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11
3.7inch HAA gun Mk III/I

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Introduction
The British 3.7inch Heavy Anti Aircraft gun was in service from the 1930s through to the late 1950s, and was seen as the equal of the much feared German 88 and in some ways better. Just like the German 88 the 3.7inch Heavy Anti Aircraft gun also served in the direct fire mode but in very limited numbers due primarily to its weight. With the 3.7inch Heavy Anti Aircraft gun weighing in at 8 tons it was not the easiest gun to tow around and use as the German 88 was, but it did not prevent the gun seeing action on every front except the Eastern front.

Changes made to the gun over its life is believed to have resulted in a gun that could fire a 28lb shell over 50,000 ft in the air, and with a rate of fire of 10 rounds a minute hand fired and 25 rounds a minute in automatic fire mode. The 3.7inch Heavy Anti Aircraft gun was released in a static and mobile system, and in 6 variants. The proximity fuse used in the shells for this gun made it a worthy foe for the German Luftwaffe during those dark days of World War Two and its life only came to an end with the onset of the Anti Aircraft missile.

I hope you enjoy this walk around of the British 3.7inch Heavy Anti Aircraft gun and a feature showing the renovation of a Mk II 25pdr from start to finish will be started shortly.
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About the Author

About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70s, I have had lots of opportunitie...


Comments

I will be asking questions and will get back to you ASAP.
OCT 05, 2013 - 02:50 AM
Hi Darren, Thank you. Have sent an email, to the address shown on your profile page, with a photo attached showing dial pointer.
OCT 06, 2013 - 03:29 PM
Many thanks to Darren for his Kind unselfish support and asssitance. Very much appreciatted. Thank you
DEC 07, 2013 - 09:47 AM
No problem jack I hope the CD of pictures brought back memories.
DEC 07, 2013 - 10:18 AM
Hi Darren, Have now had some time to delve into the photos. Absolutely outstanding as they say. Very much appreciatted by this "mature" bird Gunner/Radar operator (FC).
JUN 12, 2014 - 04:58 PM
You are very welcome Jack.
JUN 12, 2014 - 05:51 PM
G'day guys Interesting discussion. I had always wondered why, when the 3.7" was, like the 88, an anti-aircraft gun first and foremost, and of a larger calibre (94mm) it was not used as an anti-tank weapon as well, and suspected the answer was fossilised British thinking at the time (no offence, Darren). However, I found an interesting comment recently (don't ask me where) that they were used in the A/T role during the siege of Tobruk (probably by Australians!) Regards Rob
JUN 13, 2014 - 11:27 AM
The problem with firing the 3.7inch HAA in a flat trajectory is the trunnions position and the stresses placed on it in flat trajectory firing. That said a 3.7inch HAA is the gun fitted to the Tortoise and during trials put a round through the front and out of the rear of a King Tiger, if some documents are to be believed.
JUN 13, 2014 - 12:17 PM
There is film evidence of them used in indirect fire in Europe I think its on a Pathe News link I will have to find it now
JUN 13, 2014 - 12:57 PM
Mate, If you visit the Australian War memorial site and search for the 3.7, you will come across a couple of photos of a mobile mark 3, being used in the ground role with 25 pounders, and matilda tank, in Tarakan LINK LINK LINK The reason quoted why the 3.7 was not used extensively in the Anti Tank role as was the 88 was that plenty of capable 25 pounders were readily available. The anti aircraft threat/role therefore received higher priority. Other factors, smaller detachment for 25 pounder, thus more guns can be fielded. Time into action less for 25 pounder and yes in a pinch it was possible to unhook and fire both types without coming fully into action but again the 25 pounder had the edge.
JUN 13, 2014 - 05:48 PM