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18 Pounders in the Western Desert

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#1 DavidW

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 11:48 PM

18 Pounders were used as stopgap Anti tank guns, and even artillery as late as 1941, but what method did the R.A use to transport the 18 Pdrs in the western desert?

Did they have prime movers like the 25Pdr & its Quad?
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#2 Za Rodinu

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 06:01 AM

From a Desert Rats website: Artillery Equipment page

Transport
Apart from the many lorries used by the British Army throughout the war, there was three key vehicles used by the artillery as a gun and limber tractor. These were the Quad Field Gun Tractor, Morris CDSW LAA Tractor and the Universal Carrier.
Quad Tractor:
Posted Image This vehicle was used throughout the war to tow the 18-pdr, 25-pdr and 17-pdr Ordnance, the gun crew and early in the war the gun limber too. Over 28,000 of these vehicles were built. The picture to the right shows a typical configuration of a Quad Tractor, limber and 25-pdr gun.


That's a 25 pdr, but it would be the same or very similar for the 18pdr. Here's a 18/25pdr, that is a 18pdr gun on a 25pdr carriage.

Posted Image

Not really horse-mobile :)

Here's a horse-powered 18pdr of WW1 vintage.

Posted Image

Here's the datasheet on the Nigel Evans website (no pics)

And a pretty photo but outside of a desert setting :)

Attached File  CMP_FAT_Macleans_Dec_1_1941_p_42.jpg   134.93K   21 downloads
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Quote from US Army field sanitation manual, 1850: "Dig the latrines downstream from the camp. The coffee tastes better."


#3 DavidW

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 06:51 AM

Thank you very much.
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#4 Za Rodinu

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 01:21 PM

We're all here to help.
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Quote from US Army field sanitation manual, 1850: "Dig the latrines downstream from the camp. The coffee tastes better."


#5 Andreas

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 05:16 PM

You can see a limbered 18-pdr in this newsreel::

Our Libya Offensive – British Pathe newsreel from 1941 « The Crusader Project

All the best

Andreas
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#6 bigmal

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 07:04 PM

There was at least one 18lber mounted on a turret-less M3 Stuart.
There is a photo in the Vanguard book of this oddity although it doesn`t say what happened with the wheels after the gun was put on the hull
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#7 chrisgrove

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 10:09 PM

Could I make a small correction here. The 18/25 pounder was basically an 18 pounder gun on an 18 pounder carriage (could be Mk IV - box trail as shown above - or Mk V - split trail) with a new barrel enabling it to fire 25 pounder ammunition. The 25 pounder and 18/25 pounder would have had a No 27 or the earlier No 24 limber, whereas a real 18 pounder would have had a No 29 limber as shown airborne in the thumbnail above.

I would also add a few gun tractors to the list above, like Morris, Guy, Karrier, Canadian Ford, Canadian Chevrolet Quads, Bedford QLB and CMP LAA tractors, Light Dragons of various Marks, Morris CDSW FAT, and say that Universal Carriers were generally used for towing antitank guns rather than field artillery. I could add more, lest anyone thinks this is a comprehensive list!

Chris

Edited by chrisgrove, 03 September 2011 - 10:22 PM.

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#8 Warlord

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 06:37 PM

"Surplus" 18-pdrs from the Desert were most-sought-after hardware in East Africa, given the shortages in almost everything that the Springboks and Indians had to face.

Were they sent to Abyssinia complete with tractors? Or was this aspect another one in which to improvise?
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#9 spider

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 10:46 PM

Australian Artillery 18 Pounder 1941 Greece

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Spider
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Sig Hector Warnes 2/11 Batt and 6th Div Sigs (2nd AIF) - Served: 16/04/1940 - 31/07/1943
Cpl Ivor J Warnes RAAF - Served: 06/11/1939 - 23/11/1944
 

 


#10 DavidW

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 10:49 PM

Spider.

