Tag Archive for 'artillery'

Gw. Lr. S. für 15 cm s.F.H. 13: S.P. Heavy Field Howitzer (on French Lorraine Chassis)

Gw. Lr. S. für 15 cm s.F.H. 13: S.P. Heavy Field Howitzer (on French Lorraine Chassis)

This mobile artillery equipment consists of a French Lorraine chassis, “Tracteur Blinde 38 L,” on which is mounted the 15 cm. s.F.H. 13, a medium howitzer designed for the last war. The chassis type was produced shortly prior to this war as an armored ammunition and personnel carrier.

The chassis is divided into the driving compartment at the front, the engine compartment in the center and an open welled tray at the rear. The piece is mounted on the superstructure at the front of the tray and extends forward over the engine and driving compartments. The gun crew is stationed in the tray and is protected by a 9 mm armored body which is open at the top. At the extreme rear of the hull is a hinged spade which may be lowered when the gun is fired. The original carrier is armored by plates, bolted together of the following thicknesses : Nose of hull, 12 mm; glacis plate, 8 mm; front sloping plate, 9.5 mm; sides, 9 mm; back, 9 mm; top, 6 mm; floor, 5 mm. Except for a band about 12 inches high around the rear half of the sides and the rear of the vehicle there is no overlap in the two armors.

The chassis is suspended from three semi-elliptical leaf springs on each side. The load is transmitted from the central point of each spring through supporting members to each of three pairs of bogies on each side.

The Delahaye 6-cylinder, in line, water-cooled, gasoline engine generates 80 horsepower. The ignition system is Bosch. The transmission provides 5 forward speeds and one reverse.

The piece has a muzzle velocity of 1250 f.s., bore length of 17 calibers, and a maximum range of 9300 yards. Its traverse as mounted is approximately 4 degrees and its elevation -5 to +45 degrees. It utilizes the following ammunition: H.E. shell, 92.4 lb.—Anti-concrete shell, 95.7 lb.—Smoke shell, 85.8 lb.—H.E. shell (stream­lined), 84.7 lb.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight in action         9 tons
Length 17 ft., 5 ins.
Width 6 ft., 2 ins.
Height 6 ft., 10 ins.
Ground clearance 12 ins.
Tread centers 4 ft., 4 5/8 ins.

Ground contact 9 ft.
Width of track 8.5 ins.
Pitch of track 3 3/16 ins.
Track links 109
Fording depth
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads
     Cross-country
Speed
     Roads 21 m.p.h.
     Cross-country
Armor
     Front plate 12 mm
     Sides 9 mm
Armament 15 cm s.F.H. 13
Ammunition (rds.)
Engine Delahaye 6-cyl., 80 h.p.
Transmission 5 forward speeds, 1 reverse
Steering Clutch brake, controlled differential
Crew 5

German: p. 16

Gw. II für 15 cm s.I.G. 33: S.P. Heavy Infantry Howitzer

Gw. II für 15 cm s.I.G. 33: S.P. Heavy Infantry Howitzer

This vehicle consists of the 15 cm. heavy infantry howitzer mounted in the hull of a modified, turretless Pz. Kpfw. II chassis. The chassis is approximately three feet longer than that of the standard Pz Kw II tank and has six bogie wheels instead of the usual five. The sprockets, rear idlers, bogie wheels, return rollers, steering assembly, gear box and hull nose are those of the Pz. Kpfw. II; the instrument panel is that of a Pz. Kpfw. III. The front shield is in one piece extending straight across the full width of the superstructure. The driver’s visor is of the double shutter type. The road performance of this equipment approximates that of the Pz. Kpfw. II tank.

The gun, a standard infantry support weapon, is mounted low in the hull, projecting through a vertical slot in the shield. The gun shield is 15 mm thick and is of shallow construction. It extends about a third of the distance of the superstructure to the rear. Unlike the “Wasp” there are no protecting side plates along the entire length of the superstructure.

The gun is 64.57 inches in length, has a muzzle velocity of 790 f.s. and a maximum effective range of 5140 yards. The casting containing the recuperator and buffer, housed underneath the barrel, extends almost to the end of the barrel. The breech mechanism is similar to the 10.5 cm. I.F.H. 18. The elevating qear is operated from the right and the traversing gear from the left. In field mounting its traverse is 11°, its elevation 0° to +73°.

