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The wor3d's rmost eornprehensive encyclopedia of the nnilitary $,eapons of the 20th centr:rry

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The legend of the Freneh'75'

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle

A fully illustrated guide to Field Guns of World War I


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FieldGunsof
Field artillery played a ctacial role in shaping the course of World War I. The
hail of shell produced by quick-fire field artillery helped force the armies on
the Western Front to shelter in the trenches, where they remained urtil Ig I L
Lack of field guns gravely hampered the vast Rttssian armies, while
aggressive artillery tactics were an important element in the Getnrans'
success in the East.

Durrng World War I field guns were the most numerous type of artrllery A 60-pdr field grun is seen in action at Cape Helles during the Dardanelles
tn use,All of it had been developed and produced to take part in the fluid camp aign, J uly I I I 5. The large guns had to be manhandled into pos ition, but
once in place were invaluable due to their projectile weight and long range.
type of warfare that had been the norm during the previous century, ln T his grun is a t fuII r ecoil ; note the dus t kicked up by the mu z zle blast.
which large armres wheeled about the battlefields of Europe and the
fie1d artillery provided them wrth fire support. The conditions of warfare some form of strategic breakthrough. Once that had been achieved the
during World War I did not allow such artillery to behave in its accus- field gnrns could once more come into their own, whereupon the static
tomed mobile manner, for aiter a period in whlch it seemed that the old and heavy siege qms that had gradually come lnto use along every
conditions of manoeuvre and open battle would prevail, it was not long battle front could be left behind. The productron facllity reference is
before trench warfare set in all along the battlefronts, explarned by the fact that field artillery could be relatively easrly manu-
The firepower of the new QF gmns drove the infantry to take cover in factured in large quantities, while the production of heavier weapons
trenches but it could not destroy earthworks, Only the howitzer could took much more time and money, So field artillery it had to be for much of
make any useful contribution, with its hiqh angle of firing elevation and the time,
the near-vertical descent of rts projectrle, Only howrtzers could reach out Not all World War i warfare was restricted to the trenches. In Russia,
into the enemy trenches, and only the heavy howitzers could be of any the Middle East and in the Balkans the fluid warfare envisaged by the
real use, But the armies had large numbers of field guns and liqht field pre-1914 military planners did take place, and here field artillery could
lrowitzers, so these had to be used, They could do but little against even play rts proper role of supporting the other arms in the field, But the main
jre most lightly-protected defences, especially as during the early theatre of World War I was the Western Front, and there the fleid
siages of World War I much of therr ammunition was restricted to artiliery was massed to provide what support it could, and the gmnners of
shrapnel intended for use against an enemy in the open, Shrapnel could all nations drd their best
:ct enter dug-outs or cut wire, so gradualiy it was replaced as a type by
:'-: A British Army 1 8-pdr field gan fires under typical Western Front condilions
during the B attle of P ozidres R idge in I ate J uly I 9 I 6. The stack of spent
Why then was field artlllery present in such quantrty? The answer to cartridge cases gives an indication of thevolume of fire that the ganwas
j-a: can be seen in production facilities and the contrnual search for called on to produce day after day, testing the fitness of the gun and its crew.
75-mm field grun
Although the Cannone da75/27 mod- The I talian C annone da 7 5/ 27
ello Il was designed by a Frenchman modello 06 was originally a licence-
it was produced onty in Italy and may produced Krupp product, the Mda
thus qualify as an ltalian weapon, The I 906. I t was used by the I talian army
designer was named Deport, who con- in some numbers during World Wat I
ceived the idea of a recoil mechanism and some were still in use in World
that could stay fixed in a horizontal
plane whrle the barrel could be ele-
Warll.ltwas a simple and sound g::
thatgavegood service, and ithad a
vated to any angle desued. The advan- usetul range of I 0240 m ( I 1,200
tages ofthis system are rather obscure, yards).
but the Italian army certalnly took to
the idea to the extent that they pro-
duced the modello 11 in large num-
bers,
The modello ll was a relatively
small field piece, as a result mainly of
the fact that it was originally ordered was that any large change of traverse after the horses. the old wooden spoked wheels to ne,t
for cavalry use, In time it was issued to could not be made until the stakes had It is knorm that some of these gnrns steel-spoked wheels and revrse:
other arms and became a standard been laboriously removed from the were used by the ltalian maritime artil- shrelds; these modernized equip-
field gun, Apart from the unusual (an gnound; the other was that on rocky or lery militia within the ltalian coastal ments used pneumatlc tyres.
uncopied) recoil system, the modello hard gnound lt took time to hammer rn defence organization, The modello I ls
I I also had one other novel feature for the stakes. For all these potential trou- appear to have been used as light Specification
its day. This was splrt trail legs whrch bles the Italians used the stake secur- mobile batteries that could be used for Carurone da 75/27
gave the gun an unusualiy wide ing method on many of their artillery close-in beach defences of likely land- Calibre: 75 mm (2,95 in)
[averse by contemporary standards, desrgns, larqe and small. ing spots. Many of the modello lls Length: ofbarrel 2. I32 m (83,93 in)
and also enabled the barrel to be ele- The modello I I was a handy little were still in use in this role after 1940, Weights: inaction 1076 kq (2,372 1b);
vated to a maximum of 65'allowing the weapon urth a good range; its 10240-m and many other modello I ls were in travellingr 1900 kg (4,189 lb)
gnr:r to be used in mountainous areas if (11200-yard) capability was well service with the field arti1lery, In fact so Elevation: - 15'to +65"
required, In action the trails were above that of many of its contempor- many were still on hand ii 1943 that Traverse:52'
spread and instead of the more usual aries. However, for its size it was rather many came undet German control, Muzzle velocily: 502 m (1,647 ft) per
tlail spade the leqs were held in place heavy, whrch was no doubt a factor in with the desrgnation 7.5-cm Feld- second
by stakes hammered through slots at its change from the cavalry to the field kanone 244(i), for use by the German Maximum range: 10240 m ( I 1,200
the end of each. This certainly held the artil1ery, In action it had a crew of at occupation forces in ltaly, By that tlme yards)
q.ur steady for firing, but there were least four men although a full detach- many modello ils had been modfied Shell weigrht: 6,35 kg (14 lb)
two disadvantagres to this system. One ment was srx, the extra two looking for powered traction by conversion of

>K brdr,ar,ce, QF, l3-pdr Gun


-:- the aftermath of the Boer War the The Royal Horse Artillery began to
:.cyal Artrllery decided that its ageing re-equip with the I 3-pdr from I 904.
;rr park was rn qreat need of over- A necessarily robust weapon, the l 3-
:-el and so launched a search for re- pdr provided fire support for the
p-:cements. Field gnrns were one new cavalry , which meant that by the end
.pe of equipment souQrht, but the final of 19 14 there was little role tor it on
::iection was difficult. The chorce was the Western Front. Although many
:::,',.een a design known as the Ordn- RHA batteries remained in Flanders,
ance. QF, l3-pdr Gun, which was an the weapon achieved its greatest
.r:-algamatron of the best features of success rn the cavalry operations in
','.-::lwrch
Arsenal and Vickers sub- theMiddleEast.
:-,ss-cns, and the gun known as the
l:::.ance, QF, l8-pdr, Deltberations
-,',::: cn for some trme before the deci-
:-ti -.":-dS made to acqutre the l3-pdr
,-: -::e Royal Horse Artillery and the
,:-:t ior the freld reqdments,
-:-3 first 13-pdr gnrns enterd service
,-- ,:04. The numbers of these
-r=l!lns wele nevel as great as those
-- -:,= -B pdr, for the Royal Horse Artil-
-=:; ,';as much smaller than the rest of
,: :.:ya1 Artillery. Some 13-pdr gn-rns
-:.-=r: sent to India, but most stayed in
:-= ,:-Led Kingdom, ready to move to
::--:e :n 1914. It was a 13-pdr gmn that
::=: :::e first British shot of World War
- -: aimost as soon as they arnved
--=s= tins were involved in the epic
=---::r battle of Nery. Thereafter the
, : rr -,';eapons were generally over-
!
.:--':','.:C by the l8-pdr gn-rns to the
=i-.=-=,- -:ai at one point some l3-pdr
: =::s r,ere wrthdrawn to be con-
--=::=i tc rudimentary anti-aircraft
:-:i
had a calibre of 76 2 mm
-:= -:-pdr
: :, rd rn the hgrht of Boer War ex-
;=:-=:-:: much of the ammunition flred
: .. .::a- nel This was not shrapnel as
j :::',-,-r today (fragmentS produced

Ihe Bntrsh I 3-pdr (calibre 76.2 mm/


3 h) was used by the RHA and was
produced in far fewer numbers than
:It e ! 8 - pdr. T he rope-bound tube
e','er the barrel contained the hydro-
spring recoil system.

'':
Ordnance, QF, l3-pdr Gun (continued)
Field Guns of World War I
by the detonation of the shell) but not last long under the trench warfare
rather a form of carrier shell which conditions of World War I, But the de-
contained a small explosive charge sign was basicatly souhd, so sound that
(detonated when the shell was still rn apart from the departure of some for
the air) to blow out from the front ofthe use as anti-arrcraft guns, the 13-pdr re-
shell a large number of lead or steel mained virtually unchanged through-
balls that spread out to act as anti- out its sewice life. That servrce life is
personnel weapons, Against an enemy still not over, for the 13-pdr is stilt used
rn the open shrapnel was a very effec- by the King's Troop ofthe Royal Horse
tIVe weapon, but against defended Artillery for its well-known ceremonial
troops under cover it was virtually use- and display duties in London and else-
less, and not much use at cutting where,
througrh barbed wire. It took some time Incidentally, the shell fired by the
for appreciable amounts ofhigh explo- 13-pounder did not welqh l3lb
sive shell ro get to lhe gunners in kq), but rather 12,5 lb (5.67 kg),
(5,9
France, so after the initial period ofthe
war the 13-pdr gmns were of only li- Specification
mited use in France, Instead many Ordnance, QF, I3-pdr Gun
were sent to the Middle East where Calibre:76.2 mm (3 in)
they were used in lhe varrous cam- ofbarrel L86 m (73,25 rn)
Lengrth:
paigns against the Turks, Weight:complete 1014 kq (2,236 lb)
Although not used in such large Elevation: -5"to +16"
numbers as the ]B-pdr, the 13-pdr was Traverse: Bo
a good gun of its type and well suited to Muzzle velocity: 5i I m (1,675 ft) per This photograph, taken near Inexent inJune lgIB, shows exactly how robust
the horse artillery tactrcs of the era second horse-towed field guns had to be. The t-3-pdr was light enoughio be toweit at
before World War L The probiem for Maximumrange: 5395 m (5,900 yards) spe* by a sk-horse team, and to this day I S-pdrs Can stiil be seen towed by
the 13-pdr was that those tactics did Shellweisht: 5,67 ks (12,5 lb) the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, during their dramatic displays.

