Tag Archive for 'howitzer'

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.


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.


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 s.F.H. 18: Medium Howitzer

15 cm s.F.H. 18: Medium Howitzer

This howitzer has been in use by the German Army since before 1939, and is soon to be replaced by the s.F.H. 42. It has a horizontal sliding breechblock mechanism, and a hydropneumatic recoil mechanism.

This gun is mounted on the Pz. Kpfw. IV tank chassis, also on the French Lorrain tank chassis. A captured document states that the new s.F.H. 42 gun is fitted with a muzzle brake and bored-out chamber for use with charge 8 ammunition. The s.F.H. 42 gun uses the same range table as the s.F.H. 18 gun.

The gun is generally tractor-drawn with a two-wheeled limber attached to the trails. The tube is moved out of battery into transport on the cradle. Braking the piece in transport can be accomplished either by hand or by air brakes controlled from the prime mover.

The tube is of monobloc construction fitting into a reinforcing jacket. The breech ring is secured to the jacket and receives the horizontal sliding breechblock. Located above the tube is the counterrecoil cylinder and the lower cylinder under the tube brakes the gun in recoil and serves as a buffer in counterrecoil. A cooling jacket is found around the recoil cylinder.

The carriage interchangeable with the 10 cm (s. 10 cm K 18) med. gun is constructed of welded and riveted steel with split trails mounted on solid rubber tires. Detachable spades for soft soil are attached to the rear end of the trails when desired but are mounted to the side of the trails in transport.


Caliber         14.9 cm (5.91 ins.)
Length of tube
Weight (travelling position) 8.8 tons
Weight (firing position) 6 tons
Length (travelling position)
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position)
Height (firing position)
Width (overall)
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 142.6 ins.
No. of grooves 40 right hand twist
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (shell) 1,705 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 14,570 yds.
Max. range (vertical)
Rate of fire 4 rds. per min.
Traverse 60°
Elevation 45°
Length of recoil 44.09 ins.
Ammunition H.E. (3 types—anticoncrete—smoke (2 types)—A.P.
Wt. of projectile (H.E.) 95.7 lb.

German: p. 105

21 cm Mrs. mit Mrs. Laf. 18: Heavy Howitzer

21 cm Morserlafette 18 Heavy Howitzer

The 21 cm Morserlafette 18 is the standard heavy howitzer in use by German troops. The piece comprises a loose barrel, half jacket, and breech ring. A lug on the collar of the barrel secures it to the breech ring; ring and jacket are fastened together by a key which fits into a key way in the latter. The ring, jacket, and barrel are clamped together by a securing ring at the front of the jacket.

During recoil, the piece is supported by a pair of rollers below the jacket and another pair under the rear of the breech ring. A bracket at the top of the breech ring receives the piston rod, and a lug on its lower face receives the buffer piston rod.

The breechblock is of the horizontal sliding block type. On the rear face of the breech ring is a lever which operates (a) a plunger in a vertical boring in the bottom of the breech opening, and (b) a catch engaging a slot in the buffer nut interlocking the breech mechanism.

The carriage is interchangeable with that of the 17 cm K. mit Mrs. Laf. 18, with the exception of the following points: the safety limit of recoil of the upper mounting is 58.27 inches, whereas in the case of the 17 cm K. mit Mrs. Laf. 18 it is 56.30 inches; and the air pressure in the compensators is 464 lb./sq. in. against 626 lb./sq. in. in the case of the 17 cm K. The latest model of the 21 cm and 17 cm Mrs. Laf. 18 carriage is equipped with a pivot platform attached to a supporting frame situated near the center of the lower carriage body, which allows complete and continuous 360° traverse.


Caliber         21 cm (8.27 ins.)
Weight of gun in action 18.5 tons
Weight of piece 5.79 tons
Length of howitzer (travelling) 41 ft., 2 ins.
Length of bore 17 ft., 3 ins.
Length of chamber 25.31 ins.
Number of grooves 64
Rate of fire 1 rd./min.
Muzzle velocity 1,854 f/s
Range (maximum) 18,263 yds.
Elevation 70°
Traverse 16° (360° with the pivot platform)
Ammunition High-explosive (wt. 249 lbs.)
  Anti-concrete shell (wt. 268 lbs.)

German: p. 101

15 cm s. I. G. 33: Heavy Infantry Howitzer

15 cm s. I. G. 33: Heavy Infantry Howitzer

The 15 cm s. I. G. 33 (schweres Infanterie Geschütz 33) is a standard German infantry support weapon that may be used for either high- or low-trajectory firing. Both high-explosive and smoke shells are used with the gun.

The breech mechanism is of the usual German design, a horizontal sliding block opening to the right. A trough-shaped cradle is provided with guide ways in which guides on the gun move during recoil. On either side, at the front of the cradle, is a pad to receive the unabsorbed force of run out. Between the pads is the expansion chamber which receives the buffer fluid forced from the buffer by expansion as it becomes heated. Both the buffer and recuperator are housed in a casing underneath the barrel. The recoil system differs from that of most German artillery in that the expansion chamber of the buffer is outside the buffer itself, connected to it by a pipe; and no cooling cylinder is provided.

