Help support TMP

"Should we bring back AT guns? " Topic

23 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Modern Discussion (1946 to 2008) Message Board

Action Log

13 Oct 2018 8:44 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board
  • Crossposted to Modern Discussion (1946 to 2007) board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

1,228 hits since 2 Apr 2018
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 1:49 a.m. PST

All these modern AT-4, RPG-7s and javelins are so boring.
Wouldn't it be nice to scrap all these sci fi gadgets for some good old 17pdr, pak 40 or 57mm guns?

carne6803 Apr 2018 3:32 a.m. PST


link Late 1980's vintage, but still…

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 3:35 a.m. PST

Excellent, Russia is halfway there already, now I just need to convince Putin to bring back the Nagat and Maxim!

Dynaman878903 Apr 2018 4:02 a.m. PST

YOU get to carry it around, and all the ammo too. Heck, that is such a chore it really needs to be motorized. Heck, that motorized transport needs to be protected so we have to add armor. Heck that armor weight a lot and the gun is limited to roads or the crew STILL has to get out and push the thing into position, and all that ammo – time to put tracks on it. Heck, looks a lot like a tank now.

bsrlee03 Apr 2018 4:03 a.m. PST

Most of the Russian large calibre 'anti-tank' guns seem to be regular artillery that is supplied with a few armor piercing rounds 'just in case'. Against just about any AFV worthy of the name, dedicated anti-tank guns are too big and just too vulnerable. The man portable missile launchers are smaller and lighter, whether reloadable like say, TOW or single shot like the LAW/MAW, or multi role like the Carl Gustav aka M3, than any effective gun.

Patrick R03 Apr 2018 4:31 a.m. PST

They are still around, we just put armour and tracks around it to make it even more effective.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 4:52 a.m. PST

I know the modern stuff is better. I'm asking if we should bring AT guns back. People drive around in 65 mustangs even tho Volvo xc 90 is objectively better. It's about style and the old school.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 4:54 a.m. PST

I've said it before, and I still say it: the big mistake was the minie ball. Once you do that, you're on a slippery slope to cased colors, dismounted cavalry and uniforms the color of mud. You're in just as much danger, but no one can see you being brave.

Legion 403 Apr 2018 6:06 a.m. PST

No … they take to long to move and deploy. Everything in most units are on wheels or tracks and in some form of Guided AT missile. In light units some towed FA is used. But they are very far behind the "frontlines", generally, and in many situations in "secured" areas. But Light AT Assets, e.g. TOWs are mounted on light vehicles like HMMWVs, etc.

When I was in the 101, '80-'83 the TOWs were mounted on M151 MUTTs aka Jeeps … And Infantry packed M47 Dragons and M72 LAWs.

IMO, going back to towed AT Guns is a step backwards … and again AT Missiles are much more effective. Especially today for dismount units/movement, e.g. Javelins …

You can't haul an AT Gun on wheels very far or very long. Especially in most terrain, e.g. jungles, forests, broken/rough, etc., terrain.

Modern Combined Arms Warfare is about mobility …

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 11:18 a.m. PST

Yes they are fun to model!

I'm sure powered suit infantry could haul them through terrain that ground vehicles couldn't manage as well.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 3:26 p.m. PST

AT guns, no. Recoilless Rifles, on the other hand, mounted on whatever we're replacing the Humvee with, sure. On Vespas, even better.


Personal logo Tacitus Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2018 12:46 a.m. PST

I see the Vespa, but am still looking for the "April Fools" …

Legion 404 Apr 2018 5:52 a.m. PST

TOWs and missiles like that are "better" tank-killers generally than RR. However, IIRC RR could fire HE, etc., rounds other that just AT/HEAT. The US ARMY AFAIK dropped any RRs. However in @ the late '80s the CEs in our Mech Hvy Bde still used the 90mm.

I'm sure powered suit infantry could haul them through terrain that ground vehicles couldn't manage as well.
Well even PA Inf would probably do better to just carry heavy man-packed AT weapons. They would take up less space and are easier to hide. Believe me carrying anything big & bulky just is a Pain in the Bleeped text for Grunts !

emckinney04 Apr 2018 12:37 p.m. PST

Figure the ground pressure of PA some time … Hope you don't need to walk through mud. Or across a wooden floor. Or into a damaged building …

Legion 405 Apr 2018 4:22 a.m. PST

Hopefully the PA designers would have worked on those problems and got rid of the "Bugs" ?!? I'd think ?