>K branance, QF, l5-pdr- Gun


The Ordnance, QF, I5-pdr Gun should
not be confused with the Erhardt 15-
pdr field gun, which wasa much more
modern weapon than the British 15-
pdr, The oriEdnal Bntish 15-pdr was a
pre-Boer War piece that used the old
system of a sprinq{oaded spade to
absorb much of the flring recoil. This
spade was under the axle and the main
'springinq' came from a rope con-
nected to a spring contained in a tube
on the trail spade, This system worked,
but it was cumbersome and ineffrcient,
demanding a lot of work from the qun
team, So in the aftermath of the Boer
War, rather than simply dispose of the
Iarge numbers of gnrns in service, they
were converted to take a hydro-spring
recoil system over the barrel. The old Above : The 1 5 -pdr field grun could
15-pdr breech was modified to a more tace otigins back to the I 890s, for
its
modern form and other alterattons itwas an old field-gun desigmaltered
were made. Once ready foruse in 1907 to use a new hydro-spring recoil
they were issued to the Territorial sysfem p/us som e othet changes.
Army batteries, The resultwas heavy and
The 15 pdr was really roo heavy for cumbersome, and by I I I 4 most were
rhe field gun role and had an rndfle- used by the Territorial Army who
rent ranqe capability, but it proved to took them over to France in I I I 5.
be an excellent tratning weapon that They were replaced as soon as
could be provided at a relatively low possib/e.
cost. The new recoil system was
efflcient enougrh, but it was something during some of the campaiqns against
of a fltter's headache as numerous the Germans in East Africa, but most of
marks of the old lS-pdr had been used the rest were used to flre offtheir large
for the conversions, and inter- stocks of ammunitron as burst-
changeability of parts between gmns producing delivery systems for the
was difflcult. trainrng of artillery observers, both on
The 15-pdr guns did not move to the ground and rn the air, They con-
France until 1915, by which time the tinued in this role for a remarkably
supply of 13-pdr and l8-pdr guns was long trme, for some Royal Artillery bat-
becominq dtfficult. Only a few Territo- teries rn India were still using lS-pdr
rial batteries took their 15-pdr equip- guns for this same purpose as late as
ments to France, but on arrrval there the mrd-1930s,
-was little they could do, for the only
The 15-pdr is stili one of the lesser-
ammunrtion they had was shrapnel, known guns of World War I, but it had
which was of little use aqainst a well tts small part to play. It was certainly
dug-rn enemy under top cover as was distinctive enougrh. The recoil system
ihe case ail along the Western Front by added to the weapon duringr the con-
1915, A few 15-pdr gmns were present version from the oriqdnal sprunq spade
during the 1915 Battle of Loos, where conflg-uration qave the gmn a very dis- Lenqth: ofbarrel 2,345 m (92,35 in) The original l S-pdr the World War I
:hey could add little to the proceed- tinctive appearance, as it was con- Weight: complete 1339,5 kq (2,953 lb) field gun evolved from was still
-ngs as a result mainly of their lack of tarned in a metal shroud that covered Elevation: -9" to + 16" employed by the Indian Army in
s'uitable pro jectiles, the entire upper length of the barrel, Traverse: none I 9 I 4, who used them during some of
After that brief flurry of activity the Muzzle velocity: 484 m ( 1,590 ft) per the early campaigns in German East
,:-pdr was retired to act as a trainingt Specification second Africa. This example is seen firing
l:jn once more A few were sent to Ordnance, QF, l5-pdrGun Maximum range: 5258 m (5,750 yards) during a training camp exercise in
Sc,rth Africa, where they were used Calibre:76.2 mm (3 in) Shell weight: 6.35 kq ( 14 lb) IndiainJuly 1915.

2283
The Bcrftle of Neuve Chapelle
By Christmas 19 14 the armies on the Western Front found themselves in a line of
trenches stretching from the Channel coast to Switzerland: itwas siege warfare on a
continental scale. The first attempt to break the deadlock was launched by the
British Expeditionary Force in March 19 15 in the form of a limited offensive aimed
towards the town of Lille.
The high hopes with which Europe went to war could be obtained of the town of Li]le, that
in 1914 had largely evaporated by the end of essential focus for the great breakout which
that year. No one was going to be 'home for would sweep the Germans back out of Belgium
Christmas' after all, and no one in the im- and behind their own frontiers.
medrately foreseeable future was going to hold Here, certainly, an attack might be mounted.
any triumphant victory parades, ior the war on At the very least an advance up Aubers Ridge
the Western Front was set into an apparent would get General Sir Douglas Harg's lst Army
stalemate, though neither of the high com- out of the sodden, waterlogged mud where it
mands was prepared to accept this as anything had spent the last weeks, and up into drier and
but a temporary situation, thus more comfortable conditions.
But how to break it?
The British in particular were unhappy about
Planning the offensive
it ali; unhappy because their famous cavalry Preparations began in the last days of Febru-
was unoccupied, unhappy.because none of ary 1915, and ran immediately into unforeseen
their vast experience ofwarfare gained on ev- problems, It had become accepted that the
ery frontier of their empire (especially those of generals would have to command in the field
India) seemed relevant in these dank and mud- far larger armies than ever before, and now the
dy conditions, and especially unhappy be- staffs were flndrng themselves confronted with
cause a fundamental axiom of Brittsh milttary tasks of far greater magnitude and complexity
life (that British soldiers and especrally their than either they or their instructors had ever
officers all possessed an innate 'eye for coun- envisaged. Moreover, this offensive was to be This photograph tells morethanmerewords how
try') was totally nullified here, The British sec- the firsL ever launched Irom a trench system; dreadful the conditions in the trenches were by
tor of the line ran a twisting 45 km (28 miles) there was no prevrous experlence of any kind M arch 1 9 I 5. Evensimple tasks su ch as writing
upon which to draw, home were turned by the mud and cold into a
from a point near Ypres in the north down to the majoroperation.
area of lra Bass6e through ground as flat as a At least there was going to be no shortage of
plate, with visibllity rarely over I00m (110 either men or mat6riel, Three whole brigades
yards), and whatlrttle raised ground there was (the 23rd and 25th Brigades, and the Garhwai sroads on the nght, and according to intellr
was in the hands of the enemy, A fat lot of use an Brigade of the Indian Corps) were being made gence there would be reinforcements of only
'eye for country' was here. available, to crash through a mere 2745m 4,000 German rrfles by the end of the day that
(3,000 yards) of trench between the 'Moated the attack was launched, plus 12,000 more only
Highground Granqe' on the left and the 'Port Arthur' cros- by the end of lhe second day. The German
But there was one sector ol the British front front-line strength at the trme of the assault was
A itt ( 1 5 2.4 - mm ) 30 - cwt S iege H owitzer regis ter s
6-
some 1,400 rifles.
where, if the stalemate could be broken, great itsfire prior to theBattle of NeuveChapelle.These
advantage might accrue. Opposite this sector heavy and cumbersome howitzers were used by
Even more important, artillery was to be
tay the small village of Neuve Chappelle, and the single Siege Brigade formed by the Royal used on a scale hitherto unimagined, worklng
beyond it lay the Aubers Ridge from whlch Artillery at that time, andhad arange of only to a timetable givrng each battery a defintte
good observation (and rndeed command) 4755 m(5,200yards). tasx, and wrth specific targets for each phase of

.g:r
Field Guns of World War I
the bombardment. This was in itseif a new
departure, but even more innovatory was the
decrsion to use in front of Lhe advancing infantry
a 'creeping barrage', which would lift to more
drstant targets as the infantry approached. This
was an experrment which would be watched
carefirlly by gunners everywhere.
The entire artillery of two corps was secretly
moved into position and most guns had begun a
carefully-controlled registraticn programme
by 5 March, 340 guns altogther, lncludtng bat-
teries of Il9- I52- and 233-mm (47-, 6- and
9,Z-in) weapons at the rear, and 119-, 152- and
233-mm howitzer batteries at the front, TWo
more 152,4-mm howitzer batteries arrived on 9
March and were fitted into position rn the north-
ern half of the attack line, and the lact that they
had no time for registering or even practising
their main task (the cutting of enemy wire to
their front) did not particularly worry the Scot-
tish Rifles or the Mlddlesex battalion about to
go over the top in front of them.
Dawnattack
By 04.00 on the raw, damp morning of 10
March all the assaulting lnfantry was in posl-
tion: the 2nd Middlesex, 2nd Scottish Rifles, 9.r,r- 1tr:tt.!.., trr
, . !1
2nd Lincolnshires, 2nd Royal Berks and the * r *r.r*- * : -fr!l
Garhwalis, with behind them in immeditate fltax.61
support the 2nd West Yorks, 2nd Devons, lst
Royal Irish Rifles, 2nd Rifle Brigade, and lst On the left, however, the Middlesex had AGermangunner peers into the sights of a21-cm
Seaforth Hrghlanders wlth the Indians; and the been shot to pieces. The newly arrived howrt- (8.26-in) howitzer. The Germans had a powerful
Sth Cavalry Brigade waited impatiently at GHQ zers had failed to cut the wire in front of them, siege park which made short work of the Belgian
for the maglc word that the breakthrough was the defending company of a Jdger battallon forts butwas initially inadequate to defeat
e x te n s iv e t r e n ch systerns.
open for them to sweep through and exploit, was virtually unscathed and its machine-guns
The waiting men were co1d, though they had had annihilated the leading Mrddlesex waves, new positions, and by that evening it was ob-
had a hot meal during the nrght, and now they enfilading the Scottsh Rifles next to the Mrd- vious that the stalemate was back, So the battle
were keyed up with excitemeni and enthu- dlesex and blocking the entlre assault, ceased,
srasm. Britrsh reaction was remarkably quick: at The British had lost 583 officers and i2,309
09 40 a second bombardment was ordered other ranks, and the Germans approxtmately
Artillery barrage opposite the Middlesex position, and thrs the same numbers, of whom 1,687 had been
A few ranging shots went over between proved exceeding accurate and efficient; as taken pnsoner, The area of ground newly in
06,00 and there was a brief pause, and
07, 15, the second wave of the Middlesex attack be- British hands measured about 3660 m by 915 m
then at 07,30 opened the loudest and heaviest qan, an officer and 60 men of the Jdgers (4,000 yards by 1,000 yards) deep, and most of it
bombardment any of them had ever experl- climbed out of their trenches and walked for- had been captured during the first three hours,
enced. The air above was filled with the roar ward to give ihemselves upl By noon all initial It was, in fact, almost exactly the area covered
and scream of passing shells, the known Ger- objectives oithe attack had been achieved and by that flrst, metrculously-planned artillery
man positions ln front erupted rn gouts of mud visions of reachingr the commanding heights of schedule,
and earth, and stakes flew through the air trail- Aubers Ridge beckoned; the support troops The day of the Master-Gunner had dawned,
ing masses of wire, occasionally laden with moved up, the whole of the 7th Division to the
qruesome remnants of bodies: and back to- north was alerted, and the Sth Cavalry Brigade
wards the Brltish lines drifted the thrck, sicken- moved to Estaires, 9.7 km (6 miles) north,
ing fumes of Lyddite explosive, The whole But now the problems oi communrcation
earth quivered momentarily as in an earth- made themselves felt, for runners and message
quake, then the bombardment steadred, the pads were strl1 the chief means: it was five
barrage lifted from the German trenches oppo- hours before the next advance could be
site to the village of Neuve Chapelle itself, and mounted, five hours in whrch the Germans had
the men clambered out of their trenches and moved reserves up into their second defence
went forwarcl. lines, had resited their machine-guns and but-
tressed the more obvious of their weak points,
Early success And now the Britrsh rnfantry were moving
On the right, the Garhwalis reached the hnes through thickening dusk into wet and muddy
opposite with very little trouble, although therr country of which they knew nothing, and into
right-hand companies had veered too far right which their artillery could no longer drop pre-
and left a gap to be plugged by the Seaforths planned and accurately-registered cover,
behind them; on their left the Berkshire and There were no successful advances during
and Irincolnshire men were into the German that evening, and by morning the Germans had
trenches by 08 20 and the Rlfle Brigade and had even longer to strengthen their defences,
the Royal lrish Rrfles came through and bring up more reserves and even plan a coun-
stormed straight on into the village as the bar- terattack. Thrs, however, was beaten off on Lhe
rage lifted to the far side, Everywhere they morning of I2 March, for the British and Indians
round German troops dazed and shocked by had also been working on the defences ln their
-he bombardment, hardly able to comprehend
This wrecked machine-gun position was only
lie situation, let alone offer resistance; by 09.00 destroyed in the second bombatdment after it
:early
'cack, 300
prisoners had been shepherded exacted a heavy toll of the attacking infantry, but
A few survivors were seen making their all too often the machine-gans and gunners
-,',-ay towards some woodlands behind the vil-
survived towreak havoc against the advancing
British battalions.

