ALFIES Q Branch present: The Liver Lobber

 

Members of the 33rd (Old Swan) TUC Company, Workers Army (‘the cygnets’) defending the Broadgreen front with a Liver Lobber

The Liver Lobber was a Liverpool Free State hand-held anti-tank weapon developed during the British Civil. The ‘Lobber was designed in late 1938 by the Quartermaster Branch of the Amalgamated Liverpool Free Intelligence and Espionage Service in response to their agents need for an effective infantry anti-tank weapon, and entered service in December 1939.

The Liver Lobber was based on the spigot mortar system, that launched a 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg) bomb using a powerful spring and a cartridge on the tail of the projectile. It possessed an effective range of approximately 115 yards (110 m)[3] in a direct fire anti-tank role, and 350 yards (320 m)[3] in an indirect fire ‘house-breaking’ role. The PIAT had several advantages over other infantry anti-tank weapons of the period, which included a lack of muzzle smoke to reveal the position of the user, and an inexpensive barrel; however, this was countered by, amongst other things, a difficulty in cocking the weapon, the bruising the user received when firing it, and problems with its penetrative power.

                     ALFIES Q Branch stores of Liver Lobbers

The lobber was first used by ALFIES partisan teams attacking British Union of Fascist armoured narrow boats supporting a Government offensive down the Leeds=Liverpool Canal.

The design was widely copied by various Liverpool militias, single weapons being issued to platoons or companies. Different units have their ‘Lobbers made to different specifications by their backyard workshops with some units preferring wooden furniture, pressed metal and securing alternative projectiles (high explosive, white prosperous as well the usual armour piercing.)

The Bessie Braddock ‘Amazons’ All-Women’s Brigade went as far as to give several dozen weapons in dedicated ‘Dinner Lady’ platoons(a pun on ‘Liver’) in its support (3rd) battalion. By 1939 the weapon was paid the ultimate compliment captured examples and copies being used by BUF miltiias fighting on the government side.

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Published in: on February 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

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