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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

what fired this?


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Looks like 3-pounder (47-mm) Hotchkiss "steel shell" naval shell, base fuzed.

These lads coulds spoil your day :


with this :


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It's a possibility - the man who owned it did come from Portsmouth - but:

  • it isn't 47mm, more like 42 as I said
  • the box of 'goodies' I've been asked to look at contains only army stuff otherwise
  • he was over 20 years in the regular army, pre, during and post WW1
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I think there was a 42mm land-lubber version Hotchkiss referred to as a "mountain gun". Fired a lighter 2lb shell. Sorry, don't have any photos to compare. Probably still ruin your day!

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The RA used it for coast defence.

You'd need to post a photo showing the rule passing across the centre of the base to convince anybody it's 42 mm.

I photoshopped it to pass the ruler across the diameter and got 47 mm :



And I've never heard of Britain using arty between 40 and and 47 mm in that period.

Further : "very heavy" is not an accurate measurement. Weigh it and we can add the weight of a fuze and powder to identify its "filled and fuzed" weight. I predict your object weighs about 2 lb 14 oz and filled and fuzed would have been about 3 lb 4 oz ("3 pounder" was just a name) Filling was 2 oz powder, I believe the fuze weighed about 4 oz.

The fuze thread looks about 20 mm which matches the Hotchkiss fuze.

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The 3-pdr Hotchkiss was also operated by the RNAS : towed behind armoured cars and mounted on Seabrook armoured lorries. I understand this role was taken over by the Machine Gun Corps of the Army in mid-1915.

This is from 1917, so presumably the men are Army :


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