BL 6-inch Gun Mk XIX

The BL 6 inch Gun Mk XIX was introduced in 1916 as a lighter and longer-range field gun replacement for the obsolescent BL 6 inch Gun Mk VII.

BL 6-inch Gun Mk XIX
Class Vehicle
Type Towed Artillery
Manufacturer Vickers Limited
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1916
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Ireland View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1916 1940 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Vickers Limited 310 View

The gun was designed and built by Vickers specifically as a field gun, unlike its predecessors which originated as naval guns. Its length was reduced from the 45 calibres of its naval gun predecessors, to 35 calibres, to reduce weight and improve mobility. It utilized the modern carriage and recoil mechanism of the BL 8 inch Howitzer Mk 6.

The gun barrel was of wire-wound construction: "The gun body is of steel and consists of tubes, a series of layers of steel wire, jacket, breech bush and breech ring".

"The breech mechanism is operated by means of a lever on the right side of the breech. On pulling the lever to the rear the breech screw is automatically unlocked and swung into the loading position. After loading, one thrust of the lever inserts the breech screw and turns it into the locked position. The breech mechanism is similar to that used on the 8 inch howitzers both in design and operation".

British service

310 were built during World War I and the gun served in all theatres, with 108 being in service on the Western front at the end of World War I, but it did not completely replace the Mk VII gun until the end of the war.

3 batteries served with the BEF in France early in World War II, and others were deployed in the home defence of Britain. The gun was superseded by the 155-mm Gun M1, and the carriages used for BL 7.2-inch howitzer

US Service

"Handbook of artillery" of May 1920 stated that :

"The original British ammunition so closely resembled the American that it was decided to use the [US] regular Mark II high-explosive shell... the propellant charge will consist of a base section and increment section having a total weight of approximately 25 pounds".

Brazil service

Brazil purchased these guns from USA in 1940 for coastal defense.

South African service

Prior to the outbreak of World War II there were plans to use these guns in the fortification of Durban, Cape Town and Saldanha Bay.

For a short period, two guns were deployed for the protection of Port Elizabeth harbour at the outbreak of World War II.

Type Heavy field gun
Place of origin United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Service history
In service 1916 - 1940
Used by United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United States
Union of South Africa
Wars World War I, World War II
Production history
Manufacturer Vickers
Number built 310
Weight 10,248 lb (4,684 kg) (gun & breech)
10 tons 3½ cwt (10,340 kg) (total)
Barrel length 35 calibres
Shell HE 100 lb (45 kg)
Calibre 6 in (152 mm)
Breech Welin interrupted screw with Asbury mechanism
Recoil Hydro pneumatic, variable
Carriage Wheeled, box trail
Elevation 0° to 38°
Traverse 4° L & R
Muzzle velocity 2,350 ft/s (720 m/s)
Maximum firing range 16,500 yd (15,100 m) (2 crhshell);
17,800 yd (16,300 m) (4 crhshell);
18,750 yd (17,140 m) (6 crhshell)

End notes