Tag Archive for '10.5cm'

Gw. II (Wespe) für 10.5 cm le. F. H. 18/2 (Sd. Kfz. 124): S.P. Light Howitzer (Wasp)

Gw. II (Wespe) für 10.5 cm le. F. H. 18/2 (Sd. Kfz. 124): S.P. Light Howitzer (Wasp)

This equipment, known as the “Wasp,” consists of the 10.5 cm. light field howitzer mounted on a chassis which, with the exception that there are only three return rollers, is that of a normal Pz. Kpfw. II tank, Models A-C, with five bogie wheels. Its road performance approximates that of the Pz. Kpfw. II tank.

The gun is the 10.5 cm. 1.F.H. 18 M with muzzle brake. It is mounted at the rear of the chassis within an open top box type shield which is 10 mm thick, its muzzle brake being almost flush with the front of the chassis. Its recuperator and buffer mechanisms, mounted on the bottom and top of the barrel, respectively, are clearly visible beyond the shield. Overlapping the gun shield and sloping back to the rear of the superstructure are side plates, also 10 mm thick. The fighting compartment is open at the top and rear. Its silhouette is high.

The piece has a normal-charge muzzle velocity of 1542 f.s. and a maximum range of 11,650 yards. Firing the long range charge (Fern-ladung) the gun has a muzzle velocity of 1772 f.s. and a maximum range of 13,500 yards. All charges, except the long range, can be fired without the muzzle brake. It has a traverse of 32° and an elevation of -5° to +42°. It is reported to fire four types of ammunition, the 32.6 lb. HE (F. H. Gr.—Feldhaubitze Granate—field howitzer shell), the cast steel HE (F. H. Gr. Stg.—Stahlring—steelring), the 25.9 lb. hollow charge (10 cm. Gr. 39 rot Rohl Ladung—red hollow charge), and a 32.5 lb. smoke shell.


Weight         12 tons
Length 15 ft., 9 ins.
Width 7 ft., 4 ins.
Height 7 ft., 10 1/2 ins.
Ground clearance 13 ins.
Tread centers 6 ft., 2 ins.
Ground contact 7 ft., 10 ins.
Width of track 11 1/8 ins.
Pitch of track 3 5/8 ins.
Track links
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 125 miles
     Cross-country 70 miles
     Roads 24 m.p.h.
     Front plate
Armament 10.5 cm. l.F.H. 18 (M)
Ammunition (rds.)
Engine Maybach HL 62 TR, 140 h.p.
Transmission 6 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic clutch brake

German: p. 14

Sturmgeschüz 10.5 cm Stu. H. 42 (Sd. Kfz. 142/2): S.P. Assault Gun

Sturmgeschüz 10.5 cm Stu. H. 42 (Sd. Kfz. 142/2): S.P. Assault Gun

The vehicle is a combination of the Pz. Kpfw. III tank chassis and the 10.5 cm l.F.H. 18 (M) with muzzle brake.

The squat superstructure which replaced the turret of the original tank is similar to the Stu. K. 40. Motor, track, and other chassis mechanisms are the same as those in the standard Pz. Kpfw. III tank and its performance should nearly approximate that vehicle.

The howitzer, Stu. H. 42, is identical to the 10.5 cm l.F.H. 18 (M), except that the former is electrically fired and has the following radius of movement: traverse 20°; elevation -6° to +20°. The piece has a length of 115.75 inches excluding the muzzle brake, which is approximately 15 inches in length. The weight of the gun and cradle is 1.7 tons. Firing a long range shell with supercharge, its muzzle velocity is 1,770 f.s. and its maximum range is 13,480 yards. It fires the 32.6 lb. H.E. shell, a long range H.E. shell, a 32.51 lb. smoke shell, a 25.9 lb. hollow charge shell, and an H.E./incendiary shell.

Auxiliary armament consists of 2 machine pistols, 18 egg grenades, and 1 signal pistol. There are no coaxially mounted or free-mounted machine guns.

