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greatspywar

Unkown German artillery piece

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greatspywar

Dear friends and colleagues

 

Here I am again, with yet another question for the collective expertise on this forum. This time we are looking for the correct identification of a German artillery piece in the museum's rich collection. It is believed to be a 7,5 cm German field gun. It is supposed to have been a 7,7 cm with an adapted post-war 7,5 cm barrel.

 

The museum's registers are a bit in the dark about its provenance. The X49 is the old registration number of the gun in our collection.

 

See the attached photographs for more details.

 

Does anyone have any idea what gun this is?

 

All my best,

 

Jan

 

 

 

IMG_1349.JPG

IMG_1350.JPG

IMG_1351.JPG

IMG_1352.JPG

IMG_1353.JPG

IMG_1354.JPG

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greatspywar

And the title should read: Unknown instead of unkown...:rolleyes:

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David Filsell

Clearly an impressionist mk 1V field gun🤔

Regards 

David

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greatspywar

Nobody...? :unsure:

 

 

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Chasemuseum
Posted (edited)

It appears to be an export contract model pressed into German Army service. The obvious questions are:

    contract model for which country ?

    were any delivered to the purchaser ?

    how many were manufactured ?

    how many were withheld from delivery and pressed into German Army service ?

    within German Service, how & when were they deployed  ?

    were they passed on to German allies such as Bulgaria or Turkey, late in the war ? if so how many ?

    are there any other surviving examples in other museums or memorials ?

 

It would be interesting to know of this gun, whether the chamber is compatible with the standard Krupp 75mm cartridge used in their 75mm L/30 export guns, this not being a Krupp gun.

 

Good luck.

 

Cheers

Ross

 

Edited by Chasemuseum
spelling

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trajan

What are the letters on the bit below the barrel, whatever that bit is(!). No idea as to the originality of the paint scheme? So, it is a M(odel) 13, according the maker's plaque - what is known about the Erhardt company?

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trajan
greatspywar

No idea about the paint. We have no other information about the piece then the info provided here. 

 

I will look into the links you've provided. Thank you for that!

 

Kind regards,

 

Jan

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KizmeRD
Posted (edited)

Your unknown field gun looks very much like a Belgian Canon de 75 mle TR  (M.1905) - see photo. 

The manufacture of these guns were based on a German (Krupp) M.1904 design (which was an export version of the ubiquitous German 7.7 cm calibre FK96 n.A - only built with a 7.5 cm gun barrel).

As you are probably aware, 75 mle TR’s were manufactured under licence in Belgium (although a couple of important bits of the gun such as the Erhardt pattern recoil mechanism and horizontal sliding wedge breech were likely to have been assembled from original manufacturers parts (made by Rh.MM in Dusseldorf).

Either the above is true, or you have an example of an original German army FK96 n.A. field gun that was taken into service by the Belgian army after the war and converted to 75 cm calibre (which often happened with the longer barreled German FK16’s).

Michael

3F2D3393-499B-4091-99CF-214F0B0DCFF1.png

Edited by KizmeRD
Had a problem uploading the image.

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Chasemuseum

The gun has nothing to do with the FK96 n/A.  The breach is entirely different, the trail, traverse and elevation are entirely different. The only common component is the Goertz panoramic sight, which was universal through so many guns in so many countries.

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Chasemuseum

I should also add, that the exact model of panoramic sight, is not the same model used with the FK96 n/A, although the differences are very minor.

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KizmeRD
 

Ross, is it not a little strong to suggest that the as yet unknown (M.1913) field gun has nothing to do with the FK96 n.A.? After all they do share the same heritage and general appearance. Would it not be better to say that they are the same family of weapon, only with different generational developments? - See attached diagram of M.1904 export variant for comparison purposes.
 

RhMM re-engineered the original Krupp FK96 and turned it into a true QF field gun by adding their own innovative recoil system and breech mechanism.  These improvements were the work of factory founder Heinrich Erhardt and chief design engineer Konrad Haußner. Haußner was later replaced by Carl Völler (until his untimely end in 1916) and Völler undoubtedly incorporated further design improvements to the field gun based on his experience in developing the 5 cm Gebirgskanone L/17 M.08 and also his heavy mine thrower.

 

The M.1913 plate is the key to this unknown mystery artillery piece, I believe it to reflect the year of manufacture, which if true suggests it was originally a German army 7.7 calibre, re-barrelled to 7.5 cm and somehow ending up in Belgium army service post-war (as believed to be the case in the OP), possibly having a new trail and elevation mechanism fitted at the same time.

 

Michael

 

 

8CDF1B6B-2EDF-4EEF-AF45-7BA1EC04504C.png

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greatspywar

Little update. I went to see the piece myself the other day and the barrel itself is dated 1914 and has 7,5 cm mark on it... All the markings are in German.

