- For the Steel Division II unit see SD2:17-pdr (UK)
17-pdr was a large and heavy anti-tank gun developed and extensively used by the British. The gun represents the most powerful anti-tank weapon available to the Western Allies in the game, capable of frontally penetrating all but the heaviest German tanks. Aside from being used as a field gun, it was also mounted -with varying amount of success- on vehicles as well, leading to the Firefly, the Achilles and the Challenger amongst others.
17-pounders first saw combat in the North African theatre and were the only British anti-tank gun capable of defeating the Tiger. It went on to become one of the most effective weapons on the battlefield in the Second World War, used as a field gun as well as being mounted on vehicles.
In the first months after the D-Day invasion, the 17-pdr and the 17-pdr-armed Firefly were the only units in the Western theatre that could destroy panthers at normal combat ranges. In contrast, the 75mm-armed shermans were found to be ineffective against these new German tanks. This disparity spurred the Americans on to send 76mm guns to Normandy and to develop the 90mm-armed pershing tank.
A 17-pdr firing the new APDS ammunition (sabot rounds) ensured guaranteed penetration against virtually all German tanks at combat ranges except the königstiger, which could only be penetrated at ranges of 500m (in theory). However, a significant disadvantage of these sabot rounds was that they were rather inaccurate at longer ranges.
The two Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery of the 6th Airborne had a two troops of 4 17-pdrs.
Like all anti-tank guns, the 17-pdr is best suited in a defensive role. With an AP value of 16, it is the best anti-tank gun available to the Western Allied forces, able to frontally penetrate nearly all German tanks at maximum range (1200m), with the notable exception of the Königstiger (P), which is impervious to all Allied anti-tank guns at long ranges.
The 17-pdr is rather immobile and especially vulnerable to enemy artillery and air, which means it should be best employed in green or yellow terrain. It is also incapable of defending itself against soft targets since it lacks HE shells.
Anti-tank guns profit enormously from leader units, increasing the accuracy and speed of its fire. This is very useful for the 17-pdr in particular, as most British divisions do not field experienced 17-pdr units. As a general rule of thumb, the player should strive at all times to have a leader unit nearby their troops. The 15th Infantry and the 7th Armoured are the only divisions to possess two-star 17-pdrs, and they are especially fearsome assets to have and to face.