Talk:QF 3.7-inch AA gun

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Use as anti tank weapon[edit]

My father, now deceased, said that his RA Battery was deployed on D-Day plus 1 in an anti-tank capacity and remained in that primary role thereafter. I am not sure where to verify that.--Wickifrank (talk) 00:04, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


an excellent site for raw data, but don't expect the author to speculate.

This gives deliveries of a third of a million 3.7" AP rounds to British and Commonwealth forces in WW2, which must have been fired at something!

British forces had better access to proper Anti-tank guns, and more importantly, effective tungsten ammunition for these, than German forces. One wouldn't choose to fight a tank with an 88mm, let alone a 3.7", if one had a 17 pounder that was easier to move -and to hide! -unless the enemy had a tank that was 17 pounder proof. Ammunition developments meant that this was never the case for very long. However, there clearly were occasions when 3.7" guns in a good position were used to command an area when German tanks tried to counter-attack.

The 3.7" gun was used in an anti-tank role, and with HE rounds, against other ground targets. But only when a good position allowed the guns to command a large area and the Germans were actually moving armour into that.

Had the allies being fighting a defensive war in 1943-1945, 3.7" guns might have seen as much anti-tank use as the 88mm, but the British also had AP rounds for the 25 pounder field gun, which were very effective (by virtue of weighing 20lbs), if not as flat-shooting, and they also had much better purpose-designed anti-tank guns, and especially ammunition, in the second half of the war.

But the assertion that the 3.7" was not used in the anti-tank role is definitely wrong, and should be removed by whoever put it in the main article.

There was a gripe, published in "weapons and tactics" around 1942 or 1943, about the 3.7" not being used as an anti-tank weapon, which has subsequently misled a lot of historians, because it definitely was being so used and this use was always intended from the original specification. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:44, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

It is also worth mentioning that the 3.7-inch guns were used as field artillery on occasion. That would account for a good lot of the ammunition consumption mentioned above.-- (talk) 21:21, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Some questions[edit]

I would like to re-arrange or perhaps re-write some of the recent additions, but I'm not sure exactly how to parse them.

For one, it seems like there were major differences between the Mk III and Mk IIIA, but exactly what these are is not clear. Was the new mounting (Mk II) introduced on the Mk III, or IIIA? What about the fuse-setter and loader? The original document suggested the "original Mk III" was a simply a combination of features from the Mk I and Mk II, which is how I re-wrote it, but I'm not sure that's the case. Can you detail this for me?

Also, production numbers of the various marks would really help, although I realize these may be difficult to find. In lieu of actual numbers, some sort of statement as to which version was the most common would be helpful.

Maury 20:59, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Moving notes here[edit]

The main difference between Mk I and later marks was in the recoil system. In the early marks the shock of discharge was taken up be an oil buffer and a compressed air recuperator. The recuperator both helped to absorb the recoil and also returned the piece to the firing position. In field conditions, the compressed air system leaked slightly, and needed frequent topping up from a compressed air cylinder. The later marks, therefore had a spring recuperator, which needed less maintenance and was also slightly faster in operation.

Of equal importance was the mounting. The Mark I mounting was designed with a system of screws operated by handwheels. Because this jammed if the operators even slighty turned their wheels out of sync, bringing the gun into action often took longer than theoretically possible. In the Mark III mounting this was replaced by a system of davits and ropes which was much less sensitive as well as easier to operate. Originally the road wheels were, when raised, fixed to the mounting in order to provide a counter-balance to the weight at the rear. In practice this proved unnecessary. Both systems may be seen in photographs of the period.

The Mark II (static) mounting was, by virtue of its immobility, much more suited to fixed defences, as in ADGB (Air Defence of Great Britain), though even there some element of mobility remained necessary (as eg in the 1943 Baedeker raids, which were almost enirely directed against areas with no fixed defences, When brought to their concrete foundations they were carried on special transporters. However, during the V-1 (Diver) deployment of 1944-5, the required concentration of guns on the SE coast forced an emergency movement of as many static guns as possible. This was done by means of an emergency platform constructed from old railways sleepers. (The full story is in General Sir F>Pile's book Ack-Ack= Gen Pile was c-in-C AA Command throughout the war.)

The apotheosis of AA artillery in GBN came at the same time, using an integrated system by which the exact position of aircraft was transmiited direct to the Bell predictor and to the guns, which were automatically laid while the Mk X mechanical fuse setter both set the fuse, and loaded and fired the gun. (This machine was developed as a private vcenture by the Molins company - see Pile) Much of this equipment was American in origin, and together with the proximity fuse proved a killer

Furtyher to my notes yesterday.

The Mk ! had a barrel with a removeable rifled liner, which could be renewed after wear in service. The Mk III had a pne piece barrel, with the refling integral.

On the mountings, it was necessary for the carriage to be exactly level yjhtpoughout 360 degrees traverse, otherwise the QE (quadrant elevantion) would be inaccurate by the variay=tion from level.

In the Mk I this was done by means of a complex system pf levelling screws which adjusted the level of the mounting vis-a-vis the platformwhich rested on the ground. In the Mk a simplaer system, using thw 'pads' at the ends of the stabilising legs.

In total, it has to be daid that the Mk 1 was over-engineered for service use, and was accordingly modified in later marks

I am curious, were some or all of these modifications introduced on the Mk II or Mk III? The existing Mk II notes imply the barrel was changed and the Mk III also used it. However it does not clearly state whether or not the Mk II had the non-removable liner you mention above. Also, were the leveling pads introduced on the II or III? If these were introduced on the Mk II, what was the difference between the II and III? Maury 12:15, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

I think there may be a bit of confusion between Ordnance marks and Carriage or Mounting marks. For example fuze setter and power rammer would be part of the mounting or upper carriage, not the Ordnance.Nfe (talk) 08:00, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Rephasing request[edit]

In the History section, I have trouble understanding the following sentence: "In British service the gun replaced QF 3 inch AA gun in Heavy Anti-Aircraft (HAA) Batteries of the Royal Artillery almost always in Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiments, which were usually in an Anti-Aircraft Brigade." Could someone who knows the subject rephrase/clarify? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scartboy (talkcontribs) 20:15, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

It means what it says. HAA Regts were usually (but not always) in AA Bdes, HAA Btys were usually but not always in HAA Regts. 3.7 replaced 3-inch .Nfe (talk) 13:40, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Top photograph[edit]

For whatever reason, someone has seen fit to populate a good many articles with photos with grayed out backgrounds. It strikes me as tacky, if not distracting, and I think it would be more appropriate to have a photo that has not been so manipulated or, at the very least, some sort of consensus should be reached before subjecting the world to such pictures. Maybe most don't have a problem with them; if so, I'll shut up.-- (talk) 21:27, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Fuzes ?[edit]

"...Fuzes No.106 and 107 were mechanical time fuzes...". This can't be right. No. 106 was an instantaneous percussion fuze for field artillery. I think this should read No. 206. Rcbutcher (talk) 03:02, 30 November 2012 (UTC) 206 certainly seems more likely and is already mentioned. Nfe (talk) 06:52, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

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