QF 3.7in Mountain Howitzer Mk I

Catalogue number
  • ORD 137
Department
Exhibits
Display status
IWM Duxford
Production date
1942
Materials
  • whole: metal
Dimensions
  • whole: L: W: H: Calibre: 3.7in
Alternative names
  • full name: QF 3.7in Mountain Howitzer Mk I
  • simple name: gun, howitzer : British
Creator
Category
Weapons and ammunition

Label

The design of a new mountain howitzer to replace existing guns in British service was started in 1915, and the first guns were issued in February 1917. It was the first British gun to feature a split trail but retained the "screw barrel" feature inherited from earlier guns. It had a hydropneumatic recoil system, and equipments used on the North-West Frontier of India usually had a large shield to protect the gunners. A detachment of nine men was needed to serve the gun, which was easily dismantled into eight loads for carriage by mules. After the First World War, consideration was given to using the gun as an infantry support weapon, and the spoked wheels were replaced by pneumatic tyres, but in 1932, it was decided that the 3-inch mortar would perform this task, and the 3.7in Howitzer faded from the infantry scene. However, in 1939, many were still in service and saw action, especially in the Far East, and Burma. In addition, the ability of the 3.7in Howitzer to come to pieces was of value when airborne artillery units were being formed, and it became one of the standard artillery weapons of airborne troops. The 3.7in Howitzer was finally declared obsolete in February 1960.

Physical description

gun This is a typical example of the 3.7in Mountain Howitzer, comprising a MkI Barrel with a MkII Carriage, and was manufactured in 1942. The gun is marked as follows (barrel) G VI RI No L/605 1942 No L/605. (breech) 3 - 3 - 0 QF 3.7 HOWR CO I G 1942 No 605 QF 3.7 - HOWr MkI CO IG 1942 L/605. (carriage) 3.7 INCH HOWITZER MK II J 1942 REG No 12004

History note

The design of a new mountain howitzer to replace existing guns in British service was started in 1915, and the first guns were issued in February 1917. It was the first British gun to feature a split trail but retained the "screw barrel" feature inherited from earlier guns. It had a hydropneumatic recoil system, and equipments used on the North-West Frontier of India usually had a large shield to protect the gunners. A detachment of nine men was needed to serve the gun, which was easily dismantled into eight loads for carriage by mules. After the First World War, consideration was given to using the gun as an infantry support weapon, and the spoked wheels were replaced by pneumatic tyres, but in 1932, it was decided that the 3-inch mortar would perform this task, and the 3.7in Howitzer faded from the infantry scene. However, in 1939, many were still in service and saw action, especially in the Far East, and Burma. In addition, the ability of the 3.7in Howitzer to come to pieces was of value when airborne artillery units were being formed, and it became one of the standard artillery weapons of airborne troops. The 3.7in Howitzer was finally declared obsolete in February 1960.

Stamped (barrel & breech) plate (carriage)

(barrel) G VI RI No L/605 1942 No L/605 (breech) 3 - 3 - 0 QF 3.7 HOWR CO I G 1942 No 605 QF 3.7 - HOWr MkI CO IG 1942 L/605 (carriage) 3.7 INCH HOWITZER MK II J 1942 REG No 12004

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