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Great Britain

BL 6-in. 26cwt siege howitzer

Heavy artillery

Contributor :
Ian Grimwood     
Anthony Owen     
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Location :
Sydney, NSW
North Head Artillery School
Coordinates : Lat : -33.81770 / Long : 151.29670
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

This item is equipped with modern tires, and was therefore certainly in use after WW1.

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     BL 6-in. 26cwt siege howitzer Origin :       ( Royal Arsenal)          

Historic context :

Only equipped with a handfull of 6 inches 30 cwt heavy howitzers in August 1914, the British Armies urged the development of a more modern equipment, and as a result the new 'BL 6 inches 26 cwt Howitzer' ('BL' = Breech Loading) was delivered to the front units as soon as May 1915.

This time, it was a modern howitzer, equipped with a hydro-mechanic recoil system and a polygonal tail carriage allowing high elevation angles, and able to fire directly from its wheeled carriage.

In 1918, a new shell, lighter, was introduced to improve the range, but was not used before the end of the war. 1246 such howitzers were in service in November 1918, and this howitzer was kept in active service in the British Army until 1945.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : Ordnance Breech Loading 6 inches 26cwt siege howitzer
  • Design year : 1915
  • Calibre : 152.40 mm (6 in)
  • Weight in firing position : 3692 / 4226 kg
  • Weight for transportation :
  • Tube length in calibres : 14.60
  • Grooves : 0
  • Projectile weight : 45.4 kg (old shell) - 39.0 kg (new shell)
  • Initial speed : 376 m/s (old shell) - 429 m/s (new shell)
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 8700 m (old shell) - 10400 m (new shell)
  • Elevation range : -0 / +45 degrees
  • Direction range : 8 degrees range

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