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  #1  
Old 16-08-05, 15:44
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Default 25-pdr Short Mk I (Aust) or "Baby 25-pdr"

Who has more details on modified 25-pdr guns such as the 25-pdr Short Mk I (Aust) on Carriage 25-pdr Light Mk I (Aust)?

As far as I know, the Short 25-pdr gun was an Australian pack gun version of the British 25 pounder gun/howitzer, developed as a result of experience in the jungles of New Guinea indicating the need for really portable artillery. First produced in 1943, it was a shortened version of the standard 25 pounder, mounted on the Carriage 25-pdr Light, Mark 1. The "Baby 25-pdr" was intended for jungle combat and was used in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, during World War II. The gun could be towed by a light vehicle or broken down into sections, capable of pack transport.

The only resemblance to the 25pdr was the breech mechanism, recoil system, cradle and sights. The trail was simplified, wheels made smaller, and castor added to the end of the trail for easier manhandling. The shield and and platform were discarded, and a heavy spade added to anchor the gun while firing. The gun itself was drastically shortened to 46.69 inches, and a muzzle cap added, which gave a total length of 63.79 inches. Broken into 14 packs the total equipment weight was 3,015 Lbs. It could not be used with supercharge, so the maximum range was only 10,800 yards.

Shown below is a survivor, ex-Rod Keys, now in the collection of the Meandarra ANZAC Memorial Museum in Australia.
m-mtn-Guns.jpg
Source: http://armygear.org
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  #2  
Old 16-08-05, 16:14
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Now, what type of 25-pdr is this? The carriage has a narrowed axle, matching smaller diameter firing base, narrowed shield and folding trail. Is this the Airportable/Airborne version?


Source: http://www.ktr.nl

I'd like to learn more about it, as the Netherlands Army has had quite a number of them in use. Next to the one shown above, there at least two more of these 25-pdrs existing (although at least one of them is a bit of a mix 'n match).

H
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  #3  
Old 16-08-05, 17:38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hanno Spoelstra
Now, what type of 25-pdr is this? The carriage has a narrowed axle, matching smaller diameter firing base, narrowed shield and folding trail. Is this the Airportable/Airborne version?
Hi Hanno;

I'm no expert on the 25pdr, but from your description; the gun is mounted on a modified Mk II or Mk III carriage, with the smaller No. 22 platform. The only 25pdr that I know of that was used in the Airportable/Airborne role, was the Australian Short Mk I, in the Pacific Theatre. In NWE/Italy, the American 75mm pack How. was used.

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Old 16-08-05, 21:28
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Default 25 pr

Quote:
Originally posted by Hanno Spoelstra
Now, what type of 25-pdr is this? The carriage has a narrowed axle, matching smaller diameter firing base, narrowed shield and folding trail. Is this the Airportable/Airborne version?
Hanno,

I restored one of these for the Royal Artillery Firepower Museum at Woolwich, London. They know it as the "Jungle 25 pounder". It has a narrower axle, smaller diameter platform (to suit the narrow axle) and folding trail, other than that it is basically the same as a normal 25 pdr.

The folding trail is nothing to do with airportability, it increases the elevation when operating in jungle or hilly situations. The barrel length is same as norm as well. If I can find a photo of it, I will add it to this thread.

Richard
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Old 06-12-14, 18:57
rnixartillery rnixartillery is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Farrant View Post
I restored one of these for the Royal Artillery Firepower Museum at Woolwich, London. They know it as the "Jungle 25 pounder". It has a narrower axle, smaller diameter platform (to suit the narrow axle) and folding trail, other than that it is basically the same as a normal 25 pdr.

The folding trail is nothing to do with airportability, it increases the elevation when operating in jungle or hilly situations. The barrel length is same as norm as well. If I can find a photo of it, I will add it to this thread.
Richard,

So sorry to drag up this old thread but did you ever find the pictures of the gun you restored ? I am trying to determine the shield configuration between the two modified 25 pdr's.I know one had the extra flaps in the shield in front of the wheels for the drag ropes and the other without ?

Rob...............rnixartillery.
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Old 06-12-14, 20:24
Godwin Hampton Godwin Hampton is offline
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According to the 1957 user handbook for the 25 pounder, the original carriage was (logically!) the Mark 1. This was modified into the narrower Mk 2, as well explained above. The Mk 3 was the Mk 2 with the joint to allow higher elevation, and no other modification. Therefore the shields (with flaps) for the Mk 2 and Mk 3 were identical.
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Old 06-12-14, 22:31
rnixartillery rnixartillery is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godwin Hampton View Post
According to the 1957 user handbook for the 25 pounder, the original carriage was (logically!) the Mark 1. This was modified into the narrower Mk 2, as well explained above. The Mk 3 was the Mk 2 with the joint to allow higher elevation, and no other modification. Therefore the shields (with flaps) for the Mk 2 and Mk 3 were identical.
Yes that's what I thought Godwin regarding the shields, I have located a MkIII 25pdr with what I believe to have a standard cut down shield fitted ie several inches cut off each side ,most probably bodged up to make it look something like. The rest of the Gun is correct .

