9.2 inch heavy Howitzers

9.2 gun, 154 SB, RGA

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9.2" Howitzers in action

In 1912 orders were issued for a new heavy mobile Howitzer. A prototype was delivered from the Coventry Ordnance Works in 1913. The new experimental equipment retained the essential features on the Skoda 9.45 inch, but was of 9.2 inch calibre.The equipment was fitted with a hydro-pneumatic buffer and recuperator, the first time this had been used on a mobile gun.

The BL 9.2 siege Howitzer was taken to Rhayader for trials in July 1914 and in a report dated the day before Great Britain declared War, the officer commanding concluded: “This equipment is a vast improvement on any other in use in the siege artillery”.

  • The prototype saw service in France and more were ordered.
  • In December 1916 the Mark II was developed to achieve a range of 14000 yards. It closely resembled the Mark I, but was larger in many dimensions and 3 tons heavier. The most obvious differences were the cranked bedplate girders and the longer barrel.
  • Production ran up to 512 Howitzers of the 2 Marks, 62 of which were supplied to the Allies.
  • After the end of the war, the iconic 9.2 Howitzer was selected on top of the Royal Regiment of Artillery’s War Memorial in London.
  • The original 9.2 Howitzer (Mother) is now on display in the Imperial War Museum, London.



Above 9.2 inch shell (dud) and pieces of an exploded 9.2 inch shell.

Some values 9.2 Mark II Howitzer:

Muzzle velocity 1600 ft/sec 487 mtr/sec
Range 13935 yds 12751 mtr
Ammunition Sheel HE Mk 17A  
Weight in action 36288 lbs 16459 kg
Total length 170,51 inches 4,33 mtr
Length of bore 159,16 inches 4,04 mtr
Rifling 56 groves, Uniform R/H  
Projectile type & weight HE, 290 lbs 131,3 kg
Breech Mod. Ashbury interrupted screw, percussion fired  
Elevation Minus 15 degrees to plus 50 degrees  
Traverse 30 degrees right and left  
Recoil system Hydropneumatic, variable  
Recoil length 20 to 44 inches 0,50 till 1,11 mtr

The 9.2" inch Howitzers had the most farthest range (out of all the batteries stationed around Zillebeke Lake).
Each 9.2" Howitzer was manned by 14 men with each a particular task.