Ordnance QF 25 Pdr. Field Gun Mk.2

Ordnance QF 25 Pdr. Field Gun Mk.2

Guns and howitzers have different combat roles, one being designed for flat trajectory fire, the other for high angle fire against targets behind cover. During World War One, the 18 pdr field gun and the 4.5 inch howitzer had fullfilled these roles very well, but by World War Two the British army needed a gun which combined these characteristics. Budgetary constraints required that the first 25 pdr gun/howitzers were converted by relining existing 18 pdr field guns to accept the larger 3.45 inch shell. Most of these 18/25 pdr Field Guns Mk.1 were left behind by the BEF at Dunkirk in 1940, and they were replaced with true 25 pdr Field Guns.

The 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2 was loaded with a separate shell and cartridge case so that different propellant charges could be used to engage targets at varying ranges. With the introduction of the "super" charge in 1942, which increased the maximum range to 12,250 m, a muzzle brake had to be fitted to the 25 pdr Mk.2/1 to relieve pressure inside the barrel and reduce the additional stress on the gun carriage. The 25 pdr fired four main types of ammunition: high explosive, smoke, armour piercing, and carrier rounds for propaganda leaflets. Captured 25 pdr gun/howitzers were designated 8.76 cm Feldkanone FK 280(e) in the Wehrmacht.

Available Scale Model Kits

  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2, 1:43 Dinky Toys 686
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2 with Crew (8th Army), 1:72 ESCI 8614
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2 with Crew (8th Army), and Morris Tractor, 1:72 Italeri 7027
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2, 20 mm Platoon 20 HA19
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2, 1:76 Hinchliffe 20/237
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2 (early war, Far East), Limber Mk.1, 1:76 AB Figures AP4
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2, 1:76 Airfix 01305
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2, 1:76 B W Models
  • Australian short 25 pdr "Baby" Field Gun, 1:76 Convoy Models
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2 with Limber Mk.1, 15 mm Quality Castings 2015
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2, 15 mm Flames of War BR573
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2 (8th Army), 15 mm Flames of War BR574
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2, 15 mm Old Glory
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2 with Limber, Tractor, & Crew, 15 mm Minifigs BV-81
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2, 1:150 Gramodels
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2 with CMP Quad Tractor, 1:285 GHQ UK49
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2 and Crew, 1:300 HEROICS & ROS B41

25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2/1 (with Muzzle Brake), 1942

  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2/1, 1:32 Crescent
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2/1 with Limber,1:32 Mountford Miniatures MM061
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2/1 and HAC Crew, 1:32 Mountford Miniatures MM099/00
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2/1 with Quad Tractor, 1:35 Tamiya 35044
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2/1 with Crew (8th Army), 1:35 Tamiya 35046
  • 25 pdr Field Gun Mk.2/1 with Limber Mk.1, 1:76 AB Figures AP5

Technical Specifications

  • Ordnance QF 25 Pdr. Field Gun Mk.2
  • Type: Field Gun/Howitzer
  • Weight: 1,800 kg
  • Length: 8,131 mm
  • Calibre: 8.76 mm (3.45 Inch)
  • Barrel Length: 2,525 mm (L.28.8)
  • Rate of Fire: 17 Rounds per Minute
  • Traverse: 8° or 360° on firing platform
  • Elevation: - 5° to 40°
  • Muzzle Velocity:
    • 200 m/sec HE (Charge 1)
    • 300 m/sec HE (Charge 2)
    • 450 m/sec HE (Charge 3)
    • 520 m/sec HE (Charge Super)
    • 610 m/sec AP (Charge Super)
  • Range:
    • 3,566 m (Charge 1, Red)
    • 7,132 m (Charge 2, Red and Blue)
    • 10,790 m (Charge 3, Red, White and Blue)
    • 12,250 m (Charge Super)
  • Crew: Gun Commander and five Gunners
  • Armour Penetration at 0-100 m:
    • 94 mm with A.P./T. (1939)

Bibliography

Historical Employment

  • British Royal Artillery Field Regiment, 1940–1965
  • Royal Canadian Artillery Field Regiment, 1940–1967
  • German 8.76 cm FK 280(e), 1940–1945
  • Australia
  • India, until 1990

Related Films

  • A Bridge Too Far, directed by Richard Attenborough, starring Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Edward Fox, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Hardy Krüger, Ryan O'Neal, Laurence Olivier, Robert Redford, Maximilian Schell, Liv Ullmann, Denholm Elliott and many others. A battery of 25 pdr field guns can be seen firing a preparatory barrage in support of Vandeleur's Irish Guards Groups advance towards Arnhem.

The 25 pdr Field Gun was versatile and very effective artillery piece which remained in British service until 1965, when royal artillery regiments stationed in Germany replaced their 25 pdr guns with the new 105 mm FV433 Self-Propelled Gun (Abbot). Regiments outside of Germany received the Italian Oto-Melara 105/14 Model 56 field gun in 1960, designated 105-mm Pack Howitzer L5 with L10 Ordnance, which fired the same ammunition as the Abbot. The Royal Canadian Artillery officially retired their 25 pdr gun/howitzers in 1967, but these guns continued to serve as training weapons until 1975. The last 25 pdr fired in action was served by SAS troopers in the Omani port of Mirbat on 19 July 1972, who fired in support of SAS and Omani Armed Forces fighting Communist Adoo insurgents. Many armed forces around the world used the 25 pdr well into the 90s, and some may still have them in inventory today.

Frequently Asked Questions

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British Miniatures of World War Two