25pdr SP, tracked, Sexton MK II

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                                25pdr SP, tracked, Sexton MK II

Design and service history:

The 25pdr SP, tracked, Sexton was a Canadian-designed self-propelled artillery vehicle of the second world war, that was based on the Candian-built derivatives of the M3 Lee (Ram) and M4 Sherman (Grizzly) with the intent of giving the British Army a mobile artillery gun using their 87.6 mm (3.45 in) Ordnance QF 25-pounder gun-howitzer, to allow for commonality between the towed guns currently in service. The conception of the Sexton came from the British army’s desire to provide better Artillery support in the highly mobile desert warfare of the North African Campaign. The initial remedy for this desire was the rapid adaption of a number of obsolete Valentine tanks to house the 25-pounder in what would be known as the Bishop. This design possessed many issues, including lack of elevation, and the Bishop was soon replaced by the US-built M7 Priest.

This came with its own problems though, as the Priest was equipt with the US 105 mm gun, which didn’t share ammunition with any British field gun in service at the time. Regardless the British ordered two orders of the M7, with 2,500 in 1942 and another 3,000 in 1943, with the first Priests reaching Egypt just in time for the Second Battle of El Alamein where they played an important part. The presence of the American 105 mm howitzer remained an issue though, due to its different ammunition complicating British army supply lines, and they put out a requirement for a vehicle with identical mobility and characteristics of the M7 Priest, but instead armed with the 25-pounder gun-howitzer.

Unfortunately, US resources were insufficient to produce a vehicle solely for British use, resulting in the British turning their attention to possible Canadian production. Because of this, the Canadian Army Engineering Design Branch was asked to design a vehicle similar to the Priest on the chassis of the American Medium Tank M3. In Canadian production, the Lee had been modified into the Ram cruiser tank, but this vehicle had been sidelined due to the British decision to standardize on the Sherman tank for British units. The Canadians were quick to produce a prototype, which was completed on June 23rd 1942 and quickly passed trials. Confident in the design the Canadian’s ordered 124 additional vehicles in three batches, with the first prototype being shipped to the UK in early 1943. Here again it underwent trials, with the British deeming the vehicle highly satisfactory to their needs, and it was christened with the name Sexton in May of 1943.

Happy with the design, the British wasted no time in ordering 300 Sextons in the summer of 1943, though these tanks would be built on the hull of Grizzly tanks instead of the Ram of the MK I. This change resulted in the differentiation in designation, with the MKI being based on Ram chassis, and the MK II based on Grizzly chassis. The design was well received regardless though, and total British orders for the Sexton II would eventually total 2,026 vehicles, of the 2,150 vehicles manufactured by the Montreal Locomotive Works.

The vehicles would then go on to see service, with their operational combat debut taking place in Italy with the British Eighth Army. Later Sextons would take place in the invasion of France and the subsequent Battle of Normandy and the campaign in north-western Europe. The SPG’s service would continue after the cessation of hostilities and would serve as part of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). The Sexton would then soldier on until 1956, when the last units were removed from service. The following British units are known to have been equipped with the Sexton I and II :

1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, Italy 1944-45, post-war (Sexton withdrawn in 1956)

2nd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, Italy 1944-45, post-war (Sexton withdrawn in 1957)

3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, post-war

5th Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, North West Europe 1944–45; post-war

6th Field (Self-Propelled) Regiment, Royal Artillery, post-war

10th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, post-war

13th (HAC) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, North West Europe 1944-45

86th (East Anglian) (Hertfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, North West Europe 1944-45

90th(City of London) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, North West Europe 1944-45

98th Field Regiment (Surrey & Sussex Yeomanry Queen Mary’s), Royal Artillery, North west Europe 1945

147th (Essex Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, North West Europe 1944-45

153rd (Leicestershire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, North West Europe 1944-45

Vehicle specification

Mass 25 tons (25.86 tonnes)

Length 20 ft 1 in (6.12 m)

Width 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m))

Height 8 ft (2.4 m)

Crew 6 (Commander, driver, gunner, gun-Layer, loader, wireless operator)

Elevation +40° to -9°

Traverse 25° left 15° right

Armour 15–65 mm (0.59–1.26 in)

Main armament Ordnance QF 25-pounder (87.6 mm) Mk II
105 rounds carried on board

Shell types: High explosive
Anti-tank AP shot

Secondary armament Two 0.303 (7.7 mm) Bren light machine guns for anti-aircraft defence
50 30-round magazines

Engine Continental R-975 9-cylinder Radial gasoline 400 hp (298 kW)

