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WWII PIAT ANTI-TANK WEAPON (Projector Infantry Anti-tank)
Effective Range 109 yds (98 mtrs). Metal Piercing Power 3.9 inch (100 mm).
When a projectile was fired a small charge fitted in the hollow tube within the bomb ignited; this re-cocked the weapon ready for the next bomb. Not only was the projectile unreliable in its effect but often the unit did not re-engage ready for the next bomb.
Consequently this weapon was not popular with the troops who used it. When it failed it was difficult to re-load as the operator had to stand on the shoulder piece and pull to compress a large spring until the trigger engaged.
Adopted by the British in 1943 and taken out of service in 1950. This unit is probably post war as it has not seen active service and is in new condition.
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- In 1954 when I joined 9 Independent Parachute SQN RE. As a new comer I became the PIAT operater. We still had the PIAT in 1956 when we went to Cyprus, before going to Egypt. Whilst in Cyprus we were issued with the 3.5 in rocket launcher.
.......... Jack Braithwaite, Ely Cambs, 12th of May 2009