CDQC
ffi brdnance, QF, l8-pdr Gun
The first Ordnance, QF, I8-pdr gun Mk The l9-pdrMk I fieldganentered
I was issued to the Royal Artillery in servicein 1904, andin 1914wasin
1904, and in the years after that
it was widespread use by the British and
also rssued to many other Common- some Commonwealth armies. It had
wealth armies, so that by 1914 the 18- apole trail for horse traction and the
pdr was the standard field gmn of the original recoil system proved prone
Bntish and Commonwealth armies; to breakage, but it was regarded as a
some were even being produced in good and sound gun design that was
Indra. The l8-pdr had no single paren- used throughout the waL
tage, but was an amalgam of desigm
ideas produced by Woolwich Arsenal,
the Elswick Works and Vickers. The
barrel was wire-wound, had a simple
single-action breech, and was
mounted on a pole trail carriage. The
usual shield was fltted, and as was
common at that time the ammunition
fired was almost entirely shrapnel,
It was not long before the original Right: An 1 8-pdr (calibre 83 mm/
design was being modified, The flrst 3.3 in) r's seen rh action near St Leger
change was to allow a barrel liner to be aux Bois in the Oise region during
replaced when worn, but when the lB- August 1 9 I 6. The pole trail is clearly
pdr went to war in 1914 it was still visible, as is the one-piece round that
basically the same as it was when first was almost the same size as one of
rssued, The trials of battle soon hrgh- the old quart beet botiles.
lighted what was to become known as
the l8-pdr's weakest point: the re- outside the British and Commonwealth
cuperator springs, which returned the armies, The US Army had taken over
barrel back to the flring position after large numbers commencing in 1917,
recorl, could not put up with the stres- and other nations that later used the
ses that continued firinq produced and l8-pdrwere lreland, some of the Baltic
broke under the strain, leaving the gn-rn States and China. Many l8-pdr gnrns
useless, At flrst all the gnrn fitters could were used during World War II and
do was keep changing the spnngs, a the last of the type drd not leave lrish
hazardous and time-consuming opera- sewrce until the 1970s.
tton until a modrfication that could be
adopted in the field was developed. Specification
This was an entirely new hydro- Ordnance, QF, I8-pdr Gun Mk I
-oneumatic recoil system that fitted in- Calibre: B3,B mm (3,3 in)
side the exlsting spring housings: this Lengrth: ofbarrel 2.463 m (96,96 in)
Cid the trick and the l8-pdr became Weight:complete 1280 kg (2,821 ]b)
nuch more reliable, Elevation: -5'to + 16'
However, the l8-pdr was to undergto Traverse: Bo
3re more major changte during World Muzzle velocity:492 m ( 1,615 ft) per
War L The oriqinal carriage used a second
pcle trail which was useful enough for Maximum range: 5966 m (6,525 yards)
:3rse traction, but as it went right Shellweight:8.39 kg (18,5 lb)
-::der the breech it limited elevation
::igles, and thus rangre, This led to
l;hat became known as the l8-pdr Gun Right: 18-pdr field guns come into
Mk IV (the other marks were develop- action in a remarkably open fire
::ent models, apart from the oriqinal position during the Battle of Thiepval
I'k I), Thrs was vrtually a new design: Rrdge rh Sepfem ber I I I 6. The grun off
::: a start the Mk IV was fltted wrth a the road to the rear is ready for
:':x trail which allowed the barrel to action, while the team in the
:e elevated much further to provrde foreground is just about to drag offan
::-e required range increase, the empty ammunition limher.
::eech mechanlsm was changed to a
-:r iorm krown as the Asbury type,
.- j -ne recorl system was moved to an
::-:leiy new position under the barrel,
l:.= lew recoil system used a'floating
a-<::n' that employed oil and com-
;:essed air to provide a much
:::::c-*rer and more reliable move-
::e:::. The cradle was redesigned to
:<: -,-te
loads Lmposed by these new
:9.::i.res, and the result was a much
:--::er all-round
'-:;e gmn. Not oniy did it
a far better range, but it was far
::-::e siable n action and proved to be
of very high rates of ffe: 30
=pa-cle
::--:-:is a mrnute il the hands of a well-
l:-r:3d tearn was not unusual,
-:s i8-pdr Mk IV was just getting
:-:: --:I1 productron as the war ended,
=-: -: became the preferred weapon
:: -:= F.oyal Artillery in the inter-war
;=-s By then the l8-pdr was in use

An I 9-fir is manhandled from a


wateilogged Wn position near
Zillebke during the Flanders
afrensive of August I 9 I 7 , providing a
grraphic indic ation of why that
ofiensive failed to achieve anything
andgotbggeddown.

--:a
ffi brdr,"r,ce, QF, 4.5-in Howitzer Field Guns of World War I
The Ordnance, QF, 4.5-in Howitzer The 4.5-in (1 14-mm) field howitzer
used by the British army throughout was one of the best of the British
World War I was another weapon de- Army field pieces, as itwas Eght,
veloped in the aftermath of the Boer handy and fired a usetul shell. I ts
War, During that colonial conflict the design was to r emain virtu ally
Royal Artillery learned the hard way unchanged from its first use in I I I 4
that its field howitzers were too heavy, until World War I I, when it once more
too slow in action and generally too was taken over to France. Many were
cumbersome, so they asked for some- sent lo.Russia in I 9 I 6 and more were
thing better. For some reason the usual used by Commonwealth armies.
state arsenals were asked to submit
their new desigms at the same time as
private manufacturers, and in the end a
private manufacturer, the Coventry
Ordnance Works, was awarded the
contract.
Thrs welcome change from what
had up till then been a vrrtual state
monopoly meant that when the BEF
went to France in i9l4 it took what was posed to make gEeat use of shrapnel, were retained in British army sewtce Elevation: - 5'to +45"
then thought to be the best field howrt- but high explosive was soon found to to be used again during the early cam- Traverse:6"
zer in the world. It was able to outper- be much more useful, though it was in paigns of World War II. Bv then their Mrzzle velocity: 308 m (1,0 10 ft) per
form all its contemporarres, and yet short supply in 1914 and I9I5, a shor- ong'rnal wooden spoked rivheels had second
was handy enough to operate along- tage that lead to a political storm been replaced by new items with Maximum range: 6675 m (7,300 yards)
side the l8-pdr gmns in a normal field known as the 'shell scandal', The pneumatic tyres for powered traction, Shellweight: 15.876 kq(35 lb)
artillery regiment. This result was ammunition also featured in another The Germans used 96 captured equip-
aclueved mainly by making the basic politlcal uproar, this time after Worjd ments in the Atlantic Wall with the de-
design simple and robust, and the War I, for the fuses used on the shells signation I l.4-cm leFH 36I(e), The last
weapon was so sound it required only were a clockwork type first produced 4.S-in howitzers to be used as servrce
one modification throughout its long by Krupp in Germany, After the war weapons were those of the lrish army,
service life: the rounding off of some of Krupp took the British government to the final examples not retired until the AnAustralian battery of 4.5-in(I I4-
the sharper corners of the breech an intemational court to extract royal- late 1970s, mm) field howitzers are seenin
mechamsm to prevent craclongr after ties due on every fuse flred, and won action during the open wartare of
prolonged firing. As with the l8-pdr the iudqementl Specification late August I 9 1 8, somewhere near
the 4,5-in (114,3-in) howrtzer was also By the time World War I ended, Ordnance, QF, 4.5-in Howitzer H amel. T he high elevation of the
issued to many Commonwealth armies 3,177 4,5-in howrtzers had been pro- Calibre: I14.3 mm(4.5 in) short barrels enabled their shells to
includinq those of Canada, Australia duced in addition to the I82 completed Length: ofbarrel 1,778 m (70 in) fall almostvertically into enemy
and New Zealand, Dwing the war the before 1914. After 19lB these howrtzers weight:complete 1365 kq(3,010 lb) earthworks.
4,5-in howitzer was also passed on to
Russia, as by 1916 the Tsarrst armres
were in a rather poor state, and the
British government handed over 400
4,S-in howitzers, These were destined
to have an eventful life, for they took
part in the Russian defeats of 1917, and
also played their part in the events
surroundinq the revolutions of 1917
and the subsequent crvil war, Many
were still on hand when the Germans
invaded in 1941, captured examples
being designated Il.4-cm leichte Fel-
dhaubitze 363(r),
During World War I the 4.5-in hormt-
zer was towed into action by a team of
sx horses. The full gun team was 10
men although fewer actually served
the gmn in action, the rest acting as
ammunition and horse handlers, In
common with most other weapons of
the period the 4,5-in howitzer was sup-

ffi tl, oo-pa,


During the Boer War some 4.7-in (i 19- The British 60-pdr Mk I had a calibre
mm) naval gruns were converted to the of 127 mm (5 in) and fired a shell
field role, and these provided the weighing 27.2 kg (60 Ib) to a range ot
Royal Artillery with an rdea of what 1 1,247 m (12,300 yards).lts carriage
they would need in the future. From used taction engine road wheels to
this example the Royal Artillery gnm- affair made foom large slabs of steel spread theweight, and the trailwas
ners asked for a long-range gnrn flring and with a large towing bracket at the very he avy for firing stabiliU. T hk
a shell weighing 27,2k9 (60 ]b) for use end, made it so heavy that only Holt
by divisional heavy batterres, and the Soon after the war began in 1914 it tractors could tow the gun.
Elswick Ordnance Company was was found that the 60-pdr was a most
asked to produce a desigm, the f,rst usefulweapon. More were demanded,
example of which was accepted, but it was not an easy gun to manufac-
This gun became krown as the BL, twe quickly, Some short cuts had to be
60-pdr Mk I, and it was a large and made to speed matters, so the facility
handsome qun with a long barrel, two to draw back the barrel for towing was
prominent recorl cylinders over the removed, and some other expedients
barrel, and a heauy trail, In order to were introduced, The result was a car- introduced instead, mahng the 60-pdr once more be withdrawn, but thrs time
make the gun more managreable the riage that was heavier, but at least one of the first British weapons of rts the method used was much simpler:
barrel could be drawn back over the more equipments could be sent to ktnd to be towed by powered traction. the barrel was drsconnected ftom the
carriage for towing, and the large France, There it was soon discovered But even wrth the Holt tractor the Mk II recoil mechanism and pulled back
wheels were based on traction engine that trying to move these larqte gnrns carriage with its fixed barrel was a The 6O-pdr was initially supplied
wheel desigms to help spread the loads around with horse teams was an almost cumbersome load, leading to the Mk mainly wrth shrapnel shell, but this was
cver soft ground, The trail was a heavy impossible task, so Holt tractors were III carriagre in which the barrel could changed to high explosive once trench

tt;-
BL, 60-pdr (continued)

warfare had set in, Thereafter, where-


ver the Bdtish army went the 60-pdr
went wrth it, from France to Mesopota-
mia. The 6O-pdr gave sterling servrce.
although it was always a brute to move,
but in action it was steady, reliable and
accurate. New streamlined shells
were provided to increase range, but
the only real long{erm answer to pro-
ducing even more range was to de-
velop a new gmn, This duly appeared
during the last few months of World
War I in the shape of the BL, 60-pdr Mk
II, which introduced a new type ofcar-
riage and recoil system, a longer bar-
rel and many other detail changes,
None of these 60-pdr Mk II gmns was ln
sewice before the war ended.
Along the Westem Front the 60-pdr
guns were used mainly for counterbat-
tery work or for demohshing strongr-
points, They were also used at times
for what is now known as harassing
fire, i.e. firing off odd rounds deep into
the enemy rear to land around road
junctions, railway statlons etc, general- Above:60-pdrsfire atTurkishposifionsnearSamarra in l9lB.Theseguns haveMk3 carriages,whichweremuch
ly to disturb the enemy's movements. lighter than the previous marks using traction enginewheels. Recognition features of the 6A-pdr were the two recoil
To do this effectrvely the gmns had to cylinders over the long barrel and the large and heavy carriage trail.
be moved up to close behind the ftont
lnes, no easy task in view of the bulk of
the 60-pdr,

Specification
BL, 60-pdr Mk I on Carriage Mk III
Calibre: 127 mm (5 in)
Lenqth: of barel 4.268 m ( 168,05 in)
Weight: complete 4470 kg (9,856 lb)
Elevation: -5" to +2l,5"
Traverse: B'
Muzzle velocity: 634 m (2,080 ft) per
second
Maximum range: I 1247 m (12,300
yards)
Shell weight: 27,2 kq (60 lb)

A 60-pdr fires near La Boiselle in


March 1 9 I 8. These guns had a range
that allowed them to be sitedwell
back from the trench lines and thus
needed digg"ing in only during long
spells in one position.

