The 5.5in gun was first introduced in 1941 and replaced the 4.5in as the standard medium gun. The 4.5in lacked the explosive power needed due to the low HE content of its shells. It shared the same carriage as the 4.5in Mk. II and a similar recoil system to the 6in howitzer. The gun was a complete success and it had a long career serving in British and Commonwealth medium artillery regiments.