18 Pounders in the Western Desert

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by DavidW, Sep 3, 2011.

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  1. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    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?
     
  2. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    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:
    [​IMG] 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.

    [​IMG]

    Not really horse-mobile :)

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

    [​IMG]

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

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

    CMP_FAT_Macleans_Dec_1_1941_p_42.jpg
     
  3. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much.
     
  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    We're all here to help.
     
  5. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

  6. bigmal

    bigmal Member

    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
     
  7. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    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
     
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  8. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    "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?
     
  9. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Australian Artillery 18 Pounder 1941 Greece
     

    Attached Files:

  10. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Spider.

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

    spider Very Senior Member

    http://cas.awm.gov.au/thumb_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
     
  12. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Spider.

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

    http://cas.awm.gov.au/screen_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
     
  13. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

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

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

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

    ScanImage001.jpg
     
  15. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    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:
     

    Attached Files:

  16. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

  17. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks.
     

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