Thanks for the link Richard, I was at firepower in August and noticed the No 22firing platform but no sign of the Gun ?

Cheers

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  #8  
Old 06-12-14, 23:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnixartillery View Post
Thanks for the link Richard, I was at firepower in August and noticed the No 22firing platform but no sign of the Gun ?
Hi Rob,
I have not been there for a long time, so don't know.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-14, 20:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnixartillery View Post
So sorry to drag up this old thread but did you ever find the pictures of the gun you restored ? I am trying to determine the shield configuration between the two modified 25 pdr's.I know one had the extra flaps in the shield in front of the wheels for the drag ropes and the other without ?
Hi Rob,
The only photo to hand at present is this one on my web page, I hope you can see the detail on it. Click on this link:
http://www.milweb.net/dealers/trader...orations/f.jpg
regards, Richard

f.jpg
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Last edited by Hanno Spoelstra; 07-12-14 at 10:36. Reason: attached picture
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  #10  
Old 07-12-14, 10:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnixartillery View Post
Richard, So sorry to drag up this old thread but did you ever find the pictures of the gun you restored ? I am trying to determine the shield configuration between the two modified 25 pdr's.I know one had the extra flaps in the shield in front of the wheels for the drag ropes and the other without ?
Don't be sorry, it's about time this thread was refreshed!

That one shown on Richard's site seems to have the standard width shield instead of the narrowed one. Result of a mix & match of parts during a rebuild program?


For comparison here is a front view of regular 25-pdr shield (left) and the narrowed one on the Mk.2 and Mk.3 carriages (right):

P1000886-resized.jpg P1000878-resized.JPG

See more and larger pictures of these two 25-pdr guns in my G503 album >> 25-pdr.

Hanno
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  #11  
Old 06-12-14, 23:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnixartillery View Post
I am trying to determine the shield configuration between the two modified 25 pdr's.I know one had the extra flaps in the shield in front of the wheels for the drag ropes and the other without ?
Rob,

If you need pictures I can post some more of this gun I photographed recently.

Hanno

SAM_3416 25-pdr Oranjekazerne Holland.jpg
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  #12  
Old 06-12-14, 23:28
rnixartillery rnixartillery is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
If you need pictures I can post some more of this gun I photographed recently.
Yes please Hanno ! how many Narrow MkII 's and MkIII's do you know of in Belgium and Holland ?

Rob...................rnixartillery.
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  #13  
Old 07-12-14, 10:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnixartillery View Post
Yes please Hanno ! how many Narrow MkII 's and MkIII's do you know of in Belgium and Holland ?
Rob,

Here you go. This 25-pdr is on display at the base museum at the Oranjekazerne ("Orange baracks"), Schaarsbergen (near Arnhem), The Netherlands.

Full views of the gun, note it does not have the characteristic muzzle brake:
SAM_3405 25-pdr Oranjekazerne Holland.jpg SAM_3408 25-pdr Oranjekazerne Holland.jpg

Gun barrel and breech details:
SAM_3413 25-pdr Oranjekazerne Holland.jpg SAM_3414 25-pdr Oranjekazerne Holland.jpg

Gun carriage details:
SAM_3412 25-pdr Oranjekazerne Holland.jpg

I am not an artillery expert, so please us know if this combination of gun and carriage is correct.

H.
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  #14  
Old 07-12-14, 10:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnixartillery View Post
how many Narrow MkII 's and MkIII's do you know of in Belgium and Holland ?
Rob,

I know of only two 25-pdr guns with the narrow carriage for sure:
  1. Mk.2 carriage at the Frederikskazerne in The Hague, see pictures on page 1 of this thread;
    P1000880-resized.jpg
  2. Mk.3 carriage at Schaarsbergen (of which I just posted the pictures).
If I recall correctly, I spotted another narrow carriage at the Dutch artillery museum at 't Harde.

Will keep my eyes peeled for any others I might come across.