Suspension Vertical volute spring

Operational range 125 miles+ (200 km)

Maximum speed 25 mph (40 km/h)

Additional historical photos:

Sexton Mk.II In service with the Desert Rats:

Sexton Mk.II (early) from 11st Division crossing the Seine River - August - 1944:

Sexton Mk.II 25-pdr self-propelled gun, carriers and jeeps move forward
south of Caen - Normandy, 1 August 1944:

Sexton Mk.II (early) with gun in max elevation:

Sexton Mk.II moving up towards Escoville during Operation ‘Goodwood’, 18 July 1944:



Wanted to have this in game more than ever now I’ve seen one driving around in-person. 25pdr sized +1

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Its a chunky boi

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+1 alongside its much MUCH shittier brother.



We do not speak of the cursed archer XD


They put a 25-pdr in an ARCHER? Oh I gotta have that too. +1 for both.

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WW2 stuff is what I’m looking in War Thunder.

+1 For me, it’s definitely a yes.

So, a note here.

The APBC shell was under development but it was ultimately determined that the ballistic cap was not worth the effort, so none were ever fielded or even produced.
Further, I am not convinced that a HESH shell was ever made, or at least fielded on the Sexton.

Below is a penetration table. The 25 pounder AP with the supercharge and the extra charge on top of that (that was made for the AP explicitly) gives a point blank penetration of 95mm against 30 degrees of armor. thats pretty spicy.


The Sexton was definitely issued with Hesh rounds seeing as they served into the early 50s until replaced by m109s. Post war he was replaced with hesh due to its increased anti bunker capabilities. The reason i know it got hesh is because there is a reference for it in one of my manuals relating to ammunition procurement:

26/Manual/3850 Supplement, Gun Mk 2, 3 & 4 firing HESH L3 with charge Super, 1954.

For reference, the Sexton was not removed from service until 1956

there are also other documents for 25-pounder hesh rounds dating into the 60s, but they were definitely in service for the 25-pounder when the sexton was still going strong in service.

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Your 1st and last photos were of Sexton Mk. I’s btw

Any info on the HESH round? Filler and amount?

I wish to see these self-propelled howitzers from WW2 in-game. He should join WT toghether with it’s US brother, the M7 Priest and the improved M37 Self-Propelled Howitzer.

They are all pictures of sexton II’s, the single piece transmission cover and the stowage boxes let you know that. MK I lacked the rear storage and the stepped back


If the americans were to get a priest, i would like it to be the M7B2 due to the improved gun elevation and the better traverse of the 50 cal. plus the obvious fact its based on an easy eight sherman so it would handle significantly better.

Yup your right, after looking into it a bit more I am wrong and I’ll need to correct a few photos in my own sexton suggestion as I seem to of used the wrong photos in a few places.

The issue with that is that just assuming they tested it on the Sexton. As the 25 mentioned should be a the Ordnance QF 25-pounder Field gun, as I can find a few places that state the Field gun can fire HESH.

The rounds I can find in the “Design Record Canadian-Developed Military Vehicles World War II Volume III Tanks and Tank Type Vehicles. Issued by: Army Engineering Design Branch Department Of Munitions And Supply Ottawa (Dec 31st 1945)” (this is older then when you said they test that so the information could possibly be different)
I mentions number of cartridges - 112 (number of total rounds changes a lot from document to document so that doesn’t really matter)
H.E. or Smoke Projectiles - 87
A.P. Projectiles - 18

I’m trying to look into it but I’m not having any luck.

I’m not saying that they never did test it or put the HESH round in service on the sexton, but I am just unsure if they did or did not.

The issue with the source is it predates the Hesh round being issued, so of course it would not corrispond with the post war ammo carried by Sextons in british service. The ammunition load issued would be the same, just as it was for 2 pounder and 6 pounder field guns to tank guns. The fact the 25 pounder was being readily issued hesh during the time of the Sextons service is more than enough evidence to say it was issued with it, as it would be serving in the same Royal arty regiments, so the logistical train would be the same, as it was supperceded the HE rounds then in service, as it was more versitile for hardpoints and potential armour then the normal he rounds.

THe british had a bit of a dead zone in their artillery development in the direct post war period, so the sexton soldiered on until 1956, when it was finally replaced by the Abbott and the m109.

Seems like there was proxy fuze for HE shells from 1944 onwards according to Australia DoD, and Canadians used them in the Korean War.

Aye, the bigger issue with those is the he pen and lack of gun elevation the sexton only has 40 degrees up, so i am not sure how it will preform, just wont be quick scoping planes ;)

+1 for both the Mk.I and Mk.II