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Post Info TOPIC: RHA Limbers and Horse Teams


Legend

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RHA Limbers and Horse Teams
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Hi All, I cant seem to find very much concerning the other parts of the battery what I would like to know is:

How many horses was the normal establishment for RHA battery and how were
they organised, number of limbers, horses per limber, etc...

The number of actual crew per gun and the total number of men per battery..the more info here the better...

The arrangement of the horse tack for a typical 6 horse limber

I'm also looking for info on the limbers themseves any thing would be helpfull, pics and drawings would be great....

What was theNormal procedure for bringing a gun into action and where were the limbers horses etc.......

Any help would be appreciated...
Cheers

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"Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazggimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul"

 



Commander in Chief

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in my photostream i have photos of the only surviving 13pdr limber at the Artillery museum. the staff were kind enough to open it for me, so there are pictures of the interior. (as i write this, i'm doubting myself - it may be an 18pdr limber). there is a photo too of a model of a harnessed team.

from the museum shop you can buy the history of the middlesex horse artillery book which has many fine photos of the guns being drawn and drawn up. the team of horses for an 18 or 13 pdr would normally consist of 6 horses drawing the gun and a limber/caisson. the size of team was often increased to deal with muddy or sandy terrain, and there are photos of equipments being drawn by 12 horses.

if its specifically the RHA you mean, rather than the RFA or RGA, then the Kings Troop still parade with the 13 pdr and there are many photos to be found of them on their web page and elsewhere. there are good pictures in the Osprey book on British Field Artillery.

i have information too on the size of a battery, company, division etc. but not to hand at the moment. i'll post it when i find it again, if thats the sort of thing you mean.

HTH

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Commander in Chief

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few more details.

British Field Artillery was comprised of The Royal Horse Artillery (RHA), The Royal Field Artillery (RFA) and the mountain guns and smaller guns of The Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA).The RHA used the 13 pounder (13pdr) for most of the war; some 18 pounders were used by the RHA as the war went on. Peter has written an article on the 13 pdr.

According to the Osprey book, A RHA battery was commanded by a major, with 5 officers and approx 200 men. It had 6 13pdr guns. According to 20YA, With the Ammunition Column included, the strength (all ranks) was approx 340 men.


A RHA Brigade was made of 2 batteries, and commanded by a lieutenant colonel. As of August 1914, 2 brigades of RHA were attached to the Cavalry Division of the BEF (24 13pdrs). 2 more cavalry divisions were raised later in 1914, and these got a brigade of RHA each.


Each gun had a limber. This limber carried 24 rounds. Each gun was supported by 2 ammunition wagons, each carrying 76 rounds. The gun and crew, the 2 ammunition wagons, the drivers and the horses was called a subsection, and commanded by a sergeant.


I dont have crew details for a 13pdr, so these are for an 18pdr. 10 men in crew, given numbers:

1. The sergeant in command of the subsection. Commands!
2. limbers and unlimbers the gun with number 3. In charge of cradle clamping gear, range indicator, field clinometer, breech mechanism, breech and muzzle covers, and the right wheel when in action.
3. with number 2 limbers/unlimbers the gun. In charge of dial sight, sight clinometer, sight cover, laying the gun and fires the gun.
4. limbers/unlimbers the ammunition wagon with numbers 5 and 6. loads the gun. Mans left wheel.
5 and 6. hook/unhook ammunition team. Limber/unlimber ammunition wagon. Man the trail when the gun is manhandled. Number 6 sets the fuses.
7, 8 and 9. Reserves. Assist with ammunition supply and fight the gun (take over) when their buddies are injured.
10. Reserve. Takes command of subsection if number 1 is injured. In charge of supply teams and wagons when number 1 is busy fighting!

When preparing for action, the ammunition wagon is always drawn up on the left of the gun.


References:

The "Osprey book" is British Artillery 1914-19, Field Army Artillery by Dale Clarke, published by Osprey Publishing, 2004.
It's very good.

"20YA" is Twenty Years After, The Battlefields of 1914-18: Then and Now, a weekly magazine edited by Major General Sir Ernest Swinton, KBE, CB., published by George Newnes Publications. Undated, but I suspect 1938.


-- Edited by philthydirtyanimal at 16:08, 2007-11-27

-- Edited by philthydirtyanimal at 16:11, 2007-11-27

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Field Marshal

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Here are some diagrams of the 18 pr limber, from the handbookissued to the artillerymen.

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Legend

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Hi All, Thanks PDA & R for the info should prove usefull.....I never realised a RHA battery has 6 guns...DUH.....Rhomboid any chance of a top shot of the gun carriage.....

Cheers

__________________

"Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazggimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul"

 



Field Marshal

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Here is adrawing of the brake mechanism on the gun carriage - it is the only overhead view in the manual.

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Field Marshal

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If you want information on the 13/18pdr as per the RHA, then write to the King's Troop, RHA, Ordnance Hill, St John's Wood, London NW 6PT and ask very nicely for a photostat of:
a) Manual of Horsemanship, Equitation and Animal Transport;
and
b) the drill book for the 13pdr.

Other details of harnesses, etc can also be seen in Artillery Harness for Field and Sige Carriages 1848 - published by the Antique Ordnance Publishers. Although of an earlier period, most of the harnesses were pretty generic throughout the period of use.

Tony

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