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Great Britain

BL 15-Pdr field gun (15 pounder 7 cwt)

Light artillery

Contributor :
(Wikimedia Commons) Holt David      http://commons.wikimedia.org/
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Location :
United Kingdom
Royal Artillery Museum
Coordinates : Lat : 51.49470 / Long : 0.07680
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 15-Pdr field gun Origin :       ( Royal Arsenal)          

Historic context :

A 1892 evolution of the 1883 BL 12-Pdr that was found not poweful enough, the 'Ordnance BL 15 pounder, also known under the name of '15 pounder 7 cwt was the weapon equipping the British field artillery units before the outcome of the quick firing guns sensationally inaugurated by the revolutionary 75mm Mle 1897 French fieldgun apparition.

Equipped with a breech mechanism allowing the quick loading of the separate charge ammunition by the rear of the barrel (allowing the name of BL - Breech Loading gun), this gun was only given rudimentary recoil compensation systems that never prevented from the need of le-pointing the weapon between each shot, despite the successive improvements given to its main 3 models of carriage :

  • MkI carriage equipped with drag-shoes and chains
  • MkII carriage equipped with drag-shoes, chains, and a hydraulic buffer
  • MkIII carriage equipped with drag-shoes, chains, and a spade placed under the whhels axle and linked to the trail by a spring placed in a cylinder.
The Ordnance BL 15-Pdr field gun was used in big quantities during the 1901 second Boer War campaign in South Africa, where it showed its technological handicap compared to the modern french or german origin guns used by the adverse forces and using modern recoil recuperation system allowing to avoid the re-aiming between each round.

It was first partially replaced by the German origin 15 Prd Ehrardt gun that appeared in 1900 (both guns are sometimes mistaken in history books), then from 1904 by the QF 18-Pdr. Some such old guns although participated to WW1 in training units or in some oversea operations (including in South Africa battlefields). Numerous BL 15-Pdr were converted from 1907 into 'BLC 15-Pdr gun' , receiving a modern recoil recuperation system, and used on most of the frontlines of WW1.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : Ordnance Breech Loading 15 pounder field gun (or 15 pounder 7 cwt)
  • Design year : 1892
  • Calibre : 76.20 mm (3 in)
  • Weight in firing position : 983 kg (19cwt 1qr 12lb)
  • Weight for transportation :
  • Tube length in calibres : 28.00
  • Grooves : 0 unknown
  • Projectile weight : 6.4 kg (14 lb) shrapnel
  • Initial speed : 485 m/s (1590 ft/s)
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 5490 m (6000 yd)
  • Elevation range : -5 to +16 degrees
  • Direction range :

  • British Artillery 1914-19, Field Army Artillery           Dale Clarke                   Osprey Publishing   2004  
  • Wikipedia http://fr.wikipedia.org/