5.5" Medium Gun PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Boyd   
Thursday, 01 January 2009 14:35

The 5.5" Medium Gun

5.5

In 1939 a requirement was issued for a gun that was capable of firing a 90lb shell 16,000 yards and that weighed less than 5 tons, the result was the 5.5" medium gun. The weapon was to be as up to date and as advanced as possible but this lead to some teething problems which resulted in simpler more effective solutions being used. The carriage was of two wheeled, split trail type and a quick loading gear was fitted so that when the gun was fired at high elevation a lever was pressed which swung the cradle down.

It was not until 1942 that the first guns were in action and initially they lacked range but this was solved by the introduction of an 80lb shell, the weapons were highly successful and were used throughout the rest of the war.

5.5" Medium Gun Data

Weight of gun and breech 4,120lb
Total length 171.6"
Length of bore 164"
Rifling 36 groves, 1/25
Elevation -5 +45 degrees
Traverse 30 degrees left/right
Weight in Action 13,646lb

5.5" Medium Gun Ammunition Data

 Type HE HE
Weight 100lb 80lb
Muzzle Velocity 1,655fps 1,950fps
Maximum range 16,200 yards 18,100 yards

Production of 5.5" medium guns by year (UK only)

  Pre-War Sep-Dec 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945
5.5" Guns 3 2 - 177 221 908 295 73
4.5"/5.5" Carriages - 2 - 213 590 801 754 131

Production of 5.5" medium gun ammunition by year (UK only, filled only)

  Pre-War Sep-Dec 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945
100lb HE - - 560 146,100 1,240,000 1,636,000 566,000 159,000
80lb HE - - - - - -- 443,400 720,000

Sources - British & American Artillery of WWII, AVIA 22 456 - 514

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 January 2009 15:01
 

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