The Germans have recently begun attaching thin skirting armor plate of from 5 mm to 8 mm thickness on various fighting vehicles, including the Sturmgeschütz. The following theories have been advanced for this development: (1) to break up or deflect 20 mm tungsten carbide core ammunition; (2) to defeat hollow charge shells; (3) to defeat the 14.7 mm Russian antitank rifle; (4) to defeat the American Bazooka.


Weight         27 tons
Length 17 ft., 9 ins.
Width 9 ft., 8 ins.
Height 6 ft., 5 ins.
Ground clearance 14 ins.
Tread centers 8 ft., 2 1/2 ins.
Ground contact 9 ft., 4 1/2 ins.
Width of track 15 ins.
Pitch of track 4 3/4 ins.
Track links 90
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action:
     Roads 100 miles
     Cross-country 60 miles
     Road 25 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 15 m.p.h.
     Front plate 50 + 30 mm
     Sides 30 mm
Armament 10.5 cm LF.H. 18 (M)
2 M.P.’s
Ammunition 10.5 cm gun—75 rds.
Engine Maybach, HL 120 TRM, V-12, 320 hp.
     Clutch Multiplate, dry.
     Gear box Synchromesh, manual control, 6 speeds forward, 1 reverse.
     Final drive Spur reduction gear.
Steering Epicyclic, clutch brake
Crew 4

German: p. 29

10.5 cm Flak 38, 39: Multi-Purpose Gun

10.5 cm Flak 38, 39: Multi-Purpose Gun

This gun, of which two models are in service, is the standard German heavy antiaircraft weapon. While this is its primary use, it is also provided with antitank sights and A.P.C. shells. It is produced in both static and mobile versions and is also mounted on railed vehicles.

Its horizontal range is slightly greater than the 88 mm Flak, but it does not possess as great a vertical range. Elevation, depression, and traversing are the same as in the 88 mm gun.

Both the loading and fuze-setting mechanisms are power operated. The carriage has two outriggers which are folded up for transport. The traversing and elevating gears have two speeds for manual operation; provision is also made for power operation.

There are three types of ammunition fired in this weapon:

(a) H. E. Shell with Time Fuze—(10.5 cm SPGR. L/4.4 mit ZT.Z.S./30)

This shell is fuzed for antiaircraft firing and is fitted with the same clock-work fuze, the ZT.Z.S./30, that is used with the 8.8 cm AA ammunition.

(b) H.E. Shell with Percussion Fuze

(c) A.P.C. Shell

The following are estimated penetration figures for the weapon firing an A.P.C. Shell against homogeneous armor:

Range Thickness of Armor
     30°     Normal 
1,000 yds.         (5.5 ins.)         (6.5 ins.)
1,500 yds. (5.1 ins.) (6.0 ins.)
2,000 yds. (4.7 ins.) (5.6 ins.)


Caliber         10.5 cm (4.14 ins.)
Length of tube 21 ft.
Weight (travelling position) 13.8 tons
Weight (firing position) 9.8 tons
Length (travelling position) 27 ft., 7 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position) 9 ft., 6 ins.
Height (firing position) 71 in.
Width (overall); (travelling position) 96 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 18 ft., 2 ins.
No. of grooves 36
Width of grooves .23 in.
Depth of grooves .05 in.
Width of lands .13 ins.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 2,887 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 19,355 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 13,914 yds.
Rate of fire 12-15 r.p.m.
Traverse 360°
Elevation +85°
Depression -3°
Length of recoil (H.E.) 31 3/8 ins.
Ammunition H.E. and A.P.
Wt. of projectile (H.E.) 33.2 lb

German: p. 109

10.5 cm l.F.H. 18: Gun—Howitzer

10.5 cm l.F.H. 18: Gun—Howitzer

This howitzer is a counterpart of the United States 105 mm howitzer, and is the standard divisional field artillery howitzer of the German Army. It is approximately 116 inches long with very heavy, simply designed breech mechanism. The recoil and recuperator system is of the hydropneumatic type. The top carriage is principally of welded design, made of sheet steel 0.3 cm thick. The trunnion caps are of the split bearing type. The completely inclosed elevating mechanism allows a total elevating arc of 47°. The traversing mechanism is of the screw and nut type, almost completely inclosed with a total traversing arc of 56° 16′.