Two types of ammunition are fired, the 15 cm. I. Gr. 33 and the 15 cm. I. Gr. 38. The H.E. capacity is high, 21.8%. The only other shell that the weapon is known to fire is a smoke shell, the 15 cm. I. Gr. 38 Nb. The same percussion fuze, s. I. Gr. Z. 23, which weighs 75 lbs., is used in each case.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         (approx.) 12 tons
Length (approx.) 18 ft.
Width 7 ft., 4 ins.
Height (approx.) 5 ft., 6 ins.
Ground clearance 13 ins.
Tread centers 6 ft., 2 ins.
Ground contact
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 118 miles
     Cross-country 78 miles
Speed
     Roads 25 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 15 m.p.h.
Armor
     Front plate 15 + 20 mm
     Sides 15 mm
Gun shield 15 mm
Armament 15 cm. s.I.G. 33
Ammunition (rds.)
Engine 140 B.H.P. Maybach, HL 62 TRM
Transmission 6 forward speeds, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic clutch brake
Crew Probably 4

German: p. 13

Gw. für 15 cm s.I.G. 33/1 (Sd. Kfz. 138/1): S.P. Heavy Infantry Howitzer (on Czech Chassis)

Grille: Gw. für 15 cm s.I.G. 33/1 (Sd. Kfz. 138/1): S.P. Heavy Infantry Howitzer (on Czech Chassis)

The vehicle is the result of a combination of the 15 cm heavy infantry howitzer and the Pz. Kpfw. 38 (t) tank chassis. Its road performance will approximate that of the Pz. Kpfw. 38 (t) tank.

The howitzer, from which the trail has been removed, is mounted well forward on the chassis within a box-like, open top shield, the front plates of which overlap the original gun shield. The box shield has a thickness of 25 mm in front, 15 mm at the sides, and 15 mm at the rear. A further plate, fitted over the barrel and recuperator, is elevated and depressed with the howitzer, which also retains its original traversing and elevating mechanisms. Sighting is done through the aperture in the howitzer shield, by dial sight. Six metal sheets in the shape of a 3/4 circle are fitted to the sides of the fighting compartment, four vertically at the rear on the right, and two horizontally forward on the left. These may house a shell each, thus making a total of twelve rounds, corresponding to the 12 lockers for cartridge cases and charges. AW/T set is carried. This is mounted on the left wall of the fighting compartment. A folding type rod aerial is mounted on the left. The general appearance suggests that the equipment is overloaded. The silhouette is high.

The piece, a standard German infantry support weapon, has a length of 64.57 inches, a muzzle velocity of 790 f.s., and a maximum effective range of 5140 yards. Its field mounting traverse is reported as 11°, its elevation 0° to plus 73°. Its recoil mechanism, which consists of both buffer and recuperator, is housed in a casing underneath the barrel and extends almost the entire length of the latter. The gun fires an 83.6 lb. H.E. shell, and an 84.7 lb. smoke shell.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         (approx.) 12 tons
Length 15 ft., 3 ins.
Width 7 ft.
Height
Ground clearance 15 ins.
Tread centers 5 ft., 9 1/2 ins.
Ground contact 8 ft., 6 3/4 ins.
Width of track 11 ins.
Pitch of track 4 1/2 ins.
Track links 89
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 140 miles
     Cross-country 100 miles
Speed
     Roads 25 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 15 m.p.h.
Armor
     Front plate 25 + 25 mm
     Sides 30 mm
Armament 15 cm. s.I.G. 33
Ammunition (rds.) 12
Engine Praga 6-cyl., 125 h.p., gasoline
Transmission 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic clutch brake
Crew 3

German: p. 20

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.

SPECIFICATIONS

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
Speed
     Roads 24 m.p.h.
     Cross-country
Armor
     Front plate
     Sides
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
Crew

German: p. 14

5 cm l. Gr. W. 36: Light Mortar

5 cm l. Gr. W. 36: Light Mortar

The German 5 cm light mortar, developed in 1936, is a compact piece which can be easily broken down into two loads for transport. It differs radically from the conventional mortar design in that it is trigger-fired.

A short, seamless tube is threaded at its base to the breech ring containing the firing mechanism. The firing-pin assembly is actuated by a manually operated trigger, fixed to the rear half of the breech ring. Two large holes in the rear of the ring serve as trunnions by which the mortar is fastened to the cradle, and about which the mortar is elevated.

The forward end of the mortar tube is connected to the base plate by means of two brackets and the elevating mechanism. The front bracket is tightened around the tube by a bolt; the rear one fits around the breech ring and is locked by a set screw.

Two elevating mechanisms, one coarse and one fine, permit a total range of elevation from 43.5° to 90°. A range scale, calibrated in meters from 0 to 525 is screwed to the left side of the breech ring. A hook-shaped lever, pinned to the rear left side of the cradle, rides along the range scale as the elevation of the mortar is changed and serves as an indicator. The combination leveling and traversing mechanism allows a total traverse of 30°, 15 to the right and left, respectively. Center traverse is indicated by an arrow, pointing to an “0″ engraved on the rear top of a ball joint about which the cradle traverses.

