Osprey New Vanguard 48 : The 25-pounder Field Gun 1939-1972
Of all the British guns in use during the Second World War the 25 pounder is the gun that best represents Britain's armed forces. It was adaptable, it packed a powerful punch and above all it was reliable. The 25 pounder developed from a marriage of the 18 pounder gun and the 4.5 inch howitzer that were used in World War I. The Ordnance Committee, the body responsible for defining new designs required a range of 15000 yards and a muzzle velocity of about 2200ft per second. Many variations were tried before the 18/25 pounder was produced. The earliest versions were 18 pounder guns fitted with a new larger bore sleeve and armed with the larger calibre ammunition. They were used in the BEF battles in northern France and Belgium but were lost during the battle for France and the Dunkirk evacuation. The gun was used in every theatre of the Second World War and saw extensive service in the postwar years, particularly in Korea and during the Malaysian emergency. The last 25 pounder gun was used in action by SAS troops at Mirbat, Oman in 1972. For 32 years the gun had been the mainstay of the British army and it is still used a blank firing gun for ceremonial parades. Text by Chris Henry with illustrations by Mike Fuller.
- Design and Development
- Operational History
- Colour Plate Commentary
Osprey New Vanguard