Toward the rear are the two small cradle arms to which the trunnions are fixed. Each trunnion is provided with a cranked compensator lever which compresses the equilibrator spring. The elevating arc is secured underneath and the recoil indicator at the right rear. When traveling, the cradle is secured to the carriage by a clamp which is operated by a lever secured to the clamp shaft.

The box-type carriage is fitted with a fixed spade and a detachable sand spade. Spring equilibrators situated one on either side of the carriage neutralize muzzle preponderance at all angles of elevation. The elevating gear, consisting of a worm gear, rack, pinion, and shaft, is operated from the right of the carriage; the traversing gear is operated from the left side by a system of gear wheels and shafting. A standard German Zieleinrichtung 34 is used for sighting.


Caliber       150 mm (5.9 ins.)
Weight in action 1.5 tons
Length 5.38 ft.
Rifling 44 grooves, twist 8° constant
Chamber capacity 11.5 tons per sq./in.
Muzzle velocity 790 f/s (charge #6)*
Wt. of projectile 83.6 lb.
Range (maximum) 5,140 yds. (charge #6)*
Elevation 73°
Traverse 11° 15′
Ammunition H.E. (two types), Smoke

*There are six zones of propellant. The maximum is obtained in Zone 6.

German: p. 104

Sight Mounts for Howitzers: On-Carriage Fire Control

MOUNTS: The telescope mounts of all three howitzers are of the same basic design. All are of the azimuth compensating type and automatically compensate for trunnion cant when cross-levelled. The angle of site mechanism has a scale graduated from 100 to 500 mils with 300 mils representing normal.

OPERATION: Range or super-elevation is introduced by turning the large handwheel below the bracket for the panoramic telescope. Operation of this knob causes the range drum to be rotated past the index and the index arm to be moved through an angle equal to super-elevation.

Angle of site is introduced by two operations. The first operation is to offset the angle of site level vial an amount equal and opposite to the angle of site. This is done by turning the small knob between the super-elevation handwheel and panoramic telescope bracket. The second operation is to rotate the telescope mount by means of the knurled knob beneath the super-elevation handwheel until the angle of site level is again on a horizontal plane. This second step moves the index arm an additional amount and positions it in an angle equal to quadrant elevation.

The second index arm which is actuated by the gun is brought into agreement with the first index arm by elevating the gun. The gun is then laid for quadrant elevation.

It is necessary to operate the angle of site mechanism on the panoramic telescope to bring the line of sight back on its original plane.

7.5 cm le. F. K. 18
Sight Mount for 7.5 cm Howitzer: 7.5 cm le. F. K. 18
Sight Mount for 7.5 cm Howitzer

RANGE DRUM GRADUATION: The range drum above has two scales: an elevation mil scale numbered from 0 to 800, divided into two mil units, and a range scale graduated in hectometers and numbered from 1 to 15.

10.5 cm le. F. H. 18
Sight Mount for 10.5 cm Howitzer: 10.5 cm le. F. H. 18
Sight Mount for 10.5 cm Howitzer

RANGE DRUM GRADUATION: The mil scale on the range drum for the above instrument is graduated in the same manner as for the 7.5 cm howitzer. The range scale is graduated for zone 5; the scale is divided into 50 meter units from 100 to 9150 meters.

15 cm s. I. G. 33
Sight Mount for 15 cm Howitzer: 15 cm s. I. G. 33
Sight Mount for 15 cm Howitzer

RANGE DRUM GRADUATION: In addition to the 0 to 800 mil scale on the above instrument there is a second mil scale, filled with red, placed to the right of the 0-800 scale. This second scale is graduated in 2 mil steps from 800 to 1330 mils. The range scale is preceded by the Roman Numeral I and is divided in increments of 25 meters from 25 to 1475 meters.

German: p. 177

7.5 cm I. G. 37: Light Infantry Howitzer

German 7.5 cm I. G. 37: Light Infantry Howitzer

The 7.5 cm I. G. 37, formerly known as the 7.5 cm Pak 37, consists of a short barreled piece fitted with a muzzle brake, and mounted on the carriage of the obsolete 3.7 cm antitank gun. The equipment has been utilized as a close support infantry weapon.

The barrel of monobloc construction is 20 1/2 calibers long. The muzzle brake is in the shape of a rectangular box with four baffles, each at approximately a 45° angle deflecting to the rear. There is a hydrospring recoil mechanism and a breech mechanism of the vertical sliding wedge type. The latter has no provision for semi-automatic operation. A percussion type firing mechanism is cocked automatically when the breech is closed, and the gun is fired by pressing a plunger on the elevating handwheel. There is an auxiliary firing lever on the left side of the breech ring.

