WRAP THE WARP

WEAPONS OF WAR

Have you spotted the innocuous shrouds on tank guns and wondered what they’re for? Ed Webster profiles a significant British invention inspired by Canadians caught in the rain!

The thermal sleeve on a British FV4201 Chieftain was a game-changing device that preser ves accuracy in adverse weather conditions
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF ED WEBSTER UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE

It was a cool, cloudy afternoon on a firing range in 1945. Engineers and soldiers of the Canadian Armament Research and Development Establishment (CARDE) were testing a new armour-piercing discarding sabot (APDS) round designed for the QF 17-pounder antitank gun. After a morning of successful firing, they took a break to escape the cold and avoid the rain that had begun to fall. After a quick brew, they returned to their guns, but something was wrong. None of their shots were on target, yet seemingly nothing had changed with the weapon nor the ammunition. They began to look for other causes, but little did they know that their findings would forever change how tanks fight.

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