The Ordnance QF 3 pounder Vickers
was a British
artillery piece first tested in Britain in 1910. It was used on Royal Navy
warships and later by the British Army
as an anti-tank gun
and for arming some tanks. It was more powerful than and unrelated to the older QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss
, with a propellant charge approximately twice as large, but it initially fired the same Lyddite
and Steel shells as the Hotchkiss.
Starting in 1914, the Royal Navy
bought over 150 of these and the similar QF 1 pounder pom-pom
for use as anti-torpedo boat
weapons on capital ships
and to arm light craft. British production of these guns started in 1910 at Vickers
and by the time production stopped in 1936 a total of 600 weapons had been made.
Royal Navy use
By 1911 about 193 guns of this type were in service. As these single barrel guns were easier to manufacture than the Ordnance QF 1 pounder, they became standard equipment in the Royal Navy until 1915. In that year, service during the First World War proved these weapons to be ineffective and they were quickly removed from most of the larger ships. During the interwar years they were widely used to arm light ships and river craft. A number of them were converted into anti-aircraft guns and by 1927 at least 62 guns had been converted.
Tank gun and Anti-Tank gun
The British Army
purchased around 200 of the guns between 1920 and 1925. These were used in the Vickers Mk I
and Vickers Mk II
medium tanks. The Army also purchased 100 as anti-tank guns. These were phased out of service by 1939, in favour of the Ordnance QF 2 pounder
. Some still saw action in the very early stages of the Second World War
They were very much like the French 47 mm APX anti-tank gun.