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135
6 inch 26cwt Howitzer North Africa

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Background
The 6inch Howitzer 26cwt was a British Artillery piece developed during WW1 and used in both WW1 and WW2. Design began in early 1915 and it entered service in late 1915. It replaced the obsolete 6inch 25cwt gun. The combined firepower, range and mobility made it one of the most important artillery pieces of WW1. Originally designed to be towed by horse by 1916 it was commonly towed by a 4 wheel drive 3 ton lorry. The WW1 version had wooden wheels that could be fitted with ‘girdles’ for movement in the mud of the battlefields. Towards the end of WW1 it was fitted with solid rubber tyres. These guns fired an estimated 22.4 million rounds along the length of the Western Front. After WWI and in the intervening period before the start of WW2 the carriage had its wooden spoke wheels replaced with modern pneumatic tyres. During WW2 it was deployed with the BEF in France and saw active service in the early campaigns in N Africa. With the introduction of the 5.5 inch gun its deployment was restricted but it was used in Burma and finally withdrawn from service in 1945 at the end of the war. It was designed by Vickers and manufactured by Vickers, Beardmore, Coventry Ordnance Works, Woolwich Ordnance Works, and the Midvale Steel Company. Approximately 3,633 were produced and it was crewed by 10 men. It could fire Gas, Incendiary and High Explosive shells to a range of 9,500 yards in WWI and to 11,400 yards in WWII. The shell weight during WW1 was 100lbs and 86lbs in WW2. Captured guns were use by the German and given the designation FH-412(e).
The Build
The build features the 35.1225 kit suitable for the BEF or North African campaign. The base is a small temporary one and the ammunition load is also from Reiscast as are two of the figures with the seated chap coming form Sovereign.
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About the Author

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)
FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...


Comments

very nice diorama. I particularly like the crew. Well done.
MAR 12, 2014 - 10:09 PM
Looks very good Alan. Great composition with the gun and the figures and that really neat groundworks. Very nice feature.
MAR 12, 2014 - 10:52 PM
Hi Mike, Thanks for looking in and the comments. I seem to have lost the dusty wheels in the taking of the pictures, although I'd agree they could do with a bit more. I'm hoping to marry the gun up with a suitable tractor at some point in the future so that's something I'll keep in mind. I have to say I really do like the look of the 6inch howitzer, it's a big solid, compact looking piece of artillery and a fairly straight forward build for a resin kit. Hi Ignatius, Thanks, the figures are very nicely sculpted and generic enough to fit the desert scene. The chap bending forward only required a new set of hands as he originally held a 25pdr shell. Hi Robert, Thanks for the comments. The base originally held an SAS Jeep and may do again at some point when I re-locate the gun but I wanted a quick display and with a little alteration this one fitted the bill. This was the picture that prompted the build. Another gem from the IWM Archive. Cheers Al
MAR 12, 2014 - 11:06 PM
I was curious about that indeed as i read the base was a temporary one and you probably have great ideas as to where the howitzer is going to end up. But it is almost a shame as the whole scene fits so neatly onto this base. Is that also the reason why the guns tires are looking so clean?
MAR 12, 2014 - 11:16 PM
Hi Robert, Yes, that and the light. However it will remain there for some time as I haven't yet identified what vehicle I'll use as a tractor. I'm working my way towards completing the WW1 version for my Somme Dio and I have considered getting a 3rd gun for use with the BEF in 1940 in which case it could become permanent lol. Artillery is quite a new area for me to build in but I seem to have got the bug for it these last 18 months or so. The WW1 version is an equally impressive kit. Cheers Al
MAR 12, 2014 - 11:37 PM
Very nice job Al! I agree with Faust, its a shame you don't intend to use this base, it really works very well. Having said that I look forward to the final scene as you are planning it. Keep up the great work!
MAR 14, 2014 - 06:31 PM
If I remember correctly, the 6" howitzer was the gun used by the comedian Spike Milligan's regiment (mentioned in his book 'Rommel, Gunner Who?'). If I'm correct then they used the Scammell as a gun tractor.
MAR 14, 2014 - 08:42 PM
Hi Sven, Thanks for the comments, as I say it will remain there for a while, probably a good while lol. Hi Dave, Thanks for the info. There is a 6 wheeler in the background of the reference pic, possibly a Guy, and what looks like a Quad (maybe Morris?) in the mid section. Not sure though. Cheers Al
MAR 14, 2014 - 10:41 PM
Nice work as always from a master modeler. Waiting for the AFV Club Matador release to build my howitzer.
MAR 18, 2014 - 02:29 AM
Hi Bill, Many thanks, enjoy your build. I really like the proportions of the gun and with a Matador it should be equally impressive. Cheers Al
MAR 18, 2014 - 05:59 AM