At the beginning of the Second World War all major armies used two-wheeled anti-tank guns of 37-40mm calibre. These solid shot shells were effective and disabling any tank within 500 yards. However, improvements in the quality of tanks resulted in the need to develop more powerful antitank weapons.
By the end of the war the British 17 pounder and the German 88mm were able to pierce 250mm of armour at up to 1,000 yards. These new guns weighed over ten tons and were less mobile than earlier anti-aircraft weapons. High velocity anti-aircraft guns were also used against tanks.