Ordnance QF 13-pounder
|Ordnance QF 13 pounder|
|Type||Light field gun|
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|In service||1904 - 1940 (UK)|
|Used by||British Empire|
|Wars||World War I, Easter Rising, World War II|
|Variants||Mk I, Mk II|
|Weight||Barrel & breech
685 lb (311 kg);
Total 2,236 lb (1,014 kg)
|Barrel length||Bore 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m);
Total 6 ft (1.8 m)
|Shell||QF fixed round 12.5 lb (5.7 kg) Shrapnel, later HE|
|Calibre||3-inch (76.2 mm) L/23|
|Recoil||Hydro-spring, constant, 41 in (1.0 m)|
|Carriage||Wheeled, pole trail|
|Traverse||4° L & R|
|Muzzle velocity||1,675 ft/s (511 m/s)|
|Maximum firing range||5,900 yd (5,400 m)|
It was developed as a response to combat experience gained in the Boer War and entered service in 1904, replacing the Ehrhard QF 15 pounder and BL 12 pounder 6 cwt. It was intended as a rapid-firing and highly-mobile yet reasonably powerful field gun for Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) batteries supporting Cavalry brigades, which were expected to be engaged in mobile open warfare. It was developed in parallel with the QF 18-pounder used by field artillery.
It was used to great effect by "L" Bty, Royal Horse Artillery in its famous defensive action on September 1, 1914 at Néry, France, for which 3 Victoria Crosses were awarded. The medals, and No. 6 gun and limber involved in this action, are held in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.
From late 1914, when the Western Front settled into trench warfare, the 13-pounder was found to be too light to be truly effective against prepared defensive positions. As a result, a few RHA batteries that were not supporting cavalry formations converted to 18-pounder guns and 4.5 inch howitzers. However, it was retained in the British and Canadian cavalry brigades on the Western Front. and also used throughout the war in batteries (both RHA and Territorial Force) supporting cavalry and mounted formations in Palestine and Mesopotamia.
Batteries normally carried 176 rounds per gun, the gun and its filled limber (24 rounds) weighed 3668 lbs and was towed by a 6 horse team. All members of the gun detachments were mounted on their own horses.
As the war progressed, however, the increasing air activity created a requirement for a medium anti-aircraft gun. Some 13-pounders were slightly modified to become "Ordnance QF 13 pdr Mk III" and mounted on high-angle mounts to produce what became known as the 13 pounder 6 cwt anti-aircraft gun.
This was a pedestal mounted adaptation by Vickers Limited of the Mark I horse artillery gun, intended to arm the Royal Navy's new Motor Launches. 650 examples were constructed, including 250 made in the United States. Because of the German U-boat campaign, many of the guns were used to equip Defensively Armed Merchant Ships, some being removed from motor launches for that purpose.
234 balls, 41/lb (90/kg)
- The Néry Gun and limber, used during the action at Néry, 1 September 1914.
- No.4 Gun, E Battery Royal Horse Artillery; fired the first British artillery round on the Western Front, August 1914.
- Canadian War Museum, Ottawa
- Fort Seclin - 1914/1918 Museum (Between Ypres and Vimy - Near Fromelles)
- Musee des Abris, Albert, France. (Mk. 2)
- There are 6 examples in South Africa : Pictures available on request, please contact via the 1914-1918 forum noted below :
- 1 restored in 2009, see http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=122427&view=getnewpost,
- 1 at THA HQ in Johannesburg,
- 2 with the NFA in Durban,
- 2 at the National Memorial in Potchefstroom.
- Mark V naval gun recovered from a sunken merchant ship, is on display at the harbour in Scarborough, North Yorkshire .
- There is one example on display in the Tsumeb Museum in Namibia. The gun was used by the THA at the Battle of Sandfontein on 26 September 1914 and was captured by German Troops and later dumped into Lake Otjikoto prior to the German surrender in June 1915.
- Edward Kinder Bradbury
- George Thomas Dorrell
- David Nelson
- List of field guns
- QF 13 pounder 6 cwt AA gun: WWI improvised anti-aircraft version
- QF 13 pounder 9 cwt: later WWI anti-aircraft version (18 pounder gun modified to fire 13 pounder shell with 18-pounder cartridge)
Notes and references
- Clarke 2004
- Hogg & Thurston 1972, page 58
- British artillery denoted guns by the weight of its standard projectile, in this case approximately 13 pounds (5.9 kg), and mortars and howitzers by calibre.
- Farndale 1986, page 10
- Imperial War Museum. "Search results for "Néry" [in category 'medals and decorations']". IWM Collections Search. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- Imperial War Museum (2013). "QF 13 pdr Mk 1 (Nery Gun) (ORD 102)". IWM Collections Search. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- Imperial War Museum (2013). "Limber for QF 13 pdr Mk 1 (Nery Gun) (ORD 102.2)". IWM Collections Search. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- Farndale 1986, page 388
- Farndale 1988, page 380
- Cruickshank 2001
- Norman Friedman, Naval Weapons of World War One, Seaforth Publishing 2011, ISBN 9-781-848321-00-7 (p.112)
- Royal Navy Motor Launches: Armament
- Imperial War Museum (2013). "Round 13 Pdr HE (Sectioned) (MUN 504)". IWM Collections Search. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- Imperial War Museum (2013). "QF 13 pdr Mk 1 (ORD 101)". IWM Collections Search. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- Dale Clarke, British Artillery 1914-1919. Field Army Artillery. Osprey Publishing, Oxford UK, 2004
- Cruickshank, Dan, Invasion - Defending Britain from Attack. Boxtree, 2001 ISBN 0-7522-2029-2
- General Sir Martin Farndale, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery Western Front 1914-18. Published by Royal Artillery Institution, 1986. ISBN 1-870114-00-0
- General Sir Martin Farndale, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, The Forgotten Fronts and the Home Base 1914-18, Published by Royal Artillery Institution, 1988. ISBN 1-870114-05-1
- I.V. Hogg & L.F. Thurston, British Artillery Weapons & Ammunition 1914-1918. published by Ian Allan, London, 1972.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to QF 13 pounder.|
- Per Finsted, The Affair at Néry, 1 September 1914. With map, illustrations and photographs of gun and ammunition wagon
- Chris Baker, The British artillery weapons of 1914-1918