10.5 cm l.F.H. 18 (M): Light Field Howitzer

10.5 cm l.F.H. 18 (M): Light Field Howitzer

In order to obtain longer range, the 105 mm German Howitzer l.F.H. 18 was modified so that the muzzle velocity of the weapon could be increased. The Germans accomplished this by preparing a new propellant charge (Fern ladung—long range charge) which increases the muzzle velocity from approximately 1,542 feet per second to 1,772 feet per second, and the range from approximately 11,670 yards to 13,500 yards. To compensate for the increased velocity and the resulting recoil, the Germans found it necessary to add a muzzle brake. It was also necessary to slightly modify the recoil mechanism and to increase the nitrogen pressure in the counterrecoil cylinders from 730 pounds per square inch to 854 pounds per square inch. To differentiate between the two models, the letter “M” (Mündungsbremse—Muzzle Brake) was added to the old nomenclature, hence the later model is known as the l.F.H. 18 (M).

The tube is of monobloc construction. The weapon has a continuous pull firing mechanism and a breech mechanism of the horizontal sliding type. The carriage, of riveted and welded steel, is equipped with split trails, folding spades, wooden wheels with rubber tires, and a protective armor shield 4 mm thick. It also has hand operated friction brakes.

SPECIFICATIONS

*Reports indicate that a special long range H.E. shell weighing approximately 32 3/4 lb. is used with the super charge to obtain this muzzle velocity.

German: p. 108.1

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Caliber      105 mm (4.13 ins.)
Weight (traveling position) 4,255 lbs.
Weight (firing position)
Length (traveling position) 19 ft., 6 ins.
Length (firing position) 20 ft., 5 ins. (at 0° elev.)
Height (traveling position) 5 ft., 9 ins.
Height (firing position) 5 ft., 9 ins.
Width (overall) 6 ft., 6 1/2 ins.
Width of trail spread 15 ft., 10 ins.
Length of bore 25.7 cals.
No. of grooves 32—R.H. Progressive Twist
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (maximum) 1,772 f/s*
Max. range (horizontal) (Reported) 13,500 yds.
Traverse56°
Elevation40°
Depression
Length of recoil39.3 ins.—46.8 ins.
AmmunitionH.E. w/P.D. Fuze: Hollow Charge; Smoke; A.P.; Incendiary
Wt. of projectile32 3/4 lb. (Long Range H.E. Shell)