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2Pdr/6Pdr Production.


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#1 Inhapi

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 0938 AM

After Dunkirk due to the scarcity of AT guns it was decided to produce the 2pdr as not to loose time to retool for the 6 pdr. 

 

How long did it in reality take to retool from the 2 pdr to the 6 pdr ?

 

Did the fact that all tanks in production or in the pipeline were designed for the 2 pdr also play a role ?

 

Is there a scenario feasible where for the first emergency the 2pdr was built as quickly as possible, and when enough (sufficient but not in overwhelming numbers) were available to swith to the 6 pdr as fast as possble ?

 

Thanks,

 

Inhapi

 


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#2 rmgill

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 1032 AM

Small unit production is easy. Large unit factory production with machines set up to perform multiple boring operations on plates and other tasks simultaneously are very complex. I suspect that a 6 month lag time where the factory is doing nothing but retooling is a big issue. 
 


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#3 Chris Werb

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 1216 PM

I can't help but wonder if rather than re-tool for the 6 pounder, they could have set up additional factories with the tooling to make them whilst continuing to build the 2 pounder in the existing factories. Remember, this was at a time when we were building or converting lots of additional factories to make all sorts of war materiel. The fact that it wasn't done leads me to believe it was somehow impractical - I suspect lack of skilled workers may well have been the bottleneck.


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#4 Markus Becker

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 1705 PM

The fact that it wasn't done leads me to believe it was somehow impractical

 

 

My thought too. Usually things are done for reasosn that were good or were considered good at the time. Though my suspicion is that converting a civillian plant to produce a not that small high velocity gun wasn't something you could do with many plants. Probably the top of the line ones but they were probably busy with other and more important stuff. 


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#5 wendist

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 1800 PM

Was there no 6p clone available in the US that the British could buy, at least for a while until production in the UK was up and running? My guess is no, otherwise they would have done it.


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#6 Markus Becker

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 1823 PM

Not at all indeed. The US had just sort of copied the Pak 36 and then actually copied the 6pdr.

Actually the 2pdr might have been the 3rd most powerful AT at the time, behind the French 47/60(?) and that ridiculous Russian 57mm.
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#7 Colin

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 2019 PM

Apparently there was a shortage of lathes that could produce the 6pdr barrel, which is one reason they went with the shorter barrel version.


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#8 Colin

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 2023 PM

This site gives these figures for the 6 pdr (i think)

 

Canadian production began in October 1941, with barrels being made in Longueil, Quebec and carriages in Regina, Saskatchewan.    More than 8,000 guns were produced in Canada during the war, along with almost 7 million rounds of ammunition.  This gun was made in Canada.

 

 

http://en.rcamuseum....llection/test-4


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#9 Colin

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 2026 PM

This may also be of interest 

 

http://publications....13-1944-eng.pdf


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#10 bojan

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 0346 AM

Actually the 2pdr might have been the 3rd most powerful AT at the time, behind the French 47/60(?) and that ridiculous Russian 57mm.

In theory, in practice 2pdr could not penetrate 50mm StuG IIIe front armor, while US 37mm could at short range.


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#11 wendist

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 0453 AM

This may also be of interest 

 

http://publications....13-1944-eng.pdf

Thank you for sharing this! It is a long read, I have not had the time to go through all of it yet, but a very interesting one. Shows very well just how difficult the supply situation was for everybody, Allies and Germans, in the early years of WWII. They constantly had to make really tough decisions  on what to go with, small batches of new and improved equipment or bigger numbers of older and perhaps somewhat outdated stuff. Sometimes, not surprisingly, they got it wrong.

 

I would argue that the Germans had their share of "failures" as well. The PzIV with the KwK40 gun was a very good tank in early 1942, it would have been an awesome tank in early 1941 but for reasons I don't know much about it took them that extra year to get it right. A year they could not really afford to lose. 


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#12 Rick

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 0613 AM

 

Actually the 2pdr might have been the 3rd most powerful AT at the time, behind the French 47/60(?) and that ridiculous Russian 57mm.

