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"105-mm Airborne Recoilless Howitzer" from Tactical and Technical Trends

This U.S. intelligence report on the German 105-mm recoilless howitzer is taken from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 35, October 7, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The German 75-mm recoilless gun described in Tactical and Technical Trends No. 26, p. 15 has been reinforced with a recoilless, 105-mm, rifled howitzer, 10.5-cm L.G. 40 (Leichtes Geschutz airborne gun). Like the 75-mm gun, it has an open breechblock with a venturi tube attached, and "shoots both ways", producing a terrific blast to the rear. While data as to the ammunition is not available, it seems reasonable to suppose that the projectile may weigh about 25 pounds. The complete howitzer weighs only 900 pounds. With a range of 6,660 yards, this gun appears to be a formidable air-borne or mountain weapon.

[105-mm Recoilless Howitzer]

*          *          *

General Data

Caliber    105-mm (4.13 in)
Weight, total, approximately900 lbs
   Howitzer, breech ring and venturi tube500 lbs
   Axle assembly without wheels160 lbs
   Trail86 lbs
   Upper carriage58 lbs
   Shield86 lbs
Length of howitzer (overall)6 ft 3 in
Length of barrel4 ft 6 1/4 in
Length of rifling2 ft 7 1/4 in
Rifling32 lands and grooves, righthand twist
Muzzle Velocity: 
   Firing H.E.1105 fs
   Firing hollow charge1224 fs
Maximum range6660 yds
Effective range with hollow charge1665 yds
Elevation-15° to +40°
Traverse40° right, 40° left
Height of trunnions in firing position (on tripod)2 ft 8 1/2 in


The tube is of monobloc steel construction. On the breech end, interrupted collars provide for attachment of the tube in the breech ring. A keyway is cut longitudinally at the breech end, twelve o'clock inside the chamber, to receive a key on the cartridge-case which houses the primer.

Breech Ring

The trunnions and the elevating arc are attached to the breech ring which is recessed to receive the barrel locking lugs. A hole, housing a percussion firing mechanism is located at twelve o'clock approximately one inch from rear face and lines up with a hole in the barrel to receive the firing pin.


The breechblock, of the venturi type, is attached to the rear face of the breech ring by a pin at about four o'clock. A horizontal handle situated at about ten o'clock operates a spring-loaded locking catch and also serves as a lifting grip to rotate the breech block about the pin into open position. A replaceable steel bushing is screwed into the front end of the venturi tube. The approximate dimensions of the venturi are: Throat diameter, 3 5/8 inches; exit diameter, 11 inches; length, 1 ft 8 1/2 inches.

Carriage and Trail

The lower carriage is formed by the trail which is of box-type, welded construction, and has a bushing at the front end to receive a perpendicular pin fixed to the axle. A lever fitted to the axle raises the wheels off the ground after a tubular steel bipod has been swung down to firing position. In travel this bipod is swung back and hooked to the bottom of the trail. The legs of the bipod are detachable.

The upper carriage is constructed of welded sheet steel. The pintle is fixed to the bottom of the upper carriage and fits into a bushing in the trail.

Axle and Suspension

The axle is tubular steel, and the suspension is of the parallelogram type acting on compression helical springs housed in the axle.

Traverse and Elevation Mechanism

The traverse and elevation handwheels are fitted to the left side of the upper carriage. Elevation is by means of segment and spur gear and traverse is effected by means of worm and worm-gear segment.

Travel Position

The howitzer may be drawn by a vehicle. In towing position the piece is elevated to maximum elevation and locked to the rear of the trail by means of a spring loaded catch fitted to the trail; the towing lunette is fixed to the bottom of the muzzle.

Parachute Loads

Carrying handles are fitted to both sides of the muzzle, both sides of the barrel in front of the breech ring and at the rear of the venturi tube. The barrel assembly can be split into two loads, barrel one load and breech ring and breechblock (venturi tube) as the other load.

The upper carriage becomes a load by lifting pintle out of trail. The trail, a separate load by lifting off from perpendicular pin fixed to the center of the axle, and the axle assembly is taken as one load. The wheels which are easily removed, can be taken as a separate load. The shield, hooked on to lugs fitted at the front of the upper carriage, is likewise easily removable.


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