[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — 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.]
CHAPTER VII. WEAPONS
Section IV. ARTILLERY
5. Field and Medium Artillery
a. 75-MM FIELD GUN 38 (7.5 cm Feld Kanone 38). (1) General description. This gun is of conventional design, with a semiautomatic horizontal sliding breechblock. A slotted cylindrical muzzle brake is fitted to the monobloc tube. The hydropneumatic recuperator is above the tube, and the hydraulic buffer below. Equilibrators are spring type. The carriage has split trails of riveted box construction and artillery wheels.
(3) Ammunition. Two types of HE shell and one hollow-charge shell are fired. The HE shells weigh 12.85 pounds and 13.88 pounds, and the hollow-charge, 10.07 pounds.
b. 105-MM FIELD HOWITZER (10.5 cm Leichte Feld Haubitze 18). (1) General description. This is the standard divisional field artillery howitzer developed during the last war. It has a hydropneumatic recoil system and a heavy, simply designed breech mechanism with a horizontal sliding block and cartridge case obturation. The first modification of the original model appeared in 1941 when a muzzle brake of conventional design was fitted to permit a new long-range charge to be fired, increasing the range by 1,800 yards. This version is known as the le. F. H. 18 (M). By 1944 a second modification had appeared, the le. F. H. 18/40. The tube of the le. F. H. 18 (M) was mounted on the carriage already in large scale production for the 7.5 Pak 40 (75-mm AT gun). By modifying the elevating and firing mechanisms, the rate of fire was increased, and a more efficient muzzle brake decreased the recoil load. The 10.5 cm le. F. H. 18 (M) and the le. F. H. 18/40 are ballistically identical and have the same firing tables.
(2) Characteristics (of 10.5 cm le. F. H. 18/40).
(3) Ammunition. HE, smoke, incendiary, illuminating, propaganda, hollow-charge, HE sabot, and AP sabot shells are fired. (Sabot shells may not be fired from guns equipped with existing muzzle brakes, however.) The weight of HE projectiles is 32 pounds, 11 ounces.
c. 150-MM MEDIUM HOWITZER (15 cm s. F. H. 18). (1) General description. The 15 cm s. F. H. 18 is the standard divisional artillery medium howitzer, with the same mount as the 10 cm K. 18, the standard medium gun. The tube is solid, and loose in its jacket. The manually operated breech, with horizontal sliding block, has continuous-pull firing mechanism and cartridge case obturation. Spring equilibrators are fitted. The carriage has split-box trails, and double-disk, solid rubber-tired wheels. A new model of this weapon, called the 15 cm s. F. H. 18/40, is fitted with a muzzle brake. The same ammunition is fired at higher muzzle velocity, 1,952 feet per second, increasing maximum range to 16,514 yards. An s. F. H. 42, a further modification, has also been reported.
(3) Ammunition. HE. anti-concrete, AP, and smoke projectiles are fired. Projectiles weigh 95.7 pounds. The propellent charge consists of eight increments.
d. 105-MM MEDIUM GUN (s. 10 cm K. 18). (1) General description. The 10 cm K. 18 is the standard medium gun. It has a mount interchangeable with that of the 15 cm s. F. H. 18. The breech is hand-operated, with horizontal sliding block and cartridge case obturation.
(3) Ammunition. HE, AP and APCBC projectiles are fired. Projectile weights are: HE, 33.5 pounds, AP, 31.25 pounds ; APCBC, 34.63 pounds. Three charges, small, medium, and large, are used.
e. 150-MM GUN (15 cm K. 18). (1) General description. The 15 cm K. 18 has the characteristic features of German "18" class field artillery design, including the recuperator above and the buffer below the tube. A cartridge case accomplishes obturation, and the usual horizontal sliding breechblock is manually operated. Two hydropneumatic equilibrators are bolted to the tube jacket. The mount is sprung on two wheels, and has a box trail.
(3) Ammunition. HE streamline, AP, and anti-concrete projectiles are fired. Projectile weights are: HE, 94.6 pounds and anti-concrete, 95.7 pounds.
f. 150-MM GUN (15 cm K. 39). (1) General description. The 15 cm K. 39, a later version of the 15 cm K. 18, is used either as a field gun on its split-trail, rubber-tired carriage, or as a coast defense gun, with its field carriage mounted on the turntable of an emplaced platform.
(3) Ammunition. The gun fires HE streamline, anti-concrete. semi-AP, and AP projectiles. Projectile weights are: HE, 94.6 and 99.25 pounds; anti-concrete, 95.7 pounds; semi-AP, 99.25 pounds; AP, 99.25 pounds.
g. 170-MM GUN (17 cm K. in Mörser Lafette). (1) General description. The 17 cm K. in Mrs. Laf. is a long-range, mobile gun mounted on the 21 cm Mörser 18 (210-mm howitzer) carriage. It has a built-up tube, and a separate recoil mechanism for the upper carriage, which also moves in recoil. The breech mechanism is operated manually. The gun has a horizontal sliding block and cartridge case obturation. In spite of its weight, the gun can be put into and taken out of action very rapidly. A firing platform is lowered by jacks, and the wheels are raised for firing. One man, with a trail spike, can traverse the gun 360 degrees around this platform.
(3) Ammunition. HE streamline, HEBC streamline, and AP projectiles are fired. The HE projectile weighs 138 pounds, and the HEBC, 148 pounds.
h. 210-MM HOWITZER (21 cm Mörser 18). (1) General description. The 21 cm Mörser 18 is the standard heavy howitzer. The piece recoils in a cradle trunnioned to an upper carriage. This upper carriage also moves in recoil along a lower carriage. The breech mechanism is operated manually, and has a horizontal sliding block with cartridge case obturation. In action, a firing platform is lowered on jacks and the wheels are raised; the rear of the trail is supported by a traversing path. When traveling, a two-wheeled trailer is attached to and supports the trail, while a separate traveling carriage supports the tube.
(3) Ammunition. HE streamline and anti-concrete projectiles are fired, as well as a fin-stabilized, anti-concrete stick bomb. The HE projectile weighs 249 pounds, and the anti-concrete projectile 268 pounds.
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