HTH,
Hanno

Last edited by Hanno Spoelstra; 07-12-14 at 11:54. Reason: corrected for Mk.2 and Mk.3; locations
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  #15  
Old 16-08-05, 23:19
Godwin Hampton Godwin Hampton is offline
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Hanno,

according to the 1957 user handbook, there were 3 types of carriage in service;

Mk.1, the original WW2 carriage

Mk.2, converted from Mk.1 by narrowing the trail, the shield, and the firing platform, to enable the gun to be towed by a light vehicle ( probably LWB Land Rover). The trail eye was fitted into a bracket which could be swung up or down, up to avoid the ground on firing, and down to raise the spade for towing (the L.Rover towhook is much lower than the limber's).
The two hinged flaps at the lower corners of the shield enabled drag ropes to be attached to the drag washers on the hubs. Even the traversing gear handwheel was made smaller and lost the handle to avoid fouling the tyres.

Mk.3, similar to the Mk.2, but with the addition of a 'knee joint' to lower the carriage to enable the gun to fire at higher angles of elevation ( 55 vs. 40 degrees ).
A dial sight carrier adapter was used to bring the dial sight back to horizontal when the carriage was lowered for high angle firing.

Amendment No.3 of May 1960 instructs users to delete references to the Mk.2 and Mk.3 carriages, indicating that they had been withdrawn from British Army service.
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  #16  
Old 16-08-05, 23:36
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Default Re: 25 pr

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Farrant
The folding trail is nothing to do with airportability, it increases the elevation when operating in jungle or hilly situations. The barrel length is same as norm as well.
Mark, Richard, thanks for the info. Found the following listed on Jedsite:

25-pdr Mk II on carriage 25-pdr Mk II - Narrow carriage version for jungle and airborne operations.
25-pdr Mk II on carriage 25-pdr Mk III - Hinged trail version for use in mountainous terrain.

More info and pics are welcome!

H.
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  #17  
Old 16-08-05, 23:40
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Quote:
Originally posted by Godwin Hampton
Mk.1, the original WW2 carriage

Mk.2, converted from Mk.1 by narrowing the trail, the shield, and the firing platform, to enable the gun to be towed by a light vehicle ( probably LWB Land Rover).
Thanks Goodwin, missed your post when I wrote my first reply.

Any info on when the Mk.2 and Mk.3 carriages were manufactured? Could they be a postwar modification?

Does the 1957 user handbook have any drawings?

Thanks!
H.
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  #18  
Old 17-08-05, 00:01
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Quote:
Originally posted by Godwin Hampton
Mk.3, similar to the Mk.2, but with the addition of a 'knee joint' to lower the carriage to enable the gun to fire at higher angles of elevation ( 55 vs. 40 degrees ).
From A Brief History of the 25-pdr (Ordnance, Q.F., 25-pdr):
"A narrower and lighter carriage was also developed for use in jungle warfare, this was known as the 25-pdr Mk 2 with Carriage Mk 2. A hinged trail model was also developed for mountain warfare to give increased elevation (25-pdr Mk 2 with Carriage Mk 3)."

25-pdr-7.jpg

Last edited by Hanno Spoelstra; 07-12-14 at 10:32. Reason: fixed links
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  #19  
Old 17-08-05, 00:12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hanno Spoelstra
"A narrower and lighter carriage was also developed for use in jungle warfare, this was known as the 25-pdr Mk 2 with Carriage Mk 2. A hinged trail model was also developed for mountain warfare to give increased elevation (25-pdr Mk 2 with Carriage Mk 3)."
Hanno,

The picture is of the type I described. The front sheild was of normal width and draught eye was no different either.

Richard
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Old 17-08-05, 08:06
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Quote:
A hinged trail model was also developed for mountain warfare to give increased elevation (25-pdr Mk 2 with Carriage Mk 3)."
or you can do this. (pic from AWM Neg # 091319)
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  #21  
Old 17-08-05, 22:28
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Default Re: 25-pdr Short Mk I (Aust) or "Baby 25-pdr"

Quote:
Originally posted by Hanno Spoelstra
The "Baby 25-pdr" was intended for jungle combat and was used in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, during World War II. The gun could be towed by a light vehicle or broken down into sections, capable of pack transport.
From AWM:

ID Number: 083750
Summary: TRINITY BEACH, QLD. 1944-11-27. 2/5 FIELD REGIMENT TROOPS TOW A SHORT 25 POUNDER GUN HOWITZER WITH A NO. 3 GUN TRACTOR TO A DUKW AMPHIBIOUS VEHICLE FITTED WITH AN 'A' FRAME. THE UNIT IS ENGAGED IN EXERCISES WITH 1 COMBINED OPERATIONS SECTION.
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  #22  
Old 19-10-05, 17:46
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Default Re: 25-pdr Short Mk I (Aust) or "Baby 25-pdr"

Another survivor in Australia (source: http://members.tripod.com/stall-chan...-change-page-7).
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  #23  
Old 25-10-05, 15:15
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Default British Baby

A British version of the Australian baby 25 pdr was developed. Its main difference was that it could take the super charge (recoil system improved) This was the Mark IV gun. It had the same carriage as the Austraian baby Apparently only a very small number were made as the demand for Jungle Warfare capability had ceased by the time it was ready (late 1945).

