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Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2020 8:02 a.m. PST

So reading the wiki on the QF 6pdr.
I say that it had no problems dealing with the armour it met early on Africa, but couldn't penetrate the Tiger 1 when they met that. However, it claims that once it got the APDS ammo the 6pdr could penetrate a tiger and panther's front armour.
If that's true, why the scramble for the 17pdr and why give the British tanks the 75mm. Why not just keep the 6pdr with the super ammo?

Legion 417 Mar 2020 8:06 a.m. PST

The 6pdr does not have the range of the 17pdr, IIRC …

Garand17 Mar 2020 8:11 a.m. PST

According to my reference, the APDS round wasn't available until June 1944, & probably in common distribution sometime after. The 17pder was in development & issue before that. By the time June '44 rolled around, the Germans were deploying Tiger IIs with the 6pder would not be able to penetrate frontally. Plus the 17pder gave the firer greater stand-off range compared to the 6pder. Finally I don't know how accurate the 6pder APDS was, but the 17pder APDS was notoriously inaccurate until very late, whereas APCBC or others had better accuracy & good performance.


Skarper17 Mar 2020 8:16 a.m. PST

APDS was never common. And accuracy and range suffered.

Also – there was I'm sure a perceived need to stay ahead of the enemy. This probably led to getting the 17pdr into production and mounted on AFVs.

The 6pdr was more effective than 75mm against armoured targets and in Churchill units, they retrofitted some tanks with 6pdrs.

Most importantly – while 6pdrs could knock out Tigers and Panthers with APDS 17pdrs could easily handle all targets even with standard ammo.

I don't think range is the issue so much in the ETO [in North Africa it would have been though].

donlowry17 Mar 2020 8:55 a.m. PST

I don't think range is the issue so much in the ETO

Right. From what I've read, a line-of-sight greater than 500 yards was pretty rare in NW Europe.

Patrick R17 Mar 2020 9:21 a.m. PST

The 6pdr was designed long before German heavy tanks were in the pipeline.

They had AP ammo that could penetrate Tiger armour at closer ranges and APDS extended it somewhat. It was installed in tanks because it wasn't as bulky as the 17pdr and still had excellent AP capability.

The 75mm was chosen mainly for HE capability, less so for AP and very useful against almost anything that wasn't a tank (infantry, guns, trucks etc)

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2020 10:25 a.m. PST

The 6pdr was more effective than 75mm against armoured targets and in Churchill units, they retrofitted some tanks with 6pdrs.

Kind of. The 75mm was designed to fit the mount for the 6pdr. Churchill crews were ordered to swap them out before the invasion, so they all went into France with 75mm. However, the need for some 6pdr tanks became obvious pretty quickly. This problem sort of solved itself, because reserve Churchills (i. e., replacement vehicles) all had the 6pdr, since there hadn't been anyone to swap out the guns in England. They came with the conversion kit, but the crews just didn't make the switch.

Source: "Tank Tracks: 9th Battalion RTR at War" by Peter Beale

Skarper19 Mar 2020 1:54 p.m. PST

That's interesting Mserafin. Thanks.

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