Artillery in the Western Desert


B.L. 6in. 26cwt Howitzer
B.L. 6in. 26cwt Howitzer of 7th Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery, Bardia/Libya, early Jan 1942
First blood at Bardia

As it moved into position around Bardia in late December 1940, the 6th Australian Division was still experiencing shortages.
It had only two of its three artillery regiments and only the 2/1st Field Regiment was equipped with the new 25-pdr, which it had received only that month. The 2/2nd Field Regiment was still equipped with twelve 18-pdr and twelve 4.5-inch howitzers.

To make up for this, O'Connor augmented Brigadier Edmund Herring's 6th Australian Division Artillery with part of the XIII Corps artillery:

  • the 104th (Essex Yeomanry) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, equipped with sixteen 25-pdr,
  • F Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, with twelve 25-pdr,
  • the 51st Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, with twenty four 25-pdr and
  • the 7th Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery equipped with two 60-pdr, eight 6-inch howitzers and eight 6-inch guns (Captured Italian 152/37?).
There were also two antitank regiments, the 3rd and 106th Regiments, Royal Horse Artillery, equipped with 2-pdr and Bofors 37mm guns.

[Source : Wikipedia]

Gunner leaning to the huge 15.00-24 wheel of the modernized Mk.IP carriage
Rear view of the vintage 6in.26cwt Howitzer and its "Number One" holding the "rammer"
Everybody in place !
Howitzer typically jumping on launch, due to the extreme recoil of the 152mm barrel
Keen on watching the 6-inch on the move ? Look here

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Last Updated: August 10, 2023