The Ordnance Quick Firing 17 Pounder (76.2mm) Anti tank Gun was developed as a replacement for the earlier 6 Pounder gun.
First deployed to North Africa in late 1942/early 1943 the 17 Pounder rapidly earned a fearsome reputation as a potent tank killer, outperforming all other Allied Anti tank Guns. Using specialised ammunition (Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot) the 17 Pounder could penetrate the frontal armour of even the heaviest German tanks at normal battlefield ranges. The main disadvantage of the 17 Pounder was the tremendous back blast and muzzle flash which would kick up large clouds of dust.
It was mounted on both a towed mount and in the turrets of Sherman Firefly, Achilles and Challenger Tanks.
The 17 Pounder was adopted for use with Airborne Forces as the larger Hamilcar Glider became available. A number of 17 Pounders were deployed for Operation Market Garden where they successfully engaged a number of German vehicles. They were towed by converted Morris C8 Trucks, again adapted for Airborne use and Glider transport.
The 17 Pounder remianed in service until replaced by the 120mm WOMBAT Recoilless Gun.