The piece can be emplaced for firing with a minimum number of operations, as it is automatically placed in three-point suspension when the trails are opened. The bottom carriage is of more complicated design than the United States equipment. The wheels of the l.F.H. 18 are made of a light alloy and are of the fluted disk type with solid rubber tires. The shield is lightly constructed. Optical fire control equipment is very similar to that used on the American equipment.

Model l.F.H. 18M has been fitted with a muzzle brake and a somewhat different carriage, with wooden-spoked wheels. This gun is mounted on the German Pz. Kw. II tank chassis which takes the name of “Wasp” (Wespe). Ammunition Charge F is the long-range charge (Fernladung) which can only be used when the gun is fitted with a muzzle brake.

The most recent model of the German 10.5 cm howitzer is the l.F.H. 42. It differs from the l.F.H. 18 in that its chamber is bored out and has interchangeable sleeves, making the regular use of a 6-charge propellant possible. The l.F.H. 42 is also approximately 11 inches longer.


Caliber         10.49 cm (4.13 ins.)
Length of tube 9 ft.
Weight (travelling position)
Weight (firing position) 4,312 lb.
Length (travelling position) 18 ft., 4 ins.
Length (firing position) 19 ft., 8 ins.
Height (travelling position) 6 ft., 2 ins.
Height (firing position) 6 ft., 2 ins.
Width (overall) 78.8 ins.
Width of trail spread 11 ft., 9 ins.
Length of bore 94.2 ins. (22.8 cals.)
No. of grooves 32
Width of grooves .223 in.
Depth of grooves .047 in.
Width of lands .174 in.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 1,542 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 11,674 yds.
Traverse 56°
Elevation 40°
Depression -7°
Length of recoil 43.3 ins.
Ammunition H.E.—A.P. tracer—A.P.C. tracer—hollow charge—smoke
Wt. of projectile (H.E.) 32.6 lb.; A.P. 31.25 lb.

German: p. 108

Gr. 39 Rot HL C: 10.5 cm Hollow Charge Ammunition

Gr. 39 Rot HL C: 10.5 cm Hollow Charge Ammunition

This projectile, which is fired from the German 10.5 cm L.F.H. 18 and L.F.H. 18M, has a steel case with a 1/8 inch cement liner built up on the wall of the filler chamber. This liner extends from the base to about one-half the length of the chamber. The ogive is composed of a metal resembling an aluminum alloy or German light metal. It screws into the projectile, holding all components of the filler in place.

The fuze, AZ 38, is made of aluminum and carries the primer detonator. It is armed by centrifugal force, and contains no other safety features. There are no delay adjustments, all functioning being instantaneous on percussion.

The explosive filler, composed of cyclonite with 5% of montan wax, is pressed into two pellets and enclosed in a waxed paper carton. A central hole is bored through both pellets for the full length of the charge. The forward pellet is hollowed out to accommodate a hemispherical metal liner. The aluminum flash tube, which passes through the hole in the center of the explosive pellets, is attached to the liner by means of a pressed collar. A heavy metal collar or baffle is attached to a washer on the rim of the liner. The purpose of the baffle may be to direct the flame of the primer detonator down through the flash tube, or it may have a use in developing the jet effect of the hollow charge.

A booster pellet of PETN and montan wax is contained in a cylindrical metal cup at the base of the rear pellet; a detonator in an aluminum case is located in the upper portion of this explosive in direct alinement with a flash hole in the bottom of the booster cup. This booster is ignited by the combined flame and blast of the fuze detonator which passes through the flash tube.


