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Original WWII British PIAT Anti-Tank Display Inert Bomb Launcher - Named to 4th Parachute Brigade

Regular price $3,195.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only one available. Deactivated in accordance with BATF guidance to make this a non-functional non-firing display.

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 Arab–Israeli War. Six members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces received Victoria Crosses whilst using the PIAT in combat.

This is a WWII production PIAT offered in very good condition, original paint, deactivated to BATF standards to make it totally inert and non-firing. Both the front and rear sight are intact, and still flip up. It is nicely named in paint (we aren't 100% sure what it says due to age and wear): 

4th PARA 2nd PLC. CNY

Once a common find among collectors, PIATs in excellent condition such as this one are very difficult to find in today's military collectors market.

The 4th Parachute Brigade was an airborne, specifically a parachute infantry, brigade formation of the British Army during the Second World War. Formed in late 1942 in the Mediterranean and Middle East, the brigade was composed of three parachute infantry units, the 10th, 11th and 156th Parachute Battalions.

The brigade was assigned to the 1st Airborne Division, just prior to the Allied invasion of Sicily, but played no part in the invasion. Instead the brigade first saw action in September 1943, during Operation Slapstick, an amphibious landing at the port of Taranto, as part of the early stages of the Allied invasion of Italy. Largely unopposed, the brigade captured the ports of Brindisi and Bari before being withdrawn. By the end of the year, the 4th Parachute Brigade was in England, preparing for the Allied invasion of North-West Europe. The brigade did not see action in France, being instead placed on standby for an emergency during the Normandy landings. Between June and August 1944 the speed of the subsequent Allied advance obviated the need to deploy airborne forces.

In September 1944, the brigade formed part of the second day's parachute landings at the Battle of Arnhem, part of Operation Market Garden. Problems reaching the bridges in Arnhem forced the divisional commander, Major-General Roy Urquhart, to divert one of the brigade's battalions to assist the 1st Parachute Brigade. After a short delay the brigade headed out for its objective. When only halfway there, however, the remaining two battalions were confronted by prepared German defences. The brigade, having suffered heavy losses, was eventually forced to withdraw. The next day, weakened by fighting at close quarters and now numbering around 150 men, the brigade eventually reached the divisional position at Oosterbeek.

After a week of being subjected to almost constant artillery, tank and infantry attacks, the remnants of the brigade were evacuated south of the River Rhine. During the battle of Arnhem, the brigade's total casualties amounted to seventy-eight per cent, and the 4th Parachute Brigade was disbanded rather than reformed, the survivors being posted to the 1st Parachute Brigade.

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