD WAR 2 ANTI-TANK RIFLES

Post by batesmotel34 »

The Germans thought that the PTRD/PTRS AT rifles were enough of a danger that they introduced their skirt armor (schuerzen) to counteract there effectiveness against German AFV's flank armor. Dropping them to 2 AP even with a re-role may be nerfing them too much.

Chris

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: WORLD WAR 2 ANTI-TANK RIFLES

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Hmm but the rules do have a formula for AP strike dice bases on actual oen values.
How do the 20mm stack up?
Can they be upped and ptd left at 3?

Len Tracey
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Re: WORLD WAR 2 ANTI-TANK RIFLES

Post by Len Tracey »

Some good points on the PTRD-41/PTRS. May be we do it the other way around; PTRD/PTRS remain at 3 dice and all the 20mm ATR get a re-roll of one (or more?) armour penetration dice. Would that work better?

Contrarius
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Re: WORLD WAR 2 ANTI-TANK RIFLES

Post by Contrarius »

I think the portability issue is crucial. The heavy 20mm ATR are beasts, more akin to small AT guns than rifles. They require sleds or wheeled carriages and some degree of dis/reassembly to be moved. And yet I read the Finnish Lahti could be operated in the field by a crew of just two. Perhaps five crew is excessive?

At the other extreme you have the Polish Wz. 35 and the German Panzerbüchse which are highly portable (especially the Polish weapon) and pretty well operable by a single man, with a second chappie to carry spare ammo in pouches and perhaps act as a spotter, though he could still operate his own carbine.

Just a point about the Polish Wz. 35, more popularly known today as the “Ur”, short for its codename, Uruguay. It was undoubtedly the best weapon of its class in the world in 1939, and was still top secret in Poland right up until the outbreak of war, when units were allowed to open the anonymous crates containing the weapon. With its tungsten-tipped ammunition it could penetrate any tank in use by the Germans or Soviets in 1939. And yet you don’t see too many photos of Germany AFVs damaged by the Ur (most wrecks have larger holes from conventional 36/37mm AT guns or higher calibre artillery firing either directly or indirectly). Similarly the Panzerbüchse doesn’t appear to have been greatly used in Poland in 1939 or France in 1940. I suppose the Germans just didn’t have the opportunity to use it or preferred their other options.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: WORLD WAR 2 ANTI-TANK RIFLES

Post by Truscott Trotter »

The strike dice concept in CoC takes into account not just penetration but what happens after the round penertrates.
So while your 7.92mm atr may penetrate the tank it does not knock it out whereas a 47mm round probably will.

batesmotel34
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Re: WORLD WAR 2 ANTI-TANK RIFLES

Post by batesmotel34 »

Len Tracey wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 11:05 pm
Some good points on the PTRD-41/PTRS. May be we do it the other way around; PTRD/PTRS remain at 3 dice and all the 20mm ATR get a re-roll of one (or more?) armour penetration dice. Would that work better?
Since the rules give the 20mm guns on the Pz II and the Sdkfz 222 an AP of 4, It might be simplest to do the same for the 20mm AT rifles. They may have a lower rate of fire but might well have a higher muzzle velocity since designed as armor piercing. A crew of 2 is probably adequate to man nd move them but it should probably be with the movement and firing restrictions placed on MMGs and HMGs.

Chris

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