Elswick 6 inch naval gun

Elswick 6 inch naval gun

Infobox Weapon
name= Elswick QF 6 inch naval gun
"Type 41 6-inch (152 mm)/40-caliber"

caption=Typical naval deck mounting. This shows an early long cartridge case for gunpowder propellant; later UK cases for cordite propellant were much shorter
origin= United Kingdom
license-produced in Japan
type= Naval gun
Coast defence gun
used_by=Royal Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
wars= Russo-Japanese War
World War I
manufacturer=Elswick Ordnance Company
weight= 6.6 tons
part_length=convert|240|in|m|sigfig=4 bore
cartridge= convert|100|lb|kg QF, separate cartridge and shell
rate= 5-7 rounds per minute
velocity= convert|2154|ft/s|m/s|sigfig=3 [2154 ft/second in British service firing 100lb projectile, using 13lb 4oz Cordite size 30 propellant, at 60°F. 1882 ft/sec using 27lb 12oz gunpowder propellant. From Text Book of Gunnery, 1902.]
convert|820|ft/s|m/s|sigfig=3 for anti-submarine shells
range= convert|10000|yd|m|sigfig=3 at 20°elevation; convert|15000|yd|m|sigfig=3 at 28°elevation
elevation=-5 / +20 degrees
traverse=+150 / -150 degrees

The Elswick Ordnance Company QF 6 inch naval gun was used by many United Kingdom-built warships around the end of the 19th Century and start of the 20th Century.

In UK service it was known as the QF 6 inch MK I, II, III guns.As the Type 41 6-inch (152 mm)/40-caliber naval gun it was used for pre-dreadnought battleships and armoured cruisers of the early Imperial Japanese Navy built in UK shipyards.

United Kingdom Service

These guns were developed to exploit the new QF technology, which involved loading the propellant charge in a brass case with primer in its base. The brass case also sealed the breech, allowing a lighter mechanism. This was presumed to allow a faster rate of fire than the old BL technology, which involved loading the propellant in cloth bags and then a separate friction or percussion tube into the breech for firing. The QF principle had proved successful with the much smaller Hotchkiss and Nordenfelt QF 3 and 6 pounders from 1885 onwards.

Mk I was an Elswick gun, built up of wrought-iron tubes shrunk over each other. Mk II was built by Woolwich Arsenal and in 1891 became the first Royal Navy gun using the Armstrong wire-wound construction. The breech mechanisms were developed from the existing 6 inch BL mechanisms, but as it no longer had to provide obturation (sealing of the breech), the front was made coned rather than straight which allowed it to be swung round to the side before it was fully withdrawn, rather than having to be fully withdrawn before swinging to the side as with the BL gun.Hogg & Thurston 1972, Page 140.] . Mk III was built by Elswick and was similar to Mk I. All 3 Marks had the same dimensions and performance.

Royal Navy service

As the QF 6 inch Mk I, Mk II and Mk III, the gun was used as secondary armament of pre-dreadnoughts of the 1890s and cruisers to 1905. On the armoured cruisers of the "Diadem", "Powerful" and "Edgar" classes they made up most of the armament, though the latter class carried two 9.2 inch guns as well. The pre-dreadnought battleships of the "Royal Sovereign" (including the turreted "Hood"), "Centurion", "Majestic" and "Canopus" classes carried up to 12 guns.

The QF 6 inch fell out of favour, and the Royal Navy returned to BL guns with the adoption of the BL 6 inch Mk VII.

econd Boer War land service

During the Second Boer War one gun was brought ashore from HMS Terrible in Natal in February 1900 at the request of General Buller, presumably in response to the failure at Colenso. It was mounted on an improvised field carriage by Captain Percy Scott and transported by rail to Chieveley, just south of Colenso. There it was manned by Royal Navy gunners to provide useful fire support for the British Army during the relief of Ladysmith. It is reported on 17th February to have fired from "Gun Hill" (a small kopje 2 two miles north of Chieveley [Burne 1902, Chapter II] ) and knocked out a Boer gun at 16,500 yards, followed by a Boer searchlight, as Buller approached Ladysmith from the SouthEast and pushed the Boers back towards the Tugela river. [Bridgland 1998, Page 126-128] On 26th February Lieutenant Burne reports firing from the same position on a Boer gun at 15,000 yards at 28° elevation and falling 200 yards short. [Burne 1902 Chapter V] The 7 ton weight (compared to the 2 1/2 tons of the Boer 155mm "Long Tom") meant that it was effectively immobile on the battlefield and could not be moved forward to shorten the range.

