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The L6 Wombat, (Weapon Of Magnesium, Battalion, Anti-Tank) was a 120 mm calibre recoilless anti-tank rifle used by the British Army. They were used until anti-tank guided missiles such as Vigilant and MILAN took their place.

The Wombat replaced the earlier BAT and MoBAT weapons, themselves developments of the wartime "Ordnance, RCL, 3.45 in" recoilless rifle, and was in turn replaced by anti-tank guided missiles. The Wombat was usually mounted on a small two wheeled trolley - when locked to the trolley the weapon was towed by a towing eye on the gun barrel itself. The Wombat was also mounted on the FV432/40 armoured personnel carrier.

L6 Wombat being prepared for firing during winter training

The usual round for Wombat was a HESH which it could fire out to around 1,000 m. Other ammunition types include the canister and modified canister rounds. The latter releasing flechettes or small darts, in a "shotgun" effect. These rounds could be used against infantry in the open.

During the cold war era, NATO and British Royal Marine forces used the Swedish made Snow Trac as a carrier for the L6 Wombat in the snow covered mountains of Norway.

Variants

Royal Marines Wombat outfitted Snow Trac on patrol in Norway
  • BAT, Battalion Anti Tank
The original towed gun complete with a heavy armoured shield.
  • L4 MOBAT
A BAT with the shield removed to lighten it and a spotting weapon added. It could be towed by an Austin Champ or later the Land Rover
  • L6 WOMBAT (Weapon Of Magnesium BAT)
A new build weapon with lightweight carriage which meant it was usable by mobile troops such as the Parachute Regiment or Royal Marine Commandos. It was also fitted to vehicles such as the FV432 or a 3/4 ton Portee Land Rover. Could engage targets out to 2000 meters with .5 Browning fitted if the strike could be observed by a third party.
  • L7 CONBAT ("Converted BAT")
A conversion of the MoBAT or BAT with the .5 Browning spotting rifle.

References

  • Norris, J., Anti-tank Weapons (Modern Military Equipment), Brassey's (UK) Ltd, 1996. ISBN: 1857531779







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