This weapon is the standard pack howitzer of both the Italian Army and the
Austrian divisions of the German army, and was developed at the Skoda plant
either during or shortly after the First World War. The Austrians call it
the 75-mm Howitzer Geb. K 15 (Gebirgskanone) - mountain
cannon or gun; the Italians refer to it as the 75/13 mountain howitzer. (Italian
ordnance follows the practice of designating their guns as indicated, which
here means that 75 mm times 13 mm equals the length in calibers).
A brief description follows:
|Caliber|| ||75/13 (2.97 in) |
| Overall ||126 in|
| Tube||38.5 in|
|Muzzle velocity (charge IV) ||1,270 f/s (not confirmed U.S. tests) |
|Rifling||28 lands and grooves RH twist |
|Tube||Monobloc with heavy jacket|
|Ammunition||Hollow charge; HE (semifixed)|
|Weight HE projectile||12 lbs|
|Weight HC projectile||11.4 lbs|
|Range||7,250 yds (not confirmed U.S. tests)|
The tube is of monobloc construction fitted into a heavy reinforcing jacket.
The tube and breech-ring are one piece and the breech end of the tube is machined
to seat the sliding wedge breech-block. The recoil mechanism is hydro-spring
and is fitted into a cradle. The cradle, recoil mechanisms, tube, and jacket are
mounted on the trunnions of the carriage.
|SKODA 75-MM MOUNTAIN HOWITZER|
The carriage is of riveted steel with a modified box trail and wooden type
artillery wheels. The axle-type traverse is limited to 6°. Elevation of the piece
is approximately 50° and the muzzle preponderance is overcome by pusher type
The weapon can be broken down into seven loads, the heaviest of which
weighs about 300 pounds. This enables it to be transported on the backs of pack
animals. This weapon might be called the forerunner of the pack howitzers now
being employed by many armies.
The howitzer uses semifixed ammunition having four charges. The maximum
reported velocity in charge IV is 1,270 feet per second. High explosive rounds as
well as hollow-charge rounds have been used in this weapons and it is quite possible,
although unconfirmed, that smoke projectiles are also used.
The weapon is used both with and without a shield, although the weapon under
discussion has a large 4-mm steel shield attached to it. It would appear that the
shield is impractical for pack carrying.
*Based on reports from Aberdeen Proving Ground.