Artillery in Canadian service: Ordnance 60-pounder Breechloading Heavy Field Gun

(IWM Photo, Q 13340)

60-pounder BL Mk. I heavy field gun in action at Gallipoli, ca June 1915.

The Ordnance 60-pounder was a British 5 inch (127 mm) heavy field gun designed in 1903–05 to provide a new capability that had been partially met by the interim . It was designed for both horse draft and mechanical traction and served throughout the First World War in the main theatres. It remained in service with British and Commonwealth forces in the inter-war period and in frontline service with British and South African batteries until 1942

The 60 pounder gun was used on most fronts during the First World War and replaced the 4.7 inch guns. At the outbreak of war they equipped, with 4 guns, the heavy battery RGA in each infantry division. In 1916 all batteries on the Western Front started being increased to 6 guns. By this time heavy batteries had ceased to be part of each infantry division and batteries became part of what were eventually called Heavy Artillery Groups with several batteries of different types. After the First World War they equipped medium brigades, later regiments. By the outbreak of war in 1914 41 guns had been produced, 13 being in Canada and India.

Armstrong were the main supplier, with Vickers and the Ordnance Factory Woolwich also producing complete equipments. Major assemblies including barrels were also produced by many other companies. Total wartime production was 1,773 guns (i.e. barrels) and 1,397 carriages.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3336979)

60-pounder Breechloading Mk. I Gun, Camp Valcartier, Quebec, ca. 1914.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3336982),

60-pounder Breechloading Mk. I Gun, Camp Valcartier, Quebec ca. 1914.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3337050)

60-pounder Breechloading Mk. I Gun, Camp Valcartier, Quebec, ca. 1914.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3522237)

BL 60-pounder field guns in action. Battle of Amiens. August 1918.

(Clive Prothero-Brooks Photos)

60-pounder Breechloading Mk. I Gun, inside the museum.

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