BL 7.2in Mk. I – V & VI

BL 7.2in Mk. I – V & VI
Image: BL 7.2in Howitzer (IWM)
Year1940 (Mk. I-V) 1943 (Mk. VI
Weapon TypeHeavy Howitzer
Origin & DesignerBritain/Vickers
Numbers Produced296 (Mk. 1 to IV) 78 (Mk. VI)
CrewCrew: 10 (Mk. I to IV)
No.1: Gun Commander
No.2: Breech Operator
No.3: Gun Layer
No.4: Traverse Operato
No.5: Shell Loader
No.6: Cartridge Loader
No.7: Ammunition
No.8: Ammunition
No.9: Ammunition
No.10: Coverer
Crew 12 (Mk. VI)
No.1: Gun Commander
No.2: Breech Operator
No.3: Line Layer
No.4: Lay Operator
No.5: Lay Operator
No.6: Cartridge Prepare & Loader
No.7: Shell Prepare & Loader
No.8: Shell Prepare & Loader
No.9: Shell Prepare & Loader (Ram & Sponge)
No.10: Shell Prepare & Loader (Ram)
No.11: Shell Prepare & Loader (Ram)
No.12: Shell Prepare & Loader (Fuze)
No.13: Coverer
Elevation-0° to +45° (Mk. I – V) -2° to +65° (Mk. VI)
Traverse8° (Mk. I – V) 60° (Mk. VI)
BreechWellin Screw
Gun SightNo. 7 Dial Sight (Mk. I – V) M12 (Mk. VI)
Gun Mount[@gun_mounts]
CarriageBox Trail (Mk. I – V) Split Trail (Mk. VI)
Gun Shield[@gun_shield]
Armoured Plate[@armoured_plate]
Barrel Length4.340mm (L/22.4) (Mk. I to IV) 6.290mm (L/33) (Mk. VI)
Overall Length10.21m (Mk. I – V) 6.30m (Mk. VI)
Width2.74m (Mk. I to IV) 2.51m (Mk. VI)
WeightIn Action: 10.387 kg (Mk. I – V) 13.209 kg (Mk. VI)
Round Weight91.6 kg
Muzzle Velocity518 m/s (Mk. I – V) 4.97 m/s (Mk. VI)
Magazine Capacity[@magazine_capacity]
Practical Rate of Fire[@practical_rate_of_fire]
Rate of Fire[@rate_of_fire]
Maximum Rate of Fire[@maximum_rate_of_fire]
Maximum Ceiling[@maximum_ceiling]
Maximum Ground Range[@maximum_ground_range]
Maximum Range15.453m (Mk. I – V) 17.984m (Mk. VI)
Armour Penetration[@armour_penetration]
TractionMotorised (Scammell Pioneer R100 Tractor)
NotesThe 7.2in Howitzer was produced as a quick fix weapon to supply the British army with a heavy howitzer. The howitzers were developed from the BL 8in, which had been declared obsolete in 1926. The barrel was re-lined to 7.2in. The original 8in carriage was also up-dated with pneumatic wheels to allow for motorization. It came in six variants with the first four having only minor differences. Mark five was different because of the carriage, with the US made M1 carriage replacing the old 8in version. Mark six had a new longer barrel which gave it a longer range. The 7.2in first saw action in North Africa, and then used in Europe and Burma. It remained in use into the 1960s.