FRANCE

Canon de 75 mle 1897


was so prolific that the desrgn was ture, The breech mechanism used a (1,456-in) trench gnrn was requrred in
sometimes attributed to Schneider, simple lever and rnterruptedthread 19i6 the result was a half-scale '75'.
The first models appeared in 1897 action that was swiftly and easily oper- The '75' went on to a lonq post-war
(hence mle 1897) and were kept under ated ro allow the one-piece ammuni- career after 1918, and was later pro-
wraps for a considerable time as they tion to be fed into the chamber, A box- duced rn some strange guises, but it rs
wete regarded as highly secret section pole trail was used, limiting the as one of the most widely-used guns of
weapons, Much was expected of them, maxrmum angle of elevation and con- World War I that the '75'will be best
for they were seen as the main support sequently the range, but this undesir- remembered, Examples used by the
weapons for the French doctrine ofthe able feature was not rectified until well Germans in World War II were desig-
altack. in which the offensrve spirrt was after World War L Many '75s' had a nated 7.5-cm Feldkanone 23I(f), but a
supposed to overcome any opposrtron. fuse-setting machine fixed to the trail more common name was 7.5-cm
The hiqh fire rate of the '75' was rn- legrwhen in actton, FKg7(f)
tended to overcome the relatively ligtht The '75' was produced in thousands
werght of HE shell fired, 6, 195k9 during World War I, and it was issued
(13,66 lb). This doctrine was to cost the to armies other than the French. The Specification
French army dearly in 1914, but US Army adopted the type in 1917 and Canon de 75 mle 1897
throuqhout the 'Great War' the '75' re- even commenced production of its Calibre:75 mm (2,95 in)
mained the standard field piece of the own version, So many '75s' were pro- Lengrth: of barrel 2, 587 m ( l01,BS in)
French army, duced that they were used for a variety Weights: in action I 140 kq (2,514 1b);
The hydraulic recoil system of the of other purposes, The armament ol travelling 1970 kg (4,343 1b)
'75' produced a relatively long recoil the first French tanks was the '75', and Elevation:-11"to+18"
action, so long in fact that two 'ears' the '75' was also used as an anti-aircraft Traverse:6'
were fitted under the muzzle to en- gmn, either mounted on some dreadful Muzzle velocity: 575 m (1,886 ft) per
grage lugs on the recorl housing at full Iash-ups involving metal frames or on second
travel to take some of the barrel loads self-propelled mounttngTs on de Dion Maximumrange: 11000 m (12,030
off the pistons, These 'ears' provided lorries. Some were used as coastal de- yards)
the '75' with an easy recoqnition fea- fence weapons and when a 37-mm Shellweisht:6, 195 ks (13,66 Ib)
Thelegend of the French'7s'
The'75'was the pride of thepre-war French army. A truly innovativeweapon,it
completely outclassed the field guns of all other armies when it was introduced at
the turn of the century. The secrecy surrounding ifs deslgn and development
endowed the gun with a mystique that was to prove enduring, and the soixante-
quin ze g av e s te r ling s ervice.

The gmn that was to become internationally- Unfortunately for the French army, this de-
known as the '75' had rts origins in a French sperate secrecy attracted attention and it was
army project of the 1890s. By that tlme the not long before the workings of the recoil sys-
breechloading qlrn was commonpiace, but it tem were out. By that time the other major
suffered from the factor that had aflected artil- European powers had decided that if the
lery weapons ever since black-powder days: French were to have a new quick-firing
when a gun was fired the recorl forces forced weapon with an eificient recoil system, then
the gun barrel and carriage back out of posr they had to have one as well, Thus their desig-
tron, and they had to be replaced before ners duly came up wtth other but basically
another round could be flred, If some method similar solutrons, Some of these solutions were
of absorbing this recoil could be found, rapid even better than that of the mle 1897, for to
rates of fire would be possrble as there would ensure that the French system worked
be no need to keep manhandling the gmns efficiently the barrel had to recoil a consider-
back to therr flring posltion after every shot, able distance, some 1.22 m (48 in) This made The75-mm (2.95-in) mle 1897 was a,lso used as an
The solution seemed to he in the field of hyd- the barrel move so far that the centre of gravity anti-aircraft gun on both fixed and mobile
raulics, for a German flrm had developed a way and thus carriage stabiiity could be affected, mountings, as seen ftere. This mobile gun is
and the stresses on the recoil cylinder piston manned by newly-arrivedUS Army gunnerswho
of making a piston attached to the barrel move
took over a great deal ofFrench and British
through a thrck flurd as it recoited, and by care- rods were so considerable that 'ears', engaging equipment once they arrived, as they had little of
ful design thrs absorbed the recoil forces, This in lugs under the recoil housing, had to be fitted their own at that time.
principle was applied to some large static under the mrv:zle to take some of the strain.
coastal guns, but to make the idea work on a This did not materrally affect the rate of fire of high fire rates would overcome that slig.::
much smaller and lighter field gmn was another the mle 1897, which could be as high as 28 problem, Thus when the French infantry ac'.'-
matter, Most of the major European powers set rounds per minute with a trained crew, The anced to the Battles of the Frontiers in Augus:
their designers to work on the problem, but the barrel used a Nordenfeld breech mechanism 19i4, they advanced in front of massed batier-
French found the answer first. that could be rapidly opened using a simple tes of '75s' finng over open sights at the Germa:-
The French solution was a simple extension lever and a flick of a trained wrist, and the enemy.
of the original German piston and fluid idea; ammunition was loaded in one piece, shell and The Battles of the Frontiers soon showed'ia:
they simply made it smaller and with holes in propellant case joined together, French ideas on the strength of the attack were
the piston so that a mixture of water and By the time 1914 arrived the general secret of no avail in the face of machine-gn-rns, maga-
glycerine could pass through the holes at a set of the mle I897 was well known, although the zine loading rifles and well-concealed enem,,-
but slow rate, This would absorb recoil forces French still retained some security restraints artillery. The '75s' drd indeed prove to be ve:-.'
to the extent that none, or vrrtually none, would on the internal details. The French army ex- useful and handy weapons, but their overa-
be passed to the carriage, Thus the mle 1897 pected great things of the '75', for it exactly
was born and the French army immedlately surted their philosophy of the attack. In this
British gunnerswatch a French battery firing their
plrt a strict security clamp on it. No one outside view any enemy would simply be swept away 75-mm (2.95-in) mle ],897 field guns near Domart.
the immediate circle of user gunners was by massed infantry attacks with battertes of April I 9 I 8. The'7 5s' had a high rate of fire, but
allowed even to see the weapon, and not even '75s' producing vast supporting barrages at their light shells could do little more than scrape
the gmnners had any real idea ofhow the recoil high rates oi fire, The relatrvely llght shell the ground sufiace from the terrain and help
system actually worked. weight was overlooked, lt being stated that create the Westem F ront landscape.
The Legend of the French'75'

canon de T5 mle lg97


ffi{:;f*1t'f[3ii:"""2il:::::::,?::,:tr:{';{y i
grunners pit
have dug a for the carriage trail to I
provide the barrelwith more elevation and thus
rnore range. Note the gunner by the breech
'Hti:fl:zi':::"'!f::":::!I:f:*2!,arapidhand f
I
Right and below:The famous French'75'was supposed tobe one of France'swar-winners prior to 1914,
and ithad anunequalledrate of fire of up to 28 rounds aminute.ltwas alsolight in action and easy to
handle. Its main claim to fame was its novel recoil mechanism that returned the barrel to its firing position
after every shot, allowing the high rate of fire, but its shell weight was too light for the conditions
prevalent on theWestern Front after 19I4 and its line of fire was too flat to reach into trenches or
dug-outs. But the French had many of them, using them throughout the war and for long afterwards.
Field Guns of World War I
The Legend of the French'75'

