List of World War II weapons of the United Kingdom

Summary

Small arms

Rifles

Lee-Enfield No.4 MkI main British late World war II rifle.

Submachine guns

Sten Mk II submachine gun

Machine guns

The Bren was the main British light machine gun(LMG) of the war
Vickers machine gun
  • Bren light machine gun - Light machine gun for infantry use introduced in 1930s and used throughout the whole of the war.
  • Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) - Issued to Home Guard
  • Lewis Gun - In service with some infantry at outbreak of war in small numbers, issued to British Home Guard for the rest of the war.
  • Vickers "K" machine gun also known as VGO - Fast firing aircraft machine gun, used in specialist roles on Long Range Desert Group and Special Air Service vehicles in North Africa, as well as a short-lived infantry machine gun with the Commandos.
  • Vickers machine gun - Standard medium machine gun of the British Army since 1912.
  • Vickers. 50 - Used as a mounted armament on fighting vehicles, as well as an anti-aircraft weapon by the Royal Navy and other allied ships.
  • Browning M1919 - Used by multiple countries during the war.
  • Browning M2 - heavy machine gun, mounted on many lend-lease vehicles.
  • Besa machine gun - in 7.92 mm BESA and 15 mm BESA forms used as armament on British-built tanks and armoured cars only.
  • Vickers-Berthier - Light machine gun adopted by British Indian Army before the war, and used until replaced by Bren guns around 1942.
  • Besal - Designed as a lighter, simpler, and cheaper to manufacture alternative to the Bren gun, never went into mass production.

Handguns

Enfield No 2 mk I on Belgian resistance Brassard from the armee secrete. This was the standard British sidearm
Webley revolvers were widely used by British armed forces during the 20th century. Used in WWII as substitute for Enfield No2 mk I

Grenades

Landmines

Other

Soldier with No 2 mk II "lifebuoy"

Infantry anti-tank weapons

Boys anti-tank rifle which was the main infantry anti-tank weapon of the British Army in the early war
PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti-tank) along with ammunition

Artillery

QF 2-pounder anti-tank gun was in use at start of war
The QF 6-pounder replaced the 2-pdr
BL 5.5 inch medium gun was introduced mid war for medium gun batteries

Anti-tank guns

Guns and howitzers


Coast defence guns
Railway guns


Anti-aircraft artillery

40mm Bofors guns in Greece 1940
QF 3.7 inch Heavy anti-aircraft gun set up for firing

Mortars

3 inch mortar with crew.

Vehicles

Light tanks

Light tank VI, main British early war light tank
  • Light Tank Mk VI - The main British light tank during the opening years of the war
  • Light Tank Mk VII Tetrarch - British produced light tank, most of which did not see service. A small number were supplied via lend-lease to the Soviet Union, and a small number were delivered by glider into Normandy to support British airborne forces.
  • M3 and M5 Light Tanks - US supplied tank, called the 'Stuart' in British service. Despite the 'official' name of Stuart applied, most British primary sources refer to the tank as the 'Honey'[citation needed].
  • Light Tank (Airborne), M22 -US supplied light tank called the 'Locust', was used in small numbers in 1945.
  • Light Tank, M24 - US supplied tank, called the 'Chaffee' in British service, named after General Adna R. Chaffee Jr.

Medium tanks

The M4 Sherman was most widely used allied tank of the war. Obtained from the US through lend-lease
  • Tank, Medium, Mk.II - Dug into ground with turret protruding for defence, in North Africa, & Great Britain.
  • Medium Tank M3 - An American tank provided following purchase and later lend-lease. Standard production models were called the 'Lee', after Robert E. Lee. Tanks produced with a modified turret to British specification were called the 'Grant', after Ulysses S. Grant.
  • Medium Tank M4 - An American tank provided under Lend-Lease, named Sherman by the British
    • Sherman Firefly - A Sherman rearmed with a British 17-pounder anti-tank gun, in addition to accompanying turret modifications.

Cruiser tanks

The Cruiser Mark VI Crusader was the main British mid war cruiser tank. In late 1942 they were supplanted American tanks such as the M3 Lee and M4 Sherman.

Infantry tanks

Churchill infantry tank was one of the heaviest (most armoured) allied tanks of world war II

Other tanks

Self-propelled guns

Archer was a powerful 17-pounder anti-tank gun on Valentine chassis
Bishop was a 25-pounder gun mounted on a Valentine chassis

Other armoured fighting vehicles

Universal carrier which was British personnel carrier that served from 1940 through all of the war
M3 Half track used as personnel carrier and provided to British forces through lend-lease

Utility vehicles

Austin K2/Y military ambulance
Bedford OYD general service transport for troops and cargo
Morris C8 Quad field artillery tractor with 25pdr gun and limber

Motorcycles


Aerial bombs

British aerial bombs: 2000lb, 4000lb and 12000lb blockbusters, 1000lb and 500lb GP bombs

See also

References

  1. ^ "De Lisle Carbine". www.militaryfactory.com. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  2. ^ "Enfield P14 and M1917 Rifles". www.historyofwar.org. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  3. ^ a b c "Lee-Enfield (Series)". www.militaryfactory.com. Retrieved 2021-12-28.