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German artillery ID


mtaylor
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These two artillery pieces were once in the grounds of Cally House, Perthshire and may have been originally souvenir guns presented to the town of Blairgowrie. Any suggestions as to their identification?post-173-0-54512100-1381244281_thumb.jpgpost-173-0-75475100-1381244292_thumb.jpg

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The second photo (lower gun) looks to me to be a 10.5cm Feldhaubitze 98/09.

The other one I am not sure of will keep looking unless sooner solved.

khaki

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Thanks for that. I did wonder about a Boer War origin but some of the FWW guns were similar - although not being able to see the breech is a problem. I have just found this snippet on YouTube showing the dump of captured guns at Croydon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRHPaIuWZwI

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The breach may not help anyway as the Transvaal and Orange River forces bought breach loaders, it's the seeming lack of a recoil mechanism in the long barrelled gun that would suggest a pre WW1. model - It resembles the Long Tom with the de Bange breach as supplied by France

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Attached is an image of a 98/09 10.5cm for comparison.

From S.S. 742, Photographs of German Guns, Serial No. 1, Field Artillery.

Chris Henschke

post-671-0-65011000-1381340707_thumb.jpg

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Given that Krupp produced 10 different models of light field howitzers of 10.5cm all very similar it would not be surprising if the 2nd gun was a captured howitzer from this range. It's the first gun that looks out of place as a WW1 gun (but how do we know that both guns were captured in the same war?) . There were 3 models of kanone, that had no recoil mechanism, with long barrels with trunions on hinged arms that allowed them to be raised above a parapet in order to deliver suppressive fire against a fortresses secondary armament. However these would have be obsolescent by 1914. I believe some of these were sold to the Boer Republics in about 1899/1900 hence one reason that I raised the possibility of a South African connection.

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Thank you all for the comments. I think we can name the second gun as a 10.5cm howitzer with some confidence. Still stumped re the first one. There were some German guns that had their recoil dampers behind the trunions and that's what I meant when I referred to not being able to see the breech (not clear - apologies). I may be a Boer war trophy and I'm following up on that now . Will post if I find more info.

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Thank you all for the comments. I think we can name the second gun as a 10.5cm howitzer with some confidence. Still stumped re the first one. There were some German guns that had their recoil dampers behind the trunions and that's what I meant when I referred to not being able to see the breech (not clear - apologies). I may be a Boer war trophy and I'm following up on that now . Will post if I find more info.

AFAIK only the 10 cm 1902 Krupp had recoil cylinders like this and a long barrel but it had a completely different carriage the top half of which slid back on a long recoil

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Thanks Centurion. Am seeking more info - and a better pic!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still on the case but it seems that these two guns may still exist. If so they may be the only FWW German guns in Scotland. Does anyone know of any other war trophy guns that have survived in Scotland or elsewhere? (Outside of IWM and the other big collections).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still on the case. Looks like one gun is a 15cm howitzer (not 10.5cm) and the other? Well I have an idea but I'm going to see it next week and can confirm then. Both guns were trophies presented to the town of Blairgowrie and are indeed therefore rare survivors. My search for other existing trophy guns in Scotland has turned up only three thus far: all 77mm field guns (two at Eilean Donan Castle's Clan MaCrae memorial and one at the Clan Cameron Museum, Achnacarry - interestingly captured by the Queens Own Cameron highlanders at Loos). Anyone know of others?

Watch this space!

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So, having seen the guns, one is definitely a 15cm schwere feldhaubitze, clearly marked Krupp and 1905 but the other is a 10 cm (105mm?) gun with no recoil dampers. The carriage is similar (but lighter) to that of the 15cm FK L/40 and very similar to the gun in the IWM photo below (but without the shield). It has a vertical sliding breech unlike the horizontal krupp breech in common use. The breech has no obvious marks but the top of the barrel has two old sets of numbers struck out and a six digit serial 15245. Barrel length from end of breech to muzzle is 3.68m (=calibre?). My feeling is that its an obsolete naval gun on a land trail. Suggestions welcome.

post-173-0-97647500-1384030897_thumb.jpg

post-173-0-66918100-1384031379_thumb.jpg

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If the howitzer is 15cm then it's a 1905 Krupp export howitzer. It's based on the 15cm sFH 02 with an L/14 rather than L/12 barrel. Belgium acquired some of these before

WW1 and they seem to have been recycled by the German Army after the invasion of Belgium in 1914. There is another survivor of these guns in Fort Frère

in Oberhausbergen outside Strasbourg.

The Ottomans bought 18 of these guns in 1905, finally delivered in 1908. All of the Turkish guns were lost during the Balkan wars 1911-13. The Bulgarian Army used 14 of the

captured 15cm howitzers and one survives at the Military Museum in Sofia.

http://landships.info/landships/artillery_articles.html?load=artillery_articles/15cm_Positionhaubitze.html

I think the Swedes bought some of these guns - there is at least one survivor in a museum in Sweden.

The Germans called them 15cm schwere Positionhaubitze since they were a little over the German Army weight limit for horse towed field artillery and were sold as mobile

reinforcement guns for use in fortresses. The barrel on the trophy gun seems to have slid back, possibly the recoil/recuperator failed.

Regards,

Charlie

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Charlie - the howitzer is clearly marked 1905 in fact its marked at the breech Nr 451/Fried Krupp / AG/ Essen1905 (pic attached). I thought that 1905 was simply the year of manufacture but if I get your meaning you're saying that it's a 'model 1905' for export? I wish I'd measured the barrel! Am I right in thinking this is the only one in the UK?

Yes, the barrel has slid back on the cradle.

Mike

post-173-0-52986800-1384169584_thumb.jpg

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The "1905" on the breech ring is the year of manufacture. The model year is the year that the gun was accepted for production.

It's a rare gun - there are, to my knowledge, 4 (now) survivors of the 15cm export guns in Europe, 1 in Australia (Turkish licence built) and

2 15cm Japanese Type 38 (licence-built Krupp) in Finland and Vladivostok.

Regards,

Charlie

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Charlie - thanks -all useful info in arguing for preservation.

Mike

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The '10cm' without a recoil system, did you measure the bore?

I ask because the vertical sliding breech on it is - as you suspected - a characteristic of German naval guns (up to the 8.8cm deck guns used on U-boats in the WWII era). This looks like some 9cm/8.8cm from 1880 to 1900 mated to a carriage that looks like the Krupp 9cm C/73 (http://www.lovettartillery.com/9cm._C_1873_Kanone.html)

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Story - thanks for that. The trail is much bigger than that for the 9cm C/73 but I think you're right about the naval origin. These types of gun were apparently used in German forts such as the Fort de Mustig (see http://www.tourisme-alsace.com/en/269000111-Fort-de-MutzigFeste-Kaiser-Wilhelm-II.html) where they were sited in turrets. About 30 were fitted to land carriages at the start of the war and the the Fort de Mustig web site mentions half of its 105mm guns being fitted to land carriages and sent to the front in 1917. I think this gun is likely to be one of these.

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Charlie - I did a very rough measurement based on a 'side on' pic of the 15cm FH and the barrel looks to be the standard L/12. I have asked for confirmation of the barrel length from the folk on the spot so it's not definite but I doubt my estimate is 2 calibres adrift. Will let you know. Still, it's likely to be the only one in the UK.

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

Charlie - the length of the barrel on the 15cm FH02 is confirmed as 1.77m so it's not an export model sadly. Still, it's the only 15cm FH that I've found in the UK.

Many thanks for all your help.

Mike

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