British WWII PIAT Anti-Tank Bomb Launcher
Original Item: Only one available. The Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank (PIAT) was a British anti-tank weapon developed during the Second World War. The PIAT was designed in response to the British Army's need for a more effective hand-held infantry anti-tank weapon. It consisted of a steel tube, a trigger mechanism and firing spring, and was based on the spigot mortar system; instead of using a propellant to directly fire a round, the spring was cocked and tightened. When the trigger was pulled, it released the spring that pushed the spigot forward into the rear of the bomb. This detonated the propellant in the bomb itself, which was then thrown forward off the spigot. It possessed an effective range of approximately 100 yards (90 m).
This system meant that the PIAT had several advantages, which included a lack of muzzle smoke to reveal the position of the user, the ability to fire it from inside buildings, and an inexpensive barrel. The PIAT entered service in 1943, and was first used during the Allied invasion of Sicily that year; it remained in use with British and Commonwealth forces until the early 1950s, when it was replaced by the American bazooka. A large number of PIATs were supplied to the Soviet Union through Lend Lease, and it was also used by the French resistance and the Polish Underground. The Israeli Haganah used PIATs during the 1948 ArabIsraeli War. Six members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces received Victoria Crosses whilst using the PIAT in combat.
We believe this PIAT to be WWII or late 1940s production. It is very good to excellent condition, fully functional, 99% complete only missing the bakelite grip assembly, and comes with an original web lace-up base cover. Once a common find among collectors, PIATs in condition such as this one are very difficult to find in todays market.
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