Are you sure that is an 18Pdr?
From the tyres it looks more like an 18/25Pdr to me.
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#11 spider

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:00 AM

http://cas.awm.gov.a..._img/P04680.002
An Australian Army Ford 4x4 artillery tractor towing a No 27 Mk I limber and an 18 pounder Mk IV field gun, which has just negotiated a stone bridge through the winding and steep Verroia Pass, Greece. Approximately 1400 units of these Ford vehicles were purchased by the Australian Army between 1939 and 1941 and many of these were converted to four wheel drive by fitting a Marmon-Herrington front wheel drive kit to the chassis. 441 of these vehicles were sent to the Middle East in 1940 and 54 of these subsequently saw service during the Greek campaign in April 1941. These vehicles were powered by an 85 horsepower V8 engine with a four speed gearbox and two speed transfer case. They had leaf spring suspension and were also fitted with an Australian roadster style cab, making them a uniquely Australian vehicle. The Official designation for these vehicles was Tractor 4x4, Artillery (Aust), LP No 3 and 3A (fitted with a winch). This particular vehicle, with the army registration number 9964 was transported to Greece aboard the MV Comliebank but was later abandoned when the Australian forces were evacuated.

P04680.002 | Australian War Memorial
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Spider
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Sig Hector Warnes 2/11 Batt and 6th Div Sigs (2nd AIF) - Served: 16/04/1940 - 31/07/1943
Cpl Ivor J Warnes RAAF - Served: 06/11/1939 - 23/11/1944
 

 


#12 spider

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:04 AM

Spider.

Are you sure that is an 18Pdr?
From the tyres it looks more like an 18/25Pdr to me.


http://cas.awm.gov.a..._img/P04680.001
An Australian Army 18 pounder Mk IV field gun and a No 27 Mk I Limber, being towed by an LP No 3 or 3A artillery tractor through the Verroia Pass, Greece. The gun tractor is packed with soldiers and the gun traverse platform is visible stowed on top of the limber. Australian infantrymen are also visible trudging up the hill in the background.
:P
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Spider
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Sig Hector Warnes 2/11 Batt and 6th Div Sigs (2nd AIF) - Served: 16/04/1940 - 31/07/1943
Cpl Ivor J Warnes RAAF - Served: 06/11/1939 - 23/11/1944
 

 


#13 DavidW

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:12 AM

Looks like the pneumatic tyres must have been used to replace the older wooden wheels.
Do we know if this was standard practice?
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#14 Za Rodinu

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:02 AM

Yes we know. Carriage from Mk 2 was rubber tyres, according to Ian Hogg's "British and American Artillery of World War II"

Attached File  ScanImage001.jpg   691.7K   11 downloads

Edited by Za Rodinu, 06 September 2011 - 11:08 AM.

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Quote from US Army field sanitation manual, 1850: "Dig the latrines downstream from the camp. The coffee tastes better."


#15 spider

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:05 AM

They were modified in the 1930's in Australia. Only some of the 18Pdr's were replaced with 25's prior to going to Greece.

1942 example:

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Spider
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Sig Hector Warnes 2/11 Batt and 6th Div Sigs (2nd AIF) - Served: 16/04/1940 - 31/07/1943
Cpl Ivor J Warnes RAAF - Served: 06/11/1939 - 23/11/1944
 

 


#16 spider

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:17 AM

http://cas.awm.gov.a...reen_img/002502
8 August 1940 - Gun crews of a South African Artillery unit unload their 18 pounder Mk 4 field gun in preparation for manoeuvres in the veldt area.

002502 | Australian War Memorial
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Spider
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Sig Hector Warnes 2/11 Batt and 6th Div Sigs (2nd AIF) - Served: 16/04/1940 - 31/07/1943
Cpl Ivor J Warnes RAAF - Served: 06/11/1939 - 23/11/1944
 

 


#17 DavidW

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:35 AM

Thanks.
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