The 40 mm 2-pounder AT gun was an expensive yet effective British gun, equipping most of His Majesty's first generation of tanks. A 360° gun carriage, impressive caliber and high velocity AP shells allowed the 2 pdr. precise and powerful shots. In spite of its high profile it can be concealed easily giving its two-man crew the opportunity to set up ambushed. It is a Dangerous foe to both light and medium vehicles that inadvertently cross its path.
The 2-pounder was popular with British troops. however, it was much less effective against the more advanced Tiger I and Tiger II. When it first appeared in 1936 the British 2-pounder anti-tank cannon was undoubtedly the best of its kind.
The gun was initially developed as a tank weapon, and made its debut as the main armament of the Vickers-designed Cruiser Tank Mk I. For reasons of economy and standardization, the Director of Artillery accepted it as a basis for an anti-tank gun in October 1934. Contracts to design a carriage were given to Vickers and the Woolwich Arsenal.
Vickers was the first to submit a design, which was accepted as the Ordnance QF 2-pounder Mark IX on Carriage Mark I. A limited number of pieces were built in 1936. The carriage had an innovative three-legged construction. In the traveling position, one of the legs was used as a towing trail, and the other two were folded. When the gun was positioned for combat, the legs were emplaced on the ground and the wheels were lifted up. Woolwich Arsenal's carriage was found to be cheaper and easier to produce than the Vickers design, and with the gun was adopted as Ordnance QF 2-pounder Mark IX on Carriage Mark II. It was conceptually similar, although when the gun was emplaced for combat the wheels had to be removed. This carriage was also manufactured by Vickers.
In the early western campaigns, the 2-pdr was employed by two types of Royal Artillery formations: anti-tank regiments of infantry divisions (four batteries with 12 pieces each), and light anti-aircraft/anti-tank regiments of armored divisions (two 12-gun AT batteries). From October 1940, separate 48-gun anti-tank regiments were introduced in armored divisions too. Infantry brigade structure initially included an anti-tank company, though it was typically equipped with 25 mm Hotchkiss anti-tank guns; these companies were disbanded later in the war. From 1942, infantry battalions received their own six-gun anti-tank platoons. The organization was different in the Far East theatres. The exact internal structure of AT units was also subject to changes and variations.
Strategies and Tactics
Adv.med.cal. AP shell