In theory, in practice 2pdr could not penetrate 50mm StuG IIIe front armor, while US 37mm could at short range.

 

Would you say the following is accurate in gun vs armor in WW2? http://www.wwiiequipment.com/pencalc/


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#13 Chris Werb

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 1041 AM

Apparently there was a shortage of lathes that could produce the 6pdr barrel, which is one reason they went with the shorter barrel version.

 

The UK went to a longer barrel when US lathes were supplied that could take longer blanks.


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#14 seahawk

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 1147 AM

And in the end most troops would probably say that an AT gun that is ineffective against the latest tanks is still better than no AT gun. Against older Panzers and Halftracks it still works.


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#15 Markus Becker

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 1147 AM

 

Actually the 2pdr might have been the 3rd most powerful AT at the time, behind the French 47/60(?) and that ridiculous Russian 57mm.

In theory, in practice 2pdr could not penetrate 50mm StuG IIIe front armor, while US 37mm could at short range.

 

 

Huh? APCR or the lack of it I pressume? 


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#16 rmgill

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 1246 PM

Setting up a new facotry means that you have to have all new sets of machinery to run the factory. Some things would need re-configuration. Some re-tooling means new jigs and possibly new machinery. A Whole new factory means you need everything, you can't reuse anything.

Expert machinist making new tooling are machinists who aren't making the guns too. 

What's somewhat amazing to me is that there are machines from WWII that are still in operation today. 


Edited by rmgill, 02 December 2018 - 1247 PM.

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#17 Chris Werb

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 1612 PM

The thing is, despite that, we did set up new factories making weapons, including large calibre ones, and quite a few of them. This was partly to vastly increase capacity and partly because a single factory in a known location making someth8ng critical to the war effort was obviously a very bad idea, particularly early in the war.
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#18 DougRichards

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 1635 PM

Setting up a new facotry means that you have to have all new sets of machinery to run the factory. Some things would need re-configuration. Some re-tooling means new jigs and possibly new machinery. A Whole new factory means you need everything, you can't reuse anything.

Expert machinist making new tooling are machinists who aren't making the guns too. 

What's somewhat amazing to me is that there are machines from WWII that are still in operation today. 

 

One of the reasons for the choice of 57mm for the AT gun was because there was tooling available going back to Victorian times for the making of naval guns with that bore.

 

The Hotchkiss 6pdr of 1885 had a barrel just three inches shorter than the Ordinance QF 6-pounder 7cwt.  Also the coastal twin 6pdr was in production from 1933.  Factories were available and producing 6pdr guns, just not 6pdr AT guns.


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#19 Markus Becker

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 1656 PM

 
One of the reasons for the choice of 57mm for the AT gun was because there was tooling available going back to Victorian times for the making of naval guns with that bore.
 
The Hotchkiss 6pdr of 1885 had a barrel just three inches shorter than the Ordinance QF 6-pounder 7cwt.  Also the coastal twin 6pdr was in production from 1933.  Factories were available and producing 6pdr guns, just not 6pdr AT guns.


Not so sure. The 1885 gun was 57mm but the performance was way interior to the 1900-ish 47mm gun.
IMO 57mm was just what you did if you were thinking in terms of shell weight.

1pdr is 37mm, 2pdr is 40mm, 3pdr is 47mm and so on.
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#20 DougRichards

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 1720 PM

I am not comparing guns in that way, just remarking that the equipment and tools to make the guns had been available for decades.  Of course the British could have chosen a less radical step up from 40mm 2pdr to a 47mm 3pdr AT gun but as there was less manufacturing capacity in Britain for that calibre, the 57mm 6pdr was more able to be manufactured.  It should also be remembered that once 6dpr production got started guns were being produced at 1,500 guns a month by May 1942.  The 17pdr followed in manufacture and issue the next year.


Edited by DougRichards, 02 December 2018 - 1721 PM.

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