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2018 4:39 p.m. PST

I like the Vespa recoilless rifle. I wonder if the weapon could be mounted on a bicycle for traffic improvement purposes.

UshCha23 Oct 2018 7:45 p.m. PST

NOOOOOOOO! I hate ATG!!!. Covers up lots of space on your precious table, you need to paint 2 vehicles (gun and ammo carrier) and crew (usually circus freaks to large for the gun) for something in the wrong place and the wrong time and proably only good for 1 shot beforte the HE gets them.
RR are still here the Carl Gustaf a much sensible weapon.

I did find this which I thought was interesting in


I served as a crew member of both the Wombat and the Conbat for a total of four years The Wombat preceded the Conbat into service as the Wombats chassis was expensive they just converted the Mobats hence the name Conbat Converted Battalion Anti Tank The Wombat weight is 770Kg's it could be operated in either of 4 settings From a gun pit normally as an ambush weapon used in conjunction with other anti armour defence's in that role you would employ Bat simulators they were basically a satchel charge mounted on a short post that would be detonated as the main armament was fired so as to confuse any observers. (also confused a Rupert from the Royal Irish Rangers Who placed one in the Venturi of a Conbat and fired it) 17lbs of PE4 going off 4ft behind him in a 1/4inch steel cone, is not condjucive to longevity as he found out well one hopes he realised what killed him.
The remains of that gun and the one that was fired with a bore scope and bore scope adapter still in the bore, were both at Netheravon Support weapons Wing in 1982 when I did my Detachment Commanders Course.
The second role was a ground action when moving the gun from one point to the next to engadge a target of opertunity. 3. from the top of an FV 432 through the mortar hatch. That was the role where you had multiple positions. 4. and possibly the best role was from the 3/4ton Portee Land Rover which carried 7 rounds hence the name of my gun the Hydra a seven headed beasty three in the ready racks each side and one up the spout. the habit of shaking out the dash board gauges was not caused by the main armament which you could fire with a cup of coffee on the carrige and not spill a drop. it was caused when you fired the spotting rifle which was definatly not recoiless and would rock your world big time.
The war head weight was 13 kgs it was a HESH High Explosive Squash Head, filled with RDX TNT Designed not to penetrate but to pat on the armour and spread out then detonate causeing an equivelant sized piece to detach itself inside the vehicle and begin travelling around the inside of the vehicle at speeds nearing 22,000 ft per second. It was not neccissary to hit the vehicle as the concusion from the round would all but microwave the crew from point of impact out to 625 ft was the deadly zone from the round When engageing targets at 600 you did get incoming so when the DC gave the command "Stand by" you ducked I watched a HESH round pick up a concrete filled sherman and throw it over a wood line. The venturi had Its own danger area it would kill out to 275 ft and beyond that you had to be in armour.
I watched the fire power demo on salisbury plain which included all but a full battle group fireing and air support obviously there was no return fire which would have made it a tad more hectic and of the hundered or so people who were watching all trained soldiers from all ranks and experience not one person saw any of the 8 WOMBAT/CONBAT's that fired which proved to me that anyone who has the time on a modern field of battle to look for muzzle flash or backblast is watching a film and still proberbly had to rewind to confirm what he saw it was a dam fine weapon used to great effect by Israel in the 6 day war and helped them captue a lot of egyptian tanks as the crew would bail after the spotter tracer hit they knew what was next on the menu By the way the tracer keeps on for in eccess of 2000 and even when that fails you have the Zarconium tip that gives a very distinctive flash and white burst on impact. Cpl Dick Richards knocked the Turrect off of an advancing T34 with a practise round when the Cypriot army tried to take The mount Troudos early warning site back in the troubles there.

ABERDONIAN, Mar 11, 2011

interesting stuff and what confuses the wargames designer, the basic data says effective range 1000m.

