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British Airborne 75mm Pack Howitzer - modifications


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What is the wisdom about when the British Airborne formations started modifying the 75mm pack howitzers with the travel lock, beefed up axle fittings and fittings on the trail for gun accessories? The few pictures I have seen of these guns in use at Arnhem do not seem to show these fittings.

 

Were they used in Varsity or are they even later modifications

 

Any help and advice would be gratefully received

 

Thanks

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Photos of the 1st Airlanding Light Regiment's guns in Italy, taken late 1943, show the brackets for the sight box on top of the rear trail mod, the transport axle clamps and eyelets on the inside of the hubs.

Images of the King's visit to the regiment after their return to England prior to Market Garden also show the elevation stay fitted, but as you say few of the Oosterbeek photos show many of the modifications fitted, other than the aiming post brackets on the right rear trail etc. Possibly these show replacement guns that hadn't been fully modified prior to the operation.

 

The QR bracket for the cut-down 18 Pdr. handspike on the left-hand rear of the trail does appear to be a post-WWII modification.

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Some pics of my 2nd Pack Howitzer carriage... showing some of the modifications and the elevation clamp (detached):

 

PH2-s.jpg

 

Elevation clamp - repair work needed

 

PH2-5.jpg

 

Rear Carriage - showing brackets for Sight Box, aiming post, handspike and top middle something as yet unidentified

 

PH2-9-b.jpg

 

Front Carriage - showing scarring where sight/Tool box was welded to side of carriage (similar scarring on other side - BUT OFF SET) and plate with 3 threaded holes to attach block for Oil Can

 

ph2-6.jpg

 

Not in view is wood block holding Bearing Arc plate or bracket to attach Elevation Clamp.

 

Hope these are of interest.

 

Can pop out into the garage anytime to take some more pics.

 

 

 

Tim

Edited by Packhow75
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A few more pics:

 

Bearing plate

 

BearingArcPlate.jpg

 

British Tow Eye

 

BritishTowEye.jpg

 

Elevation Clamp Fittings

 

ElevationClamp.jpg

 

Tool/Sight Box Scarring to left side of trail - note this is off set with box the other side.

 

FrontTrailLeft-Scarring.jpg

 

For some odd reason quite a few of the data plates on these were made of lead and damaged easily.

 

Tim

Edited by Packhow75
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The QR bracket for the cut-down 18 Pdr. handspike on the left-hand rear of the trail does appear to be a post-WWII modification.

 

Paul and Tim,

 

As of today, I have proof that the 18 Pdr. handspike was fitted to at least one Arnhem gun!!

 

Photo's will follow, am very exited!

 

Nice new addition Tim!!

 

Cheers,

 

Lex

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OK, have the trail here, but it now transpires that it was found in Hammilkeln, Germany, where Operation Varsity took place in 1945, by the 6th Airborne.

 

Why people keep lying about where they dig up the stuff is strange, it's all history, and as if something found near Arnhem would be worth more?? (well maybe for some stuff, but this is also used in an important battle, and in this case it was won!)

 

Anyway here is the picture:

 

P1130792.JPG

 

So am looking for info on the Light Regiment from the 6th, where did they land etc. have various books on the subject, but nothing about the Packs!

 

Cheers,

 

Lex

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Not sure when the RO record plate was introduced, early 1950s I think. Obviously it didn't record 'bearings' because these weren't adopted until 1957 and a new pattern of RO plate was then issued. Before bearings the centre of arc was the Zero Line, and ROs (which is what the plate recorded) were angles from it and as any fule no bearings are relative to North. The reference to Troop Pickets is also a clue.

 

('RO' = Reference Object)

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So am looking for info on the Light Regiment from the 6th, where did they land etc. have various books on the subject, but nothing about the Packs!

 

Cheers,

 

Lex

 

Lex

 

I have the post op report for Varsity for 52nd Troop Carrier wing... will have a look through it - lists which gliders took off from where and where they landed and with what casualties.

 

Varsity-Cover.jpg

 

Tim

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  • 1 month later...

thanks for all this useful information - it has a purpose -as will be revealed in due course. In the meantime, what battery/troop/gun markings did the towing jeeps carry in both 1st and 6th Airborne divisions. This would be in addition to the Div Sign and AoS square (red/blue)/ unit number (42)

 

Was it standard Royal Artillery practice of blue square/red quadrant (with the position of the quadrant indicating battery) with troop letter/gun number superimposed - or was it something different?

 

Thanks again

 

Simon King

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