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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Axis Arty with a NZ Link


Captain Dave

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I was wandering around the other day and found this field piece in a museum. It's in pretty poor condition and the owner told me it was an Austrian gun, that was captured by the Auckland Mounted Rifles in 1914. Whilst probably not probably not a terribly accurate history, I was intrigued enough to look further. I think I have identified the piece as an Austrian Skoda built 15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze M.14. This is from looking at pictures and I am happy to be corrected. However I have a multitude of questions about this.

1. 2 Dates are visible, 1911 on the rear of the breech (which indicates the year of barrel manufacture?) and 1916 on the trail. Does this indicate a later refurbishment?

2. I was told that the piece was captured by the Auckland Mounted rifles. Then, on the barrel is stamped, Auckland Mounted Rifles, then I think below that, New Zealand. But it's pretty hard to see. Could this have been a weapon captured in the Palestine Campaign? I am now searching through the NZ Mtds history to see if there is any reference to capturing guns.

3. Lastly, if the gun was captured by the Auck mtds, how did it end up in Canterbury? (It's sort of like having a gun in Wales stamped with Highland Light Infantry.)

So that's it! If anyone can shed some light on the history of the weapon, if they were used by the Turks etc,, I would love to know more!

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And the side, it's pretty rusted.

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The breech. 1911 is visable on the rear of the block, and 1916 (probably not visable) on the rear of the carrige just below the 1st and 2nd bolts

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The side of the gun showing the crew seats

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The top of the gun barrel, showing a coat of arms. I have no idea what is translates to, so if someone knows, that would be appreciated also.

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Just below the coat of arms, is stamped Auckland Mounted Rifles.

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And a last shot of the gun. (no pun intended.)

As mentioned, any further info would be gratefully recieved.

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Dave, when did the Auckland Mounted Rifles go into action? Surely it wasn't until learly 1915 after having arrived withthe Main Body in Egypt in mid December 1914?

Allie

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The top of the gun barrel, showing a coat of arms. I have no idea what is translates to, so if someone knows, that would be appreciated also.

Bavarian motto 'In Treue fest' = 'Steadfast in Loyalty'.

Mick

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Dave

There are several options here. I enclose three photos of German or Austrian field guns captured by the NZMR in 1916-1918. None of them seem to match your find, though.

The first one is of a field gun (105 mm?) captured by the New Zealanders near Amman in September 1918.

More to follow.

Terry

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The second photo is believed to show one of the Krupp 77mm or 105mm guns captured by the NZMR Bde in Gaza in March 1917.

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This last one is another field gun captured by the WMR Regt near Amman in September 1918.

post-7908-1172417466.jpg

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None of these seem to match your find, but they do show some types of artillery pieces that were captured by the mounteds. No doubt there were others. I am not sure if the mounteds captured any guns on Gallipoli, but I think not. Where in NZ is the gun?

Terry

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Terry, the gun is at the Yaldhurst Museum of transport and Science in Christchurch. Excellent photographs by the way.

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Dave, when did the Auckland Mounted Rifles go into action? Surely it wasn't until learly 1915 after having arrived withthe Main Body in Egypt in mid December 1914?

Allie

Thats right Allie. (which is why the statement captured from the Austrians in 1914 was probably not quite correct. Also the weapon is date stamped 1916 on the carrige.

Flicking through the NZ Mtds history last night revealed that guns were actually captured in 1917 fromm Austrian crews attatched to the Turks! So perhaps there is some accuracy in the statement after all. I am still digging about in the history however so shall keep searching.

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The British also donated captured guns to the colonies, to keep them happy I suppose, after the war. There were/are 2 in Suva.

There are also guns outside the War Memorial Museum, Auckland.

Christine

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The British also donated captured guns to the colonies, to keep them happy I suppose, after the war. There were/are 2 in Suva.

There are also guns outside the War Memorial Museum, Auckland.

Christine

Christine

The only guns outside the Auckland War Memorial, are the two 4 inch guns from HMS New Zealand?

Jonathan.

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Yes, but HMS New Zealand wasn't part of the NZ Navy, it was a gift from the 'people of New Zealand' to the Royal Navy, wasn't it? So any guns from it could be considered a gift from the British. Albeit not captured anywhere.

Gosh, I haven't been to Yaldhurst for years, Dave. Last time I was there, my father got involved in fisticuffs with a bloke who was beating up his son (Dad tried to stop him). Don't recall much about the museum apart from that. Must go sometime when I'm back on the Mainland.

Allie

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Yes, but HMS New Zealand wasn't part of the NZ Navy, it was a gift from the 'people of New Zealand' to the Royal Navy, wasn't it? So any guns from it could be considered a gift from the British. Albeit not captured anywhere.

Allie

Yes a Expensive set of guns we have :)

The Final cost was 2.3 million pounds higher than the 2 million raised in loans to fund the gift.

NZ finally repaid the interest on the sum, in 1944, 21 yeaars after she was scrapped.

Jonathan

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Strewth. Yes, very expensive guns. I hope we got a good deal on the stone imported from Britian to make the museum they stand in front of!

Allie

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And I now think it's probably not an Austrian Gun, (the Bavarian Inscription was a bit of a giveaway, thanks for the translation Siege Gunner) but is in fact a German 10.5cm leichte Feldhaubitze 98/09

see link for a good description and photos.

http://www.landships.freeservers.com/Germa...5cm_lFH9809.htm

I am still reading the NZ Mounteds History to see if there is anything there that might tie this particular gun to the Auckland Mounteds or a particular action. Whilst there are accounts of guns being taken during battle, I am yet to see any in particular that can be positivly traced. I am ony halfway through the history, and will keep on squirelling away.

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And sorry, it was supplied to the Turks in large numbers, so can feasibly have come from the Palestine Campaign

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Dave,

I have been through my notes and can find no specific reference to this type of field gun. Chaytor's Force captured 57 (unspecified) artillery pieces in Amman in September 1918, of which the New Zealanders collected roughly 1/3. I think this is the most likely source of the Yaldhurst 105mm gun. Does the Museum have any plans to restore it?

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I'm not aware of any plans for a restoration, but I can ask. I also don't know if it is salvagable as so much of it has been eaten away by rust or is just missing. I may have a wipe down of the barrel area (after asking) and see if anything else has been stamped near Auckland Mounted Rifles. A date would be a supurb find, but I doubt if anything else is actually there.

I am pleased to ID the piece though.

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