lack of shell werght made them no match for the


heavy German howitzers and they suffered
aimost as much as the infantry during the open-
rng battles of World War L The protagonists
reeled apart and started to entrench them-
selves for the pecuhar state of siege warfare
that was to last the next four bitter years, Here
t&e '75' was not to shine for it fired ln a low
trajectory only, and agarnst trenches and even
hghtly-defended fleld fortiflcations it was of
very limited value. Ali it could do was scrape
slight depressions rnto the terrain and produce
some small measure of the semi-desert land-
scape that was to mark the Western Front.
Public craze given batteries of 73s', It duly got them, and so A pre- I 9 1 4 photograph of a Model I 897, taken at a
But before 1914 was out the '75'was already influenced were the Americans that they de- time when the French army expected to tight
famous, To disguise the measure of therr de- cided to produce a version as their standard mobile battles over open terrain. The battles of
1 9 I 4 drove the armies into the trenches wherc the
feats on the Frontiers some French propagan- field prece. The problem for them was that the
75 was unable to reach them but it remained the
dist hit upon the ldea that the '75'was the gun French manufacturers would not qive them the
standard French field gun of World War I .
that 'saved' France, The French public seized productron drawings, In typical Amerrcan style
upon the notion and the '75' became a public an mle 1897 was shipped to the USA and strip- some French tanks used the short-barrelled
craze almost overnight. Songs were published ped down to the smallest component, The '75' as their main armament, It was all for no-
lauding the gun, and the media usecl every manufacturers were soon dlsmayed, for they thing, as not even the '75' could wrthstand the
method to promote the idea, Even jewellery saw that each mle 1897 was virtually a hand- Panzer hordes that swept across France rn May
and lapel badges depicted the '75', and a built weapon produced at great cost in material 1940, Huge piles of all manner of French war
legend was born, and manpower. Yet the Americans wanted to booty fell into German hands, and with them
The troops on the battlefields no doubt had mass produce the '75', so they set about revrs- went the '75s', The '75'thus became a German
other ideas, The only way the '75' could be used ing the basic design to sult their productton gnrn, used to arm the Atlantic Wall and some
along the Western Front was weli forward, just methods, and in so doingr made the '75'a much garrison units in France and elsewhere, It even
behind the front lines and well within enemy cheaper (and better) weapon. became an anti-tank gun ln 1942 when the in-
artillery range, To make up for the light shell The '75' saw out World War I and in the years creasing number of Soviet T-34s proved to be
werght of the '75' the gmns had to be massed alter the war there was no hope of the French impervious to the existing German anti{ank
together rn large numbers: at one point in the army even thlnklng of replacing it: it was too gnrns. The '75s' were dragged out from the boo-
1916 battles at Verdun one entire valley was much a symbol of the French victory of 1918. ty stockpiles and fitted with new muzzle brakes
nlled wlth '75s' massed wheel to wheei and But some detail improvement could be made. and strengthening bands around the barrels.
kept constantly firing. Sheer numbers had to For a start the box-sectlon trail was eliminated, New armout-piercing ammunition was issued,
make up for the overall lack of firepower until for that restricted elevation and extended and the gun became the 7,5-cm Pak 97/38, the
neavier weapons reached the front, and it was range. A new box trail (through which the '38'denoting that the Pak 38 carriage was used.
no consolatron to the French qunners to know breech could be lowered as the barrel was It seemed to be the last indignity the '75'could
,nat therr shells could have little effect on the elevated) was designed, but only a few were suffer,
enemy trenches and earthworks, made. The reason seemed to be that as the '75' But even as that was happening the '75'was
Durlng World War I the '75s' rolled off the had seen the French through World War I it doing its bit across the Atlantic, The Americans
prcduction lines at Bourges and elsewhere rn was good enough for the next, and no funds had mastered production of the '75' just as
-arge numbers, but the mle 1897's recoil system were forthcoming for such expensive changes. World War I ended, but in the years alter then
,'.'as not an easy thrng to make. Because of the Changes did come wrth the introduction of they used the gun as therr standard weapon,
:-cse tolerances involved each system had to pneumatic tyres so that the weapon could be They also used it as the starting point for many
:e virtually hand-made, Despite this so many towed behind trucks, but that was in the late other projects. For instance, when a tank gun
::ins were produced that some were soon 1930s and before long another war was loom- was wanted rn the late 1930s the '75'was taken
:eirrg diverted to other uses than field artillery, ing, Once again the '75' would have to be put virtually unchanged to arm the new medium
-:e flrst French anti-aircrait guns were srmply ready to save France, tanks, later to become the M3 Lee/Grant and
-
-s placed on steel frameworks and pointed the M4 Sherman. The idea of a tank-busting
s-<,=,vards, while some were placed on mobile WorldWarIIuse airborne gun was mooted by the US Army Arr
::ck mountrngs, When the tank appeared the So when World War II started in September Force so a '75' was fitted to a North American
::s: French examples mounted the '75' as their 1939 the '75s' were at the ready, often still on B-25 Mitchell bomber, Deveiopment gradually
:-:u'r armament. Other '75s' were mounted on their original carriages, complete with reduced the gun weight to the point where
!=iestals to defend French harbours and wooden-spoked wheels, The old anti-aircrait B-25s carried the '75' as an anti-shipping
::1s. or were placed into forts to replace guns gruns were still emplaced on their elevated weapon in the Paclflc, The werght of thrs air-
s:-coed out durlng 1914 and 1915, Throughout frames and on their orrgrnal World War I borne gun was low enough to be used as a light
:'. oenod the legend of the '75' persisted, to trucks. Some (but not many) new equipments tank grun to arm the M24 Chaffee series, And alt
-:: extent that when the US Army arrived in had been produced, A new lorm of '75' was this occurred while the old American '75 fleld
--:-ce in l9l7 wrthout artillery lt asked to be used to arm a few of the Maginot Line forts, and gR-lns were used to train the new US Army
ready for war. Some even saw action during
the early stages of the Pacific war, and more
were passed to the British army during the
grim days of 1940 and 1941,
Thus the old'75' was still doingr its bit to save
France again, but this time in dtfferent hands.
The'75' can still be found in many French cities
adorning war memorials as a reminder of pas:
glories. It remains one of the most famous gnrns
ever produced.
Part of a French army mle 1897 battery in afield
position near E I berfeld in I I I 5. W ithin a few s ho r t
months positions sucft as fftese had been driven to
shelter in trencfies as lfie Western Front
'hardened' and artillery fire grew heavier. Scenes
such as this were not to occut again until the
batilesofAugust 1918.
Field Guns of World War I
Canon de 105 mle I9I3 Schneider
- -:-::g the early 1900s the French very useful, It was not long before
i:::eider & Cie took over much of the Schneider was churning out the L 13 S
=-:..;:s of the Russian Futilov concern, as fast as it could,
:,:-:drnq the latter's arsenal at St In action the L 13 S was a much more
l:::rsburg. When Schneider officials cumbersome weapon than the handy
-::<ed around the works they disco- '75'. the long box trail was rather heauy,
'.-=:ed a rather large and handsome but it kept the gun stable when firing
;-:- chamberd for the standard Rus- for proionged periods. The overall de-
.--. 107-mm (4.2i-in) round. Subse- sign was basically simple and there
:_::nt investigations demonstrated were no frills a carry-over from its
-:,:: thrs equtpment fired a useful shell Russran origins. The interrupted-
: a good range, and the Schneider screw breech was easy to operate but
::lresentatives decided that it would the ammunition took a bit of handling,
:: a grood gmn to offer the French especrally after a prolonged period in
::ny The design was subsequently action: the HE shell weighed 15.74 kg
:-l<en back to France and recham- (34.71b), The L 13 S was often towed
:ered for the French 105-mm (4.134- inio action behind an eight-horse team
:-, calibre; few other changes were with a small limber takrng the weight of :.Ti
L. "*
:_:cessary, the trail, and in action the gun team
Unfortunately for Schneider & Cie could be as large as eight men, most of
-:: French army was not impressed. It them handling the ammumtion.
-=:eady had large numbers of '75s' and Numbers of L 13 S gnrns were hand-
::ere was no need for anything ed over to the Belgdan army during
:,eavier, despite the fact that the 105- World War I and they were used
::rn gn-rn was not being offered as a among the Belgian positions on the
-eld gun alone but more as a medium River Lys, AJter 1918 L 13 Ss were
::pport weapon. Even so it took a handed over or sold to ltaly (Cannone Above: Frenchgrunners lakea rest Below: A French battery near Amiens
lleat deal of Iobbying and persuasion da 105/28) and Yugroslavia, and some close to their 1 0 5 -mm (4. I 4- in) mle inApril I918 is armed with Schneider
:efore the French army relented and ended up wrth the new Polish army. 19l3 (L I3 S) somewhere in the 105 mm mle 1 9 I 3 heavy field gans,
:"rychased a relativley small batch rn Most of these World War I veterans Argonne region. Am munition also known as the L 13 S. Originally
-313, Thus this new French gmn be- were still in use when 1939 came Iimbers are ready to thelettof the derived trom a Putilov design, they
rame the Canon de 105 mle l9l3 around and the L 13 S then took part in gun, which has not yet been fired as were among the best of the F rench
Schneider, or more commonly rn the a new war, Most of the French L 13 S the trail spade is not dug into the artillery and were powerful enough
semce abbreviation of the tlme the gn:ns ended up rn German hands after ground. to demolish German field works.
r 13S. 1940 and many were used for beach
The first batch was duly delivered, defence as part of the Atlantic Wall,
:'jt the French army remained unen- with the designation 10.5-cm Kanone
':-'rslastic until after the start of World 33I(f) or K 333(f)
-,',-ar
I in 1914. After the Battle of the
:::ntiers and the arrival oftrench war- Specification
:.:e the shortcomings of the '75' be- L 13S
:.:--ne painfully apparent as it lacked Calibre: 105 mm (4,I34 in)
.----11 weight and any sigmflcant effect Length: ofbarrel 2,987 m (1 17,6 in)
-:- ield fortifications, includinq tren- Weights: in action 2300 kg (5,071 lb);
::-:s. But the L 13 S fired a much travelling 2650 kg (5, Ba3 b)
-=arier shell and could have a con- Elevation: -5" to +37"
.-::rble effect on such structwes, and Traverse:6'
:-. rhus soon in gneat demand, It was Muzzlevelocity: 550 m (1,805 ft) per
:-: that it frred its shell rn a relatively second
'=. :ajectory that often prevented it Maximumrange: 12000 m (13, 123
:-:: reaching down into trenches, but yards)
:i : coun1erbattery weapon it was Shellweight: 15.74 kg (34.7 lb)

Skoda l49-mm Modell 14 and Modell 14/16


The S koda I 49-mm (5. 87 - in) M odel
l4 was one ofthe standard Austro-
HungarianArmy howitzers of Worl1
War I. I t fired a 4 I -kg (90.4-1b) shell to
a range of 6900 m (7,546 yards) anci
could demolish even large field
fortifications. Many were Later
captured by the ltalian army and
used by themformanyyearc, even
through World War II .

the Modell 14, and it required a iarge the Modell 14. The originat Modell 14 heavrer
horse team to move the weapon, De- ammunition could still be fired, and the Both the Modell l4 and lvlcc:-- ,= -:
sprte all this werght the Modell L4 did Modell 14116 shell could be flred from were used throughout Worlc r,-a:: - ::
not have a partrcularly good range: the Modell 14 if required, but this lhe Austro Hlrgat ran -:r.- - =1.,
6900 m (7 546 yards) was the max- meant such a change in ranqte tables gaue oood serv.ce. Mon, ::.j.r j --. '
imum. even rf thc HL shell was quite and trarning etc that this was rarely Italian use, so many rn iac :ra :=:'
destructrve. done. The new barrel and anmunirion were still rl^e standard I-:-:::. :.=:. -:.
Durlng 1916 a new version of the meant a range increase to 8790 m howrtzers .n l94O w. i. ::.. r. r..- .
Modell 14 began to appear on the Sko- (9 613 yards) whrch was a help, but t'ons obice da 149112 modello l{-...-
da production lines This was the Mod- these were not the only chanqtes. The obiceda 149/13 AJrer l9-- :-- :... .-
ell 14/i6, which featured a siightly lon- Modell 14/16 had a new carriaqe de- zers weie .rsed by Lhe C:. -:. lria
qer barrel and to provrde more ranqe sign which was stronger and more houfnize vz 14 arrd vz 14./16_ -:--.:,=,,
fired a shell that was ligrhter than that of stable than the original but also and Hungarran armies ior ra:,-,--.-:il:
Skoda 149-mm Modell 14 and Modell i4l 16 (continued)

An Austro-Hungarian Skoda Model


I 9 1 4 I 49-mm howitzer is seen in
actionwith ltalian forces on the
northern ltalian front. These
howitzers were used by both sides
during the war, with the I talians
capturing their stocks from the
Austro-Hungarians - so many, in fact,
that this model became a virtually
'l talian' gun during World W ar I I.

and the Modell 14116 rn particular was


the sublect of a graduai series of im-
provements and modifications to keep
it as up{o-date as possible. This in-
volved the usual replacement of the
wooden-spoked wheel with pressed
steel wheels fitted with rubber tyres,
bur in oodi ion new ammunttion was
rnr.oduced and lhe HungarLans went
so far as to vrrtually rebuild their M.l4i
35 howitzers, a programme that even
involved the fittinq of muzzle brakes to
roduce recorl lorces on the carrrage
when new ammunition was flred,
Both the Modell 14 and Modell 14116
were sound and sturdy weapons, but
ihey were rather heavy and, com-
pared with many contemporary de-
signs, lacked rangre, However, they
,lere produced in such larqe numbers
that many were on hand in 1939 ready
ior use in another war. Examples in
German service were desigmated 15-
cm schwere Feldhaubitze M.I4 (Sko-
da), while ex-ltalian equipments were
lS-cm sFH 400(i) and sFH401(i).

