Royal Armouries

25-Pounder Gun/Howitzer

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25-Pounder Gun/Howitzer, 1943 - xix.911

25-Pounder Gun/Howitzer, 1943 - xix.911

  • 25-Pounder Gun/Howitzer, 1943 - xix.911

    25-Pounder Gun/Howitzer, 1943 - xix.911

Date: 1943 | Object number: XIX.911

25-Pounder Gun/Howitzer

Description

Collection no. XIX.911
Date 1943
Calibre (mm) 87.6
Barrel length (m) 7.9
Weight (kg) 2,030
Projectile weight (kg) 11.34
Range (m) 12,250
Crew 6
Fire rate 5 per minute

The gunners’ favourite

The 25-pounder gun/howitzer is one of Britain’s most iconic artillery weapons used effectively throughout WW2 when its six-man crew would have travelled with it from the beaches of Normandy to the outskirts of Berlin.

Most artillerymen during the period, including famous names such as Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe, would have used one of these guns during its 30 years service. A 25-pounder is still fired every day at Fort Nelson as part of our public display.

Durable, quick-firing [QF] and versatile. During its thirty years of service the 25-pounder supported British and Commonwealth forces in combat zones around the world. With its light and manoeuvrable carriage, this gun proved effective in a wide variety of conditions, from the heat of the desert and jungle to the cold and wet of Northern Europe.

Developed from the First World War British 18-pounder and 4.5-inch howitzer, this gun was multi-functional. Introduced in 1937, it operated as a field gun firing direct at a visible target, but used as a howitzer it could shoot over obstacles.

Firing armour-piercing (AP) rounds it was also successful against tanks and its circular platform allowed its direction of fire to be changed quickly. This gun was the backbone of British field artillery during the Second World War seeing action in Europe, North Africa, particularly at El Alamein and in Burma. It was not retired from front-line service until 1967.

Lieutenant Colonel J G Linington, MBE, served in the Middle East after the Second World War with 79th Royal Artillery. ‘...a remarkably good gun, easy to handle, maintain and very reliable’.

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