The carriage, which is mounted on two rubber-tired wheels, has split tubular trails. The shield is in two main parts, the upper shield and the lower shield. The lower part hinges upward when travelling, and is swung downward when the weapon is in the firing position. The upper shield is in two sections, the upper half being hinged. This section can be folded forward in order to give a lower silhouette.

Traversing, elevating, and sighting are accomplished by one man. Direct sighting is obtained by means of a telescope. A quadrant plane is located on top of the breech ring, and there is also a range drum graduated for firing semi-fixed high explosive and fixed hollow charge ammunition. With the present fire control equipment, the maximum effective range is 2,900 yards.


Caliber       75 mm (2.95 ins.)
Weight (traveling position)
Weight (firing position) 1,124 lbs.
Length (traveling position) 11 ft., 7 ins.
Length (firing position) 11 ft., 1 in.
Height (shield lowered) 38 ins.
Height (shield raised) 46 1/4 ins.
Width (overall) 5 ft., 3 1/2 ins.
Width of trail spread 9 ft., 1 in.
Length of rifling 42 3/4 ins.
Rifling R.H. twist
No. of grooves 24
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 920 f/s*
Max. range 5,630 yds.
Max. range (present fire control) 2,900 yds.
Traverse 60°
Elevation 22 1/2°
Tires Pneumatic—6.00 x 20
Length of recoil (max.) 17 ins.
Ammunition H.E., Hollow Charge
Wt. of projectile H.E., I. Gr. 18—13.2 lbs.
  HE-AT, I. Gr. 38HI/A—6.6 Ibs.

*Muzzle velocity with hollow charge ammunition is 1,165 f/s. Range, 5,410 yds.

German: p. 122.2 (May 1, 1945)

7.5 cm Gebirgs Kanone 15 (Geb. K. 15): Mountain Howitzer

7.5 cm Gebirgs Kanone 15 (Geb. K. 15): Mountain Howitzer


Caliber        75 mm (2.95 ins.)
Weight (traveling position) 2,449 lbs.
Weight (firing position) 1,351 lbs.
Length (traveling position)
Length (firing position)
Height (firing position)
Height of trunnions 27.7 ins.
Width of carriage 37.4 ins.
Length of bore 13 cals.
Length of barrel and breech ring 43.8 ins.
Rifling R.H. polygroove plain section
Length of rifling 31.2 ins.
No. of grooves 28
Width of grooves 5 mm
Depth of grooves .68 mm
Width of lands 3.5 mm
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 1,270 f/s
Wt. of projectile 12 lbs.
Max. range (horizontal) 7,270 yds.
Max. range (vertical)
Rate of fire
Elevation 50°
Depression -10°
Length of recoil (max.) 35.4 ins.
Ammunition H. E. & Hollow Charge

German: p. 122.1 (May 1, 1945)

10.5 cm le.F.H. 18/40: Light Field Howitzer

10.5 cm le.F.H. 18/40: Light Field Howitzer

Feeling the need of a weapon having the performance characteristics of the le.F.H. 18 (M) but lighter in weight, the Germans brought out, early in 1944, a modified version mounted on the carriage of the 7.5 cm Pak 40. This carriage was used because at that time it was in large scale production and required a minimum amount of modification to adapt it for use with the howitzer.

The piece, of monobloc construction with a removable breech ring, is fitted with a double baffle muzzle brake having projecting wings welded on to give it the increased efficiency necessary for the lightened carriage.

The breech mechanism is a manually operated horizontal sliding block type. The firing mechanism is of the percussion type with the lever on the left side of the cradle.

The cradle is a rectangular box design. A single hydropneumatic equilibrator is attached to the right side of the cradle. The recoil is a hydropneumatic type, independent system.

The elevating handwheel and firing mechanism are now so located on the left hand side of the carriage that the layer can carry out the three operations of traversing, elevating, and firing, making the weapon suitable for direct fire.

The suspension consists of two torsion bars each extending the full width of the carriage body. As the two pieces are ballistically identical, the le.F.H. 18 (M) and the le.F.H. 18/40 use the same range tables.

A normal type of German artillery field sight is used for laying.


Caliber      105 mm (4.13 ins.)
Weight (firing position)4,322 lbs.
Length (overall)20 ft., 2 ins.
Height (overall)6 ft.
Height (firing position)
Width (overall)6 ft., 11 ins.
Length of barrel excluding muzzle brake115.75 ins.
Length of tube106.66 ins.
Length of rifling93.06 ins.
RiflingIncreasing twist; 1 in. 23 to 1 in. 17 3/4
No. of grooves32
Width of grooves 0.220 in.
Depth of grooves 0.04 in.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. long range shell)1,772 f/s
Wt. of projectile32 lbs., 11 ozs.
Max. range (horizontal)13,479 yds.
Max. range (vertical)
Max. pressure34,000 lbs./sq. in.
Rate of fire
Length of recoil
AmmunitionH.E.; H.E./I; Incendiary; Smoke; Star Shell; Prop. Leaflet Shell; Hollow Charge; Indicator Shell.

German: p. 108.3 (August 1, 1945)

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.


*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

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.
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)