Artillery in Ireland: Connelly Barracks, Curragh Camp, The Curragh, Ireland

Artillery preserved in Ireland at Connolly Barracks, Curragh Camp, The Curragh, Ireland

(Colin Stone Photos)

Russian Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading cannon taken by the British as a trophy during the Crimean War (1853-1856), mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage.

(Colin Stone Photos)

French 75-mm Field Gun, aka Canon de 75 Modèle 1897, Serial No. 16722, ABS 1917, inside the museum.

French 75-mm Field Gun, aka Canon de 75 Modèle 1897, No. 1 of 2 on the parade square.

(Colin Stone Photo)

French 75-mm Field Gun, aka Canon de 75 Modèle 1897, No. 2 of 2 on the parade square.

(Colin Stone Photos)

Funeral carriage.

(Colin Stone Photo)

Ordnance QF 2-pounder anti-tank gun.  The 2-pounder is a 40-mm (1.575-inch) British gun that was used during the Second World War.

(IWM Photo, H23836)

Ordnance QF 2-pounder anti-tank gun of 52nd Reconnaissance Regiment, Scotland, 3 September 1942.

(Colin Stone Photo)

2-pounder QF Light Anti-Tank Gun, previously at Mullingar.

(Colin Stone Photo)

Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt anti-tank gun.  The 6-pounder was designed in the UK and used by Commonwealth forces during the Second World War.  Although planned before the start of the war, it did not reach service until the North African Campaign in April 1942 where it replaced the 2-pounder in the anti-tank role. The American Army also adopted the 6 pounder as their primary anti-tank gun which they designated as the 57-mm Gun M1.

(IWM Photo, B8207)

Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt anti-tank gun and Universal Carriers of the 15th (Scottish) Division during Operation 'Bluecoat', the offensive south-east of Caumont, France, 30 July 1944.

(Colin Stone Photos)

QF 3.7-inch Anti-Aircraft Gun.  This gun was previously located at McGee Barracks, Kildare, 1 ADR, now closed.  

The QF 3.7-inch AA was Britain's primary heavy anti-aircraft gun during the Second World War.  It was roughly the equivalent of the German 88-mm FlaK and American 90-mm AA guns, but with a slightly larger calibre of 94-mm.  Production began in 1937 and it was used throughout the Second World War in all theatres except the Eastern Front.  It remained in use after the war until AA guns were replaced by guided missiles beginning in 1957.  The gun was produced in two versions, one mobile and another fixed.  The fixed mounting allowed more powerful ammunition, Mk. VI, which gave vastly increased performance.  Six variants of the two designs were introduced.

Paddy Macky wrote, "the shields of the 3.7-inch Howitzers kept falling off because of the severe BANG of the gun, so they left them off all of the time."

(IWM Photo, H993)

QF 3.7-inch Anti-Arcraft Gun on a travelling carriage in London in 1939.

(Colin Stone Photos)

QF 3.7-inch Mountain Howitzer.  First introduced in 1917, this howitzer was used during the Second World War, equipping artillery units.  The weapon was designed to be broken into eight mule loads, for transport over difficult terrain.  On occasion the gun was dismantled and manually hauled up to the upper floors of buildings to provide close support in urban fighting.  A lightened version was used briefly by airborne formations.  Given an open gun position, a practised crew could have the guns unloaded from the mules, reassembled and deployed ready for action in barely two minutes.  The 3.7-inch howitzer's adjustable suspension system allowed it to be deployed on almost any position, even those too uneven or with too steep a gradient to allow field artillery to be sited.  The process of removing the howitzer from a position and reloading it onto the gun mules involved much more lifting and securing loads than deploying it, but could be accomplished in three minutes in favourable conditions.  The howitzer has a split trail, the first British weapon to have one, which allowed forfiring at very high angles (a useful feature in mountainous terrain).  It also had a large rectangular shield to protect the crew from small-arms fire, but this was often omitted to save weight.  When it was first introduced, the howitzer had two wooden wheels and was light enough be towed by two horses.  Later marks have pneumatic tyres and could be towed by any light vehicle, such as the Universal Carrier or jeep.

(IWM Photo, 4700-64)

QF 3.7-inch Mountain Howitzer in action in Burma in 1944.

(Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 18-pounder Mk. IV field gun mounted on a Mk. V carriage, Connolly Square.

(Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt anti-tank gun.

(Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field gun.  The 25-pounder was used during the Second World War.  It had a 3.45-inch (87.6-mm) calibre.  It was introduced into service just before the war started, combining high-angle and direct-fire, relatively high rates of fire, and a reasonably lethal shell in a highly mobile piece.  It remained as a Commonwealth field gun well into the 1960s, with smaller numbers serving in training units until the 1980s.  Many Commonwealth nations used theirs in active or reserve service until about the 1970s.

