Designed in the 1930s, the 25pdr was the mainstay of the British Army until the late 1960s and remained in training units well into the 1980s. The 25pdr gun was sold to many Commonwealth Nations and in some parts of the World, it is still in service today. The reason for its longevity can be attributed to its high rate of fire, manoeuvrability and good ammunition. The 25pdr was built with a circular firing platform that could be quickly lowered into place and the gun pulled onto it. The platform allowed the weapon to be rapidly deployed and then traversed in any direction; once set-up a good gun team could fire 6-8 rounds per minute.
The 25pdr was designed to be used in both direct and indirect fire roles i.e. hit targets it could see in line of site and those hidden by obstructions. It could achieve this by having a high angle of fire which allowed rounds to be lobbed/dropped onto the target. To fulfil its role as a gun/howitzer the 25 pdr fired a cased round that could be filled with a combination of fours different charges to achieve the desired result. Using the ‘super’ charge option the 25pdr could fire a shell over 12 miles however using such a powerful charge came at a cost as it reduced the life of the barrel due to the increase wear.
Our 25pdr is a MkII gun fitted on a MkI carriage and was built in 1942. The barrel was fitted with a muzzle brake and counter balance that help improved the stability of the gun when firing super charged rounds in a direct fire role against tanks. The gun is also fitted with two non-standard brackets that support the shield; we believe this was fitted in its post war-service overseas along with the yellow ID number. We bought the gun in the early 1990s when it was returned to the UK from the Middle East. The gun is often displayed with a limber and 1942 Chevrolet field artillery tractor (FAT) to complete the set.
Read about our live-firing 25 pounder here