Boys Anti Tank Rifle
|Note how far the recoil just moved this squaddies mate!|
In the days before LAWs and TOW and Panzerfausts and Panzershrecks and Bazookas ... there was the Boys Anti Tank Rifle. A .55 inch, 5 round heavy rifle designed to inconweenience light armoured vehicles.
Introduced into service in 1937, it was capable of penetrating 16mm of armour at about 100yards making it useful against half tracks and armoured cars and even the odd light tanks side or rear. The Finnish used it with considerable skill against the Russians in the Winter War (39-40).
Despite having a great deal of padding on the buttpad and some nifty recoil suppression, the recoil of firing this weapon coupled with the noise and muzzle blast was to be honest a major pain in the neck ... Literally! Neck strains and bruised shoulders were common with this weapon.
The Boys was almost never fired as a free weapon and should you see one in a Hollywood movie being fired from the hip ... it had better be a 450lbs gorilla doing the firing or a paramedic with training in dislocated pelvises requires to be on standby.
The weapon was issued till about 1942 in the western theatres although by then it was totally useless against anything other than halftracks. However in the Pacific theatre it lasted a tad longer due to the Japanese not using or needing heavy armour.