Still don't want one! Even on a Landrover you would need to paint the crew! I have done a Carl Gustave in 1/144 and ists cheap and esy to paint, and at 6 rounds a minute faster than a Wombat, all be it at a shorter range (about 400 yds for a moving target).

Effectiveness is an interesting one I would guess somthing equivalent to a Challenge 2 HESH round.

ScoutJock24 Oct 2018 5:36 a.m. PST

From a gaming standpoint, I can't think of the last time an AT gun fired, hitched up, moved to another firing position and engaged again. Maybe it's my tactics or lack thereof, but it is pretty much fire from ambush and then die in place on the gaming table.

This seems to reflect the US Army's experience in WWII, where the towed AT battalions were replaced by SPs as soon as possible due to low survivability. I think most other armies came to that same conclusion, hence the move either man portable or SP systems.

Wolfhag24 Oct 2018 1:27 p.m. PST

I think it would take about a minute for a tow vehicle to hook up a medium size anti-tank gun and move to another position and another minute at least to set up again.

In two minutes a vehicle moving at 30kph could move about 1000m. That's not much of a chance to relocate and setup again.

Ideally, anti-tank defenses were integrated with obstacles, minefields, and tank hunting infantry. You could probably have fairly cheap smoothbore 100mm anti-tank guns firing the latest HEAT rounds but you'd need to consider them expendable. The latest ATGM's are much better with a low firing signature.

Cut and paste below is from:

The result was that at the outbreak of war anti-tank practices were under-developed because it was not a well established specialist discipline and specialist units had existed for barely a year. Unit organisation and doctrine for anti-tank deployment, tactics and gunnery all evolved rapidly during the following three years.

Nevertheless, key elements of doctrine had been established. First, anti-tank guns used defilade or reverse slope positions whenever possible to provide defence in depth on the most likely tank approaches. They accepted a field of fire limited to 500 yards if necessary.

Second, anti-tank tactics emphasised not opening fire too soon. While the obvious reasons were accuracy and penetration at longer ranges, the critical factor was that guns were stationary and could be out-manoeuvred by the attacking tanks. Although not well recognised before the outbreak of war another issue was that an anti-tank gun that revealed itself too soon was vulnerable to neutralisation by both indirect and direct fire including machine guns. In 1926 the tactical doctrine was that the most effective range for anti-tank shooting by an 18-pdr was between 1000 and 400 yards at 8 – 12 rpg/minute and this generally remained the practice.

It was also recognised that isolated anti-tank guns were vulnerable to infantry attack so they needed to be in a defended locality. This affected infantry defence planning, which was not generally to site defensive positions for the optimum use of anti-tank guns. In practice the infantry tended to the view that anti-tank guns were there to protect them from tanks. This meant there was tactical tension between the role of anti-tank guns to defeat armoured mobility and that of infantry to hold ground, these were not always the same thing. The problem was that the attacker has the initiative and a mobile attacker could concentrate their forces whereas the defender endeavoured to 'cover' everything and therefore tended to spread out their forces. But effective anti-tank action required concentrated firepower in depth not 'thin red lines'.


Legion 424 Oct 2018 1:36 p.m. PST

Yes good points scout and Wolf, and again, today everything needs to be very mobile.

Mobius24 Oct 2018 2:00 p.m. PST

Only if they are remotely controlled and operated. With self-driving transport.

Lion in the Stars24 Oct 2018 2:05 p.m. PST

I'm not sure why the Russians bothered building their 125mm towed AT guns. Yes, they do have the same ammo, including GL-ATGMs, as the rest of the tanks.

But it's not like you can move those big guns easily. Infantry-packed ATGMs are much more mobile.

Legion 425 Oct 2018 5:32 a.m. PST

I'm sure many R&Ds are working on those. E.g. like the HKs in the Terminator movies. Think I've even seen some in the news. But IIRC they were packing ATGMs. Being smaller and generally deadlier than the "traditional" AT Guns.

But it's not like you can move those big guns easily. Infantry-packed ATGMs are much more mobile.
Yep … bottom line e.g. Javelins, etc. As well as the lighter vehicles that mount a TOW, i.e. M151 when I was in the 101, and now the "Hummer", etc.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.