The base plate, constructed of sheet metal, is reinforced by ribs welded to the bottom side. Two ribs, serving as the main spades, are set at an angle of 23° from the vertical at front and rear of the plate. Reinforcing ribs, welded perpendicularly to the base plate and running lengthwise as well as crosswise, also act as spades.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         50 mm (1.969 ins.)
Weight (complete) 31 lb.
Length of tube 13.75 ins.
Mount Cradle and base plate, no bipod
Firing mechanism Trigger-operated
Method of loading Muzzle
Muzzle velocity 230 f/s
Range (maximum at 45° elevation) 550 yds.
(minimum at 85° elevation) 50 yds.
Elevation (maximum) 90°
       (minimum) 43.5°
Traverse 30° (15° right; 15° left)
Elevating and traversing mechanisms Enclosed, well-sealed
Direct-sighting equipment None
Cross leveling system, Operated by leveling knobs and bubble
Ammunition         H.E. (equipped with fin assembly, point-detonating fuze, & booster). Wt. 2.00 lb.

German: p. 124

12 cm s. Gr. W. 42: Mortar

12 cm s. Gr. W. 42: German Heavy Mortar 120mm WW2

The Gr. W. 42, now being manufactured in Germany, closely resembles the Russian 12 cm mortar after which it is modeled. This weapon is of conventional design, consisting of a tube, base plate, and bipod. The bipod is clamped to the center base of the tube; the base of the tube fits into the circular base plate by a ball and socket joint. Elevating and traversing gears are operated in the usual way by small handles located at the top of the bipod.

The mortar may be either percussion or trigger-fired. The trigger mechanism can be set at “Einzel-Feuer”—single shot, or “Dauerfeuer”—continuous fire.

A two-wheeled, rubber-tired carriage is used for transport. Hooks on the upper surface of the base plate engage with U-shaped pieces attached to the carriage, and a clamp secures the barrel to the trail of the carriage. The bipod is apparently carried clamped to the mortar ready for action.

Three types of high-explosive bombs are fired from the Gr. W. 42 as well as Russian ammunition captured by the Nazis.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         120 mm (4.7 ins.)
Weight in action 606.1 lb.
Weight (including carriage) 880 lb.
Length of barrel (including breech piece) 6.12 ft.
Length of bore (approx.) 5 ft.
Width of carriage 5 ft.
Range (maximum) 6,560 yds.
Elevation 45°-80°
Traverse         3½° right and left at 45° elevation

German: p. 106

Gw. III/IV (Hummel) für 15 cm s.F.H. 18/1 (Sd. Kfz. 165): S.P. Heavy Field Howitzer “Bumblebee”

Gw. III/IV (Hummel) für 15 cm s.F.H. 18/1 (Sd. Kfz. 165): S.P. Heavy Field Howitzer "Bumblebee"

This equipment, known as the “Bumble Bee,” is composed of the 15 cm heavy field howitzer mounted on a modified Pz. Kw. IV tank chassis. It should not be confused with the 10.5 cm l.F.H. 18/2 (“Wasp”), which is the 10.5 cm light field howitzer mounted on the chassis of a Pz. Kw. II tank. The road performance of the “Bee” will approximate that of the Pz. Kw. IV tank.

In the construction of this vehicle the following modifications were made to the hull of the Pz. Kw. IV tank. The turret top plate mounting the turret traversing ring, the front vertical plate, and the rear partition separating the engine from the fighting compartment have been removed. The engine, cooling-fan assembly and exhaust pipes have been moved forward up to the gear box. A partition has been built across the width of the hull dividing the driver and assistant driver from the fighting compartment. A steel plate separates the engine from the fighting compartment. In place of the driver’s entrance hatches a cover similar to a cupola, with lid and shutter type vision, is provided.

The superstructure is in the form of a sloping four-sided shield 10 mm (.39 inch) thick. The front of the shield provides a bulging slot for the traverse and elevation of the gun while the rear plate is fitted with a hinged door.

The gun is mounted well back on the top of the engine cover plate by means of angle iron and steel brackets so that its muzzle projects almost flush with the nose of the hull. It retains its original buffer, recuperator and compensator, and elevating and traversing gears. Its overall length including muzzle brake, with which it must be fitted when firing charge 8, is 17 feet, 4 1/4 inches. The muzzle velocities of this piece are: Charge 6, 1,020 f.s.; Charge 7, 1,375 f.s.; Charge 8, 1,965 f.s. The maximum ranges are: Charge 6, 10,550 yards; Charge 7, 12,140 yards; Charge 8, 14,380 yards. Its elevation is 0°-39°; traverse each side 16°.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight         28 tons
Length 20 ft., 4 1/2 ins.
Width 9 ft., 4 1/2 ins.
Height 9 ft., 4 ins.
Ground clearance 15 ins.
Tread centers 7 ft., 11 ins.
Ground contact 11 ft., 6 ins.
Width of track 15 ins.
Pitch of track 4 3/4 ins.
Track links 98
Fording depth 3 ft.
Theoretical radius of action:
     Roads 96 miles
     Cross-country 62 miles
Speed:
     Road 25 m.p.h.
     Cross-country 12 m.p.h.
Armor:
     Front plate 50 mm
     Sides 30 mm
     Shield 10 mm
Armament 15 cm s.F.H. 18/1
Ammunition
Engine Maybach HL 120 TRKM, 320 hp.
Transmission Synchromesh—6 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Epicyclic, clutch brake
Crew 5

