Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

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Felix C
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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Felix C » 03 Apr 2021 00:22

If I may ask the circular firing platform seen on some models was used/not used depending on terrain? or other reason?

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Delta Tank » 03 Apr 2021 02:41

Nick the Noodle wrote:
02 Apr 2021 20:44
Delta Tank wrote:
02 Apr 2021 16:56
Nick the Noodle wrote:
03 Feb 2021 10:45
The 25pdr had two main advantages over the 105mm. It could fire further and faster.
The 105mm had two main advantages over the 25pdr. Each shell was more lethal, and a greater weight of fire could be brought down in a given area in a given time.

The British found that the cacophonic effect of greater number of shells landing was at least as important as the the amount of HE delivered, and that both were equally good/bad against targets in cover.

In effect, the real difference between the two was the 25pdrs greater range.

Source : Montgomery's Scientists.
[/

The 25 pounder could fire faster than the 105? What is the difference between the two in the first minute, and the fourth minute. Long time ago,(1974-1975) when I was in the corps artillery at Fort Bragg, the 82d Airborne Divarty had a competition between gun crews and if I recall correctly the winning crew put out around 17 rounds the first minute!! I am sure that is way above the max rate of fire for the 105.

Mike
You obviously haven't the source I quoted. That any well trained artillery crew can have a 'mad minute' is not in question. We are talking about a sustained bombardment over 1-2 hours for maximum effect. The US gun wins on weight of fire, the 25pdr with rate of fire to produce the cacophonic effect that neutralizes dug in infantry. Both are equal in this regard. The 25 pdr has greater range, and it is also much lighter. It is one of the few weapon systems that Britain easily outmatched the USA in WW2.
Nick The Noodle,

Answer the question! So, what is the difference? One minute, 5 minutes, 1 hour, 3 days, 5 years?? What is the difference?? Pick any time period you want or can imagine.

Mike

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Delta Tank » 04 Apr 2021 13:34

Here is what I think, both the 25 pounder and the 105mm are classified as light artillery. I doubt if there is any significant difference in rate of fire between the two. The 25 Pounder had separate loading? I thought it did, but why?

Short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJakhZhWbQk
Notice that the shell is loaded first and then rammed home by a gunner with a short ramming staff, then the powder charge is put in the breech.

This is a demonstration, but it does show the loading procedure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-i-INQvWwg

There must be better videos of the 25 pounder in action, but I am having difficulty finding them.

The 105mm Howitzer of World War II had semi-fixed ammunition.

Short video of the M101A1, 105mm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SppjbglWg64

Mike

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Sheldrake » 04 Apr 2021 14:22

Delta Tank wrote:
04 Apr 2021 13:34
There must be better videos of the 25 pounder in action, but I am having difficulty finding them.
Try the IWM archives
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item ... 1060019748
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item ... 1060038288
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item ... 1060007864

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Delta Tank » 04 Apr 2021 17:18

Sheldrake wrote:
04 Apr 2021 14:22
Delta Tank wrote:
04 Apr 2021 13:34
There must be better videos of the 25 pounder in action, but I am having difficulty finding them.
Try the IWM archives
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item ... 1060019748
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item ... 1060038288
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item ... 1060007864
Sheldrake,

Thanks!

In the second video (Australian’s firing?) why does the gunner raise and lower the gun tube after each shot? Not done in the other two videos.

Why does the 25 pounder use separate loading and not semi-fixed ammunition?

Mike

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Sheldrake » 04 Apr 2021 21:08

Delta Tank wrote:
04 Apr 2021 17:18
In the second video (Australian’s firing?) why does the gunner raise and lower the gun tube after each shot? Not done in the other two videos.

Why does the 25 pounder use separate loading and not semi-fixed ammunition?
IRRC the layer is supposed to relay between each round and not just peep and check the sight is on the aiming point, Not sure why there is such an exaggerated relay between each round for the second video. Maybe it was on an unstable platform or soft ground or they were using a cut down version which had a recoil system that did not fully return the gun to its firing position. Or maybe it was exaggerated for the camera.

The short answer is because it didn't need to use one. The 25 pounder and M1 Howitzer both used a multi charge system and the correct charge increments need to be inserted into the cartridge case and checked before loading. Nos 1 check the round and charge as part of their duties, acknowledging . "Correct" "Correct" "Load". There is no speed advantage in mating the round and cartridge on the tray. If anything it may be easier to handle the separate round and cartridge than the mated round.

See what you think from these videos.

The L119 Light Gun uses the same ammunition as the M1 and uses a mating tray before loading a mated round and cartridge.
https://youtu.be/lVb7QuGpqF0
The L118 Light gun uses British Ammunition and loads the round and cartridge separately.
https://youtu.be/wcjTOxYlwmg

Perhaps the question should be why does the M1 Ammunition need to be mated before loading. I don't know off hand.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Delta Tank » 05 Apr 2021 21:42

Sheldrake,

IIRC, the 105 mm ammunition came in a wooden box containing two rounds that were in fiber tubes. You open the fiber tubes and there was a complete round. The projo was on top of the brass shell case and inside the shell case were seven charges, that were connected by a string, the fuzes came in a separate container. We would fuze up a bunch of rounds, PD and MTSQ (Mechanical Time Super Quick). The fire command would come down from FDC, (Fire Direction Center) lift the round, cut the charge, put the round back down on the shell casing and load the round. The Chief of Section would count the charges that were cut, (removed) and fire the round. We got rid of Safety Officers checking each gun before firing in 1976. The Safety Officer would verify the lay of each gun and would stand behind the gun line and from there he could count the charges that were cut. Super easy!