Paddy Macky wrote, "on the 25-pounder QF Gun the piece of metal-fixing under the breach that held the breach block itself up was called the 'Long/Short Breech Mechanism Lever' we called it 'the dogs bollocks'... because. . . ah I think you can work this one out yourself."

Paddy noted, "I remember in 1974 I think it was, when I was a young gunner (Layer, No.2 on my gun).  During our range practice at the Glen of Imaal (using 25-pounder guns), there were young officers who were acting as 'forward observers' whose job it was to send back information on the location of our target.  They kept making bad guesses at the distance/location etc of our target, so our gun was tasked with continually firing rounds based on their estimates until we got close to the target.  In the end, it was really just [ranging] by trial and error.  Anyway when all of our ammunition was used up, the next gun to us was then ordered to supply us with their ammunition (one round at a time).  When we took the last round from them, we loaded it up and I fired it off.  We then watched out for the burst of smoke and explosion on the ground a couple of miles ahead.   Well, we waited and waited and waited but there was no sign of the f@ckn shell anywhere...?  There was total silence on the gun position as we waited and watched, then eventually we heard a very faint bang far, far in the distance over the hills."

"Yes, the NCO in charge (No.1) of the next gun got a large pain in his rocks feeding us all of his ammunition so before giving us his last round he stuffed the casing of the round with some extra charges.  He made it look like only charge 3 was packed and our ammunition personnel didn't spot the dodgy charges.  Now, the Glenmalure Lodge, 8 miles away across the Wicklow Mountains, to this day still can't explain exactly why on that very same day their windows cracked and their back door unhinged.  Apart from maybe Michael Dwyer's ghost fleeing the hills trying to get to safety in the Lodge they've still no explanation..."

"I can supply the name and details of that NCO for the princely sum of 2 nice pints of Guinness and a small Jamie whiskey...and what about this same NCO's buddy who was caught by the Orderly Officer under cover of darkness one night at Coolmoney Camp (Glen Imaal), half fluttered drunk up a tree at the Officer's Mess pointing his BAP (browning automatic pistol) at a large pheasant?  The pheasant survived and the NCO got away with a boot up the hole."

(Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field guns, to be preserved as monuments.

(Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt anti-tank gun.

(Colin Stone Photos)

Brandt mle 27/31 (3.2-inch, 81-mm) mortar.  Designed by Edgar Brandt of France, this weapon is a refinement of the Stokes mortar.  The Brandt mortar was highly influential, being licensed built or copied by numerous countries.   It has a smoothbore metal tube fixed to a base plate (to absorb recoil), with a lightweight bipod mount.  The mle 27/31 could be disassembled into 3 loads, plus the ammunitions loads, and a complete crew was 10 men.  When a mortar bomb was dropped into the tube, an impact sensitive primer in the base of the bomb would make contact with a firing pin at the base of the tube, and detonate, firing the bomb towards the target.  HE and smoke mortar bombs fired by the weapon weighed 3.25 kilograms.

(Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 3.7-inch Mountain Howitzers, two light Guns with the CMM, one outdoors, one inside the museum.

(Colin Stone Photo)

French 75-mm Field Gun, aka Canon de 75 Modèle 1897.

(Colin Stone Photo)

QF 3.7-inch Anti-Aircraft Gun.

(Colin Stone Photo)

Ordnance QF 18-pounder Mk. IV field gun mounted on a Mk. V carriage.

(CMM, Yoshi Photo)

Ordnance QF 6-pounder 7-cwt Anti-tank gun.

Vintage Vehicles

The following vintage vehicles are on display in the museum.

(CMM Photo)

The Sliabh na mBan Rolls Royce armoured car is now on display in the Curragh Military Museum. This car was acquired from the British by the Irish Free State after the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921. It formed part of General Michael Collins' convoy which was ambushed on 22nd August 1922 at Béal na mBláth in West Cork. The ambush resulted in the death of General Collins. By March 1947 the Armoured Rolls Royce cars were retired and in 1954 a number were sold at auction. However one car, Sliabh na mBan, was kept for preservation as a museum piece. It remains in perfect working order and is generally on display at the Curragh Military Museum.

(CMM, Yoshi Photo)

Comet Tank A34.

(Random armor (tank) related posts of a retired US Army Armor officer)

Churchill Tank.

(CMM, Yoshi Photo)

Beaverette Mk IV Scout Car.

(CMM, Yoshi Photo)

Panhard AML 20.

(CMM, Yoshi Photo)

Panhard AML 90.

(CMM, Yoshi Photo)

Panhard VTT M3 APC in UN markings.

(CMM Photo)

Scorpion AFV.

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