Ordnance QF 20-pounder

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Summary

The Ordnance QF 20-pounder is a British tank gun that first saw service in 1948. It was chambered for 84 mm rounds and was the successor of the OQF 17-pounder anti-tank gun in the tank armament role. It stayed as the official British tank gun until the development of the 105 mm L7 tank gun in the late 1950s.

Game Usage

The 20-pounder gives the British tree line up a high-velocity cannon able to fight in the Rank IV range. Unfortunately, while it has the penetration capability rivaling even the Tiger II's 88 mm cannon, the lack of explosive fillers in the 20-pounder gives the gun less beyond-armor damage to effectively destroy the interior of the enemy tank.

Guns of comparable performance

Users

Ammunition

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
Shot Mk.1 218 215 203 189 176 163 APCBC 1019 9.1 N/A N/A N/A +4° 42° 27° 19°
Shell Mk.1 9 9 9 9 9 9 HE 1019 7.8 0.4 0.5 586 +0° 11° 10°
Shot Mk.3 285 283 262 239 218 198 APDS 1430 4.0 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 15° 12° 10°

History

Development

With the conclusion of the World War II, the Western Allies now faced the possibility of a Soviet invasion across Western Europe. Armament upgrades were done in order to stay one step ahead of the Soviet tank developments. The British, experiencing the inadequacy of their tank's armament and armor against the heavier German tanks used in World War II, needed an upgrade to fight against heavily armored Soviet tanks such as the IS-3 presented in the Berlin Victory Parade in 1945. The caliber for the weapon is upped from the 76.2 mm of the 17-pounder into 84 mm. Development of this weapon became the 20-pounder, which unlike its predecessor only saw service as a tank gun and not as an infantry anti-tank gun due to the heavier weight of the gun that prohibits its use in that role.

Service

The gun saw usage in British post-World War II tank designs from then until mid-1950s. Though the British never used the gun against the Soviets, tanks such as the Charioteer with the gun was given out to Allied countries that did use them, such as Jordan and Lebanon. These countries used these tanks in the Middle East conflicts that ensued in the Cold War, such as the Six-Day war against Israel, though records of their combat performances is not well known. The 20-pounder was receded as the main tank armament for Britain when the existence of the Soviet T-54 main battle tank became known to NATO. The T-54's armor was shown to be immune against most of the tank armament available at the time, 20-pounder included. Thus, an improvement in tank armament was needed again. Development started around a 105 mm gun for additional firepower, specifically designed around the mountings of the 20-pounder so it could be easily adapted to current tank designs. The 105 mm L7 tank gun, would go on to be one of the more successful tank guns of the Cold War.

Images

Additional information (links)