Military Wiki
BL 15-inch howitzer Mk I
In action at Englebelmer Wood, Somme, 7 August 1916
Type Heavy siege howitzer
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1915 - 1918
Used by UK and Commonwealth
Wars World War I
Production history
Designer Coventry Ordnance Works[1]
Designed 1914
Manufacturer Coventry Ordnance Works
Number built 12
Variants Mk I
Weight 94 tons

Shell HE 1,450 lb (657.7 kg)[2]
Calibre 15 inches (381.0 mm)
Breech Welin interrupted screw
Recoil Hydro-spring 31 inches (790 mm) constant[3]
Carriage siege carriage
Muzzle velocity 1,117 ft/s (340 m/s)[3]
Maximum range 10,795 yd (9,871 m)[3]

The Ordnance BL 15-inch howitzer was developed by the Coventry Ordnance Works late in 1914 in response to the success of its design of the 9.2-inch siege howitzer.

History and use

The weapon was operated by Royal Marine Artillery detachments of the Naval Brigade, with 1 gun per battery. One gun was sent to Gallipoli but not used there. They were later transferred to the British Army

It operated successfully where it was needed to destroy deep fortifications on the Western Front, but was limited by its relatively short range compared to other modern siege howitzers. The size and weight made it difficult to move and emplace. No further development occurred after the first batch of 12, and instead Britain continued to develop and produce the 12-inch howitzer and 12-inch railway howitzer.

Image gallery

See also

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era

Notes and references

  1. Hogg & Thurston 1972, page 198
  2. Clarke quotes 1,450 pound shell, Hogg & Thurston quote 1,400 pound shell
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hogg & Thurston 1972, page 199


External links

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