British BL 5.5 Inch Gun Mk.2

British BL 5.5 Inch Gun Mk.2

The British 5.5" gun was designed to replace the 6" howitzer and 60 pdr gun in medium artillery regiments attached at corps level. It entered service in 1942 and was replaced by the NATO 155 mm FH70 Field Howitzer in the early 1980s. Medium Artillery Regiments of World War Two had two batteries of eight guns each, organized in two gun troops of four artillery pieces. The troop commander was a captain. The 5.5" gun had a crew of one sergeant and nine gunners. The Airfix model shown here has been spray-painted Humbrol No. 159 Khaki Drab, highlighted with 30% white. The kit comes with enough gun crew figures to equip a typical wargame artillery stand. Due to its long firing range, the 5.5" usually fires off-table and only purists will want to represent it by an actual models.

Available Scale Model Kits

  • 5.5" Gun, 1:43 Dinky Toys 692
  • 5.5" Gun, 1:32 Mountford Miniatures MM045
  • 5.5" Gun, 1:32 Crescent
  • 5.5" Gun with ACE Matador Tractor, 1:76 Airfix 01314
  • 5.5" Gun, 1:76 AB Figures AP1
  • 5.5" Crew Figures, 1:76 AB Figures AB-TC61
  • 5.5" Gun, 15 mm Quality Castings 2035
  • 5.5" Gun & Crew, 15 mm Minifigs BV-87
  • 5.5" Gun, 1:150 Gramodels
  • 5.5" Gun with ACE Matador Tractor, 1:285 GHQ UK66

Technical Specifications

  • BL 5.5" Gun Mk.2
  • Type: Medium Field Gun (Howitzer)
  • Weight: 5,850 kg
  • Length: 7,531 mm
  • Calibre: 5.5 inches (140 mm)
  • Barrel Length: 4,332 mm (L.31)
  • Shell Length: 658 mm
  • Ammunition Supply: 100 HE Shells per Gun
  • Rate of Fire: 3 round per minute
  • Muzzle Velocity: 510 m/sec (1,675 f/sec) with Charge 4
  • Traverse: 60°
  • Elevation: - 5° to 45°; up to 70° using trail pits and a dial sight adaptor.
  • Range: 16,400 m
  • Shell Weight: HE 36.3 kg
  • Crew: 10

Bibliography

Historical Employment

  • British Royal Artillery 1941–1980s
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • South Africa
  • Pakistan

The BL 5.5" Gun Mk.3 remained in British service until the early 1980s, when it was replaced by the new NATO 155 mm FH70 Field Howitzer. South Africa and Pakistan continue to use the 5.5" Gun with improved munitions even today.

Frequently Asked Questions

For further information and updates, please join us on facebook or in the Miniatures Forum.

British Miniatures of World War Two