Ordnance QF 3-inch howitzer
Ordnance QF 3 inch howitzer was a howitzer fitted to British cruiser and infantry type tanks of the Second World War so they could fire a smoke shell in "close support" of other tanks or infantry. HE shells were also available. Earlier British tanks were fitted with a 3.7 in howitzer.
|Ordnance QF 3-inch howitzer|
|Place of origin||UK|
|Used by||British tanks|
|Wars||Second World War|
|Mass||226 lb (103 kg)|
|Length||78.2 in (1.99 m)|
|Barrel length||75 in (1.9 m)|
|Calibre||3 inches (76.2mm)|
|Muzzle velocity||600 feet per second (180 m/s)|
|Effective firing range||2,000 yards (1,800 m)|
- Matilda II Mark III CS, equipped at the HQ level
- Churchill tank Mk I - mounted low in the front hull - with associated narrowed arc of fire - as supplement to its turret mounted 2-pdr gun. A few Churchill Mk IICS were produced with the howitzer in the turret and the 2pdr in hull.
- Valentine tank Mk IIICS - a few produced in New Zealand by taking the howitzer from Matilda II Mk IVCS tanks
- Covenanter tanks - a few of various marks were fitted with the howitzer.
- Crusader Mk I CS and Mk II CS versions were equipped (65 rounds)
A few Close Support versions of the Tetrarch light tank.
Later in the war a larger QF 95 mm howitzer was employed for the same purpose.
- Calibre: 3 inches (76 mm)
- Length of barrel: 75 inches (1,900 mm) (25 calibres)
- Overall length: 78.2 inches (1,990 mm)
- Weight: 256 pounds (116 kg)
- Muzzle velocity: 600 to 700 feet per second (180 to 210 m/s)
- Cartridge: 76.2x134R
- Smoke: 13.4 pounds (6.1 kg)
- HE: 13.9 pounds (6.3 kg)
- Range 2,000 to 2,500 yards (1,800 to 2,300 m)
Notes and references
- Fletcher, p. 12.
- Chamberlain & Ellis p36
- Chamberlain & Ellis p38
- Its ammunition codes are listed in Field Service Pocket Book, Pamphlet No. 9a, dated 29 October 1941. The ammunition is listed in both the anti-tank and field artillery sections.
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