Ordnance Quick-fire 17-pounder gun

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by stolpi, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    With only 74 being available I'm not sure the British got any.
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I don't believe we 'had' to borrow them. The version I read was that the Americans left them out of their plans so we asked to borrow them. We made sure that plenty of medium and heavy artillery went ashore so we could move fire as well as forces against any counterattacks.
  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    The British did not use the M12 themselves. They asked to borrow M12 SP 155mm guns so that 30 Corps could have support inland should their D Day advance take them as far as Villers Bocage, well beyond naval gunfire. The US Army (Bradley I think) offered a whole battalion rather than just the guns.

    It is not well known that the 987th FAB were scheduled to land on D Day on Gold beach but landed early on D+1 serving under command of 5th AGRA until the end of June. I think they were the only US Army unit to land on British beaches and fight under British command in Normandy.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2023
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  5. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Hello Chris
    Thanks a lot for the extra information!

    I was a sapper and then a sapper corporal during my military service, so my knowledge on cannon is based entirely on what I have read. So as a layman all I can guess is that because the recoil guard is fixed to the non-recoiling part of the gun and in a normal system the cartridge case is ejected at the maximum recoil so if a gun recoils too far there might be ejection problems because of the lack of space between the back of the breech and the end of the recoil guard at the maximum recoil for a clean ejection. But IIRC at least the 17-pdr version used in Firefly had a slightly delayed opening of the breech to prevent "backflash" and I'm not entirely sure its effect to the ejection cycle so I'm on very thin ice on this. But IMHO in this case the problem wasn't the driver's safety. But lets wait that a gun specialist gives an answer to this problem.

    I'm very interesting in extra information on Archer because I have a soft spot in my heart for it.

  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Hi Juha,

    Interesting about the gun!

    Despite knowing little about some things and having to learn as I go, I am working on a book about the Archer. (No time-frame and it will probably be self-published.)

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  7. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Hello Chris,
    Very interesting.
    The book will probably be a must to me. Have you seen P.M. Knight's tank books? A technically orientated friend of me highly recommented his Comet book but I bought first his A30 Challenger book, seems to be a very good and interesting book on its subject.

  8. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Yes, I have the Comet, Covenanter, and Crusader books, but I have only had time to read the Comet one.
  9. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member


    American M12 155mm GMC (Gun Motor Carriage) self-propelled guns coming ashore, Gold area, 7 June 1944.
  10. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    They may also be the source of rumours among Panzergruppe West that the British were using a SP gun with a 7m long gun barrel. Reports of fire breathing black dogs are potentially Crocs.
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  11. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  12. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Great picture. I like the the two carbines in the front vehicle too.
  13. whelm

    whelm New Member

  14. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    And Vicar for the 17-pounder Valentine!

    What file?

    It reminds me of a list I found in the Canadian microfilms which showed a whole lot of A- names for SPs.
  15. whelm

    whelm New Member

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  16. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian


    Here, take a look at this: (I think it was filed under 1/SP 17 Pdr/1, or had been)


    Attached Files:

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  17. whelm

    whelm New Member

    Interesting as well.

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  18. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    The passage from Gulvin, Kent Home Guard: A History reads:

    The 75mm AT Gun was basically manufactured from spare parts of other guns. It consisted of a 3-inch anti-aircraft gun barrel and breach mechanism on a World War I field gun carriage. When the mountings for 3-inch guns were required for new 3.7-inch guns, the War Office was left with several hundred spare gun barrels. Also in store was a large number of 4.5-inch (35-pounder) field Howitzer carriages, at this time obsolete. The carriages were overhauled and given new wheels with pneumatic tyres and were fitted with the old 3-inch AA gun barrels, shortened down. These guns were then redesignated 75mm anti-tank guns. The guns had a range of 10,450 yards with a rate of fire of 16 rpm. The muzzle velocity was 2,500 feet per second. The weight of the shell was 12.5 lb.

    Amongst the units issued with this weapon was the 1st Battalion (28th Kent) Southern Railway Home Guard.

    The source is unclear but the accompanying pictures come from the series “Gun crews of the Southern Railway Home Guard” available online and appear to me to be American M1916 delivered under Lend-Lease in 1941. Leastways, the carriage appears lighter than the 4.5-inch Howitzer, which I think was a box trail in any case, and they lack the Howitzer’s distinctive shield. I am not convinced and suspect that this could be the military equivalent of an old wives' tale.

    I am unclear how Clarke arrived at the notion that the putative sawn-off 3” 20-cwt was designated 3” 16-cwt but I think that he is mistaken. Of the 17-pdr, the Army Equipment Bulletin No.2 stated “In order to avoid publicity this equipment has been referred to as the 3 inch 16 cwt and readers are asked to preserve secrecy about the equipment until notified in the usual way”.

    A.F.V.1. (L), Monthly Progress Report No.2, January, 1942 confirms the expectation that 17-pdr carriage production would precede that of the guns:

    The General Staff decided that the mounting of 50 3” 20 cwt. A.A. guns on Churchill chassis should be proceeded with.

    The 24 “pilot” carriages for the use of the manufacturers trials, etc., would be produced in April. The first production models of 3” – 17 Pdr. carriages would be produced in May.

    50 of the carriages would be available for mounting the 3” – 20 cwt. gun before the 17 Pdr. proper becomes available.

    It was stated that although these 50 guns on Churchills were only a stop gap weapon they would not be scrapped when the 17 Pdr. was in production although they might be relegated to a lesser role, possibly on 17 Pdr. carriages.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  19. Wapen

    Wapen Well-Known Member

    Hi Canuck. Love your Seaforth NCO quote. I'm plodding through the Brit side of Veritable and finding similar stuff.
  20. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Getting back to the subject of the gun - has anyone written a book (even a small one) focused on the 17-pounder gun? I did a little bit of internet searching (e.g. "worldcat" which is a very large database of titles) and have come up empty.

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