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BL 60-pdr. field gun Mk.I

Heavy artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
Alain Bohée     
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Location :
St Petersburg
Artillery Museum
Coordinates : Lat : 59.95410 / Long : 30.31380
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     BL 60-pdr. Mk.I field gun Origin :       ( Elswick's Ordnance Company (Armstrong))          

Historic context :

In 1902, a Heavy Battery Committee was appointed to design the specification of a modern heavy field gun, based on the lessons learned with the improvised QF 4.7 in field guns during the Boer wars. The Elswick's Ornance Company (Armstrong) design was retained, and so the 'BL 60 Pounder MkI field gun' was born.

This was quite a heavy gun, making it difficult to tow with horses. Moreover, at the war outbreak, a small number of pieces (41 Mk I on Mk I carriage) were available (the British Government having given the priority to the elder 4.7 in gun in 1905), and the request to produce quickly large numbers of new guns induced a simplification of the carriage (Mk II carriage) that unhopefully increased again the weight of about 1 ton ! This time, only mechanical towing by a Holt tractor was possible, and the MkII carriage was specifically designed for that. In 1916 a slightly lighter carriage, MkIII was put into service.

The MkI tube did not change during the war (the only improvement being the use of a modified shape shell to increase the range), although the development of a new MkII design began in 1916, that was never used before the end of the war but was later used until June 1944. 1756 such guns were produced during the war, and 571 were still in service in November 1918. Some 52 pieces were delivered to Russia in 1917. USA had numerous such guns delivered after the WW1 end.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : Ordnance Breech Loading 60 pounder field gun Mark I
  • Design year : 1905
  • Calibre : 127.00 mm (5 in)
  • Weight in firing position : 4471 kg (Mk I gun on Mk I carriage)
  • Weight for transportation :
  • Tube length in calibres : 32.00
  • Grooves : 0
  • Projectile weight : 27.2 kg
  • Initial speed : 634 m/s
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 9418 m (old shell) - 11247 m (new shell)
  • Elevation range : -5 to +21 degrees
  • Direction range : 8 degrees total range

  • Allied Artillery of World War One           Ian V. Hogg                   Crowood   1998  
  • British Artillery 1914-19, Heavy Artillery       Dale Clarke                   Osprey Publishing   2005