Size of crew for 17-pounder towed gun?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Chris C, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Hi all,

    I was just wondering about how many gun numbers were assigned to the 17-pounder (towed). Wikipedia says "5-6" which is a little unconvincing. (Why any variation?) From looking at a couple of Canadian war establishments, there seem to have been 9 men in a section, but that included a driver.

    And then again I looked at a WE from Italy and there the organisation is per section of two guns, I think, so the breakdown would be a bit different.

    But I suspect a drill booklet would have specified a set number of men.
  2. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    A quick-ish browse through the WEs beginning from April 1943 does show a constant of seven gun numbers per 3-in 16-cwt or 17-pdr gun. No.1 was a Serjeant or Bombardier and drivers were separate from this total. The towing vehicle is normally shown with both a driver-mechanic and a driver, IC, which gives a total of nine all ranks. One or two gun numbers are shown as travelling in a third Section vehicle, which type did change but was initially a 15-cwt truck with a driver, IC.

    There is a 17-pdr booklet available I'm sure but I can't recall if it showed anything on the gun number duties or interesting bits on amn and ancillary equipment. I've found a few publications that sounded interesting but were very much for a person doing physical maintenance, and I cannot get excited about lubrication schedules...

    Chris C likes this.
  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Looking at clips of 17 pounders and trying to count the crew I think that the 17 pounder on a 25 pounder carriage (as the first issues were) had a different number
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    I have a constant crew of seven in a variety of establishment tables. Often listed as Serjeant No 1, Nos 2,3,4 and 5 gun numbers, Nos 6 and 7 ammunition numbers.

    ceolredmonger likes this.
  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Much obliged!

    If the 'Pheasant' had a smaller crew, that might have been an initial allotment they revised later for better efficiency or maybe even based on how many men it took to actually push the thing into position.
  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    I suspect that pointing it only took one man whereas the split trail carriage would require a man per trail section

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