Two guns were also mounted on armoured trains, crewed by Royal Garrison Artillery men. [Major D Hall, [http://rapidttp.co.za/milhist/vol022dh.html The South African Military History Society. Military History Journal - Vol 2 No 2 December 1971. "Guns in South Africa 1899-1902 Part III and IV"] ]

Coast defence gun

From 1894 a number of guns were adapted for coast defence use, with the original 3-motion breeches replaced by modern single-motion breeches to increase the rate of fire, which designated them as "B" gunsHogg & Thurston 1972, Page 140] .

19 guns were still active in the defence of the UK as at April 1918 : Jersey (2), Guernsey (2), Alderney (2), Shoeburyness (2), Blyth (2), Clyde Garrison (1), Mersey (2), Berehaven Garrison (Bantry Bay, Ireland) (6). [Farndale 1988, page 398 - 404]

World War I anti-aircraft gun

At least 1 gun is known to have been mounted by the Royal Navy on an improvised anti-aircraft mounting on a railway truck, defending the London docks in World War I. [Hogg & Thurston 1972, Page 206.]

World War I conversion to 8 inch howitzer

In World War I Britain urgently needed heavy artillery on the Western Front, and various obsolete 6 inch naval guns were converted to 8 inch howitzers. 63 QF 6 inch Mk II were converted to BL, bored out to 8 inches and shortened to produce BL 8 inch howitzer Mk V. [Mk V howitzer used QF Mk II barrels converted to BL (total of 63). Details from Clarke 2005, page 34, and Tony DiGiulian's website [http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_6-40_mk1.htm Britain 6"/40 (15.2 cm) QF Marks I, II and III] ] 4 entered service in December 1915 and 59 followed in 1916. [National Archives MUN5/373/9227]

Japanese naval service

The Type 41 naval gun was designed by Armstrong Whitworth, Elswick, Newcastle upon Tyne, England as a slightly modified version of the Elswick Ordnance Company QF pattern 6-inch guns used on contemporary Royal Navy battleships. It was the standard secondary armament on early Japan battleships and the main battery on several classes of armored cruisers.

The gun was officially designated as “Type 41” from the 41st year of the reign of Emperor Meiji on 25 December 1908. It was further re-designated in centimeters on 1917-10-05 as part of the standardization process for the Imperial Japanese Navy to the metric system.

The Type 41 6-inch gun fired a convert|100|lb|kg|1|adj=on shell with either an armor piercing, high explosive or general purpose warhead. An anti-submarine shell of convert|113|lb|kg|1|adj=on was developed and in service from 1943.

urviving examples

* On board Japanese battleship Mikasa, Yokosuka, Japan

ee also

*List of artillery#Naval guns



* [http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/u?/p4013coll11,230 Text Book of Gunnery, 1902. LONDON : PRINTED FOR HIS MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE, BY HARRISON AND SONS, ST. MARTIN'S LANE]
*Tony Bridgland, " [http://www.amazon.com/Field-Gun-Jack-Versus-Boers/dp/0850525802 Field Gun Jack Versus the Boers: The Royal Navy in South Africa 1899-1900] ". Leo Cooper, 1998. ISBN 0 85052 580 2
*Lieutenant C. R. N. Burne R.N., [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/25117 With the Naval Brigade in Natal (1899-1900). London: Edward Arnold, 1902]
*Dale Clarke, [http://www.ospreypublishing.com/title_detail.php/title=S7883 British Artillery 1914-1919. Heavy Artillery. Osprey Publishing, Oxford UK, 2005] ISBN 1 84176 788 3
*General Sir Martin Farndale, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery : Forgotten Fronts and the Home Base 1914-18. London:The Royal Artillery Institution, 1988
*Major Darrell Hall, [http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol043dh.html "THE NAVAL GUNS IN NATAL 1899-1902" The South African Military History Society Military History Journal - Vol 4 No 3, June 1978]
*I.V. Hogg & L.F. Thurston, British Artillery Weapons & Ammunition 1914-1918. London: Ian Allan, 1972.
*Admiral Percy Scott, [http://www.archive.org/details/fiftyyearsinroya00scotuoft "Fifty Years in the Royal Navy"] published 1919

External links

*cite web
last = DiGiulian
first = Tony
url = http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNJAP_6-40_EOC.htm| title = Japanese 15.2 cm/40 (6") Type 41
work = NavWeaps.com

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