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15 Pounder QF Ehrhardt Gun

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ianjonesncl

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As the end of the 19th century approached, the Royal Artillery was untested in general war. The focus of Army was colonial in nature, mainly waged against an enemy with practically no artillery. As a consequence the Royal Artillery was slow to realise changes in warfare over that century. The expanding empire saw the Royal Artillery engaged in many colonial actions.  Frequent small wars in Africa, Far East, India and other colonies occurred throughout the Victorian Era. The Army was engaged in active campaigning in one location or another every year of Queen Victoria’s reign except for 1883.  The Honour Titles of today's Royal Artillery bear testimony to those ubiquitous actions. 

 

 

 

In October 1899 the Right Honourable Sir Henry Brackenbury was appointed Director General of Ordnance. He undertook a review of artillery and concluded there were deficiencies in armament  and no reserve of guns. He came up with a series of papers to address the shortcomings including the replacement of obsolete guns.

The situation was highlighted in South Africa where the Boer Artillery outgunned the Royal Artillery. This raised serious concerns as to the ability of the Gunners to deal with threats from a more sophisticated enemy, notably Germany who had supplied the Boers with artillery.

 

To meet what would today be termed an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR), Brackenbury requested £15 million. The Mowat Committee was formed to consider Brackenbury's recommendations and as a result of the committee's  work, Parliament voted £10 million pounds for the purchase of guns from ….. Germany. The British would purchase the 76mm Quick Firing Ehrhardt gun.

 

The order was placed with the Rheinische Metallwaaren- und Maschinen-Fabrik for 108 guns, 275 limbers, 162 ammunition wagons, stores, and 54,000 rounds. These were delivered five months after the contract was signed. The Government expressed a wish that no further supply of guns would be made. This lead to the formation of Equipment Committees who called upon " the inventive genius of the country" to come up with new guns to meet the Army's requirements.

 

The guns Ehrhardt Guns  werereceived in secrecy at the Woolwich Arsenal and entered service with the Royal Field Artillery in 1901. The gun was termed the Ordnance 15 Pounder QF.

 

large.RFAEhrhardt.jpg.ffa521126314a65a9893f16ccfa3cee1.jpg

 

The efforts of the Equipment Committees led to the development and introduction of new equipment's. In 1906 the cavalry Division and Six divisions re-equipped with 13 pounder & 18 pounder. When the Territorial Force as formed in 1908, the Ordnance 15 Pounder QF was issued to the Royal Horse Artillery Batteries.

 

STATION OF UNITS 1914

 ROYAL HORSE ARTILLERY TERRITORIAL FORCE BATTERIES

large.TFRHA1914.jpg.e73d4aa5b2993f8b23cd4d22493b6c52.jpg

 

large.HACFargoCamp1914.jpg.c9157bd4a900338f32be6065bb008310.jpg

15 Pounder QF Ehrhardt Gun - HAC Fargo Camp 1914

 

 The 15 Pounder QF Ehrhardt gun would see active service with the TF RHA in the Middle East.  A Battery HAC and the Nottinghamshire RHA were engaged in the Senussi Campaign in Egypt and Libya. In Aden B Battery HAC and the  Berkshire RHA were in action during July 1915 in the recapture of the Sheikh Othman District ( a key water supply to Aden) from the Turks.

 

large.HAC_guns_at_Sheik_Othman.jpg.d0212d02c6e77788a20dc1921daa63eb.jpg

15 Pounder QF Ehrhardt Gun - HAC Sheikh Othman 1914

 

In 1916 the Territorial Force Royal Horse Artillery Batteries were equipped with the 13 pounder.

 

15 Pounder QF Ehrhardt Gun

 

large.QF15pdrMkILeftSideView1901.jpg.63d54cddbf7d88089fdd493e4cabdc23.jpg

 

Calibre

3 in

76 mm

Shell Weight

14 lb

6.4 kg

Range

6,400 yards

 

 

Rate of Fire

20 rounds per minute

 

 

 

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