Aus tro-H ungarian Skoda I 49 -mm Right: British and ltalian transport
Model I 9 I 4 heavy field
( 5.87 -in) pass captured Au s tro- H ungar ian
howitzers in a battery position at artillery on a road near the Val
Wolhynie. The changes from the d'Assa in November I I I 8. The gun in
battery lay-outs of theWestern Front the immediateforeground is aSkoda
are very apparent, although shelters 149 -mm ( 5.87 -in) Model I 9 I 4 field
for men and ammunition have been howitzer, one of many thatfellinto
prepared near the guns. Italian hands to become one of the
standard I talian artillery weapons of
WorldWarll.
Specification
llodell 14 Modell 14/16
CaLbre: 149. I mm (5 87 in) Calibre: 149, I mm (5,82 in)
Ler,gth: cibarrel2 09 m (82.3 in) Length: of barrelZ.I m(82.7 rn)
-'Veights:
rn action 2344 kg (5, 168 lb); Weights: in action 2765 kg (6,097 lb);
:-'.'=---g 3070 ks (6,769 lb) travelling 3340 kq (7,365 lb)
Elevation: - 5' to + 43' Elevation: -5'to +70"
Traverse:6'
I'l-:zzJe velocity: 300 m (984 ft) per Muzzle velocity: 350 m (1 148 ft) per
.=: -: i second
l'laximum range: 6900 m (7,546 yards) Maximum range: 8790 m (9,613 yards)
S:.eil -*'eight: 41 kq (90 4 ]b) Shellweisht: 40 33 ks (88,9 ]b)

,l
Victorg qt Tannenberg
In war-plan called for an all-out effort to conquer France before
I 9 I 4 the German
mobilized her colossal forces. Accordingly, the bulk of German forces
Russia
stormed through Belgium and France while tokenforces faced theRussian
juggernaut poised to invade East Prussia. But the Russian armies were divided, and
a G erman staff offi cer, M ax V on H offm an, devi se d a p I an which was to pr oduce a
crushing victory.

3erman planning made the defeat of France rts tain of Russian locations, then withdrew to
primary objective after adoption of the Schlief- - Gumbinnen. Rennenkampf made no attempt to
':"pursue
-en Plan in 1905. Forces ln the east would be on until 20 Auqust, when he confronted the
.re defensive until a quick vlctory over the German posrtlon at Gumbrnnen, A frontal
: rench allowed the transfer of forces, East assauit by I Corps, XVII Corps (von Macken-
Prussia was held by the 8th Army of four corps sen) and I Reserve Corps (von Below) was
.l XVI and X Corps, and ] Reserve Corps), a repulsed,
:esewe division, several Landwehr (territorial) That day Samsonov penetrated the border.
i:rigades and a cavalry division, commanded Von Prittwitz, acting on von Waldersee's
:y General von Prrttwrtz, wrth General Graf von
-,Valdersee advice (he had been a veteran Krzegsp.ieler or
-
as his chief-of-staff, Additional wargamer, and had fought the battle out on a
andwehr units were in the garrisons of map many times) sent von Moltke a pessimistic
Konigsberg and the Vistula fortresses. appraisal of the situation and considered a re-
On 7 August the German Chref-of-Staff, treat to the Vrstula. Soon afterwards, however,
Seneraloberst Helmuth von Moltke, in accord- von Hoffman presented his commander with a
11ce with the Schlleffen Plan, ordered Prittwitz new plan, This was the one von Hoffman had
:: avoid encirclement and to retreat behind the
-,-rstula
preferred from the start, a shift for a decisive
if necessary, However, Prittwitz's depu-
,; chief-of-operations, Oberst Max von Hoff- Below: In 1914 therewere probably more cavalry
::an, preferred the aggressive approach of in Europe than ever before, but the proportion of
Above.'Russja's huge armies and the steady
S:rlieffen himself: 'Throw everything at the mounted troops had ofcourse declined growth of her military power had been a source c:
considerably as breech-loading rifles and rifled great anxiety to Germany before the war.
-:si Russan army to come wrthin reach,' artillery removed their tactical role;but cavalry
The Russian North West Front (army group) Inefficient staff-work and an obsession qaLfl
remained the only arm capable of reconnaissance. fortresses combined to badly weaken trle ft uss:a:
--ler General Zhllinsky, attacking East Prus- Here, German lancers halt during the first days of
.-: forcesin 1914.
consisted of the 2nd Army based in War- the T annenberg c amp aign.
:,=',-; and the lst Army at Kovno, The comman-
:::s were, respectively, Generals Samsonov
--j Rennenkampi Their personal animosity
co-operation, Rennenkampf was to
--iered
:--:h on Konigsberg through the Insterburg
la: surround the fortress, and turn south to
':r':- lfis northward drive of Samsonov, Ren-
-=:-<ampl however, had only 6% infantry and
--avalry divisions available, although two
r j-.ns from the 2nd Army were subsequent-
:=:sferred to him,
j=:-onov had nine infantry and three caval-
:- --.-ions (excluding the two infantry drvi-
- ,-*- :ansferred to Rennenkampf). His army
, i aCvance into East Prussra between Sol-
:. - -j Johannlsburg, towards Allenstein and
.'=-- .:la, The ZndArmy, however, mobilized
. : --- jerable distance away from the fronlier,
: -; - 23 was set as the date for both armies to
: - :==i-.- :o cross the border.
Victory at Tannenberg
blow against Samsonov, Prrttwitz approved the
plan, apparently abandoning any thoughts of
retreat.
Berlin was not aware of these developments,
however, Von Moltke feared losrng East Prus-
sia, even though the original Schheffen Plan
had allowed 1br that to happen, Von Moltke
made a vital decision: he ordered five divisions
(four infantry and one cavalry) to be pulled out
of the German right wing along the Marne in
France, decisively weakening the German
drive on Paris, He also sacked von Prittwrtz and
von Waldersee, replacing them with General
Paul von Beckendorffund von Hindenburg and
Generalmajor Errch Ludendorfl These two
men (the first called from retirement and the
second from a staff positlon in France) would
beome leaders of the German army and nation
as a result of their action, Arrlvrng on the scene,
they despatched von Prittwitz and von Wal-
dersee to the rear and ignominy, Ludendorfl
however, knew von Hoffman personally and
realized that hls pian was excellent, so it re-
mained in effect.
Samsonovwas driving northwards by forced
marches, and by 25 August his five corps were
on a 100-km (62-m11e) front, only 15 km (9 5
miles) from Allenstein,
Between 21 and 25 Augmst, however, the
Cossacks spea rhead the Russian advance into East Germans had used their excellent raii system
Prussia. Both sides used large numbers of cavalry
for reconnaissance, but German intelligence was
assisted by theRussran armies' failure to encode The Tannenberg Encirclement
their wireless messagres. The commanders of the twoRussian armies invading EastPrussia had publicly quarrelled before the
war, and they made litue effort to co-ordinate their action in 1914. The Germans left only covering forces
infrontof Rennenkampf anddeployed theirdivisions tosurroundandannihilateSamsonov's 2ndArmy.
I ia.

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Field Guns of World War I

:c shift their forces facing Rennenkampf, ex- Russians avoided encirclement, By 14 Septem- Germbns gained vital advantages from ae:-..
:ept for some Landwehr and the lst Cavalry ber the Russian Ist Army had wlthdrawn across reconnaissance and radio interception c,::
livrsion, to attack Samsonov in the south, XX the border, also vital today,
Jorps and the 3rd Reserve Drvision had fallen The Battle of Tannenberg is significant be-
When Samsonov's 2nd Army surrendered, 90,lUi
lack before Samsonov and were now south of cause it demonstrated how a numerically in- Russian troops were taken prisoner. Here a
-\llenstern, I Corps arrived on the right, while ferlor defender can use interror hnes and column of prisoners is marched west, Warded by
-{VII and I Reserve Corps railed rn on the left, mobility to defeat an attacker, certainly a les- German second-line troops , while a fresh
3n 25 Augmst intercepted Russran radio mes- son for NATO today. It also showed the crucial regriment marches to the front where surwiving
sages showed that Rennenkampf would pre- lmportance of planning in modern war. The Russr'an forces werc reteatinginto Poland.
sent no threat to the German rear, Samsonov
pressed forward, right into the German trap.
Thetrap is sprung
The Germans began their encirclement, On
25 Ausrust, von Francois took the village of
Seeben on the Russian left. North east of Allen-
s:rne XVII and I Reserve Corps routed the Rus-
s-an VI Corps. On 27 Auenrst Francois broke
Juough the Russian left and captured Neiden-
burg, closing the ring, The three Russtan cen-
:re corps (XIII, XV and XXIIi) were sur-
rounded. By 29 August the Russians had been
:ompressed into a pocket, On 30 August Sam-
sonov ordered a breakout to the south, XV
Oorps took Nerdenburg briefly, but the encirc-
-ement held, the pocket collapsed and Samso-
rov shot himseli
Some 90,000 Russians were taken prisoner
along with 500 guns. Total Russian losses prob-
-ly exceeded 120 000 Three corps had been
lnlhilated and two others badly mauled, Ger-
ran losses in the whole campaign were not
:ore than 10,000,
Von Hindenburg and Ludendorff then
::rned on Rennenkampi The Battle of the
I,lasurian lrakes Was a German vrctory,.rbut the

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GERMANY

Ehrhardt field guns


AJthough less well known outside Ger- The 1 5 - pdr Ehrhardt field gun was
many, the Ehrhardt concern ofDiissel- purchased by the British Army direct
dori was one of the more important fr om G erm any during the B oer W ar,
German steel and weapons manufac- and was still in use when World W ar I
iurers, although lt was often oversha- started. Although most had been
dowed by the giant Krupp concern, In replaced by I 9 I 6 they were used by
ttme it underwent a series of mergers the British in France and elsewhere,
and take-overs that resulted in the mainly by resewe artillery batteries.
Rheinmetall-Borsig AG conglomerate
that was to become as big and as im-
portant as Krupp, but dwing the early
1900s it had to struggle to get what
orders it could, One ofthese early 19OO
orders was from the UK, no less, which
was at that time still enmeshed in the
2nd Boer War, a war in which the UK's
farmer opponents were better off for
modern field artillery than the British
army. In 1901 the British ordered l0B
Ehrhardt fleld guns that were known to
the Britrsh as the Ordnance, QF, 15-
pdr, These guns had a calibre of
76,2 mm (3 in) and were regarded
very much as stopgap equipment until
somethrng better came along, when
the Ehrhardt euns were handed over (and thus maximum range) so later to carry two gtlln crew members on the throughout the war years and many of
to the Territorial Army field battedes, Ehrhardt guns featured what became move, These were later replaced by a them were still in use when the Ger-
Some of these TA batteries still had known as the split pole trall. Thls had shjeld and the orrginal irun whei:ts mans invaded Norway in 1940, where-
their lS-pdr guns when they were two tubular pole trail leqs reachrng were replaced by British service upon they were designated 7.5-cm
ordered to travel to France dudng back from the carriage cradle to a items, The Royal Artrllery was not very FK246(n),
1915, and for a while these were used pornt well behind the breech at full tmpressed with the lS-pdr gmns and, Many other Ehrhardt guns were
until enough l8-pdr guns were on hand recoil, A connecting tube then joined as already mentioned, they were re- sold 10 South American nations.
tb replace them rn 1916. A few more the two poles at right angles and to this placed by l8.pdr quns as soon as
batteries of 15-pdr gnms were sent to connecting piece the single pole trarl possible. Specification
Eqrpt but these saw little, if any, action, ran back to the trail spade and towing 1901 was a good sales year for l5-pdr
The 1S-pdr guns were typical eye, This combined the hghtness of the Ehrhardt, for rn rhar same year it re- Calibre: 76 2 mm (3 in)
Ehrhardt designs as they prominently pole trail with the ability of the barrel to cerved an order for 132 fleld quns lrom Length: ofbarrel 2.286 m (90 1n)
featured one of the main Ehrhardt elevate as much as required, and this the Norwegian army. '1hese {uns were Weight: rn action 1030 5 kg (2.2721b)
trademarks lhe pole trarl carriage feature became a virtual Ehrhardt of 75-mm (2.95-in) calibre and differed Elevation: -5'to + 16"
Ehrhardt used the pole trail to enable trademark, being used on many m many details from the Britrsh l5-pdr Traverse:6o
the gun to be towed easily by horses as Ehrhardr mountain grun designs. pieces. Although Norwav was not Muzzle velocity: 510 m (1,674 ft) per
rt combined strenQth with lightness. The Bntish 15-pdr guns had the directly concerned with W6rld War I, second
The company soon learned however, ordinary pole trail, and the first ver- its 7.5-cm Feltkanon t63l MiOI Maximum range: 5852 m (6,400 yards)
:hat the pole tiail restncted elevation slons even had two seats over the axle Ehrhardt guns were kept in servrce Shellweisht: 6,35 kq (14 Ib)

