8 inch Howitzer

8 inch Howitzer

The 8 inch Howitzer was a leftover from the first world war. By 1939 only the Mark 8 was still in service. Several of them were left behind in France in 1940 so it was decided to replace it with the 7.2 inch. The carriage was to be used as it stood and the breech mechanism and any other useful bits incorporated into the new design. The gun was cannibalised out of service in 1941. Apart from some counter-bombardment work in France in 1940 and use as a training weapon, it played little part in the war. The 8 inch Howitzer was declared obsolete in July 1943.


Weight of Gun & Breech Mechanism7,560 lbs
Total Length148.4 inches
Length of Bore138.4 inches (17.3 calibres)
Rifling48 grooves, uniform right hand 1/25
Breech MechanismAsbury interrupted screw, percussion fired
Elevation0° to +45°
Traverse4° right & left
Recoil SystemHydropneumatic variable, 24 to 52.5 inches
Weight in Action20,048 lbs


Firing standard 200lb HE Shell

Muzzle velocity1,500 feet per second
Maximum range12,400 yards


Shell, HE Mark 15Nose fuzed non-streamlined. Percussion Fuze No. 101E or 106E
Propelling chargeSix part charge of Cordite
The Royal Artillery 1939-45