Bob Semple - 25 pounder versatility

Running time
2 min 22 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


When that settles down you then become, you dig a hole and put the gun in it and all that sort of stuff and you're there for the long haul.

We built up from, we had 25 pounders there, and that was the best gun we had during the war. They had great adaptability, they were mobile. They had the vehicle pulling them, of course, but when they dropped the gun, the vehicles move away into a rear position but they had a platform that they went up on and the gun sat up on that and the repercussions and buffer and recoils and all those sort of things, it steadied.

It had four different charges. You could use it, it could be used as a howitzer as well, that means more like a mortar. You would lower the charge, put the shell into the breech and then the cartridge in behind it and reduce the charge and that allowed you to pop it up in the air like that on a shorter range and just allow it to get over any obstacles, or, with more punch and power in it you could alter the bags of cordite you were using in it on a shallower trajectory it would travel a longer distance and then we had one in reserve using the same shell but with another supercharge and a maximum range of, well the most I ever got out of a 25 pounder but just on odd occasions when we did have to move you'd leapfrog and go as far forward and then this mob pull out and go to the front. It was a very versatile gun and, yeah, my regiment fired 359,800 odd rounds at the Battle of El Alamein in the first twenty-four hours, off my gun alone on the gun program, 653 rounds in twenty-four hours and you've got to manhandle these guns. There's a hundred pound weight and four shells in a case so you get muscles on muscles.

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