3.7 Anti-tank Prototype


Manufacturer: Royal Ordnance
Model: 3.7 Anti-tank prototype
Year of build: Unknown
Censorship No.  
Known History: This particular gun is a one off. Developed at a secret government research establishment it was an attempted to fit a 3.7” AA gun barrel onto a 4.5/5.5” BL Medium gun carriage. The military appreciated the value of 3.7” gun as ably demonstrated by the German 88mm against Allied tanks in WWII. During WWII the British High Command were desperately short of 3.7” guns to defend the country against the Nazis bombs so they restricted the number of guns that were sent abroad. In the end the British designer came up with the 17pdr which was the first truly effective anti-tank gun available to the British Army. By the end of the war the 17pdr had been fitted into the Sherman Firefly and Comet tanks.
The robust nature of the 4.5/5.5” carriage and indeed the 25pdr was a credit to the 1930 designers as they were used for many years after WWII to test obscure weapons that far exceed the calibre of what they were designed for. The carriage you see here is but one example of such a test, that helped to design effective weapons for the British Army and as such, it has a right to be preserved as a part of our rich heritage, leading the world in design evolution.

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