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infantry AT weapons against buildings

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:08 pm
by ocollens
This is not a new topic but in the spirit of playing the period not the rules I offer a new scrap of evidence.

This is from Lt John Stevenson's diary. He was in the Recce Squadron of 1st Airborne at Arnhem.
'as the building dominated our other positions we thought it best to knock it down completely. We turned the PIAT on it from 50 yards which knocked a great hole in the wall.'
Quoted in Beevor Arnhem.
N.B. He does not say this caused the building to collapse and they grenaded it to make sure no Germans were still alive.

Re: infantry AT weapons against buildings

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:04 pm
by Tom Ballou
There is the famous incident of a paratrooper popping a German sniper in a church tower near Pegasus Bridge. Seems the PIAT was a fine breaching weapon.

https://normandybattlefields.com/pegasus-bridge/

With an image of the hole blown in the tower...

https://cryo.home.xs4all.nl/pegasuschurch.htm

Re: infantry AT weapons against buildings

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:23 pm
by Truscott Trotter
Bet the sniper surprised when the first PIAT bomb went off :o :lol:

Re: infantry AT weapons against buildings

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:51 am
by Seret
Tom Ballou wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:04 pm
With an image of the hole blown in the tower...

https://cryo.home.xs4all.nl/pegasuschurch.htm
Well, yeah, multiple PIAT shots from short range.

The PIAT used a shaped charge warhead. While not optimised for knocking down masonry they'll certainly make a hole, especially if you can make follow-up shots.

Re: infantry AT weapons against buildings

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:56 am
by jdg
Bazooka were also used to blast entrance holes in buildings.

Re: infantry AT weapons against buildings

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:16 am
by Seret
Indeed they were. Obviously there were things which would do a better job of knocking a hole in a building (charges, large calibre HE, etc) but the AT weapons had several main advantages;
  1. Stand-off range.
  2. Accuracy, especially from rocket projectiles like the bazooka and panzerschreck.
  3. Availability. These were infantry weapons that were available quickly. No need to arrange engineering support ahead of time, just go with what you have now.
Their main drawback was their small warheads, which were not of a type that's especially effective against buildings. A shaped charge will punch through a lot of wall, but it'll make a fairly small hole because that's exactly what it's designed to do. The spalling effect on the inside is therefore limited, and if you're trying to make a man-sized hole you'll probably need multiple hits. What you rally want for knocking buildings about is HE or even better HESH/HEP.

Re: infantry AT weapons against buildings

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:28 pm
by Truscott Trotter
Thats why Soviet Assault Engineers used multiple panzerfaust shots.

Re: infantry AT weapons against buildings

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:20 am
by Richard
Truscott is right, the Sovs used the faust for mouseholing their way through Germany.

Rich

Re: infantry AT weapons against buildings

Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:37 am
by jdg
And so did the 82nd Airborne.