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The Gun - Mechanisation continued

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Towed Anti-Aircraft Equipments

New Zealand received four towed QF 3-in 20-cwt AA guns in 1935. A large number of these guns were produced from 1914 until World War 2. The various marks differed slightly. The equipment shown in the figures below was the forerunner of similar combinations produced by all other armament-manufacturing nations worldwide. Strange as it may seem, when the towed versions of the 3-in were first made some Officers still living in the past wanted them to be horse-drawn! But the new branch of the Royal Artillery - formed from the RGA - would have none of it. They insisted on mechanical traction. The horse fraternity's contention that mechanical prime movers would lack cross-country capability was 'shot down' by the AA people who did not envisage their equipments ever moving far from a road. Nevertheless some of the earlier trucks carrying AA guns had four-wheel drive.

QF 3-in 20-cwt AA gun and mounting on towed platform in action.

Similar gun shown in travelling position but with gun unclamped.

Construction of guns, mountings and platforms changed little over the years. Eventually the heights attained by jet-propelled aircraft put them beyond the reach of guns, the heavier types of which had become obsolete by the early 1960s. Guided missiles have supplanted them in most countries. Light AA guns are retained for use against low-flying aircraft but even they are giving way to guided missiles.


WL Ruffell, December 1993
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