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 BRITISH ARTILLERY IN WORLD WAR 2

 18-PDR GUN

 

Updated   9 May 2009

Conversion factors to metric measurement

 Ordnance, Q.F. 18-pr Gun Mks 4A and 4B on Carriages Mks 4, 4P, 4R, 5, 5P and 5R

 Picture List

 The 18-pr Gun was one of the two field equipments that provided the backbone of the British artillery in World War 1,  it had entered service in 1904 and by 1919 had reached the Mk 4 gun on Mk 4 carriage.   In 1923 the Mk 5 carriage was introduced and later all existing marks were adapted for vehicle towing, initially with solid rubber tyres ('R' which could also be used with horse draught) and then pneumatic tyres, 'P'.  Older model guns Mks 1 & 2 remained in service with their carriages (pole trail) modified to Mk 2P for vehicle towing.  The 18-pr was used by the BEF in 1940 and was also used that year in North and East Africa and in very small numbers in Hong Kong, Malaya, Borneo and Burma in late 1941 and early 1942.

Calibre

 3.3 inches

Ordnance length
Bore length

 97 inches 
 
28 calibres 

Rifling

 18 grooves, 1 in  30 uniform twist

Chamber capacity

 83 cubic inches

Barrel

Autofrettaged loose liner

Breech

Welin screw & Asbury mech

Recuperator

 Hydro-pneumatic
 Note 1

 Sights

 Reciprocating

Carriage configuration

Mk 4 - box trail
Mk 5 - split trail

Max elevation

  - 5 to 38

Top traverse (Left & Right)
Platform
Mk 4 only

 Mk 4 - 4.5
 Mk 5 - 25

360 

Loading angle

 

Basic Weight

Mks 4 & 5P - 1.5 tons

Length (muzzle to towing eye)

 16.5 feet

Trunnion height

 3 feet

Width at wheel hubs

 6 feet

Standard streamlined HE Shell Mk 1C Note 2

Length (less fuze)

 10 inches

Calibre radius head

 4/7.5

 Body Diameter

 3.29 inches

Driving Band Diameter

 3.39 inches

Weight (incl fuze)

 18.5 lbs Note 3

Explosive Weight

 1.1 lbs

Charge

New Gun MV

RT MV

RT Max Range

Time of Flight @ Max Range

Probable Error @ Max Range

Approx  Propellant Weight

 18-pr used a fixed round, there was a reduced charge round for training use.  The full charge for earlier Mks of gun was smaller.

 Full

 1632 f/s

1625 f/s

11,100 yds

48 secs

 60 yds

1.4 lbs

 

Rates of fire

Gunfire

Intense

Rapid

Normal

Slow

Very slow

Rounds/Minute

 

 

 

 

 

 

Normal Detachment

6 men

Gun Tractor

 

Artillery Trailer

No 24

1st Line Ammo (per gun)

 

VARIANTS

The 18-pr evolved throughout its life.  The Mk 4 gun was a major change (there was no Mk 3), and the 4A and 4B introduced autofrettaged barrels to replace the original Mk 4 and earlier wire-bound types.  The Mk 4 carriage replaced the pole trail with a box trail and introduced a platform.  Mk 5 carriage was a split trail design.  

Note 1 - The original Mk 1 Gun  had a spring recuperator
Note 2 - Streamline shells were only available with HE or bursting smoke (WP).  Earlier shells (called Mk 2 in WW1) were 2 crh.
Note 3 - Fuze No 117

Picture List

18-pr Gun Mk 4 on Carriage 18-pr Mk4P  - a studio picture

18-pr Gun Mk 4 on Carriage 18-pr Mk5P  - a studio picture

Gun Detachment duties in action:

No 1

Detachment Commander

No 2

Breech and range setting

No 3

Layer, fire gun

No 4

Loader

No 5

Ammunition

No 6

Ammunition

Equipment Publications:
(Post WW1)
Range Tables Part 1:
26/Manuals/618      18-pr Mks 1 - 4, 2 CRH Shrapnel, 4/7 CRH HE, 1929.
26/Manuals/1025    18-pr Mks 1 - 5, 2 CRH Shrapnel, 4/7 CRH HE, 1929.
26/Manuals/1454    18-pr Mks 1 - 4, 2 CRH Shrapnel, 4 CRH HE, 1937.

26/Manuals/2576    18-pr Mks 1 - 4, Full Charge, 2 CRH Shrapnel, 4/7 CRH HE,
1940.

Gun Drill:
40/WO/7366          18-pr QF Mk 4, Carriage Mks 3 & 3*, 1920.
40/WO/7366          18-pr QF Mks 1 - 2, Carriage Mks 1* & 2, 1923.
40/WO/9030          18-pr QF Mk 4, Carriage Mk 5, 1924.
26/Manuals/472      18-pr QF Mk 4, Carriage Mk 3T, 4 & 5, 1928.
26/Manuals/1361    18-pr QF Mk 4, Carriage Mk 3T - 5R, 1934
26/GS Pubs/118     18-pr QF Mks 1 - 2*, Carriage Mk 1 - 2* 1939.

Handbook:
40/WO/8218         Ordnance, QF, 18-pr Mk 4 Gun on Mks 3, 3*, 3t,4 & 5 Field Carriage, 1924.

26/Manuals/351    Ordnance, QF, 18-pr Mks 1 & 2 Guns on Mks 1 to 2R Field Carriage, 1929.
26/Manuals/719    Ordnance, QF, 18-pr Mk 4 Gun on Mks 3t, 3tr, 4, 4R, 5 & 5R Field Carriage, 1931.

37/Guns/1085       Ordnance, QF, 18-pr Mk 4, 4A & 4B Guns on Carraiges Mks 3T, 3TR,4, 4P & 4R, 1938.

26/Manuals/2279  Ordnance, QF, 18-pr Mks 1 to 2* Guns on Carriages Mks 2, 2P, 2PA & 2R, 1940.

                           Ordnance, QF, 18-pr Mks 1 to 2* Guns on Carriage Mk 2P (LP) Field Carriage, 1940.
                           Ordnance, QF, 18-pr Mks 4, 4A & 4B Guns on Carriages, 18-pr Mks 3T, 3TR, 4P, 4R, 5, 5P & 5R,
1940.

Identification List:
57/Guns/560         QF, 18-pr Mk 4 Gun on Mks 3T - 5R Field Carriage, 1930.
57/Guns/848         QF, 18-pr Mks 1 - 2* Gun on Mks 1* - 2R Field Carriage, 1934. 
 

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