BL 6 inch Gun Mk XIX

BL 6 inch Gun Mk XIX

Infobox Weapon

caption=BL 6 inch gun Mk XIX, France 1918
name=Ordnance BL 6 inch gun Mk XIX
origin= UK
wars=World War I World War II
type=Heavy field gun
service=1916 - 1940
caliber= 6 in (152 mm)
part_length=35 calibres
carriage=wheeled, box trail
velocity=2350 ft/sHogg & Thurston 1972, page 146]
cartridge=HE convert|100|lb|sigfig=4
max_range=16,500 yds (2 crh shell); 17,800 yds (4 crh shell); 18,750 yds (6 crh shell)Hogg & Thurston 1972, page 146]
recoil=hydro pneumatic, variable
elevation=0° - 38°Hogg & Thurston 1972, page 146]
traverse=4° L & RHogg & Thurston 1972, page 146]
weight=10,248 lbs (gun & breech)
10 tons 3 1/2 cwt (total)
The BL 6 inch Gun Mk XIX was introduced in 1916 as a lighter and longer-range replacement for the obsolescent BL 6 inch Gun Mk VII.

History, description

Introduced in October 1916 by Vickers. It utilized the modern carriage and recoil mechanism of the BL 8 inch Howitzer Mk 6.

The gun barrel was of wire-wound construction : "The gun body is of steel and consists of tubes, a series of layers of steel wire, jacket, breech bush and breech ring".Handbook of artillery, United States. Army. Ordnance Dept, May 1920, page 245]

"The breech mechanism is operated by means of a lever on the right side of the breech. On pulling the lever to the rear the breech screw is automatically unlocked and swung into the loading position. After loading, one thrust of the lever inserts the breech screw and turns it into the locked position. The breech mechanism is similar to that used on the convert|8|in|mm|sigfig=3 howitzers both in design and operation".

Operational history

British service

310 were built during World War I [Clarke 2005, page 40] and the gun served in all theatres, with 108 being in service on the Western front at the end of World War I,Hogg & Thurston 1972, page 146] , but it did not completely replace the Mk VII gun until the end of the war.

3 batteries served with the BEF in France early in World War II, and others were deployed in the home defence of Britain. The gun was superseded by the 155-mm Gun M1, and the carriages used for convert|7.2|in|mm|sigfig=3 howitzers.Nigel F Evans, [ BRITISH ARTILLERY IN WORLD WAR 2. THE GUNS] ]

US Service

"Handbook of artillery" of May 1920 stated that :

"The original British ammunition so closely resembled the American that it was decided to use the [US] regular Mark II high-explosive shell... the propellant charge will consist of a base section and increment section having a total weight of approximately 25 pounds". [Handbook of artillery, May 1920, page 277]
This is 2 pounds more than the British charge (23 lb Cordite MD) [Hogg & Thurston 1972, page 244] , and may be the result of the US usage of Nitrocellulose propellant, which was slightly less powerful than the British cordite.

Brazil Service

Brazil purchased guns from USA in 1940.

outh African service

Prior to the outbreak of World War II there were plans to use these guns in the fortification of Durban, Cape Town and Saldanha Bay. [cite web |url= |title=A brief military history of the Saldanha Bay area |accessdate=2008-07-12 |author=Lt Col Ian van der Waag |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |format= |work= |publisher=University of Stellenbosch - Saldanha Campus (Military History Department) |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

For a short period, two guns were deployed for the protection of Port Elizabeth harbour at the outbreak of World War II. [cite web |url= |title=Artillery Buildings in Algoa Bay |accessdate=2008-07-12 |author=Richard Tomlinson |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |format= |work= |publisher=The South African Military History Society |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

urviving examples

* in 1940 is displayed at the Brazilian Army museum, Copacabana.
* A Mark XIX mounted on a Mark XIII carriage can be seen at the South African National Museum of Military History, Johannesburg.
* The Apostle Battery in Hout Bay, South Africa has another on display. [cite web |url= |title=Military History Group |accessdate=2008-07-12 |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |format= |work= |publisher=Hout Bay & Llandudno Heritage Trust |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Image gallery

See also

* Canon de 155mm GPF
* List of artillery#Towed howitzers and field guns


Notes and References

*I.V. Hogg & L.F. Thurston, British Artillery Weapons & Ammunition 1914-1918. London: Ian Allan, 1972.
*Dale Clarke, [ British Artillery 1914-1919. Heavy Artillery. Osprey Publishing, Oxford UK, 2005]
* [ Handbook of artillery : including mobile, anti-aircraft and trench matériel (1920). United States. Army. Ordnance Dept, May 1920]

External links

*Per Finsted, [ Om den engelske 6-tommers feltkanon 1914-1940 (in Danish)]

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