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Great Britain

QF 4.5-in. field howitzer Mk. I, II or IV

Light artillery

Contributor :
Ian Grimwood     
Anthony Owen     
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Location :
Sydney, NSW
North Head Artillery School
Coordinates : Lat : -33.81720 / Long : 151.29770
General comments on this surviving gun :
After closure of North Head the collection was moved to storage at Bandiana awaiting setup of display at Puckapunyal VIC. Australian Army Artillery Museum Collects, preserves and exhibits the history of Artillery in Australia.General and Research Enquiries: peter.armstrong1@defence.gov.au

The Artillery Collection is currently in storage pending the development of a new facility at Puckapunyal Military Area, near Seymour in Victoria. A small display of the Museum's collection can be viewed at the Australian Army Tank Museum. http://www.army.gov.au/our-history/army-museum-network/corps-museums. 'Unfortunately due to heightened security restrictions and the museum's location within an active army base, it is currently not open to the public'

Identical items in the same location : 1
Items covered by this file : 1

Markings unknown.

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     QF 4.5-in. field howitzer Origin :       ( Coventry Ordnance Works)          

Historic context :

Unlike its French ally, the British Army were deliberately planning for the role of a light field howitzer in their modern war tactical theories. This mission was given to the 'BL 5 inches field howitzer' until 1908, when these obsolete equipments were replaced by quick firing light field howitzers 'QF 4.5 inches field Howitzer', that were used until 1944.

The specification and design of that weapon was done on the basis of German 120 mm Krupp howitzers captured in South Africa during the Boers war. The Coventry Ordnance Works proposed a rather original solution, including a hydromecanical recuperator with variable recoil (decreasing with the high elevations), a polygonal section trail with a inner void to allow a large vertical angles range, and a sliding breechblock (unusual in Great Britain). That breech was to be the weak point of the first equipments, and its reinforcement was the base of the 1917 Mk II.

1182 such howitzers were produced before August 1914, and another 3177 new ones were produced during the war. They equipped most of the British Empire armies (Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, India). 400 pieces were also delivered to Russia.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : Ordnance Quick Fire 4.5-in. field howitzer Mk. I, II or IV
  • Design year : 1908
  • Calibre : 114.30 mm (4.5 in)
  • Weight in firing position : 1370 kg
  • Weight for transportation :
  • Tube length in calibres : 15.60
  • Grooves : 0
  • Projectile weight : 15.9 kg
  • Initial speed : 313 m/s
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 6400 to 7500 m
  • Elevation range : -5 to +45 degrees
  • Direction range :

  • Allied Artillery of World War One           Ian V. Hogg                   Crowood   1998  
  • British Artillery 1914-19, Field Army Artillery       Dale Clarke                   Osprey Publishing   2004