QF 6 Pounder Hotchkiss - United Kingdom - United Kingdom Tank Service

United Kingdom Tank Service

The gun was used to equip Male versions of the early British tanks, Mk I - Mk III. In 1916 the British Army was faced with the difficulty of quickly providing a new class of weapon with no prior battlefield experience, and the existing Hotchkiss 6 pounder naval gun appeared to most closely meet the need. A single gun was mounted in each sponson (side barbette), i.e. 2 per Male tank (tanks armed only with machine guns were designated Female), able to fire forwards or to the side.

The gun turned out to be too long for practical use in action in side sponsons, as it could come into contact with the ground or obstacles when extended to the side as the tank travelled over uneven ground. The British chose to shorten the gun rather than change its location, and replaced it in 1917 in the Mk IV tank onwards by the shorter QF 6 pounder 6 cwt.

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