 

I presume: export gun, ready to be shipped in 1914, war broke out, gun(s) confiscated and used in the German army. Would that be a plausible explanation?

 

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AOK4

Hello,

 

Perhaps a visit to the company's archives could be useful?

 

Jan

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greatspywar

Do they exist and are they open to the public? 

 

I would love to do so, but who is going to pay for that...? :ph34r:

 

 

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greatspywar
51 minutes ago, greatspywar said:

Little update. I went to see the piece myself the other day and the barrel itself is dated 1914 and has 7,5 cm mark on it... All the markings are in German.

 

I presume: export gun, ready to be shipped in 1914, war broke out, gun(s) confiscated and used in the German army. Would that be a plausible explanation?

 

 

But on the other hand, where would they get the 7,5 shells to fit the calibre....? I don't suppose their procurement office placed a large order with French companies? :rolleyes: 

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AOK4
1 hour ago, greatspywar said:

Do they exist and are they open to the public? 

 

I would love to do so, but who is going to pay for that...? :ph34r:

 

 

 

A simple search on google would have answered your first question.

 

The second question is something I hear every time when I suggest to people to go to a German archive to do some research. I am an independent historian and still I try to go to German archives every now and then, because that's what a historian has to do if he wants to know something. People want to have the answer to their questions, but only for free, if there's costs involved, then the answer is suddenly not that important?

 

Anyway, perhaps a simple e-mail to the historian/archivist may provide you with an answer for free.

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Chasemuseum
14 hours ago, AOK4 said:

People want to have the answer to their questions, but only for free, if there's costs involved, then the answer is suddenly not that important?

Unfortunately this is very true. This is the value of this forum, as so many resources are brought together in a quick and useful manner at no cost. Some of my requests to the forum have yielded gems, others disappointing (research on British wireless equipment and dry cell batteries - however the Signals Museum at Blandford is an excellent resource with wonderful people).

 

I have previously travelled from Australia to the UK several times to conduct research. I have tried to co-ordinate this with my work, but the costs have still been significant. Although retired now, another trip including Canada is on the cards, although Covid has killed it for more than a year.

 

Over 30 years ago, a restoration project required access to the wood wheels used with the german 7.6cm LMW assault mortar. In those days the Australian War Memorial had no interest in assisting anyone who was not doing a PhD. The Royal Museum of the Army in Brussels, allowed me to take detailed measurements from several example they had on display. From these I prepared full engineering drawings which were used for my restoration project and have since been used many times for other restoration projects around Australia. With the internet and forum such as this so much data is so readily available. The improvement of access over the last 40 years is absolutely unimaginable.

 

The future is very attractive. But yes research access costs.

 

Cheers

Ross 

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trajan

True, nothing beats the archives, but it all depends on where one's lives and one's funding... A Turkish salary certainly don't go far for a week getting to and staying in Munchen!:(

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greatspywar

Perhaps I should talk to my superiors about a trip to some German archives... Time to brush up my German!

 

 

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greatspywar
9 hours ago, Chasemuseum said:

The Royal Museum of the Army in Brussels, allowed me to take detailed measurements from several example they had on display.

 

Aren't we the best?:hypocrite:   :)

 

Several researchers have been dropping by to take measurements. It is always good to help advance people in their research. That is one of the aims of a museum: conducting research into its collection.

 

 

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trajan

Yep, but one problem I have found in my own research is that each of the Laender has its own archive, and then you add the various maker's archives.... 

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greatspywar

The burden of each historian... . Sources are to be found on several locations. That's what historical research is all about: searching and following leads that could be a dead end or that could be a true unique discovery. (There is something fishy about the grammar in my last sentence...:blink:)

 

Anyway, all leads to uncover the true history of this gun are still more than welcome. I don't think we will be rewriting the history of the Great War - that would be something -, but finding out more about this gun would certainly make my day!

 

 

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KizmeRD
Posted (edited)

Apparently in 1914 before hostilities commenced RhMM had contracts inhand to supply 7.5 cm field guns to China, and also 60 pieces (with seats attached to the gun shields) for the Dutch Colonial KNIL (I’m currently trying to get verification). Not sure whether or not these were actually delivered to the customers in time, or whether they were produced and subsequently pressed into German service. In any case RhMM had no difficulty producing the right calibre ammunition, as they were already well accustomed to manufacturing 7.5 cm shells for their export market.


Post script, a separate source says that 16 of the (Erhardt) KNIL field guns were returned to Artillerie-Inrichtingen in the mid-1920’s to have work done on them that would allow higher gun elevation and that they also had a new trail fitted. Therefore looks like they were in fact delivered.

Edited by KizmeRD
Post script added.

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