Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

Wargames» Forums » Historical Context

Subject: Can someone help explain a PIAT? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mike Windsor
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've looked at various websites and seen what a PIAT is, but I don't get what the firing soldier was trying to do. The bazooka I get: aim at exactly what you want to hit, adjust for wind and range, pull the trigger, and the round rockets out of the barrel. As I understand the PIAT, it was not a rocket launcher, but seems to have lobbed the (rather potent) charge toward the target. With the PIAT, was the firing soldier trying to lob the charge onto the top of a vehicle? This is where I'm lost, what are you trying to hit with the PIAT?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Spacegras
Canada
St. John's
NL
flag msg tools
Bring on the hordes, we have the sword that smote the Goblin of Gygaxnor.
badge
HooDoo Operator
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
did a search and found a Sons of Guns vid clip that showed one being fired. it launched straight at the target, slight curve, but it didn't indicate range. Showed the team laying on the ground and pretty much aiming straight ahead.

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/sons-of-guns/videos/deacti...
4 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Firing the PIAT

http://www.lonesentry.com/blog/firing-the-piat.html

"The following instructions for loading, aiming, and firing the PIAT are excerpted from the British training manual Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank, Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 24, 1943."

The training manual itself:

http://www.weapons.org.uk/smallarmstraining/downloads/uk/01-...

14 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Long
United States
St Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Axis & Allies fanMicrobadge: Memoir '44 fanMicrobadge: Copper Board Game CollectorMicrobadge: "TCAT" - Member of the Twin Cities Ameritrash GroupMicrobadge: 5 Year Geek Veteran
There are some scenes in the movie A BRIDGE TOO FAR that shows the British Paratroops lobbing PIATS at the German Panzers....
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Dorosh
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Tactical Wargamer's Journal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mwindsor wrote:
I've looked at various websites and seen what a PIAT is, but I don't get what the firing soldier was trying to do. The bazooka I get: aim at exactly what you want to hit, adjust for wind and range, pull the trigger, and the round rockets out of the barrel. As I understand the PIAT, it was not a rocket launcher, but seems to have lobbed the (rather potent) charge toward the target. With the PIAT, was the firing soldier trying to lob the charge onto the top of a vehicle? This is where I'm lost, what are you trying to hit with the PIAT?
The PIAT fired on a flat trajectory, same as the bazooka.

There was a problem with early fuzes, in fact, where you had to hit the target completely square, or they didn't detonate. This problem was rectified after the fighting on Sicily, but user confidence was shaken. It took some information circulars, and later success with the weapon, to get troops to believe that the PIAT was able to do what was promised.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kev.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Read & Watch at www.bigboardgaming.com
Avatar
mwindsor wrote:
I've looked at various websites and seen what a PIAT is, but I don't get what the firing soldier was trying to do. The bazooka I get: aim at exactly what you want to hit, adjust for wind and range, pull the trigger, and the round rockets out of the barrel. As I understand the PIAT, it was not a rocket launcher, but seems to have lobbed the (rather potent) charge toward the target. With the PIAT, was the firing soldier trying to lob the charge onto the top of a vehicle? This is where I'm lost, what are you trying to hit with the PIAT?
bottle rocket compared to the German equivalent apparently! Direct fire fire, versus indirect.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Dorosh
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Tactical Wargamer's Journal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hipshot wrote:
mwindsor wrote:
I've looked at various websites and seen what a PIAT is, but I don't get what the firing soldier was trying to do. The bazooka I get: aim at exactly what you want to hit, adjust for wind and range, pull the trigger, and the round rockets out of the barrel. As I understand the PIAT, it was not a rocket launcher, but seems to have lobbed the (rather potent) charge toward the target. With the PIAT, was the firing soldier trying to lob the charge onto the top of a vehicle? This is where I'm lost, what are you trying to hit with the PIAT?
bottle rocket compared to the German equivalent apparently! Direct fire fire, versus indirect.
The PIAT was fired directly at the target when employed against armour.

However, a little talked about use of the PIAT was its use as an ad hoc mortar. I discovered some post-battle questionnaires in our regimental museum and some junior officers did apparently admire the PIATs ability to be employed in the indirect role - not against vehicles, but personnel, I believe in buildings.
4 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Szarka
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Weren't the PIATs used in "unconventional" fashion by the Canadians in Ortona?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Dorosh
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Tactical Wargamer's Journal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mcszarka wrote:
Weren't the PIATs used in "unconventional" fashion by the Canadians in Ortona?
I thought I read in the Seaforths history that they actually brought out some Boys anti-tank rifles to shoot the locks off of doors, but I may be remembering that wrong. ISTR they used them for that purpose at Dieppe, before the issue of the PIAT, so may be confusing the two. The 6-pounder anti-tank guns were also used in the city where possible.

They tried a lot of crazy things at Ortona, though, so it wouldn't surprise me; I don't have any references near to hand or remember anything specific about the PIAT. I remember another quote from the Seaforths' history (the one by Reginald Roy) about bowling No. 36 hand grenades inside buildings like cricket balls.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brent Pollock
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
High-angle PIAT fire was reportedly used at the Melfa bridgehead May 24, 1944 (p 432 of Vol II of the official history).

Mahony had no anti-tank guns, but ordered his PIATs to engage the armour at long range with high-angle fire...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Szarka
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
From Wikipedia

The Germans also concealed various machine guns and anti-tank emplacements throughout the town, making movement by armour and infantry increasingly difficult.[9] The house to house fighting was vicious and the Canadians made use of a new tactic: "mouse-holing". This tactic involved using weapons such as the PIAT (or even cumbersome anti-tank guns) to breach the walls of a building, as houses within Ortona shared adjoining walls.[9] The soldiers would then throw in grenades and assault through the mouse holes, clearing the top floors and making their way down, where both adversaries struggled in repeated close-quarters combat.[8] Mouse-holing was also used to pierce through walls into adjoining rooms, sometimes catching enemy troops by surprise. The tactic would be used repeatedly as assaulting through the streets inflicted heavy casualties on both Canadian and German troops. Later, in a particularly deadly incident, German Fallschirmjäger engineer Karl Bayerlein demolished an entire house packed with Canadian soldiers; only one soldier survived.[10] The Canadians retaliated by demolishing another building on top of two German squads, killing them all.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls