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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.
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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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  #4  
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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  #5  
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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  #6  
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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  #7  
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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  #8  
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)."

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  #9  
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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  #10  
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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  #11  
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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  #12  
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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  #13  
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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  #14  
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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  #15  
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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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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Old 28-10-05, 02:10
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Yes, I do and Yes , there is!
The following quote is from Mike Cecil's Australian Military Profile on "Field Artillery 1939-1945":

"The first 112 guns built used the Mark 1 Carriage. Unfortunately, this had a tendency to "bounce" excessively on firing, so a modified carriage, the Mark 2 , was introduced for the second batch of 100 guns.This Carriage was fitted with stabilising segments to the ends of the axle, which reduced the violence of the bounce, but did not eliminate it. The stabilisers could be swung up towards the front when not in use.
The wheels were standard commercial types modified to fit the hubs and fitted with hooks on the rim to enable the use of drag ropes. Tyres were 6.00-16 on the Mk1 Carriage and 7.50-16 on the Mk 2."

Interestingly, the gun at Cowra museum is serial No A118, yet has the Mk1 Carriage.
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  #18  
Old 08-05-06, 17:46
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A Short 25 Pounder in New Guinea in 1944 (AWM 075609).
Pic found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/25_pounder_Short_Mark_1
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  #19  
Old 25-07-06, 17:46
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About the Canadian involvement in the development of the Mk.3 carriage (source: http://www.forces.gc.ca/dhh/downloads/ahq/ahq073.pdf):
Quote:
25-pr Carriage for Upper Register Firing

24. It became increasingly apparent during the Italian campaign that some modification to the 25-pr gun was desirable to enable the gun to be fired at elevations greater than those for which it was originally designed. "Upper Register" implies angles of elevation greater than 45 degrees. The method of achieving these high elevations in the field with existing equipment was to "dig in" the trail, that is to say dig a pit behind the gun so that by lowering the trail below ground level the elevation of the barrel was correspondingly raised. Obviously this digging in consumed time and delayed the deployment of guns when "upper register" was required.

25. To meet the requirement an officer of the Technical Liaison Group at C.M.H.Q. designed a hinged trail for the gun which, it was anticipated would allow an extra 15 degrees of elevation. A prototype of the design was made by No. 2 Canadian Base Workshop, England, in May 1944 (53). Trials were carried out during the summer. While these trials on the whole were satisfactory, it appeared that trouble might be expected in service due to the difficulty in excluding dirt from the hinge. Consequently, the Chief Engineer Armament Design (C.E.A.D., Ministry of Supply, U.K.) was asked to redesign this modification, incorporating improvements to exclude dirt (54). The Ordnance Board expressed the opinion that "the use of upper register firing is insufficient to justify the modification of the equipment", but considered "that this modification should be borne in mind for possible inclusion in new designs of equipment: (55).

26. The redesigned prototype (Carriage, 25-pr, Mk 3) was ready for trials in January 1945. As a result of the trials the Ordnance Board recommended the approval of the design (56), and it was adopted shortly thereafter for use on all future production of short axle 25-pr carriages (57). The finalization of the design came too late for production equipment to see service.
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Old 18-08-06, 19:18
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Here's a photo of the 25 pounder at Firepower, the Royal Artillery museum at Woolwich (well worth a visit by the way)

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/5...repowerek9.jpg

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  #21  
Old 24-10-07, 11:41
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Default 25-pdr on Carriage Mk 2

Quote:
Originally posted by Hanno Spoelstra
25-pdr Mk II on carriage 25-pdr Mk II - Narrow carriage version for jungle and airborne operations.
Took some pictures of a 25-pdr on Carriage Mk II recently. It is still on strength with the Netherlands Army, albeit as a gate guard. It was recently repainted.



More and larger pictures in my G503 album >> 25-pdr.

H.
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  #22  
Old 24-10-07, 12:09
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Default Re: 25-pdr on Carriage Mk 2

Quote:
Originally posted by Hanno Spoelstra
Took some pictures of a 25-pdr on Carriage Mk II recently.
Interestingly, the plate attached to the carriage denotes it as a "CARR. 25 Pr. Mk. I|L|".

Proof of Mk. I carriages being later rebuilt to Mk. II standard?

When was this conversion carried out?

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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
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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, 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

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  #26  
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

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

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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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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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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):

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

Hanno
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