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Archer SPG Driver's Duties
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Blackjack
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:41 pm
Post subject: Archer SPG Driver's Duties

I seem to recall before the switch to the new server that there was a nice discussion about the Archer SPG (Valentine chassis with a 17 pounder AT gun) when it was the AFV 'flavor of the month' discussion-wise, and there was mention that the driver had to exit the vehicle when it was firing because the recoiling breech could KO him straight to the back of the head. Can anyone confirm this? I'm tempted to show off my scene with the driver on the outside of the vehicle with his personal crew weapon (perhaps a Sten...) eager to climb back in to exit the hot area after the Archer has made itself known to all in the vicinity by firing its gun, or perhaps in a really crouched position in the driver's seat. Thanks in advance for any clarifications.
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ceolredmonger
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:15 pm
Post subject: Re: Archer SPG Driver's Duties

You are right. Remember British 'doctrine' was that Archer was a mobile protected Anti-tank gun, not an AFV. The driver positioned the vehicle, dismounted from the front (at the back of the gun!) and took cover. when requested he climberd back in and drove off.

I am told by a post war crew member that you could 'make yourself very small' in the driver's footwell but that the noise was so loud in the confined space that it was better to get out.

Usually there was no need to be armed, Even a holstered pistol would hinder entry and exit - as an AT gun moving out might be required quickly so fast mounting could save lives (or the gun).

I hope that this helps
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:18 pm
Post subject: Re: Archer SPG Driver's Duties

In some territorial units after (and probably during) the war the driver was also the loader....

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Blackjack
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:20 pm
Post subject: Re: Archer SPG Driver's Duties

Thanks for the positive reinforcement, fellas. I plan on modelling a scene with the driver outside the vehicle, with the commander, loader, and gun layer inside, all adorned in the Pixie Suits, with the driver holding an MP-40, in a crouched position near the vehicle. Certainly different from your standard meat and potatoes AFVs.
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ceolredmonger
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:05 pm
Post subject: Re: Archer SPG Driver's Duties

Jim, you are right (of course!) but the circumstances are different - in wartime casualties and lack of replacements might cause temporarily short crews. In the immediate post-war years TA units operated short a lot of the time anyway.

The difference is that a 1940's/50's peacetime TA vehicle was maintained in barracks, guard duty was less frought and field duties generally less rigorous than at war. Three crew could function.

Where wartime crews have commented to me, being a man short led to more work (routine and specific vehicle maintenance, loading Ammo and POL, cooking, O groups, etc.) and less comfort (sleep, eating, personal cleanliness) all round. Sherman Firefly crew members often volunteer the one less crew as a problem. They tried to foster a 'troop' mentality to sharing chores to spread the burden.

Keith
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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:18 pm
Post subject: Re: Archer SPG Driver's Duties

First time I heard of an Archer was when a friend of mine introduced me to board games, Think it was an Avalon Hill game Cross of Iron or something like that. This was in the 70's. Always confused me until years later when I understood it was basically a motorized AT gun on tracks, not a Tank Destroyer.

Joe D
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