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"With His Grenade Launcher, a Lone British Soldier..." Topic

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788 hits since 26 Sep 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2018 12:51 p.m. PST

… Beat Back a German Tank Attack.

"On May 6, 1944 during the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy, Francis Arthur Jefferson, a soldier with the British Army's Lancashire Fusiliers, engaged a German tank with a Projectile Infantry Anti-Tank grenade launcher, or PIAT.

The action made Jefferson famous. But fame wouldn't spare him a tragic fate.

An anti-tank obstacle had held up the Fusiliers' supporting tanks. The battalion had pushed forward alone and had begun to establish a defensive position. With no tank support and no anti-tank guns available the Fusiliers were in an exposed position…."
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General Kirchner26 Sep 2018 3:35 p.m. PST

a piat is a british anti tank weapon. not exactly what i envision when someone says grenade launcher.

not trying to detract from what he did, just a little misleading…….

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2018 12:36 p.m. PST

You are right my friend.


Pat Ripley Fezian28 Sep 2018 6:05 a.m. PST

how did he fire it standing up?

Starfury Rider28 Sep 2018 7:00 a.m. PST

No, not a grenade launcher, which launches grenades. The PIAT was a projector, which projected bombs. If you tried to indent for PIAT grenades, you would not get any.

The PIAT could be fired from positions other than prone, so from the hip or kneeling was doable. It meant though that the weapon was unlikely to re-cock for a following shot, so it would have to be done manually. That normally meant standing up to manipulate the spring mechanism, which may be what he did, fully exposed to enemy fire.

It's an account worth telling, VCs are not easily earned. Shame it was accompanied by a barrage of advertisements.


hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2018 1:58 p.m. PST

Says someone stole the medal from his home. You would think the government would be willing to replace it. I suppose it's not "the same" though.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.