6 inch 30 cwt howitzer


6 inch 30 cwt howitzer

Infobox Weapon
is_artillery=yes
is_UK=yes
is_ranged=yes


caption=With breech open, circa. 1900
name= BL 6 inch 30 cwt Howitzer
origin= UK
used_by=
wars=Second Boer War
World War I
prod_date=
type=medium howitzer
date=1896
service=1896 - 1918
caliber=convert|6|in|sing=on|sigfig=4
part_length=
carriage=wheeled, box trail
breech=
rate=
velocity=777 ft/s Hogg & Thurston 1972, page 125]
elevation=-10° - 35° (wheeled carriage)
35° - 70° (siege mount)
traverse=nil
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
ammo_wt=
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
weight=
length=
crew= 10
number=120
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.

History

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.

Ammunition

Operators

*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

*Howitzer
*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

Notes

References

* [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)]


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