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Archer Anti-Tank Troop (BBX78)

Archer (BR157) Archer Anti-Tank Troop (BBX78)

The 17 pdr was the most effective anti-tank weapon in the British arsenal during World War Two; but mounting a gun of this size proved challenging for design engineers. While their subsequent work would later lead to the development of the Sherman Firefly and the Challenger series of tanks, the Ministry of Supply commissioned Vickers in July 1942 to develop a self-propelled version of the 17 pdr using the chassis of the Valentine tank.

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Bulge British
Following the breakout from Normandy in August 1944, the British Army made some of the fastest advances in history, racing across northern France and Belgium.  When German resistance stiffened in the Netherlands, the British paused briefly to resupply, then set out again.  The armoured divisions of Operation Garden pushed North to where Operation Market's 1st Airborne Division held a precarious foothold across the Rhine, only to be stopped by the revitalised German Army.  With the days of rapid advances over, the British and Canadian Armies turned to clear the Scheldt Estuary to open the vital supply port of Antwerp, opening it to shipping in November 1944.
Bulge British Logo
Archer (BR157) The resulting vehicle, known as the Archer, was basically a Valentine chassis tank fitted with an open-topped superstructure mounted above the fighting compartment, much like the German Marder series of tank destroyers. The 17 pdr was then mounted in a unique way, pointing to the rear of the vehicle. Despite the size of the 17 pdr, the final design resulted in a relatively compact vehicle with a low profile.
The Archer in Flames Of War
Archer (BR157) Archer (BR157)
After successful trails, the vehicle was put into production with the first models rolling off the production line in March 1944, reaching European battlefields in October. Despite the unusual gun arrangement, crews quickly learnt to adapt. Its low profile meant it was difficult to spot making it ideal for ambushing enemy tanks while the penetrating power of the 17pdr gave a British potent first shot, first kill weapon.
Rear Firing
To get a large gun like the 17 pdr to fit on such a small chassis, the Archer mounted the gun pointing to the rear.

Rear-firing weapons can only target Teams fully behind the shooting Team.
Archer (BR157) Archer (BR157)
However, the Archer was not without its drawbacks. When fired, the gun would recoil into the driver’s position which meant the driver would have to vacate the vehicle during an exchange. The limited transverse of the gun meant it had to be pointing in the direction of the oncoming enemy to be effective. Finally, the open topped fighting compartment was only lightly armoured and left the crew exposed to artillery and small arms fire. Despite these limitations, the Archer provided an effective weapons platform for the 17 pdr till the end of the war in Europe.

Designed by Tim Adcock
Painted by Chris Townley
Archer (BR157) Archer (BR157)
Some specialist anti-tank weapons, like the 17 pdr gun mounted in the Archer, do not have HE (High Explosive) ammunition making them less effective against infantry and other soft targets.

A weapon with No HE targeting an Infantry or Gun Team, adds +1 to the score needed To Hit
Archer (BR157)
Contact the customer service team at [email protected] if you have issues with any components.
Plastic Archer Sprue (x4)
Comet Armoured Troop (Plastic) (BBX71) 

You can get your unit cards in the Bulge: British Unit Card Pack here...

You can get your unit cards in the Bulge: British Unit Card Pack here...

You can get your unit cards in the Bulge: British Unit Card Pack here...

Challenger Assembly Guide 

Last Updated On Friday, November 18, 2022 by Wayne at Battlefront