Finnish 18 pounder field gun

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Fabi
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Finnish 18 pounder field gun

Post by Fabi » 15 Jan 2009 20:14

Hi,
I need some help with the British 18 pounder guns used by the Fins during the Continuation War. I've seen two pictures which show different versions of the gun.
One is from the Osprey book about Finland in WW2. The text says its the US-conversion with double rubber tires, a new muzzle break similar in appearence to that of the BT-42 (British 4.5 inch howitzer), a different shield, which is higher than the normal one but doesn't reach to the ground as the British WW1 ones. It was also converted to fire French 75mm shells.
The other picture you can see here:
Image
It seems as it has the old shield without enlargement on the top an only on rubber tire on each side.
I also read that there were US and British versions of the 18 pounder field gun in use during Continuation War.
Do you have some more pictures or even blueprints because I'd like to convert a model kit of the British 18 pounder to one of these guns. I also would like to see the wheels as a whole.
I hope you can help me. Thank you.

Greetings

Fabi

Steady
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Re: Finnish 18 pounder field gun

Post by Steady » 15 Jan 2009 20:37

A couple of pictures and history in here:

http://www.jaegerplatoon.net/ARTILLERY3.htm

Lotvonen
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Re: Finnish 18 pounder field gun

Post by Lotvonen » 16 Jan 2009 09:48

The pic is probably post-war, judging by the rubber tires.

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Harri
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Re: Finnish 18 pounder field gun

Post by Harri » 16 Jan 2009 16:32

Lotvonen wrote:The pic is probably post-war, judging by the rubber tires.
No, it's not. The closest soldier is clearly wearing an old Swedish style helmet and I don't know any other division than the 17.D which would have used these. These helmets were not used after the war.

This quote is from the above mentioned site by JTV:
In Continuation War Field Artillery Regiment 8 belonging to 17th Division used the guns. All the guns bought to Finland were model 1918 with pneumatic tires and had been all equipped for motorised towing (which is how they were towed in Finland). During the war at least some of the guns were equipped with double-tires to improve their mobility in poor roads and terrain.
That kind of double-tires were used also in the Soviet 152 mm H/38.

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JTV
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Re: Finnish 18 pounder field gun

Post by JTV » 16 Jan 2009 18:29

Harri wrote:
Lotvonen wrote:The pic is probably post-war, judging by the rubber tires.
No, it's not. The closest soldier is clearly wearing an old Swedish style helmet and I don't know any other division than the 17.D which would have used these. These helmets were not used after the war.
Indeed. If anybody have scanner and "Tammidivisioona" ("Oak Division", the nickname of 17th Division) by Immonen, Siikarla, Westerlund and Voipio, page 161 of the particular book has rather good photo taken early spring 1944 showing 84 K/18 field gun with pneumatic double tires. Unfortunately I don't have a scanner home.

75 K/17 (the US-made version that used same ammunition as French 75-mm field guns) however was a different matter. They arrived with their old wheels (wooden wheels with steel hoops) and Finnish Army doesn't seem to have started equipping them with (sponge-rubber) tires until after World War 2.

Jarkko

John T
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Re: Finnish 18 pounder field gun

Post by John T » 16 Jan 2009 19:32

Hi All
Eric Björklunds book Kvarkentrafiken got two photos from Holmsund on the Swedish side of the 18 pounders with rubber tires at the transit storage.

Seven guns where towed over the ice and the remaining 23 where later sent by rail when the Ice road where too risky.
And the book gives the designation as 84 K18 - Q.F. 18pdr Field gun M II Mk PA.

Soo they where obviously delivered with rubber tires.

Cheers
John T

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Fabi
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Re: Finnish 18 pounder field gun

Post by Fabi » 16 Jan 2009 20:34

Thank you for your help so far!

Here is the other picture I've mentioned with the new muzzle break. Where all these guns converted like this?
Image

Image

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JTV
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Re: Finnish 18 pounder field gun

Post by JTV » 16 Jan 2009 21:49

Fabi wrote:Thank you for your help so far!

Here is the other picture I've mentioned with the new muzzle break. Where all these guns converted like this?
I checked my books and notes, but it seems impossible to say for sure if only some or if all were equipped with the new Finnish muzzle brake. The one that is now in Finnish Artillery Museum lacks muzzle brake, but it may have been removed at some point.

Unfortunately the caption of that text is quite misleading as it mixes two gun models, which shared a common origin (British made 18-pounder aka 84 K/18 as the Finnish Army called it and the US-made version designed for using existing French 75-mm ammunition supply, known as 75 K/17 in Finland). In that caption the resulting mix of histories of these two guns is quite confusing. The gun in that photo is 84 K/18 with its double pneumatic tires, but these guns (all 40 of them) were UK-made, were delivered from UK to Finland and had likely never been is US use. Also as mentioned already pneumatic tires had been installed in UK before the guns were sent to Finland and later the Finns added second tires in some of them probably around 1943 - 1944 or so.

The gun that was supplied from US to Finland in large numbers (200 guns) was 75 K/17, which was US-designed version of British 18-pounder in new caliber (75-mm). They were manufactured (not converted) in USA (by Bethlehem Steel) and the ones delivered to Finland apparently remained pretty much unmodified from the moment they came out from factory until end of World War 2 (sponge-rubber tires introduced WW2 it being the first real modernisation).

Jarkko
Last edited by JTV on 17 Jan 2009 00:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Fabi
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Re: Finnish 18 pounder field gun

Post by Fabi » 16 Jan 2009 23:23

That helped a lot.
Thank you very much for your help. Now I just have to look for similar looking wheels for the gun.

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