Lot 0357: 1943 QF 25-pdr (UK)
The most outstanding field artillery used by British and Commonwealth forces in WW-II ID: L/12950!
During the British Army’s analysis of their artillery in the wake of the First World War it was felt there was a requirement for a light artillery piece that combined the advantages of a howitzer and a gun. This new weapon would replace both the 18-Pdr and 4.5-inch Howitzer. Development work was carried out during the 1920s and 1930s, but a limited budget meant little real progress was made.
The outcome of initial investigations concluded that a gun of 3.7 inches (94 mm) in caliber firing a shell of 20 to 25 lbs. (9 to 11 kgs) and with a range of 15,000 (13,716 meters) yards or more would be required to replace both the gun and howitzer.
Tests were run with 18, 22 and 25-Pdr guns in 1933. It was soon decided by the War Department that the 25-Pdr was the best design to equip the field artillery.
Due to the large number of existing 18-Pdr field guns the Treasury was reluctant to scrap them in favor of an entirely new weapon! Treasury demanded that a way be found to use the existing stocks of 18-Pdrs in the development of the new gun.
The 18-Pdr had a caliber of 3.3 inches (84 mm) but was fitted with a barrel liner that could easily be removed and replaced, but unfortunately the maximum caliber achievable by relining the barrel was only 3.45 inches (87.6mm), a far cry from the originally intended 3.7 inches.
So, in 1935 it was decided to adopt 3.45 inches as the new caliber of the 25-Pdr.
This first model, Ordnance, Q.F., 25-Pdr Mk 1, or more commonly known as the "18/25-Pdr", was to see service in Europe and North Africa in the early stages of WWII, it used the Mk 4P 18-Pdr carriage, the ’P’ indicating the use of pneumatic tires for motorized use.
Because the 18-Pdr carriage was not intended for use with the new 25 lb. round a reduction was made to the charge and consequently the range was decreased from the desired 15,000 yards to 11,800 yards. Many 18/25-Pdrs were lost during the evacuation from Dunkirk, and they needed to be replaced. The Mk 2 25-Pdr saw the introduction of its own carriage. The trials were between the original split trail design and a Vickers box trail design that came with its own firing platform.
After test firing at the School of Artillery it was unanimously decided to adopt the Vickers design. This new weapon was known as the 25-Pdr Mk 2 on the Mk 1 carriage. The Mk 2 first saw action in Norway 1940 and by the end of the war over 12,000 had been made.
This QF 25-pounder
This 1943 Ordnance QF 25-pounder was left behind in the Kortrijk area after WW-II.
In the 1950s it eventually ended up in a local museum where it was part of the collection for many years. Apart from the occasional painting, it has never really been worked on.
In the 1980s it ended up with a Belgian collector who completely restored it with no expense spared! He did a fantastic job. In accordance with legislation, it is currently blank firing, which means it can be used for firing salutes.
According to Mr. Ian Galliers, a Collector and Restoration Specialist from the UK this 25 Pdr. is a ‘must have’ in any serous artillery collection.
This is a very nice and complete unit and comes in great condition. It was since full Class-A restoration always stored inside and ready to use in all kinds of ceremonies and events. This example is a genuine WW-II survivor. After WW-II it was located as a gate guard in front of a museum near the city of Ieper in Belgium for many decades. Because it did not fit in well with the museum's WW-1 collection, it finally came up for sale. The previous owner had already introduced himself years before as a serious candidate.
He was therefore, after long deliberation, allowed to buy the 25 Pdr.
During a 5 years period he restored it to factory condition acquiring many NOS parts from as well Belgium, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. This is without any doubt a great gun for a serious collector. Real WW-II British Artillery becomes more and more difficult to find and collect!
Model 1943 Quick Fire 25 Pounder Mark II Gun on a 1943 Mark I Carriage
Weight: 1.633 kg (3,600 lb.)
Manufacturer: Main Gun: 1943 25 Pdr. Mk. II: RWC UK
Cradle 25 Pdr No. 5 Mk 1
Carriage Mk 1/L: 1943: produced by G.&J. Weir Ltd. Reg. Nr. 12430
Caliber: 3.45-inch (87.6 mm)
Barrel Length: 2.47 m (8 ft 1 in)
Traverse: -5° to 45° (80° with dial sight adapter and digging trail pit or wheel mounds)
Elevation: 4° Left & Right (top traverse) 360° (platform)
Rate of Fire: 6-8 rounds per min.
Range: 12,253 m (13,400 yards) (HE shell)
Dimensions: Height: Ground to Tip Barrel: 1.325 mm
Ground to Shield: 1.710 mm
Length: Hook to Barrel: 4.600 mm (15 ft 1 in)
Width: Shield: 1.855 mm
Wheel hubs: 2.130 mm (7 ft)
Production: Number Produced: 12,000 (UK, Canada, Australia)
Level of restoration: Class A (older restoration)
Breach ID: L/12950
Note: This gun is ready for blank firing.
Can be deactivated at costs.
Location: Nederweert, The Netherlands
Condition: Class A restored
Permits: Permit required
Between € 25.000 and € 30.000