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WW2 - Artillery

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Christopher Report 10 Feb 2019 15:42

Looking for information on "HOW" Troop; I understand this was an Artillery Battery using Self-propelled guns.

Any thoughts however small is always appreciated.




ArgyllGran Report 10 Feb 2019 16:02

Where did you come upon this term, please?
Are you talking about the British Army?

A Google search yields nothing obvious.

There's nothing suggesting those initials on this list:

Vague thought -
Maybe something to do with a howitzer ???


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 10 Feb 2019 19:04

Christopher, you need to be more specific. There are a number of Artillery batteries which could fit the bill.

Did a relative serve in one? Do you have a copy of his service records? If not, you can purchase a copy from the MOD at a cost of £30.

This is the link for obtaining UK service records:


Andysmum Report 10 Feb 2019 22:20

I think ArgyllGran is right. According to Google, a self-propelled gun is usually called a howitzer.


ArgyllGran Report 11 Feb 2019 10:29

We need Christopher to come back and explain more.

Are HOW initials? Or an abbreviation of a longer word? Or a nickname?


Christopher Report 13 Feb 2019 14:11

Many thanks for your replies.

The letter was amongst some family belongings passed-down to my wife. We believe one of her Uncles may have been in Africa during WW2, but unsure which one at the moment.

The word "HOW" appears in an open letter to the entire troop from their commanding officer of a British artilery troop that were the first to use SP Guns and had likely been in both Africa and Italy. The officer writing the letter made it clear it was his decision to use SP guns, and that their results justified his choice. Agree HOW could be short for Howitzer.

The 8th Army was in both Africa and Italy, and the name UDINE in the foot of the letter as the place from where the letter was sent, suggests the province in North-Eastern Italy.

There is a lot of information missing from the letter; i.e. the name of the commanding officer, the exact details of the artillery troop or the name of the person who received this copy of the letter.


ArgyllGran Report 13 Feb 2019 14:48

In what context does "HOW" appear in the letter?

In an address? In a sentence?
Can you copy the sentence (if that's where it is) here for us to see, please?


ErikaH Report 13 Feb 2019 17:14

Have you thought of googling to find out which troop was the first to use the SP gun?


Christopher Report 17 Feb 2019 09:46

The commander uses the word HOW when describing the success of the "HOW" troop, and because speech marks are used, I think it may be referring to the Self-propelled Howitzer.

I have tried to find which troop first utilised the SP gun (including Google) but to no avail.

The only breakthrough has been the discovery of which of my wife's Uncles was in the Royal Artillery, and he was in Africa and Italy.

Will keep digging.


ArgyllGran Report 17 Feb 2019 11:52

There seem to have been several types of self-propelled howitzer in use in Africa and Italy, and we don't know exactly which one this particular troop was using, which might have helped to narrow it down.


Patrick Report 2 Mar 2019 01:01

How = Howitzer Look for 1 Super Heavy Regiment RA