BL 7.2 inch Howitzer Mk.I

BL 7.2 Inch Howitzer Mk.I

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BL 7.2 inch Howitzer Mk.I

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The BL 7.2 inch Howitzer Mk.I and subsequent marks were a series of heavy artillery pieces designed by the United Kingdom at the start of World War II. The 7.2 inch (183 mm) was not a new design, but instead a re-lined version of the 8 inch howitzer dating from World War I. The carriage was a modernized version of that used on both the 8 inch howitzer and World War I, 6 inch gun. The weapons were a stop-gap measure to meet the urgent need for heavy artillery faced by the Allies early in World War II.

However, they managed to perform relatively well, and were kept in service by the British until the end of the war, in their AGRA Units as parts of "Heavy" regiments to provide heavy fire support for British and Commonwealth troops. In action, each gun would be served by a crew of 10 men except for the Mark 6 versions, which required 12.

56th Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery (in which Spike Milligan served) was equipped with BL 7.2 inch Howitzers; these replaced obsolete BL 9.2 inch Howitzers.

Marks

Mk 1
Mk 1*
Mk 2
Mk 3
Mk 4
Mk 5
Mounted on a modified US 155 mm Long Tom carriage. Not introduced into service
Mk 6
Used a US 155 mm Long Tom carriage and a lengthened barrel; introduced into service in 1945. Retained until the early 1960s.


Operators

See: "7.2-Inch Howitzer".......
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