The BL 60-pounder gun was developed after the Second Boer War, when the British Army became aware of the enemy artillery's clout and urgently needed a corresponding counterpart in their own army.
During the Second Boer War from 1899 to 1902, the Boers artillery used guns that were superior in mobility and range to those of the British. After the conquest of the city of Pretoria in 1900, the Commander-in-Chief of the British troops Lord Roberts sent to the High Command in Great Britain the request also to initiate the development of such guns. With a range requirement of at least 9,144 meters and a weight of less than four tons, three prototypes were presented to the Ordnance Committee in London over the next two years, but these did not meet the requirements.
After the war, the Heavy Battery Committee was formed in 1902 and consisted mainly of soldiers who had fought in the Boer War and had the corresponding experience. Under the chairmanship of Colonel Perrott began in 1903 with the development of appropriate guns. First, a 4,7-inch gun, which was already used in the second Boer War, modified. Furthermore, a 30-pounder from India was called in for comparison. Since neither one nor the other gun met the requirements, in 1904 a completely new concept was abandoned and in 1905 the first prototype was introduced. Although this was half a ton above the required maximum weight of four tons, but the rest was sufficient to meet the requirements, this concept was pursued.
Classified as heavy artillery designated BL 60-pounder gun, 41 guns were produced until the outbreak of the First World War. These were assigned to the Royal Garrison Artillery and each infantry division initially had four guns available, during the war, the number was increased to six and increased production in the UK.
By the end of the war, 74 batteries were deployed on the Western Front, three in Italy, eleven in Macedonia, seven in Palestine and four in Mesopotamia. In addition, two Canadian batteries were equipped with this gun. A total of 1.773 guns were produced by the end of the war.
After the First World War, the BL 60-pounder gun was classified after the restructuring as a medium-weight gun and a part remained in the British Expeditionary Corps. By 1941, 60 more guns were in use, these were then replaced by the new BL 4,5-inch guns Mk 2 and only used for training.
|Designation:||BL 60-pounder gun|
|Country of Origin:||Great Britain|
|Number of pieces:||1.773 pieces|
|Tube length:||4,04 to 4,67 meters|
|Reach:||Max. 14.200 meters|
You can find the right literature here:
British Artillery 1914–19: Field Army Artillery (New Vanguard)
In 1914 the artillery of Britain's 'Field Army' encompassed those weapons judged to have sufficient mobility to keep up with troops in the field. This book describes all major variants, from the 60-pdr guns of the heavy field batteries, perched somewhat uncomfortably on the cusp between field artillery and siege artillery, to the 2.75in. guns of the mountain batteries, almost toy-like in comparison. Between these two extremes lay the bulk of the artillery of the Field Army: the 13-pdr guns of the Royal Horse Artillery, and the 18-pdr guns and 4.5in. howitzers of the Royal Field Artillery batteries.
British Artillery 1914–19: Heavy Artillery (New Vanguard)
World War I is often deemed to have been 'a war of artillery', and British heavy artillery played a vital part in destroying the German trenches and providing invaluable cover for advancing troops on the Western Front. This book details the huge guns of the Royal Garrison Artillery, including the 6-in. siege gun and howitzer, the 8-in. howitzer, the 12-in. railway and siege howitzer and the infamous 9.2-in breech-loading siege howitzer. Camouflage and enemy battery locations and transport are covered, as well as tactics used and how the guns were developed and manned.
Artillery in the Great War
Artillery was the decisive weapon of the Great War - it dominated the battlefields. Yet the history of artillery during the conflict has been neglected, and its impact on the fighting is inadequately understood. Paul Strong and Sanders Marble, in this important and highly readable study, seek to balance the account.Their work shows that artillery was central to the tactics of the belligerent nations throughout the long course of the conflict, in attack and in defense. They describe, in vivid detail, how in theory and practice the use of artillery developed in different ways among the opposing armies, and they reveal how artillery men on all sides coped with the extraordinary challenges that confronted them on the battlefield. They also give graphic accounts of the role played by artillery in specific operations, including the battles of Le Cateau, the Somme and Valenciennes.Their work will be fascinating reading for anyone who is keen to understand the impact of artillery
World War I Battlefield Artillery Tactics (Elite)
From the beginning of 'trench warfare' in winter 1914/15, artillery became the absolutely dominant arm in all the major armies for the rest of World War I, to a degree never seen before or since. The numbers and capabilities of the guns and ammunition available governed all the generals' battle plans; and the ways in which they were employed, and either succeeded or failed, decided the outcome of battles. The majority of the millions of casualties suffered during the war fell victim to artillery fire.
The artillery war fell into three distinct phases along a four-year learning curve (with the necessary equipment and training for the second and third phases always lagging behind the tactical needs). The war began with mostly light, mobile artillery equipped and trained to support fast-moving infantry and cavalry by direct fire, mostly with air-bursting shrapnel shells.
The entirely unexpected end of the first campaigns of manoeuvre as the armies bogged down in static trench warfare found both sides ill equipped and ill trained for what was in essence siege warfare on an industrial scale. This demanded more and heavier guns and high-explosive shells, and more complex skills for indirect fire - observation on the ground and in the air, locating targets (including enemy artillery), dropping the right kind of shells on them, the communications needed for co-ordinating the work of hugely increased numbers of guns, and getting many millions of shells up to them for week-long bombardments. These seldom worked as anticipated (classically, by failing to 'cut the wire' or to penetrate deep bunkers); so innovative officers on both sides worked to devise new tactics, with more versatile mixes of ammunition (e.g. gas shells, smoke shells, star shells and so on) and more imaginative ways of using them, such as box barrages and creeping barrages.
Finally, in early 1918, the static slogging broke down into a renewed phase of manoeuvre warfare, made possible by sophisticated co-operation between artillery and infantry, plus the newly important air and mechanised forces. The lessons that were finally learned shaped the use of artillery worldwide for the rest of the 20th century.
Fully illustrated with period photographs and specially drawn colour artwork and drawing upon the latest research, this engaging study explains the rapid development of artillery tactics and techniques during the conflict in which artillery played a pre-eminent role - World War I.