Cartridge case, length         6.10 ins.
     diameter at mouth 4.48 ins.
     diameter of rim 4.91 ins.
Projectile as fired 26 lb., 14 oz.
Explosive filler w/o booster 3 lb., 4.58 oz.
Primer detonator .07 oz.
Booster explosive w/o detonator .18 oz.
Detonator (in booster pellet) .03 oz.
Wt. of normal propelling charge         5 lb., 3.43 oz.

German: p. 310

10.5 cm L.G. 40: Recoilless Gun

10.5 cm L.G. 40: Recoilless Gun

There are two known types of 10.5 cm recoilless guns in use by the German Army. The L.G. 40, formerly known as the L.G. 2 Kp., appears to be the type most frequently used. To prevent casualties, special precaution must be taken by the gun crew when firing the recoilless gun.

The barrel is screwed into the breech ring. This ring, with attachments, is composed of three parts : the breech ring proper, cylindrical in shape and approximately 43.5 cm in length; the rear portion which is hinged to the breech ring proper and swings to the right to permit loading; and the cone, approximately 41.2 cm in length, which is in one piece with the swiveling rear portion of the breech ring. At the right side of the breech ring is a boring which houses the striker mechanism. The upper surface of the breech ring is prepared for a clinometer.

The carriage consists of a crosshead and axle bar with torsion springs. Two spades under the crosshead, and a rectangular girder trail fitted with a spade, serve to give the carriage proper balance for firing. A tool box is located in the center portion of the trail. The shield, which is mounted on brackets just below the trunnion bearings, is in two parts and is fitted with sliding securing bars at top and bottom.

Both elevating and traversing mechanisms are situated on the lower left-hand side of the carriage. Two boxes, apparently for sighting gear, are also attached to the left of the carriage, but no sights were captured with the gun.

The 10.5 cm L.G. 42, previously known as the L.G. 2 Rh., is probably a later model of the L.G. 40, but none has been captured as yet.


L.G. 40
Caliber       10.5 cm
Weight in action854 lb.
Length of piece (including cone)1,902 mm
Muzzle velocity1,105 f/s—H.E. rd.
1,224 f/s—hollow charge rd.
Range (max.)6,600 yds.
Range, effective (max.)1,660 yds.—hollow charge rd.
Elevation-15° to 40°
Traverse40° either way
L.G. 42
Muzzle velocity1,099 f/s—H.E. rd.
 1,236 f/s—hollow charge rd.
Range (max.)8,695 yds.
AmmunitionH.E. — F.H. Gr. 41 fuzed with either A.Z. 23 v (0.15) or Dopp. Z. s/60
  Hollow charge — 10 cm Gr. 39 fuzed with A.Z. 38 and using the same charge as for the F.H. Gr. 41

German: p. 110

10.5 cm “Sabot” Type H. E. Shell

10.5 cm Sabot Type H. E. Shell

This new type projectile consists of an 8.8 cm streamlined shell body fitted with centering and rotating band rings which permit it to be fired from a 10.5 cm weapon. Both the centering ring and rotating band ring are so designed that they become detached from the shell body under the influence of centrifugal force on leaving the muzzle of the gun. The advantage of such a design, provided it functions properly, is that a lighter weight projectile of smaller diameter is fired from a 10.5 cm weapon instead of the normal 10.5 cm projectile. The effect is to give a higher muzzle velocity and longer range for the 8.8 cm streamlined shell body than would be obtained with the standard 10.5 cm high explosive projectile. However, the effectiveness is reduced due to lower weight of projectile.

One disadvantage of this type of shell lies in the possibility of injury to friendly troops when the centering rings and rotating band are cast from the projectile. The centrifugal force would make these pieces into dangerous missiles.

The complete weight of the projectile is 23 pounds. Projectiles examined have been filled with a high explosive charge, and fitted with a percussion type nose fuze (AZ 23v.). The 15 cm shell of similar design employs the same fuze. The explosive trains of these projectiles are similar to those for the usual type of German high explosive shell.

German: p. 311