6 inch 30 cwt howitzer

6 inch 30 cwt howitzer

Infobox Weapon

caption=With breech open, circa. 1900
name= BL 6 inch 30 cwt Howitzer
origin= UK
wars=Second Boer War
World War I
type=medium howitzer
service=1896 - 1918
carriage=wheeled, box trail
velocity=777 ft/s Hogg & Thurston 1972, page 125]
elevation=-10° - 35° (wheeled carriage)
35° - 70° (siege mount)
cartridge=Lyddite : convert|122|lb|9|oz|kg|sigfig=4 [Text Book of Gunnery 1902, Table XII Page 336] , later convert|100|lb|kg|sigfig=4 [Treatise on Ammunition, 10th Edition, 1915] ;
Shrapnel : convert|100|lb|kg|sigfig=4
max_range=5200 yds (122lb 9oz shell, on wheeled travelling carriage); 7000 yds (122lb 9oz shell, on siege mounting)
7000 yards (100 lb shell, on wheeled travelling carriage)Clarke 2005, page 20]
recoil= hydro spring, 18 inch
crew= 10
The Ordnance BL 6 inch 30cwt howitzer was a British medium howitzer used in the Second Boer War and early in World War I. The qualifier "30cwt" refers to the weight of the barrel and breech together which weighed 30 hundredweight (cwt) : 30 x 112 lb = 3360 lb. It can be identified by the slightly flared shape of the muzzle and large recuperator springs below the barrel.


Introduced 1896, based on an Indian Army design.

Its original shell was 122 lb 9 oz Lyddite explosive. In 1901 a lighter convert|100|lb|abbr=on shell was introduced which increased maximum range when firing from its wheeled travelling carriage to 7000 yards. [Hall June 1972] These were then referred to as the "heavy" and "light" shell respectively. A 100lb shrapnel shell was also available.

It was phased out and replaced by 6 inch 26 cwt howitzer from late 1915 onwards.

Combat use

This gun was designed as a siege howitzer firing a special convert|122|lb|9|oz|kg|sigfig=4 howitzer shell. It was designed to be fired from a static siege platform, with wheels removed, for accurate long-range shooting. When fired mounted on its normal wheeled travelling carriage, which had become standard practice for modern medium artillery, its range and accuracy diminished due to limited elevation and also lack of a modern recoil mechanism.

econd Boer War

12 Guns were employed in South Africa in the Second Boer War as part of the British siege train. It was during this campaign that the short range limitation became evident, and shell weight was traded for greater range in 1901 with the introduction of a "light" convert|100|lb|kg|sigfig=4 shell which increased maximum range when firing from its wheeled travelling carriage to 7000 yards. No use was found for the siege platform which allowed elevation to 70° : "This capability was designed for distinct siege operation, and in South Africa the need for this did not arise. In this theatre the platform was an encumbrance, and it was discovered that it could be dispensed with". [Hall June 1972]

World War I

When World War I began approximately 80 guns were still available. They constituted the only true heavy artillery the British army possessed, and were heavily engaged in the early battles in France and Flanders. It was adapted to use the standard convert|100|lb|kg|sigfig=4 gun shell, with a slight enlargement of the chamber to produce Mk I*, allowing slightly larger propellant charges [Treatise on Ammunition, 1915. Page 95. War Office.] . It served in all theatres, including the Western Front, until replaced by the modern 6 inch 26 cwt howitzer from late 1915. However, Gallipoli was given low priority for modern ordnance and the 6 inch 30 cwt was used by 14th Siege Battery RGA (4 guns), attached to 29th Division, at Helles, and by the Australian 1st Heavy Artillery Battery (2 guns) at Anzac.



*AUS - 2 pieces, 1st Heavy Artillery Battery (see Ross Mallett, [http://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/~rmallett/Artillery.html AIF 1914-1918 Artillery] & [http://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/~rmallett/Thesis/Chapter2.html 2. Gallipoli] )
*UK - Royal Garrison Artillery (amalgamated in 1924 into Royal Artillery

See also

*List of artillery#Towed howitzers and field guns

urviving examples

* [http://www.firepower.org.uk Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich, London]
*At the The War Museum of Athens



* [http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/u?/p4013coll11,230 Text Book of Gunnery, 1902. LONDON : PRINTED FOR HIS MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE, BY HARRISON AND SONS, ST. MARTIN'S LANE]
*Dale Clarke, [http://www.ospreypublishing.com/title_detail.php/title=S7883 British Artillery 1914-1919. Heavy Artillery. Osprey Publishing, Oxford UK, 2005]
*I.V. Hogg & L.F. Thurston, British Artillery Weapons & Ammunition 1914-1918. London: Ian Allan, 1972
*Major Darrel Hall, [http://rapidttp.com/milhist/vol023dh.html "Guns in South Africa 1899-1902 Part V and VI" in The South African Military History Society Military History Journal - Vol 2 No 3, June 1972]

External links

* [http://www.chakoten.dk/eng_6in_haubits.html Om den engelske 6-tommers haubits 1914-1915 (Danish)]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 6 inch 26 cwt howitzer — Infobox Weapon is artillery=yes is UK=yes is ranged=yes caption= A 6 inch 26 cwt on World War II pneumatic tyres at Firepower The Royal Artillery Museum. name= BL 6 inch 26 cwt Howitzer origin= UK used by=UK NZ flag|Italy NED wars=World War I… …   Wikipedia

  • Howitzer — A howitzer is a type of artillery piece that is characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small explosive charges to propel projectiles at trajectories with a steep angle of descent. In the taxonomies of artillery… …   Wikipedia

  • Ordnance BL 12 pounder 6 cwt — On the parade ground circa. 1897 Type Light field gun Place of origi …   Wikipedia

  • Ordnance QF 12 pounder 8 cwt — Royal Navy gun and crew, late 1890s Type Light field gun Place of or …   Wikipedia

  • Newton 6 inch Mortar — Canadian troops firing the 6 inch (152.4 mm) Mortar in the open at Valenciennes in 1918 Type Medium mortar Place …   Wikipedia

  • Ordnance BL 12 pounder 7 cwt — With Royal Horse Artillery crew Type Field gun Place of ori …   Wikipedia

  • BL 5.5 inch Medium Gun — Infobox Weapon name=BL 5.5 inch Medium Gun Mk 3 caption=BL 5.5 inch Mk 3 in Finnish Artillery Museum origin=UK type=field gun is ranged=yes is bladed= is explosive= is artillery=yes is vehicle= is missile= is UK=yes service=1942 1978(?) used… …   Wikipedia

  • BL 8 inch Howitzer Mk 1 - 5 — Infobox Weapon name= BL 8 inch Howitzer Mk V caption=8 inch Howitzer Mk V near Carnoy, Battle of Albert, July 1916 origin= UK type=heavy howitzer is ranged= is bladed= is explosive= is artillery=yes is vehicle= is missile= is UK=yes service=1915… …   Wikipedia

  • Ordnance QF 95 mm Howitzer — Centaur tank with 95mm gun Type Howitzer Place of origin …   Wikipedia

  • Ordnance QF 3 inch howitzer — was a howitzer fitted to British tanks of the Second World War so they could fire a HE shell in close support of infantry. It was used to equip the British Infantry tanks: Matilda II, Churchill tank Mk I, and the cruiser tank Crusader (65 rounds) …   Wikipedia