7.7-cm field gun


Dulng the 1890s the German army The 7.7-cm (3.03-in) FeldkanoneC 96
asked Krupp to produce a field gun n/A(neues Art-new model)was the
.',rth a calibre of 77 mm (3.03 in), Thrs standard German field gun of the
:id calibre was chosen as it was real-
-zed that most potential earlywar years. Built by Krupp, it
enemies used was a rugged and very reliable gun
:=ld guns with calibres of 75 mm but lacked range andwas later
.2.95in), namely France or 76.2mm replaced by the 7.7-cm FK I 6, which
'3
Ln), namely Russia. Thus any cap- had a longer barrel and some other
-.:led guns could be bored out to take small changes to the field carriage
3erman ammunition but an enemy andshield.
,';:i-rld be unable to do the same with
:apnted German gmns: this is an early
=lample of this natron's thorough
:pproach to war, In order to save
::-ali:facturing potential the new gn-m
;;- to be mounted on the howitzer
:-rage of the day,
-ris gun was known as the Feld-
karrone 96 r/A (n/A for neues Art, or
:-:-,'; model), It was the standard fleld
l:-: .f the German artillery arm when
,',-::rC war I began in 1914, and many The FK 16 rntroduced considerable
:::;:ci until 1918. The FK 96 n/A was a ranqe increase, With the old type
s:-:-i Krupp design, but the German ammunition the FK 96 n/A could man-
;-::ers grradually came to appreciate age only about 7000 m (7,655 yards)
:--: -, lacked range and asked for im- firinq light shrapnel projectiles, The
:::'.'+nenls New ammunttton was ln- new FK i6 firing new streamlined
:.:::ed. but the main range incre- shells could reach l03O0m (11,264
:,::-: came during 1916 with the rntro- yards), which was a considerable in-
:-:::: ol a new and longer barrel; the
r:j:-:ge contrnued to be the original A German 7.7-cm (3.03-in)
l. :i ::-rntzer carriage and the breech Feldkanone (FK) C 96 n/Ais shown in
:-:::3l.rm of the FK 96 n/A was re- action in the Champagne region with
=,:-=d This new field gun became the barrel atmaximum recoil. As the
,:-:-,':- ^: the 7.7-cm Feldkanone 16 or loader stands by with a fresh round
FK 16 ald it was rapidly adopted as the soldier at the end of the carriage
:-= German field gmn,replac- tr ail prep are s to m a ke any laying
==iard
:rany of the older corrections the layer next to the
-:-l: - models as
shield might call for.

a:
7.7-cm field gnrn (continued)

:rease. Some ol lhrs range -fl.tri-: :3,',- -,'.eac.r!s allowed to the rump of
-German
rad to be offset by an increase r-r, c . =l ::-e :ii army Others were
all werght but this price was bcne
',rrllingly, The FK 16 could fire a -'tCe
:. :::j *i
as war reparations to na-
-
-i:rs such as Belgium, and the Nether-
lange of ammunition types all of tnen .ai.is also recerved a number, Many of
ioaded separately, i.e. the shell ard ii:es3 FK l6s were converted to take
:harge case were loaded as two Lrer: l5-n'n (2 95-in) barrels, including the
fu wellas the usual shrapnel and ir.gh Ge rmar examples, so that when World
:xplosive (HE), the FK 16 was also ,[ r- ll :ame around there were vrr-
'-ned to fire various forms of gas sheJl
tua1ly no 77-mm versions left other than
Compared with the earlier short pro a iei.i trarnng equipments. Many of the
'ectiles, the improved ammunition for re-barrelled FK l6s were used
:re FK 16 was much Ionger and more throughout World War II,
s:reamlined, offerinq less draqt rn
''ght. These shells were usually HE Specification
::1y; there were also smoke and rllu- FK 16
:,:ratinq proj ectiles. Calibre: 77 mm (3.03 in)
-immumtron for the FK 16 was car- Weights: in action1422.5 kq (3, 136 lb);
:-:i into actron on a gmn limber A travellins 22BO kq (5,040 lb) Above:AGerman army 7.7-cm (3.03- Below : German ganners train with
.-r horse team was used to pu1lthe gmn Lengrth: ofbarrel 2 70 m (106,3 in) in) C 96 n/A tield gun in action in 7.7-cm (3.03-in) C 96 n/A field Wns
::-C limber into action, but late in the Elevation: -9.5' to +38" Poland during the I I I 5 summer on ranges som ewhere in Germany
-.';ar other animals such as oxen had to campaign. The gan sight can be seen duringWorld War I. These gans.
Traverse: Bo
: = used. The normal gun crew was s.x Muzzle velocity: maximum 600 m above the lowered gun shield flap although replaced by the FK 16 in the
:l seven men but often less were used (1,968 ft)persecond and some ammunition carriers lie in field batteries after 1916, were stll n
rrce the gun was emplaced in a for- Maximumrange: 10300 m (l 1,264 frontof theganmuzzle. use for training or by reserve
',','ard position; the rest then acted as
batteries until the war ended in I 9 I 8.
:-'nmunition handlers. Shellweight: stream[ned HE 5.9 kg
After 1918 the FK 16 was one of the (13]b)

.l-:,:;-e: Detail o{ the breech of a


:.:zp ::r ed FK I 6 shows the sliding
: -- :-, ci b/ock which was by 1 9 I 6 a
: z::: ard feature of German field
::---e:-t design.

Above : German g:';lners e ng ag e. ;


urban fighting against B o ls he'r)<
-:.
j il -- ----' 3.43-in) Feldkanone forces near Nariva, March I 9 i 8. T:e
- iessd oa the C 96 n/4, but guns are 7.7 -cm (3.03 -in) FK | 5 s r.
: .i : .- ::: :allre and was more the layer is aiming the gun o"er .pe:.
=
-** :: :: i|e:ternFront sigifs.JVotehow the grun czew::+=
.',laxtmum range was the ammunition limber to ob:a::.
2€1 yards). extracover.

76.2-mm Field Gun Model 00102


fortresses, which absorbed so large a man weapons Russia demonstrated to
proportion of the defence budget, the world the superionty of metal car-
proved to be of little use when the riages over conventronal wooden ones
German army finally invaded, while during the Russo-Turkish war rn 1877.
: -.----^i the lack of modern fleld gmns in the The campaign in Bulgana revealed Krupp destons -:-= .: - -:- : -.:
_
:
: -^^-
,:: :-1
^-
-- ill armies was a serious handicap, many shortcomings in the Russian Gun Model O0 '.';; : -j-- r . :.
Since the l860s Russia had used army but probably saw the Tsarist Krupp weapor. :i : :.:: r.' -- - -- :
--r -:_: army at the peak of its efficrency. : i:r.'--: ::i::
_.= :lt:-1j::etl
---- -.
field artillery based on Krupp desiqns, tem other lhdr, :
' _- -'-_:^_-; _;. Although unable at first to afford the Thereafter, its fortunes declined as theaxle lthad :.-::=i:.-. : r:'
steel barrel constructlon of the Ger- vigorous officers like Skoboleff were before a ITIorr r.. t:'r. -: '
76.2-mm Field Gun Model 00/02 (continued)

was fitted to produce the Model 00/02. of19 14 and after usually resulted in the modernize them was instituted. Thus Lengrth: ofbarrel 2,280 m (90 in)
Thrs gn:n was produced at the Putilov qnrns that there were to hand being when 1941 arrived the Model 02 was Weights: in actron i040 kg (2,293 lb);
arsenal at St Petersburg, which was added to the pile of German war booty. still in sewice as the Model 0?30, and travelling 1965 kg(4,332 lb)
the most modern facllity in Russia at AII the Putrlov workers could do was captured examples were designated Elevation: -5" to + 16"
the time, Thus the Modei 02 was verv attempt to churn out as many Model 7.62-cm leFk 294(r) by the Germans, Traverse: 5,5'
Lke many other Krupp desrgns of the 02s as they possibly cou.ld. Thus the Muzzle velocity: 5BB m (1,929 ft) per
period, The barrel was 30 calibres Model 02 was kept in production for Specification second
Iong and the usual Krupp steel section long after 1917, and so many were still Field Gun Model 00/02 Maximum range: 6400 m (7,000 yards)
trall was copied almost exactly, A in use by 1930 that a proeramme to Calibre:76,2 mm(3 in) Shell weight:6,5 kq (14.33 lb)
shield was provided, but this was often
removed and replaced by two seats
over the axle. One small feature that
was to become a virtual Putilov
lrademark was to be seen at the front
of the recoil mechanism cylinder: this
was a peculiar embossed pattem that
appeared on almost every subsequent
Putilov product.
The quantities offleld gmns required
by the massive Tsarrst armres were so
iarge that when World War I broke out
many batteries were still using field
gmns that dated back to the 1870s.
There were never enough Model OZs
to go around, and the German vtctories

Russian Putilov 76.2-mm (3-in) Model


00 (1900) fieldgunswere converted
for the anti-aircraft role on modified
garrison carriages and used by the
Germans on theWestern Front. This
trio was captured at Chateau Thierry
inJuly 19l,8.

I07-mm Field Gun Model I9l0


Soon after production of the 76.2-mm rndusrnes such as the defence con" 19lOs were flowing off the lines in con- S gmns, and the two weapons that orr
l3-in) Model00/02 got under way at the cerns made it even shakier, The only siderable numbers, so many in fact that ginated in St Petersburq many years
?..itilov arsenal, the designers had an way out the Tsarist offrcials could see when the line closed in the period after before ended their service lives
:pportunity to assess what other artil- was to attract foreign finance into such the revolution of 1917 there were many together.
iery weapons would be needed by the industries, and the French defence Model 1910s for the new Red Army to
lsanst armies, At that time many of the manufacturers descended on Russia use during the civil war and for years Specification
:eaqi f,eld battedes were equipped like hawks, The massive Schneider & after, In 1930 the type was one ofsever- i07-mm Field Gun Model 19l0
','rrh a motley array of weapons, mainly Cie concern soon took over the Putilov al chosen io be updated in an attempt Calibre: 106,7 mm (4,2 in)
:: Krupp origins, and the Putilov desig- arsenal and poured in huge amounts of to modernize the Red Army gnrn park. Length: ofbarrel about 2,99 m
::rs decided to see what they could hard cash, In return it took what rt could For the Model 1910 this meant a new (1 17.7 in)
!:cduce using their own talents, They to bolster its oum sales efforts, and the and longer barrel and new ammunr- Weights: in action 2172 kg (4,788 Ib);
s::n demonstrated a real flair for de- Model 1910 caught the French eye. tion; this produced the Model I910/30. travellins 2486 ks (5,480 lb)
s:gmrnq modern artlllery that was to The result was the 105-mm (4, 134-in) This gmn was one that the Germans Elevation: - 5'to +37"
l:me to firll flower during World War Model 1913, or L 13 S, came to prize after the events of 1941, Traverse:6o
-- :or they produced a gnrn known as Even with the flnancial backing of for it made an excellent weapon for Muzzle velocity: 570 m (1,870 ft) per
-:e l07-mm Field Gun Model I9I0, Schnerder, production of the Model use in the Atlantic Wall with the de- second
fhis Model l9l0 was one of the best 1910 at St Petersburq never got any- signation 10.7-cm K352(r), Thus the Maximumrange: 12500 m (13,670
i=srgms of its generation, It was well- where near meeting demand until well Model 1910/30 was used there along- yards)
::ia:rced and qtood-looking with an into the war years, But by 1917 Model side numbers of captured French L 13 Shellweight: i6.4 kq (36. 15 ]b)
all-round performance, and
:i :-rne was to show it had a consider-
=rcellent
:i-e amount of built-in growth poten-
::i As was only to be expected, fea-
:::es foom exrsting weapons (especial-
.. ::m some Krupp sources) were evi-
:=:-: m the design, but it was innova-
:-.-e and demonstrated a good balance
:: -,';eight and performance, The shell
l;::ghed 16.4k9 (36. 15lb) and could
:= fred to a very useful 12500m
-: ilO yards). The gmn was towed by
L^-^^^
---:-

l:'r, as at thrs stage, just after produc-


,::- :i the Model 1910 had com-
:-:::ed, that the Putilov concern got
-i.:: .nto severe financral difficulties,
-:-: sate of the Russian economy was
:: :est parlous, and the demands
:,=-= upon it by rapidly expanding

