Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Boys Anti Tank Rifle

As I have aged I began to notice that the books I have been reading about World War 2 had begun to bore me. Most that I was reading were about the massive operations that everyone knows about such as Barbarossa or Market Garden or the campaigns in the Pacific. A few notable exceptions were the Morrison Set (that I think I may re-read this year) and works by Eric Bergerud such as Fire in the Sky and Touched With Fire. There were a few other highlights, but for the most part I was getting bored with the topic. Then I decided to take a deeper dive into smaller events, personalities, and items associated with WW2.

A few days ago while puttering around YouTube I found an amazing set of videos about the Boys Anti Tank Rifle. First a few words about this weapon in general.

An Anti Tank Rifle is a weapon that was used in close infantry battles with tanks. The idea, as you can see in the video, is not to blow up the tank, but to either disable it or wound the crew inside. The Boys shoots a 55 caliber armor piercing bullet.

The very idea of letting a tank get within 100 yards or so of you before you are firing is scary enough for me, but I suppose the resulting reply fire of the tank if you miss is a worse thought.

It was amazing in watching these videos how similar this weapon is to countless weapons I have seen and fired. The principle is the same to any bolt action rifle, only it is larger. I shouldn't go on too much longer, as the videos do a wonderful job explaining how to fire the weapon, and also how to disassemble and clean it. These videos were made by the Canadian military during WW2. I like how they use cartoons in them as well. If you are interested in this sort of thing, these videos, totalling approximately 30 minutes will be well worth your time. I love how Hitler is made fun of in the beginning parts. Note that the production was done with Walt Disney studios. I assume they leaned on them for their animation talents at the time.

Part one is here, part two is here, part three is here and part four is here.

Cross posted at ChicagoBoyz.


Carl from Chicago said...

Ha I bet those Boys ATR videos are giving you memories of watching them bounce off panzers of various stripes in cmbb and cmbo :)

Dan from Madison said...

Definitely, especially when your ATR's routinely killed my crap Soviet "armored" cars.