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curved bracket(s) on shield 17 Pounder

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:04 pm
by Pieter Koops
Hello Everybody,

can anyone tell me the purpose of the curved, wave like bracket(s) on top of or between the two plates of the shield of some 17 Pounder AT Guns? I can imagine it has to do with breaking up the profile for camouflage reasons but I cannot find any proof.

Were there specific British and Canadian units that had these upgrades?

Kind regards,

Pieter Koops

Excerpt of photo found on mapleleafup. net

Re: curved bracket(s) on shield 17 Pounder

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:03 pm
by Pete Nash
Silly I know :roll: , but stranger things have happened in the British Army. 8)

Stowage for their 'tin hats' when not in action? :) :roll:


Re: curved bracket(s) on shield 17 Pounder

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:47 am
by Marcus Kwa
I have seen a photograph somewhere where they used to grab these gun shield loops/handles when manhandling the gun. One man dangling on the barrel and two guys pushing the gun shield holding on to the 'handles'. The 17 pdr was a heavy beast and lacked any handholds. But might as well be used that way as it was convenient and not designed for that purpose......
They are only present on a very small number of early guns so probably was not that successful an accessory.....



Re: curved bracket(s) on shield 17 Pounder

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:52 pm
by Pieter Koops
Thanks Pete and Marcus. The only thing I can say about it is that there is a 17 pounder with these hoops at Hotel Hartenstein.

Kind regards,


Re: curved bracket(s) on shield 17 Pounder

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:38 pm
by Mark Heaps
May be stand-offs for the camouflage netting allowing the gun to be traversed without snagging on or pulling at the cam net and thereby possibly giving away the position.

Could explain why the one reported used at Arnhem had them ( would likely be used in an ambush position), whereas others used elsewhere in an advancing army did not.


Re: curved bracket(s) on shield 17 Pounder

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:33 pm
by Stephen White

You're quite right. Anti-tank guns are direct fire weapons (meaning that there is a direct line of sight from gun to target and, crucially, the reverse). Concealment is therefore a significant design objective. Straight edges are not natural and stand out amongst vegetation. In order to camoulflage the gun shield, designers will try to break up the top edge. It's a common feature of anti-tank guns and can be seen on British, American and Russian guns of WW2.

US M-1 57mm gun:

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Russian D-48 100mm gun:


British QF-6 Pdr:


British QF-17Pdr. The hoops seem to appear regularly on the QF 17 Pdr but not on all. The 17 Pdr also had a spaced armour array to which the hoops were welded. The gun was much bigger than any of its predecessors and you might have expected to see the hoops on all models. It isn't obvious why this isn't the case or why the hoops were used rather than creating a solid pattern on the shield. It may be that the hoops were added as experience was gained in the field.

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