Ausarmourfest 2017 at the Australian Armour and Artillery Museum, Cairns (Part 2)

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Part 2 of my virtual tour of the Australian Armour and Artillery Museum in Cairns will focus on the second category - known as the "Queen of the Battlefield" - the artillery. The museum has a massive collection of over 150 pieces from WW1, WW2 and the modern era, so I won't post ALL the pictures I took, but I will present a representative sample.

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At the end of the south wing of the museum the regimental banners of the Royal Australian Artillery and the Royal Australian Armoured Corps hang over a 25 pounder field gun with tender and Quad gun tractor.

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Nearby is a selection of field artillery pieces including the 5.5 inch medium gun introduced during WW2 used by British and Commonwealth forces during WW2 and well after.

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Next to that is the US M1A1 (M114) 155mm howitzer which entered service in 1942 and is still operational in militaries all over the world today.

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The Soviet M1938 152mm gun-howitzer was next up, another WW2 era field piece.

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The last one on the row was a German 10.5cm leichte Feldhaubitze 16 (10.5cm leFH16) introduced into service in 1916 and despite being replaced in 1937 was used by second line units throughout WW2.

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This one is an Australian Ordnance 25 pounder. This gun was a lightened version of the standard 25 pounder for use in the jungles of New Guinea and Borneo. It could be disassembled into 13 pieces and transported by air or even man-packed if necessary. The gun provided much needed fire support against the Japanese.

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The Russian M1902 76mm field gun first saw service in the Russo-Japanese War and there were still more than 2000 guns of this type in the Red Army in 1941.

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The US M101A1 105mm howitzer is another long-lived artillery piece first produced in 1941 and still in service with armies around the world. When I enlisted in 1984 the Australian Army was using the M2 version.

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Then comes the big boys - the 155 mm Long Tom and the M115 203*mm howitzer.

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The M116 203mm (8 inch) gun was designed in the aftermath of WW2 and some saw service as late as 1995 in the Balkans.

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The Soviet M1937 152mm howitzer was an effective weapon able to hurl a 44kg shell almost 18 kilometres. It is still in front line service in some African and Asian nations.

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Anti-tank guns were the next class of artillery on display, with the British Ordnance QF 17 pounder (76.2mm) up first.

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This beast was followed by the earlier 6 pounder (57mm) which was produced by the USA as the 57mm Gun M1.

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The last British gun was the 2 pounder (40mm) which was in service at the start of WW2.

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Then we moved on to the German Panzerabwehrkanonen, the first being the 3.7cm Pak 36. The standard Wehrmacht anti-tank gun at the start of WW2, it soon proved ineffective against the heavier Allied tanks and earned the sobriquet Heeresanklopfgerät or 'army door knocker'.

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The 5cm Pak 38 was introduced in 1941 to replace the much maligned PAK 36. Beside the PAK 38 is the 7.5 cm Pak 97/38.

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This gun was a combination of the barrel from the French Canon de 75 modèle 1897 fitted with a muzzle brake and mounted on a Pak 38 carriage. This gun could fire captured French and Polish ammunition including HEAT rounds.

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The next one along was the 7.5cm Pak 40 which entered service in 1942 and remained a potent anti-tank gun until the end of WW2.

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The Pak 40 saw service long after the end of WW2 in several eastern European armies including Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Norway, Hungary and Romania.

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Now we come to the anti-aircraft artillery, starting with the deadly 2cm Flakvierling 38. Introduced in 1940, the guns could be fired together, individually or in pairs. There were fed by 20 round magazines, keeping the crew pretty busy.

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This one is the 2cm Flak 38 (Flak = flugzeugabwehrkanone, literally aircraft defence cannon). The standard German light anti-aircraft gun throughout WW2.

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Next up is the 3.7cm Flak 37. A version of this gun was fitted to the Junkers Ju 87G Stuka for use in the anti-tank role.

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This one will be familiar to most, the 8.8cm Flak 37. It is a monster, little wonder it struck fear into Allied tankers.

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The last photo in this series shows three Allied anti-aircraft guns, with the British 3.7in gun in the background, the 40mm Bofors in the centre and a Soviet 37mm M1939 in the foreground.

Although the tanks are the principle attraction I was really impressed with the scope of their artillery collection. They have some pretty obscure examples and as I said I have only included selected images here. Next will be the WW2 tanks on display in the south wing of the museum.

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  1. Stumptonian's Avatar
    Nice pics, Carl.
    My dad was in a 25-pounder unit in Burma.

    Gotta love the '88'
  2. matt56's Avatar
    What a lovely selection of arty pieces! The Quad/limber/25 pdr is my favorite

    Thanks for posting these, Carl!

    All the best,
  3. Marechallannes's Avatar
    Nice pictures, Carl.

    Oustanding collection - nice presented.
  4. gully_raker's Avatar
    Fantastic collection Carl!