Big guns ??? Help please...

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Bill F, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Bill F

    Bill F Member

    hi folks... some help required please...
    Artillery guns, circa 1944 namely “7.2inch” and the “155mm” as used by the battery’s of 1 heavy regt throughout their busy tour of Europe.
    Could do with links to a site/s with spec and pics please. When I searched, I seemed to come up with conflicting pics / specs, mainly about the 155mm. Would much appreciate someone pointing me in the right direction.
  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    The 7.2 inch howitzer was a stop gap development of the WW1 8 inch Howitzer to make it suitable for more mobile warfare. It's proper designation was B.L. 7.2-Inch Howitzer, Marks I, I*, II, III and IV. Try using some combination of this in your search.

    155mm was a very 'popular' calibre - the equivalent of 6 inch. I have a French 155mm brass cartridge case dated from 1917 in my hearth. Everybody used 155s in WW2. The Allies had 155mm howitzers and also long guns of the same calibre. If you could identify the heavy regt it might help.
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    ceolredmonger and CL1 like this.
  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    True but there appears to be a bot that has become associated with it that can give problems. I think that it's a simple tracker but some shields etc take fright so I'm hesitant to post a link to it
  5. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    A definite second for the above link. Re the 155-mm, as alluded to, there were both 155-mm howitzers and 155-mm guns, which despite the calibre were very different weapons. As it's a NWE RA Heavy Regt you're looking at, they would use the 155-mm gun, which was a US piece (the M1A1). You may inadvertently be findings results for the 155-mm howitzer (M1). A Heavy Regt normally had two Btys of 7.2-in hows and two Btys of 155-mm guns, with four guns/hows of the relevant type in each Bty.

  6. Bill F

    Bill F Member

    I did, in the original post... ( used by the battery’s of 1 Heavy Regt throughout their busy tour of Europe....)
  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Ah - if you'd typed 1 Heavy Regiment RA that would have been clearer. I assumed because you hadn't capitalised it etc it meant a heavy regiment of something or other.
  8. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    In addition, in 1943 a few 7.2-inch Howitzer Mks I to IV were mounted on the U.S. M1 carriage (used for their 155-mm gun and 8-inch howitzer) becoming the Mk 5 in British service. During 1943 an entirely new 7.2-inch howitzer mounted on the M1 carriage was developed, increasing the range by about two miles, becoming the Mk 6. This may be one at the beginning of MARKET GARDEN.

    The picture links on this data sheet illustrate the two distinct carriages that were used.

    Also useful:
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    Dave55 likes this.
  9. Bill F

    Bill F Member

    Still confusing...I have contacted the RA museum, and am hopeful of a reply giving me precise weapons used for 1944 by 5 Bty, 1 Hvy Regt
    Just been up to Fort Nelson today, selection of guns on display, also some 'parked' outside, hopefully waiting for restoration...I took photos, went back inside asked 3 different staff who were all unable to tell me what they actually are !!! Ultimately, when I have found out what guns were used by my dad, I'm also hopeful of finding a decent model kit of said gun, to build and display.
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Have you looked here ?
    RA 1939-45 1 Hvy Rgt
  11. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Taking a break not sure when I will be back

    I contacted a very local Regimental museum looking for voluntary work but got no response other than the curator telling me on the phone that she wasn't born then, when I mentioned going there to buy a s/h service dress some years ago.
    A friend, an ex regular, went to his Regiments museum to ask if they needed any help. The curator opened his desk drawer and asked if he could recognise an item that he had spent ages researching on line as he dint know what it was. It turned out to be a D lock for a kit bag. The curator was a retired school teacher with no military knowledge what so ever.
  12. Bill F

    Bill F Member

    saw that a while back, and just copied the following from my research from my dads timeline map...

    On the 5th March 1944, 5 Bty. were allotted 4 new 155mm guns.

    That came direct from the war diary, NA Kew...

    Thanks for the link Owen, but that or anything else I have seen so far, actually states what model etc... is there only 1 155mm Howitzer ??
  13. Bill F

    Bill F Member

    Was at Fort Nelson earlier today, they have a selection of guns on display, also some outside, hopefully waiting for restoration ? which I took photos of, went back inside, showed them to 3 different members of staff, all unable to tell me what they were ??? Amazing !!! There was a book up there tho, 'Gunfire' by Stig Moburg, in that it states that Heavy Regts used 'Long Toms'
    No wonder I'm still confused....
    Typing "155mm howitzer" into Google comes up with a Wiki link...which states 155mm Gun M1 which is a 'Long Tom' ..........
  14. Bill F

    Bill F Member

    Is a 155mm Gun the same as a 155mm Howitzer ( or vice versa) or are they different animals ?
    Ive searched both, and it lists the other... if ya know what I mean...
    Seemed like a straightforward quest for me on this...but I'm more confused by what keeps coming up !!
    So I would bow to / welcome informed opinions / answers...Ta
    Perhaps I should wait for RA museum to come back to me, they have been helpful with other stuff so far...
  15. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    1 Heavy Regiment, RA, fought as part of 2 Canadian AGRA. In Feb45 the AGRA reported eight 7.2-in and eight 155-mm pieces. A Heavy Regiment, RA, of this date was equipped with 16 pieces, which could be either 7.2-in or 155-mm guns.

    155-mm guns were not the same piece as 155-mm howitzers. See post 5 above.

  16. Bill F

    Bill F Member

    So, the stated 155mm pieces, which I am not disputing in any way whosoever by the way, just want to make that clear...what model / mark / make are they ?
    Because each time I ask , or search, I get different answers, and apologies if this is getting boring to anyone, but I’m doing a personal timeline research into my fathers lifetime, 26 years if which, was in the army, so it needs to be factually correct, for me, to honour him, and for anyone who views it.
    After WW2 he’s posted to 6 Fld Regt Palestine... QF 25 pdrs no problem there... then posted to 76 HAA Libya...3.7” AA guns, no problem there...few years later, leaves army... Few years later, gets bored, re-enlists, 137 Java Bty 40 Fld Regt Germany QF 25 pdrs again... no problem there.... But, 1942 not long after formation at Marden camp, issued with new 155mm guns, later in 1944 across Europe, still using 155mm guns in 5 Bty, I cant seem to get a definitive answer on what ‘breed’ of gun he was using ?
    Please, someone, put an end to my ranting.
    Thanks.... “I’ll get me coat....”
  17. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    The piece you are looking for is the United States produced 155-mm Gun, M1A1, on Carriage M1. It is a gun, and not to be confused with the similarly titled 155-mm Howitzer, M1, on Carriage M1. The 155-mm gun fired a projectile weighing 95 pounds to almost 26,000 yards. They entered British service around August 1943 and were issued to the Heavy Regiments, RA; of the four Batteries in each Heavy Regiment, two had four 155-mm guns apiece, and the other two four 7.2-in howitzers each.

    155 mm Gun M1 - Wikipedia

  18. Bill F

    Bill F Member

    Gary, thank you.

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