The Smith Gun was an ad hoc anti-tank artillery piece used by the British Army and Home Guard during the Second World War. With a German invasion of Great Britain seeming likely after the defeat in the Battle of France, most available weaponry was diverted to the regular British Army, leaving the Home Guard short on supplies, particularly anti-tank weaponry. The Smith Gun was designed by a retired Army Major named William H. Smith as a makeshift anti tank weapon, and was put into production in 1941 following a demonstration to the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.
The weapon consisted of a 3-inch smoothbore barrel approximately 54 inches long mounted on a carriage and capable of firing both anti-tank and anti-personnel rounds to ranges of approximately 500 yards. Despite the promising-sounding nature of the weapon it had several problems; the effective range was only around 100–300 yards, it was a heavy and awkward weapon to move around and it developed "a terrifying reputation for killing its crew." Production issues meant that it was not introduced until 1942, when it was issued mainly to Home Guard units and those units in the regular Army tasked with guarding airfields, and ammunition shortages meant that the guns had only six or seven rounds each. Despite these problems many Home Guard units developed an attachment to the weapon, later claiming it was "one of the best pieces of equipment ever issued to the force."
Other articles related to "smith gun, gun":
... The platoon are examining their new Smith Gun, which they have to take on a Home Guard proficiency test for a weekend ... Wilson is told off by Mainwaring when he complains 'do we have to drag that gun about, what an awful fag' ... and his sisters have made an inappropriate cover for the gun out of a flowery old sofa cover ...
Famous quotes containing the words gun and/or smith:
“Resorts advertised for waitresses, specifying that they must appear in short clothes or no engagement. Below a Gospel Guide column headed, Where our Local Divines Will Hang Out Tomorrow, was an account of spirited gun play at the Bon Ton. In Jeff Winneys California Concert Hall, patrons bucked the tiger under the watchful eye of Kitty Crawhurst, popular lady gambler.”
—Administration in the State of Colo, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)
“Nobody shoots at Santa Claus.”
—Alfred E. Smith (18731944)