Sunday 22 April 2012

S&S Models OTO-Melara 105mm Pack Howitzer

I have to admit a soft spot for the meccano-like 105mm L5 Pack Howitzer (aka Italian OTO-Melara Mod 56). Some of you who are my age would have had a Corgi diecast model of one of these as a kid back in the early seventies. So I'm delighted that Shaun at S&S Models has released this iconic weapon in 20mm.

£5.50 inc postage to UK

The L5 saw action in Aden, Borneo, Vietnam and Malaya with British and Commonwealth forces. The Argentines also deployed three batteries in the Falklands in 1982.

The pack howitzer was designed to be easily broken down (into 12? parts) by it's crew and as a result it was not suitable for being towed over long distances unless you had a REME wagon following behind to pick up the bits that fell off. I believe the offical handbook restricted road movement to a MAXIMUM of 20 miles and shows it porteed on the flatbed of a Bedford truck, though the principal means of battlefield transport was meant to be a 3/4 ton Land Rover.

The L5 was progressively replaced by the L118 Light Gun from 1974 to 1978/9. Read more about British towed artillery in the seventies in my previous article.

From a Winter of '79 perspective the L5 105mm pack howitzer, with it's compact size and ease of transportation amkes it a perfect weapon to equip rebel formations whether regular or militia. The fact that the L5 could be placed in the back of a Bedford gives us ample opportunity for building some fun hastily armoured lorry 'technicals' for Winter of '79.

The 105mm pack howitzer is also available from Skytrex but in this instance I prefer the look of Shaun's so email is on the way to order one to start off my rebel artillery park. 



  1. this can really rule on a 20mm battlefield. might maybe suit also a 15mm table as a mega-cannon with a "retro" look...

  2. The L5 Howitzer was the Regimental colours of 161 Battery, 16th Field Regiment, RNZA from about 1966 to somewhere in the 1980s

  3. Hi Mark, Are there models of the L5 still available? I' m ex Aussie Artillery and would love one for my office.