German: p. 35

7.5 cm l.I.G. 18: Light Infantry Howitzer

7.5 cm l.I.G. 18: Light Infantry Howitzer

The 7.5 cm infantry howitzer is a close support weapon that can be split into six loads for transport. The barrel, approximately 30 inches long, is housed in a slipper block which is bored centrally to take a firing-hole bushing at the front, and a striker, main spring, and cover at the rear. The muzzle end of the barrel is formed with trunnions which move in recesses in the slipper block.

The breech mechanism operates on a different principle from that of most standard German artillery. When the breech mechanism lever is pulled to the rear, the movement causes the actuating link to be revolved in the slipper block. The inner stud of the actuating link, being displaced from the bearing center of the link, is given a circular motion causing the slide to be raised and drawn slightly to the rear. The slide, dovetailed to the breech ring, revolves the barrel about its trunnions and raises the breech end to the open position. The gun cannot be fired again until the barrel is properly closed.

There are two versions of the box type carriage, one on artillery wheels and the other on pneumatic-tired disk wheels. The shield is in five parts.

The recoil system is carried in the cradle of the carriage; the buffer on the left and the hydropneumatic recuperator on the right. A communicating channel with a valve to regulate the flow connects the cylinders. The elevating and traversing gears are located on the right and left sides respectively.

A sighting system which works on the reciprocating principle is used. It is fitted with a range drum graduated to 1,320 meters, a correction scale for the five charges used, and a Rundblickfernrohr 16 (Rbl. F. 16) dial sight.

Ammunition used with the l.I.G. 18 is of the high-explosive and hollow-charge type.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         75 mm (2.95 ins.)
Weight in action 880 lb.
Length of piece 10 cals.
Carriage Box type
Recoil mechanism Hydraulic & spring type
Rate of fire (sustained) 6 rds./min.
Muzzle velocity 730 f/s
Range (maximum) 3,880 yds.
Elevation 73°
Depression -10°
Traverse 12°

German: p. 122

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.

SPECIFICATIONS

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

15 cm Wurfgranat 41: 15 cm Rocket Projectile

15 cm Wurfgranat 41: 15 cm Rocket Projectile

This rocket is fired from the German 6-tube Nebelwerfer 41. It resembles an elongated shell with a bulbous ballistic cap. The propellant is contained in the forward part of the projectile and the filling in the rear behind the ring which houses the jets. The propellant powder burns from both ends, giving faster and more even burning. The nozzles are arranged around a projecting annular jet unit about two-thirds of the distance from the nose. The jets are set at an angle to give the projectile rotation in flight, thereby eliminating the use of fins.

A complete round of this rocket projectile is composed of the following components (refer to photograph above): (i) pressed metal ballistic cap, which is screwed onto the projectile; (j) a motor tube; (d) an aluminum disk containing a black powder igniter charge; (a) a pressed metal spacer upon which the sticks of powder rest; (e) seven sticks of uniperforated stick powder; (b) a cellulose igniter tube containing black powder; (c) a cast-iron trap, which is placed over the powder at the rear end of the motor tube; (f) a black powder igniter charge, which is placed over the cast-iron trap; (h) a nozzle assembly, which is screwed to the motor tube; (g) an electric primer, which is inserted in any of the 26 nozzle holes; (1) a pressed iron spacer which fits into the base of the nozzle assembly and provides an air void between the nozzle assembly and the TNT bursting charge; (h) a bursting charge of TNT or a chemical filler contained in a fiber container; (m) a machined steel bursting-charge container; (o) a booster adapter, which screws into the bursting-charge case; (n) a base percussion fuze, which screws into the booster adapter. This fuze is similar to most German base percussion fuzes and arms by centrifugal force.

TYPES

There are three known types of these projectiles in existence, namely:
A. High Explosive (15 cm Wgr. 41 Spr.)—weight 70 lb.; length 36.6 ins.; maximum diameter 6.2 ins.
B. C. W. (15 cm Wgr. 41 Grünring)—content chemical
C. Smoke (15 cm Wgr. 41 Nb)—weight 79 lb.; weight of propellant 14 lb.

German: p. 356