A Russian army I 07 -mm ( actually


! A 6.7 - mm/ 4.2 -in) Field Gun Model
i 3 l 0 in action with Armenian
gxtners in Mesopotamia. This gun
was the originator for the Schneider
i A 5 -mm (4. 1 4-in) L I 3 S used by the
French army, and amodernized
;,'ersion was used in World War I I.
Armed Forces of the World

India
Part I
during '1 963, in MiG-21
of
F form. Following the supply
42akcraftlrom the Soviet Union, assembly of the
MiG-21F started at the Nasik plant of Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in 1966, and about 200
were produced in the next eight years, the later
aircraft incorporating increasing percentages of
ut izing the R

wrth its MrG-23MFs


23 Aa - -:=
'Aphid') mlssi es a Teac\' s-::

ln addition tothe na f-doze- 1.' :-:-'.''.'=


ronS, lactcal ar s-ppo L o....r : = -' . '

-: : Ce',,cies consrderable resources to maintaining locally fabricated material. The aircraft's engrnes threesquadrons(Nos 10, 22Aar::l-',''.' :
: :'r: :.'i^v and a r force, and a growing navy. and K-13A 'Atoll' air-to air missiles were also pro- 'Flogger-F' aircraft which \r!/e'e .= ,:-:l
-.. -:':-3'- tnree wars s nce Independence and duced by HAL. ln 1974, production gave way to the 1981 2 and assembled at HAL \r3s .. - -=
=.: -.,^ -;- -:.Cn'na n l962andagainstPakstan MiG-21M close air support variant, of which 150 duction of the {ollow on MIG 27 '= :ll=' ,
- ::: -'.- ':-' 'd a stili perceives a strong were produced, and 50 MiG-21MFs were also re- with fixed rnlets. commenced :. '... .

"-.'' - :--.- .-:sa:J3rteTSandhasalsovOiced ceived direct from the Soviet Unron. These aircraft are replac ng tne r€-. - -
' - - -".- = :-: '. .^ r' sJoerpower (especially
. ln 1916-i the Soviets delivered enough of the Hunter F.Mk 56As (No 20 Sq;a:':- :
- Oce an The country's new third-generation MiG-2'1bis air-superiority TBMs (Nos 221 and 222 Sq,:a':':-.
--.--'-"'lects ts non- fighter to equrp three lndian squadrons. and this Maruts (No. 31 Sqn).
'.'
type subsequently entered production at Nasrk, The Marut was HAL's eary'361- .-. ='
from where another 150 are likely to have flown produce an indige.ro-s s-pe so^ .

before the programme ends in 1986. They have later relegaled lo close air s-poo"t ' ..' .
supplanted the MiG-2'1 F/FL in most air-defence wasioinedbvtheHAlAiee.,ade.i :: .''-
squadrons, and the lndians have integrated the Mat- Folland Cnat rghtweight 'ighte-. ..r' - - -
ra Magic AAM with the airframe The IAF MiG-21F/ licence-produced rn large quantitres ''a- ' :
FL/M/MF/bis squadrons are Nos 1,3,4,1,8,15,11 , 1914.The Ajeets were de ivered to \:s : ::
21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 39, 30, 31, 45, 47, 101 and 108 Squadrons from 1976 to 1982
Another two air-defence squadrons operate MrG- The SEPECATJaguaT s replacrng in. --- .-: :- -
lndian Air Force 23MF 'Flogger B' aircraft which were received rn more particularlythe BAC (Fnglisn E e:.-: ,.-:=--
The lndian A r Force ls d v ded rnto four operat on 1983, some two years after the Dassault-Breguet ras in the deep-penetration str ke rc e :' . = .: -. -
: commands, the South Western, Western, Central Mirage 2000 was chosen for the same role. Thirty- rons Tnelirsl lwounits(Nos5ano'- :::--. .

and Eastern. Administrative wings contro about 50 six single seat Mirage 200OHs and four of the two ped with 40 aircraft bu lt in the LK -: -: -; ' -
;ixed-wing squadrons each wrth 12 1B aircraft, as seat 2000TH versions wi I be delivered in 1985 6. two-seaters) and another B loaner -=--: ,':'
1

f rom the RAF. The latter were arer '=- -" =, ,


..vell as helicopter units and surface-to-alr missile They will be equipped with the Matra Super 530 '.
cattalions. There are also Maintenance and Training medium-range AAM as well as the short-range
Commands, th€ latter's resources being concen- Magrc. The Soviet Union agreed in 1984 to supply
The second production HAL Ajeer j.s seen a : :.::
rrated in the south of the country. one of its new generation fighters, the MiG-29 'Ful- company's Bangalore centre in J anu ary | 3 | l.
There are about 1 4 dedicated air-defence squad- crum', and to permit its subsequent assembly and Though the main difference from the Gnai :s :..
'ons, most of them equipped with the Mikoyan production by HAL. However, the timescale for use of integral-tankwings, so that allfaw p;..::
Gurevich MiG-21 {NATO reporting name'Fishbed'). these arrangements has not been authoritatively can be used for weapons, many other
This ubiquitous fighter was first received in lndta revealed. ln any case, it is thought likely that the improve me nts w er e inc o r p or a te d.

t:?
N:

r
F',
Lr

-t
'l
.+,
'!

:::1
Armed Forces of the World India
UK as production of a further 76 Jaguars at HAL's
Bangalore factory gathered pace. These aircraft will
have a second-generation nav-attack system to IAF
specifications, and will carry Matra Magic AAMs in
an overwing installation, with No. 27 Squadron the
first to receive them. Late-production aircraft will
incorporate a French radar and Exocet missiles so
that they can replace No. 6's Canberras in the mari-
time slrike role. However, some of the IAF's original
115 Canberras of assorted B(l).MK 5B/B.Mk 66/
B.Mk 12lPR.Mk 57lPR.Mk 67/T.Mk 54 marques will
survive in the photo-reconnaissance (No. 106
Squadron) and special duties (No. 35 Squadron)
roles. Front-line photo-reconnaissance is performed
by the dozen MiG-25R 'Foxbat B' aircraft received in SEPECAT J aguars are replacing Hunters and baram uses the Kiran.
1981. Canberras in Indian service. Forty examples have Speclalist courses are conducted by the Tactics
lndia wants to produce its own Light Combat beensuppliedfrom the UK and76 more are being and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE)
Aircraft (LCA) in the early '1 990s, and began solicit- built under licence at Bangalore. and the Test Pilots School within the Alrcraft and
ing co-operative proposals f rom European manufac- Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE). which also
turers in 1984. Mi-26s were ordered in 1985. evaluates all new aircraft and modifications for the
The IAF's transport force is receiving a long- The IAF Elementary Flying School is at Bidar, IAF.
overdue modernization. The survivors of 78 jet- where the 19S0-vintage HAL HT-2 trainer is finally The IAF is also responsible for area air-defence by
boosted Fairchild C-1 19Gs which served in Nos 12, being replaced by the HAL HPT-32. However, it is missiles. There are 27 battalions which received
19 and 48 Squadrons for up to 30 years are being possible that production will switch to the turboprop over 500 examples each of the SA-2 and SA-3 SAMs
replaced by 95 Antonov An-32 medium-range trans- version (HTT-34) after an initial batch of 50 aircraft. A from the Soviet Union.
ports. further 90 deliveries are planned.
The DHC Caribous in No. 33 Squadron, the Doug- The Air Force Academy is at Dundigal, where lndian Army air arm
las C-47s in Nos 43 and 49 Squ,adrons and the DHC baslc and advanced courses are conducted on the This service has received the bulk of the 200-odd
Otters which served Nos 41 and 59 Squadrons are HAL Kiran Mk i and MK lA (armed version) jet train- Chetaks (Alouette llls) and '1 50 Cheetahs (A6rospa-
also due to be relieved by a mix of An-32s and the ers, of which 190 were built. A batch of 50 Polish- tiale SA 3158 Lamas) produced by HAL under li-
new LTA (Light Transport Aircraft). This is the Dor- built PZL TS-'l 1 lskra jets was bought in 1975-6 for cence. Some of the Chetaks have been armed with
nter 228, of which over 100 are being licence- the Flying Training Wing at Hakimpet. These lskras the AS.'1 1 B wire-guided anti-tank missile. A batch of
croduced at HAL Kanpur. Some 40 willgo to the lAF. are likely to be phased out now that deliveries of the 12 Mil Mi-24'Hind' anti-armour helicopters was re-
The Kanpur factory previously produced the BAe uprated Kiran Mk ll are under way. Hakimpet also ceived 'for evaluation' in 1984.
748. Military examples of this British-designed houses the Helicopter Training School's Chetaks. MBB has been chosen to collaborate with HAL on
:fansport serve with No. 11 Squadron, No.'1 06 The Fighter OCU is at Kalaikunda using Hunter a new Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) for the
Squadron (for photo-mapping) and with communica- F.lVk 56/T Mk 66s, which were due to be replaced 1990s. Upon retirement from the lAF, some HT-2s
:ions squadrons attached to Air HO and the various by a two-seat version of the Ajeet in the later 1980s. are being refurbished for use by the army as
:ommands. Three Boeing 737s are also in use at the However, an Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) prolect is elementary tralners. The army is responsible for
Air HO Communications Squadron. now under way at HAL, which is soliciting overseas short-range air-defence of its own formations and of
The Mil Mi-B 'Hip' is lndia's standard transport participation. Conversion tralning onto the Soviet airfields. Forthis purpose it has six battalions of 54-6
relicopter, serving in the Helicopter Units Nos 105, fighter types is conducted at squadron level on the and SA-B SAMs.
:09, 1 10, 1 '1 B, 1 19 and 121. Over 100 'Hips' were MiG-21 U/MiG-23UM/MiG-25U or Su-7U.
s,.rpplied, followed more recently by deliveries of the A bomber OCU at Agra has some Canberra T.Mk
:pdated Mi-1 7 version. Some have been armed Three squadrons (Nos 10,220 and 22 l) operate
54s. The Transport Training Wing at Yelahanka has
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG- 2 SBN' F logger-F' strike
,\,'th rocket pods. The IAF also has five units of 17 HAL/BAe 748s, and a further seven of the type aircraft, which were assembled at Nasik by HAL.
i6rospatlale SA 319 Alouette llls, most of which are used by the Navigation and Signal School at India is now manufacturing the follow-on MiG-27
,';ere licence-built by HAL as the Chetak (Helicopter Begumpet. The Paratroop Training School at Agra under licence. These will replace Hawker Hunters,
-n'ts Nos 104, 101 ,113. 115 and 116). Ten Mil still has C-1 1 9s. The Flying lnstructor School at Tam- Sukhoi Su-Zs and HAL Maruts in five squadrons.

:,..f,
..1:
,r:'::!'

I.l