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Re: NZ and Aussie 3.7-inch howitzers

October 1 2015 at 4:52 PM
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Nelson  (no login)
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Response to NZ and Aussie 3.7-inch howitzers



Thanks for the info. If the New Zealanders arrived on Guadal in August 1943, sounds like garrison duty, with maybe interior patrolling that led to some fighting against isolated pockets of resistance (but how much of that would have been possible by a malnourished and weakened foe is questionable). The photo on Nissan Island with the guns lined up in a row clearly shows three 3.7-inch howitzers in the foreground, but with what appears to be three larger pieces extending into the undecipherable distance. I'm guessing three 4.5-inch howitzers, as they don't appear to be 25-pounders, even baby 25-pounders. The poor resolution defeats the eye by that point.

You quote the on-line New Zealand history:

"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?

Possible, but two things might suggest otherwise: (i) 1914 seems too early to me for a howitzer generally considered to have been a later intro, and then intended for the Indian Army. How would the Kiwis have gotten some that early? (ii) Howitzers fire with lesser charges than their higher velocity gun counterparts, so their wear is substantially less. If the 3.7-inch howitzers in Kiwi hands saw no action during the Great War, where did they get the kind of use during the interwar years and early in WWII to 'splain such wear? North Africa? Leaves me scratchin' my head. All I can promise is that I'll look more into the history of the 3.7-inch howitzer for a clue or two.


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