Britain's anti-tank weapon of WWII, from Osprey Books
Title: The PIAT
Author: Matthew Moss
Britain's anti-tank weapon of World War II is the topic for Weapon series number 74 from Osprey. Not rocket propelled like the German and American solutions, the PIAT (Projector Infantry Anti Tank) was a spigot launcher device. As it points out within the book, the spigot type device was also used for the warship mounted Hedgehog anti-submarine weapon, and the much larger demolition round fired by the Churchill AVRE.
After an Introduction, the 80-page softcover book splits into 4 main sections. These cover the Development, explaining the detail of the shaped charges and the challenges of the spring used in the firing/recoil mechanism. That is followed by a look at Use, the operational use of the PIAT in action. Next it considers the Impact of the weapon, how well it performed before getting to a Conclusion. The book examines how the PIAT worked and how it was used. It clearly had good points and bad, so as ever, a weapon which had to balance a mixed set of requirements, so had some good points and some bad. I hadn't known that one of the intended uses of the design was that it could be used in the light mortar role. Interesting text accompanied by archive photos, along with the usual fine artwork we expect from Osprey publications, including a cutaway drawing of the weapon.
Somehow the PIAT has never attracted attention like the American Bazooka or the German Panzerschreck. Yet it was a successful design which did what it needed to do, when it was needed to do it. A good book on the subject which I think sets the PIAT neatly into the context of the period and set against the pros and cons of the alternative weapons for the same task used by other armies. A useful reference to add to your bookshelf.
Thanks to Osprey Books for our example.