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  #1  
Old 28-03-20, 09:54 AM
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Default 6" Howitzer

Note the tank on the skyline.
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  #2  
Old 28-03-20, 10:02 AM
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I think it's a farmhouse over the ridge.
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  #3  
Old 28-03-20, 04:31 PM
bess55 bess55 is offline
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Always concerning when the gun crew has to have gas masks ready. Counter battery fire has a long reach . . . The dial site is a thing of beauty - I wonder what happened to it?
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Old 29-03-20, 03:39 PM
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They look like well fed sturdy lads! When and where was this photo taken?

CB
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  #5  
Old 29-03-20, 04:28 PM
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There appears to be a few graves there by the look of it.
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  #6  
Old 29-03-20, 09:06 PM
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I'm no expert on these matters, but it looks like they are wearing the SBR (small box respirator) haversack, which was introduced in 1916. Weather appears warm ( at least one of the crew has tanned lower arms), therefore spring/ summer 1916 onwards?
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  #7  
Old 30-03-20, 08:21 AM
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Here is another view.
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  #8  
Old 30-03-20, 09:21 AM
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Surely from the configuration of the gun emplacement, the casual dress of the gun team and the general feel of the image I would say that this was taken on a Range or at some training establishment. In the first photograph the buildings and vehicle (if that is what it is) could well be Range huts or similar and although I'm not an Artillery expert (hopefully an ex Gunner can confirm) I would expect the spades on the carriage to have dug into the earth if this weapon had been fired recently.

Simon.
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  #9  
Old 30-03-20, 09:42 AM
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That was my first impression as well , the "graves" in front of the howitzer looks more like a disused bunker/emplacement .

I also agree that the blades do not appear to have 'dug in' , indicating that the gun has not been fired. So , possibly a gun drill/exercise , also I wouldn't have wanted to be topless around hot shell casings !

Did a lot of my training at Sennybridge , Wales in winter !!! or later in Sennelager , Germany ..... in pouring rain !!!
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Last edited by mike_vee; 30-03-20 at 09:52 AM.
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  #10  
Old 30-03-20, 08:47 PM
bess55 bess55 is offline
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Interesting pictures. True enough the gunners dont look particularly animated, however, 'gun drill' it is not. They are unlikely to be dressed so casually in training, so I would tend to suspect this picture is active service.

They appear to be loading a round and the gunner on the left appears to be holding either a charge bag or a swab. In the second picture a shell casing ( presumably holding the correct charge number) is being loaded into the breach.

If the ground is hard, it would not be a given that the field space embeds. Additionally the wheels have the wooden 'retarders' which assist to stabilise the rolling wheels on firing.

Whether the field space embeds is also dependant on the charge number (I.e. how strong it is) and the elevation ( forces acting on the carriage).

The gun position itself appears to be fairly established. There is good footage of 6" howitzers firing during WW1. The famous one is where the gun is next to the enormous barn and all the slates fall off of the roof with the shock wave. The spade is not embeced in this footage.

My opinions only chaps.
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  #11  
Old 31-03-20, 05:30 AM
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Bag charge gun, so no brass cartridge cases. Item being loaded into the chamber in the second photograph is the shell, which is then being rammed home in the first photograph.

No camouflage! Most unusual given that artillery reconnaissance aircraft were active from early in the war on both sides. Maximum range of this howitzer was only 10km so it wasn't emplaced far behind the front lines. Camouflage was a priority.

It may be that the 'graves' in front are either the camouflage net and it has been removed for firing, or it is a wire entanglement with the stakes protruding.

I assume if the ground was hard the trail spade would be dug in, the 6" 26 cwt howitzer weighed about 3.5 tons and you would never maintain the rate of fire having to run all that back into position. The detachment would be exhausted before they started, particularly as it was common to use reduced detachments in 'shifts' to rest the men from the gun position.

Wheels are the standard iron rimmed tyres, no wooden pedrails there, just a wooden plank platform.

Structure to the left of the gun is most unusual and very prominent. It is not a shell or splinter-proof shelter of any type, too open.

I tend to agree that this may be a school or training establishment well behind the lines.

Keith
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  #12  
Old 31-03-20, 07:17 AM
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Gun crew doing basic practice drills , along comes a photographer , hey lads pose for a couple of pictures .
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