I have no idea why the 105mm uses semi-fixed ammunition. But, it looks slightly easier than having to ram a round and then load the powder.

What cartridge and tray are you referring to? There is a cartridge, but there is no tray that I am aware of.

I was in the Field Artillery from 1974-1978 on active duty and then 1978-1979 in the 28th Infantry Division, PAARNG (PennsylvaniA ARmy National Guard). Then I spent a year in a 4.2 inch mortar platoon in the 112th Infantry PAARNG. Cutting the charges on a 4.2 inch mortar was in my humble opinion a nightmare!!😳

I have no idea how they did it in WW II.

Mike
PS thanks for the videos!!

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Yoozername » 06 Apr 2021 05:03

I have seen WWII Priest firing as fast as this video. I can't find the Priest video right now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAc1CnKqSyo

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Yoozername » 09 Apr 2021 05:49

Interesting video showing US artillery post WWII

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u88AhYMAIfg

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Apr 2021 03:58

Delta Tank wrote:
05 Apr 2021 21:42
I have no idea why the 105mm uses semi-fixed ammunition. But, it looks slightly easier than having to ram a round and then load the powder.
It is faster. Not just because of the handy combination. Firing puts heat in the breech and barrel. Rapid fire builds up heat & it could get hot enough to ignite the propellant. With a metal cartridge part of the heat leaves with it.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Delta Tank » 10 Apr 2021 10:20

Yoozername wrote:
09 Apr 2021 05:49
Interesting video showing US artillery post WWII

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u88AhYMAIfg
That was a really good video! Thanks!

Mike

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Felix C » 10 Apr 2021 17:14

Was the 25pdr used today to salute Prince Philip? I saw a variety of artillery pieces across the UK and Gibraltar being used. Some did appear as 25pdr to my layman eye.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Yoozername » 10 Apr 2021 18:11

In other discussions regarding 25 pdr vs 105mm some interesting points come up.

Basically, the separate ammunition shipped with the 25 pdr takes up less space. The shipping method mentioned above for the 105 mm is not ideal since the US was shipping across an ocean.

The projectiles had their own characteristics. The 25 pdr was a thick wall design, resulting in large fragments. Later in the war the UK put a more energetic HE in them to break them up into more fragments. The US had a thin wall design, perhaps too thin. Some reports say the US liked the German 105 mm ammunition which they used when captured.

Using semi-fixed ammunition seems to result in a greater rate of fire and even less fatigue. But the need to take off the projectile to adjust the charge means more pre-work. The higher rate of fire could lead to rifling wear. The US used a progressive twist on the rifling, not sure of the 25 pdr. One report mentions the US artillery men tending to use max charge too often.

Accuracy might be another argument. The US 155 mm guys thought they were more accurate than the 105 mm BTW.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Sheldrake » 10 Apr 2021 21:28

Felix C wrote:
10 Apr 2021 17:14
Was the 25pdr used today to salute Prince Philip? I saw a variety of artillery pieces across the UK and Gibraltar being used. Some did appear as 25pdr to my layman eye.
The guns used were the L118 Light Gun apart from the 13 pounders of the Kings Troop. I don't think anyone uses the 25 pounder any more for anything other than gate guardians
Last edited by Sheldrake on 10 Apr 2021 23:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Brits preference of 25 pounder over 105mm, what gives

Post by Sheldrake » 10 Apr 2021 22:02

Delta Tank wrote:
05 Apr 2021 21:42
I have no idea why the 105mm uses semi-fixed ammunition. But, it looks slightly easier than having to ram a round and then load the powder.
What cartridge and tray are you referring to? There is a cartridge, but there is no tray that I am aware of.
Aha. Looking at the videos I can see that the US Artillery mates the round on the back of a truck. The round is then held vertically. The British Royal School of Artillery also used the L119 - there was a lot of 105mm Pack Howitzer ammunition around. I was trained on the L119 on my YOs course. Our tractors did not stay on the position but withdrew in time honoured fashion to the wagon lines. British gun bunnies are tough and not connected by an umbilical cord to a vehicle. ;) Perhaps it was just the British who used a metal trough to mate the round out of the dirt.

I think running around the gun position holding a mated round vertically is slower than bringing the round to the gun as a round and cartridge. There can't be much in it.

Looking at the videos there is a difference in drills. The No 1 must check the ammunition and charge is correct. In the L119 American video IO saw an ammunition number come across to the No 1 and show the cartridge before loading - I also saw that the spare teabags (propellent bags) were shown as the mated round was brought to the breech. If you look at the L118 - in particular the following you see the No1 is showen first the round and then the charge. That looks more logical or safer?

More Light Gun porn here


About 4 minutes in it mentions three guns manned by new recruits of 24 Irish Battery. I used to be the BK (Exec) of that battery in 1986. 24 Irish are the battery which were 9 (Irish) in WW2 and fired the first shots from LCTs on Sword beach. The painting commissioned in 1986 is on the cover of my book.

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