Korean War P.I.A.T Weapons

Want to learn more about the Korean War weapon P.I.A.T? Read on for facts and info on the PIAT used during the Korean War…

The PIAT was one of the most popularly used anti tank weapons of its time. The British and Commonwealth troops made extensive use of the PIAT during the Korean War. However it fell out of service following the end of the war and was replaced by the world famous American bazooka.

The PIAT was used by the Australian Army at the start of the Korean War. They made use of the ammunition alongside 2.36 inch bazookas. However it was soon replaced by the 3.5” M20 super bazookas after the end of the war.

Development of the PIAT

The British were responsible for developing the weapon that was to serve as an anti-tank gun. PIAT is actually the short form of projector, infantry, anti tank. The purpose of developing such a weapon was to furnish the Army with a handheld weapon that could be used against fully armored tanks. As it was, the British army was in dire need of a more effective strategy and weaponry than it was currently equipped with especially with regards to defending themselves against tanks.

The PIAT was made of a steel tube and had a trigger mechanism along with the firing spring. It took inspiration from the spigot mortar system. It did not operate by the use of a propellant for the purpose of directly firing the round. Rather the spring was cocked and tightened. The spring would be released upon pulling the trigger, which would in turn push the spigot and eject the bomb. The propellant would be detonated inside the bomb following which it would be thrown forward from the spigot. In terms of its accuracy the PIAT could be used effectively over a distance of about 100 yards.

This unique system was ahead of its time in many ways and endowed the British army with several advantages. One of the biggest advantages was the fact that it released a significantly lesser amount of muzzle smoke. That provided good camouflage to the shooter who could not be detected because of the smoke. Secondly it was made using an inexpensive barrel.

The PIAT was, however, not without its faults. One of the major flaws in the mechanism was the difficulty the user had in cocking the weapon. It would occasionally bruise the user as well who would be firing it. There were also some problems with the penetrative power of the PIAT.

This antitank weapon was put into service in 1943 and prior to the Korean War it was used during the Allied invasion of Sicily. The British forces continued using the weapon until the early 1950s. Among other nations that have made use of the PIAT are the Soviet Union, France and Australia. The PIAT was also seen in action in the Arab-Israeli war. The PIAT was officially put out of service in 1951 although some nations continued to make use of it for a few years after that as well.

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