• 1943 Mk2/1 25pdr Howitzer on Mk1 Carriage (c/w No.27Mk1/L Artillery Trailer)

    1943 Mk2/1 25pdr Howitzer on Mk1 Carriage
    (c/w No.27Mk1/L Artillery Trailer)



    Click PIC to Enlarge


    Originally Posted by :
    Caliber: ....................... 3.45 in. (87.6mm)
    Rifling & Twist: ............. One turn in 20 calibers
    Barrel Length: .............. 31 calibers
    Overall Length: ............ 7ft 6in. (2.71m)
    Weight: ....................... 1800 kg (total weight of gun in action), 1360 kg (total weight of loaded trailer)
    Magazine Capacity: ...... 32 rounds (AP, HE and Smoke)
    Qty Mfg: ...................... The MkII was manufactured 1940-1944. Quantity unknown.
    Muzzle Velocity............. 520m/s ("super" charge), 610m/s (Armor Piercing "Super" charge)
    Effective Range............. 12,250m
    Elevation...................... -5° to +40°
    Traverse....................... 4° right and left

    Source: .... Juno Beach Centre, Ordnance QF 25 pounder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    1943 Mk2/1 25pdr Howitzer on Mk1 Carriage
    (c/w No.27Mk1/L Artillery Trailer)


    (8 picture virtual tour)
    Observations: (by "Claven2")
    Note: Pics of provided courtesy of Milsurps.com moderator Claven2.

    Beginning in the early 1930's, Britain began to realize its 18 pounder field guns would not be adequate for upcoming modern conflicts. Many of the 18 pounders were converted, by boring and sleeving the barrels, to 25 Pounder guns. The resultant artillery pieces became the 18/25 pounder, or more correctly, the Ordnance QF 25-pdr Mk I. The very great majority of these artillery pieces were subsequently lost to the Germans (who later used them against the allies) at Dunkirk and the ill-fated Norwegian Campaigns early in the war. The Mk1 was subsequently replaced with the MkII.

    The MkII was a purpose-built and designed 25 pounder field gun and not based on the conversion of earlier and lighter artillery pieces. Rather than the one-armed limber of the MkI, the MkII incorporated a sturdier two-arm assembly and better hydraulics. Additionally, it was designed so that each shell could be packed with a variety of charge strengths and projectiles, proving more versatile than the pre-loaded shells of the earlier Mk1. A later addition was the "super" charge loading to increase the gun's range to 13,400 yards (12,250 m), the power of which put extra stresses on the carriage and necessitated the adoption of a muzzle brake to reduce recoil. This version with fitted brake became the MkII/I or Mk2/1.

    The gun was fitted with a telescopic sight for engaging armoured vehicles and other targets in the direct fire role as well as the standard sight for indirect fire. The 25-pounder's main ammunition was the High Explosive (HE) shell, but it could fire smoke shells, star shells, and special projectiles containing propaganda leaflets. The 25-pdr could also fire 20-pound armour piercing (AP) steel shot, and the carriage was equipped with a circular track that was dropped onto the ground to permit a 360-degree traverse in the anti-tank role.

    Many of the MkII and Mk2/1 field guns to be used by the Commonwealth forces were built in Canada by Sorel Limited in Sorel, Quebec. The depicted gun is one such piece, both it and the ammunition trailer are from 1943 production. In 1944, the Mk2/1 was supplanted by the MkIII, MkIII/1 and the MkIV, all of which sported minor improvements to the MkII's basic design.

    The 25 pounder was used primarily for indirect fire infantry support and as a direct-fire anti-tank gun in close support of infantry.

    Ammunition was most frequently fielded with the gun using the No.27 artillery trailer which housed 32 rounds and spares for the gun. The No.27 was secured to the Mk2/1 gun during transport and the trailer was in turn towed most often by the Artillery Tractor, of which a variety were employed throughout the war.

    The typical gun crew was comprised of six men, numbered one through six as follows:

    No. 1 - the commander, made large traverses of the gun and normally positioned to the rear.
    No. 2 - held the rammer, as well as operating the breech lever and stood to the right of the gun.
    No. 3 - the 'Layer', sat on the wooden seat on the left-hand side of the gun, adjusted the sights, signalled adjustments to the No. 1 in big traverses and fired the gun.
    No. 4 - the 'Loader'.
    No. 5 - passed ammunition to the No. 4 and checked the fuses.
    No. 6 - the second-in-command (2IC) who set the fuses and the charges, as well as being responsible for the movement and braking of the trailer.



    Collector's Comments and Feedback:
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 1943 Mk2/1 25pdr Howitzer on Mk1 Carriage (c/w No.27Mk1/L Artillery Trailer) started by Badger View original post
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. blazer91's Avatar
      good to see the big guns here too, my dad was a gunner for 32 yrs in Canadian military including a stint with 1SSM Bty in Germany on alert during the Cuban missile crisis.
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    1. G/Sgt Rowdy's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by blazer91 View Post
      good to see the big guns here too, my dad was a gunner for 32 yrs in Canadian military including a stint with 1SSM Bty in Germany on alert during the Cuban missile crisis.
      what outfit was Your Dad's?? My Pop's was 19th Fld 63rd Battery (D-Day),Caen,liberation of Holland,battle of the Sheldt.
    1. blazer91's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by G/Sgt Rowdy View Post
      what outfit was Your Dad's?? My Pop's was 19th Fld 63rd Battery (D-Day),Caen,liberation of Holland,battle of the Sheldt.
      Hi, my grandfather was WW11,
      Ontario Tank Reg't., Mechanical Quarter Master Sargeant (Fitter)
      Italian Campaign including the first real street fighting (Ortona)
      then up to Holland and into Germany,
      see my post on M1/M2 Carbine
      regards, Jim
    1. buffdog's Avatar
      .
      This one brings back lots of memories from the later 1950s. I trained in all positions, but after attending NCO course, generally ended up in #2 or #3 position. Lots of fun at Petewawa and Meaford.
      .
    1. Brno8x57's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by blazer91 View Post
      good to see the big guns here too, my dad was a gunner for 32 yrs in Canadian military including a stint with 1SSM Bty in Germany on alert during the Cuban missile crisis.
      There is an excellent book about the Canadian Artillery during the camapign for Normandy.
      Title
      "The Guns of Normandy: A soldiers eye view. France 1944" by George Blackburn.

      I could not put it down.
    1. Carlos16's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Brno8x57 View Post
      There is an excellent book about the Canadian Artillery during the camapign for Normandy.
      Title
      "The Guns of Normandy: A soldiers eye view. France 1944" by George Blackburn.

      I could not put it down.
      Blackburn wrote three books, chronologically this one was the second. The First, covering the long training period in England was "Where the hell are the Guns". The last one was "The Guns of Victory" covering the balance of the campaign after Normandy to V-E Day. The series is an excellent description of the use of artillery by commonwealth forces, especially Canadian, in WW II. This is the way we trained up until very recently.
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