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Its the wrong 3.7" howitzer, Gromit!


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Listy #1 Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:59 AM

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At the moment there are a number of British tanks that pack the 3.7" howitzer. Now I'll be the first to admit that British WWII guns are confusing in the naming system they use. If you're not familiar with British tanks confusion can arrise. This possibly isn't helped by translation difficulties. Either way there's been a mistake about the Implementaion of these guns.

First lets list the tanks that can mount this weapon.
A10 Crusier, Alecto TD, AT-2, Cromwell and Churchill MkVII.

In game terms the Alecto and AT-2 weapon is a different gun, but that's just down to TD branches not sharing guns with Tank branches.

The Probelm is, simply, not all the 3.7" weapons mounted on those tanks were the same. While they may have been the Same calibre in inches, and a howtizer, they weren't the same weapon.  Its like calling the German 88mm L56 and L71's the same gun. Yes the calibre is the same, but you're missing a whole lot of differences.

So what are the two guns?
Well first we have the Ordance QF 95mm Howitzer (Barrel length: L18, Calibre 95mm).
This Howitzer was developed sometime in either 1942 or 1943, it was tested in 1943. It had two versions, as an infantry gun version as well as a Tank gun. The weapon its self was a section of 3.7" AA gun barrel, married to a 25Lbr breech block. On the Infantry gun version the Recoil system was taken from a 6Pdr gun.
Although the Infantry gun was dropped the tank gun saw service from 1944.

The second weapon is the Ordance QF 3.7" MKI "Mortar" howitzer (Barrel length: L11.8, Calibre 94mm).
This articleon the A10 lists some important information. Namley the source of the gun. Almost every other web page I can find agree's with the basics of that article.
So what was the World war one gun it was based upon? The only fit I can find is the QF 3.7" moutnain howitzer. This weapon entered service in 1917.
One thing you may have seen is the odd name of this weapon. Well I think the Mortar part comes from the fact that according to Chamberlain (the author, not the Prime minsiter. For us older types, he's akin to David Fletcher) the gun could only fire Smoke shells. Meaning in a way its a "Smoke Mortar".

So you can see, the two guns are wildley different. And following normal British practice, to avoid confusion one gun used its Calibre in MM and the other kept it in inches.

Which tank uses what?
The 3.7" MKI Howitzer was only used on the A10.
The Alecto, Cromwell and Churchill's all used the 95mm Howitzer.
The AT-2 could, theoretically have used either. I don't believe the AT-2 plans actually specified which gun to use (don't have them with me so I can't check). But if you look at the development dates its logical to assume it used the 95mm Howitzer.

So whats the problem?
Well the A10 gets a very very powerful gun for its tier, while all the other tiers get poor and ineffective weapons because of the need to balance the weapon to the Tier III A10.
So the simple answer is to split the two weapons off, and give each correct and balanced stats for its tier. Of course you could ask the logic for including a weapon that could historically only fire smoke shells, but thatm ight leave the A10 without any gun options, and technically the howitzer on a carriage could fire a selection of projectiles.

Gaulwa #2 Posted 13 March 2013 - 02:33 PM

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Nice :)

AllanKieffer #3 Posted 13 March 2013 - 02:47 PM

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Well done and interesting to read. :Smile_blinky:

Keep up the good work !

Bob_Mackenzie #4 Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:43 PM

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Quote

Although the Infantry gun was dropped the tank gun saw service from 1944.

Looking at British and American Artillery of WW2 the Alecto had the Mk 3 infantry gun version rather than the Tank version. The difference is that the tanks had fixed ammo and the Alecto separate loading ammo (ie shot and charge are separate). This means the 95mm Alecto was meant to be a SPG rather than a TD

Valerius #5 Posted 17 March 2013 - 05:49 PM

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View PostBob_Mackenzie, on 14 March 2013 - 07:43 PM, said:

Looking at British and American Artillery of WW2 the Alecto had the Mk 3 infantry gun version rather than the Tank version. The difference is that the tanks had fixed ammo and the Alecto separate loading ammo (ie shot and charge are separate). This means the 95mm Alecto was meant to be a SPG rather than a TD

Just a heads up here, a "TD" is an SPG. It is only in WoT that we distinguish between them.

Also I do recognize what you meant, however lots of the tank destroyers we have in game at the moment are actually assault guns. SPGs designed as infantry close range support weapons, hence why they field powerful howitzers.
Among those, the famous StuG III (StuG = Sturm Geschütz = Assault Gun), was indeed originally intended as a support vehicle but when mounted with the 75mm it was found to be a highly effective tank killer platform as well.

If you look at the british TD's, most of them are not tank destroyers but assault guns. The entire AT line for one, was designed around busting fortifications much like the american T28/T95

Gaulwa #6 Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:57 AM

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SPG, self-propelled-gun... is simply a gun mounted on a chassis to move by itself.

It can be a TD, a mortar, an artillery... any type of gun and rôle.
Sometimes, the only difference between TD and Artillery is just the gun elevation angle.

Valerius #7 Posted 18 March 2013 - 01:12 PM

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View PostBlanchard, on 18 March 2013 - 10:57 AM, said:

Sometimes, the only difference between TD and Artillery is just the gun elevation angle.

Depends what you mean by artillery.

Any ballistic weapon is by definition artillery, be that a bow and arrow or a nuke-chucker. Even a tank is in essence "artillery"

Gaulwa #8 Posted 18 March 2013 - 01:27 PM

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View PostValerius, on 18 March 2013 - 01:12 PM, said:

Depends what you mean by artillery.

Any ballistic weapon is by definition artillery, be that a bow and arrow or a nuke-chucker. Even a tank is in essence "artillery"

See? this is exactly what we are talking about :)
Definition of a single word may vary depending on the context or the individual.




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