The Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank, or PIAT, was an anti-tank weapon used by Great Britain during World War II.


It usually had a 2-man crew, but it could also be operated by 1 person. It fired an 89mm HEAT round along with some special smoke rounds.[1]

The effective range was about 100 meters and it had a rate of fire of about 2 rounds per minute. The weight of the PIAT was about 15 kg and the overall length was 99 cm. It also had an aperture sight and it could penetrate up to 100 mm of armor. Each round the PIAT fired weighed about 0.9 kilograms.

The firing mechanism of the PIAT fundamentally operated via a large spring. After cocking the PIAT, the firing pin, which was propelled using the spring, activated the bomb's propellant, sending it out of the barrel. The initial cocking of the PIAT was very tedious and hard to do. After the round had been fired, the recoil was used to rearm the PIAT. Although the PIAT never had any variants, the ammunition went through three changes and these redesignated ammunitions were called the Mk I (original), Mk IA, Mk II, and the Mk III.[2]


It was designed in 1942 by Major Millis Jefferis and it was highly respected for its ability to take down enemy armored vehicles. The designer, Major Millis Jefferis was part of the Ministry of Defense 1, an organization tasked with weapon development, and colloquially known as' Winston Churchill's Toy Shop.[3]

The PIAT was produced by a number of different manufacturers and it was designed because of the British need for an anti-tank weapon other than the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle. Despite its disadvantages, such as fairly low armor penetration at distance, it was more effective than the American Bazooka and the Panzerschreck. The PIAT was used in many places by Australian, British, and Canadian forces. Some of these places include Ortona and Normandy.

The PIAT also served as the main armament of light armored vehicles such as the Universal Carrier, some mounting up to 14 PIATs as a mobile mortar battery.[3]


  3. 3.0 3.1 War Machine Magazine issue 105 - Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons of World War II