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"The Skoda 75-mm Mountain Howitzer" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following U.S. military report on the Skoda 75-mm mountain howitzer was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 46, May 1, 1944.

[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.]


This weapon is the standard pack howitzer of both the Italian Army and the Austrian divisions of the German army, and was developed at the Skoda plant either during or shortly after the First World War. The Austrians call it the 75-mm Howitzer Geb. K 15 (Gebirgskanone) - mountain cannon or gun; the Italians refer to it as the 75/13 mountain howitzer. (Italian ordnance follows the practice of designating their guns as indicated, which here means that 75 mm times 13 mm equals the length in calibers).

A brief description follows:

a. General

Caliber     75/13 (2.97 in)
Weight1,350 lbs
   Overall 126 in
   Tube38.5 in
Muzzle velocity (charge IV) 1,270 f/s (not confirmed U.S. tests)
Elevation 50°
Depression -10°
Rifling28 lands and grooves RH twist
TubeMonobloc with heavy jacket
EquilibratorsSpring pusher
Recoil mechanismHydro-spring
AmmunitionHollow charge; HE (semifixed)
Weight HE projectile12 lbs
Weight HC projectile11.4 lbs
Range7,250 yds (not confirmed U.S. tests)

The tube is of monobloc construction fitted into a heavy reinforcing jacket. The tube and breech-ring are one piece and the breech end of the tube is machined to seat the sliding wedge breech-block. The recoil mechanism is hydro-spring and is fitted into a cradle. The cradle, recoil mechanisms, tube, and jacket are mounted on the trunnions of the carriage.

[Skoda 75-mm Mountain Howitzer]

The carriage is of riveted steel with a modified box trail and wooden type artillery wheels. The axle-type traverse is limited to 6°. Elevation of the piece is approximately 50° and the muzzle preponderance is overcome by pusher type equilibrators.

The weapon can be broken down into seven loads, the heaviest of which weighs about 300 pounds. This enables it to be transported on the backs of pack animals. This weapon might be called the forerunner of the pack howitzers now being employed by many armies.

The howitzer uses semifixed ammunition having four charges. The maximum reported velocity in charge IV is 1,270 feet per second. High explosive rounds as well as hollow-charge rounds have been used in this weapons and it is quite possible, although unconfirmed, that smoke projectiles are also used.

The weapon is used both with and without a shield, although the weapon under discussion has a large 4-mm steel shield attached to it. It would appear that the shield is impractical for pack carrying.

*Based on reports from Aberdeen Proving Ground.


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