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NZ and Aussie 3.7-inch howitzers

October 1 2015 at 9:58 AM
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Jacques  (no login)
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Response to the NZ 3.7-inch howitzers on Guadalcanal


Hi Nelson,

"Do you know if the mountain howitzers used on Guadalcanal were the selfsame ones seeing action in New Guinea?"

I seriously doubt this. The Kiwis arrived at Guadalcanal only in August 1943 whereas the picture in my previous post of the two Aussie 3.7s being loaded onto the captured barge dates from November 1942. Also evident from the picture is that the Aussie ones were of the earlier marks with wooden spoked wheels whereas New Zealand batteries in the Solomons used more modern pieces with pneumatic tyres as seen in this photo of NZ's 144 Independent Battery on Nissan Island in February 1944.

[linked image]

I thought I'd include this photo of New Zealand's 3rd Division landing at Guadalcanal, August 1943.

[linked image]

According to the book "Australia 1942: In the Shadow of War" pg.229, Australian and US forces on New Guinea had a severe shortage of artillery; for example the two divisions at Buna in December 1942, had to make do with only three 3.7-inch (which included the 2 being loaded onto the barge), four 4.5-inch and one 105 mm howitzers along with eighteen 25-pounders.

According to:

"It (3.7-inch howitzer) was the first pack equipment issued to the New Zealand Forces, a single battery in Wellington being equipped with these guns in 1914, but saw no action. The Government later sold them." - How much later? Is it possible that these were the "well-worn" ones sold to Australia, and sent to New Guinea?



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