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And another high-speeded 75mm field gun in the Far East

September 17 2015 at 6:10 AM
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Nelson  (no login)
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Response to another picture showing the Martin Parry

In addition to the high-speeded Krupp 75mm 7-Veld gun that armed the KNIL, there was another 75mm field gun modified with high-speed gear of American design that in all probability saw combat in the Far East. Nope, not the Mark VII 3-inch marine landing gun, likely used as a training and/or shore defense gun in Australia. Nope, not the M1897A4 75mm gun that saw combat in Java, whose M2A3 field carriage was designed for high-speed towing and thus did not need to be modified as such.

Well before Lend Lease was implemented by the United States, many hundreds of 75mm field guns, in three models and several variants, went to past or would-be allies opposing Axis powers or the USSR: Finland, Britain, France, Greece, and Yugoslavia. German naval or military forces prevented the receipt of such American weaponry by France, Greece, and Yugoslavia, and Britain became the beneficiary of most of that matériel. Between 75 and 125 U.S. M1916 (horse-drawn) and M1916A1 (high-speeded) 75mm field guns were intended for the Balkans, but were not received there. Instead, a good many of them ended up in British hands in Crete and the Middle East. Although not a simple tale, a number of high-speed M1916A1 75mm guns went east, and some of them armed in part Australian antitank formations in Malaya and Singapore. Those formations and units also had standard British 2-pounder AT guns and captured Italian Breda M35 47mm AT guns. The latter was designed by Böhler of Austria and licensed for manufacture by Breda; a goodly number of this type were taken in North Africa, as shown in the following image.

[linked image]

The U.S. Model 1916 3-inch field gun, soon reconfigured to 75mm, had the potential to be the best field gun in use during World War I. It had a vertical sliding wedge breech mechanism and split trails, which increased the range of this light field gun well beyond most others in use, having pole or block trails and thus limited elevation. The M1916, however, was a good idea that went badly wrong, with too many cooks spoiling the broth. Despite the endless complaints about the “Crime of 1916”, it was considered good enough postwar to spend funds to have a number of them high-speeded. The high speed gear was not provided by Martin Parry, but rather from a design originating with the U.S. Army’s Ordnance Department (but very likely inspired by the high-speed gear designed by A.P. Buquor of Martin Parry).

Images of the horse-drawn Model 1916 and the high-speeded Model 1916A1 75mm field guns follow:

[linked image]

[linked image]

Again, the high-speed configuration saw some combat use by the Australian Army, at least on the island of Singapore, and maybe in Johor (Johore).


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