Just for clarification - Confusion is often caused by the British practice of refering to an artillery piece as an equipment that is made up of a carriage and a tube (gun) and then giving both elements of the equipment mark numbers that can cause apparent duplications - I think gunners do it on purpose
There were it seems two types of narrow wheelbase 25 pdr equipments. Those with the Mark II carriage which was an Indian design with a special small diameter firing platform (type 22) to match, and those with the Mark III carriage which was originally a Canadian design change, using the type 22 platform but with the hinged trail and sights modified for high angle firing. Both narrow gauge guns were produced for the same reasons - the Mark I carriage 25pdr could not be got through a DC3 (C47, Dakota) side door unless it was dismantled and it could not be towed on jungle or mountain tracks wide enough to take a jeep but two narrow for a normal towing vehicle. Both carriages could be fitted with any of the following tubes (guns) Mark II, C Mark II, Mark III, C Mark III. In theory I suppose the various post war tubes could also have been fitted bur these carriages were not in use then.

There thats my weekly dose of pedantry
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Old 07-12-14, 14:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centurion View Post
There were it seems two types of narrow wheelbase 25 pdr equipments. Those with the Mark II carriage which was an Indian design with a special small diameter firing platform (type 22) to match, and those with the Mark III carriage which was originally a Canadian design change, using the type 22 platform but with the hinged trail and sights modified for high angle firing. Both narrow gauge guns were produced for the same reasons - the Mark I carriage 25pdr could not be got through a DC3 (C47, Dakota) side door unless it was dismantled and it could not be towed on jungle or mountain tracks wide enough to take a jeep but two narrow for a normal towing vehicle. Both carriages could be fitted with any of the following tubes (guns) Mark II, C Mark II, Mark III, C Mark III. In theory I suppose the various post war tubes could also have been fitted bur these carriages were not in use then.
Cross-reference to Indian Pattern FAT thread: here's a 25-pdr on Mk.2 carriage in use by the 15th Indian Corps at Elephant Point, south of Rangoon, May 1945:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post

Photo No.: SE 3914
Photographer: Wackett F (Sgt)
No 9 Army Film & Photographic Unit
Title: THE BRITISH ARMY IN BURMA 1945
Collection No.: 4700-64
Description: Unloading a landing craft of troops and vehicles of the 15th Indian Corps at Elephant Point,
south of Rangoon at the beginning of operation 'Dracula', 2 May 1945.
Date: 2 May 1945
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  #25  
Old 07-12-14, 23:09
rnixartillery rnixartillery is offline
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This picture would suggest that the shields on the MkII and MkIII differ.

Rob...................rnixartillery.

Last edited by rnixartillery; 27-07-19 at 20:59.
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  #26  
Old 07-12-14, 23:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnixartillery View Post
This picture would suggest that the shields on the MkII and MkIII differ.
Picture caption states: "showing Mark 1 carriage on the left and a Mark 2 carriage on the right". Indeed the shield on the Mark 2 carriage was narrower than the standard Mark 1 - also see the bottom of page 1 of this thread.

As far as I can tell the shield on the Mark 3 carriage was the same as on the Mark 2.

H.
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Old 08-12-14, 09:26
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That shield in Robs picture of the MkII is clearly different to the shields on the MkIII guns in other pics. It has no folding flaps for drag ropes and quite a bit of stowage on the front of the shield.
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  #28  
Old 27-10-05, 15:44
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... exists at the Cowra Museum. This particular gun is mounted on a Carriage, Mk1 whereas the gun pictured by Hanno at the top of this thread is actually on a Carriage, Mk2. The Mk2 featured the fold down legs inboard of the wheels to restrict bounce on firing the lightweight gun at higher angles of barrel evevation, with limited effect.
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  #29  
Old 27-10-05, 15:45
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The joint in the trail arms. The trail is all welded manufacture.
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  #30  
Old 27-10-05, 18:09
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tony Smith
This particular gun is mounted on a Carriage, Mk1 whereas the gun pictured by Hanno at the top of this thread is actually on a Carriage, Mk2. The Mk2 featured the fold down legs inboard of the wheels to restrict bounce on firing the lightweight gun at higher angles of barrel evevation, with limited effect.
Do you mean the Carriage 25 Pdr Light Mark 1 (Aust) as opposed to the Carriage 25 pdr Mark 1? (The bog standard 25pdr carriage). If so are you saying that there was a Carriage 25 Pdr Light Mark 2 (Aust) ?
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