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Old 07-07-2009, 01:37 PM
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Default 15cm schweres Feldhaubitze m13 Kurz

One of the most important pieces in the arsenal of the German Artillery, was the 150mm Heavy Howitzers. At the start of the war, most of them was of the type called sFH 02 (i.e. Schweres FeldHaubitze model 1902). This piece was upgraded in several stages. In 1913, a new model was introduced, the sFH 13, that had a modified carriage and lavette, a shield and a longer barrel (L/14). This new gun fired some 1000 meters longer than the old model 02. The first battery that was equipped with the sFH13 got their guns in August 1914. Until May 1915, 252 sFH 13 were delivered by Krupp.
One of the problems with the first version, was that the recoil mechanism tended to break: the reason was that the spring mechanism was too weak, and it was therefore replaced with a mechanism based on air pressure. It increased the weight somewhat, but there were no visible changes. This, the first variant, with its short barrel, was eventually superceded by a second variant with a longer barrel, a L/17.

And click on the photos below, to get a real detail view of a surviving sfH13, that is on display at the Military Cemetary in Pavé in Verdun, a town that needs no further presentation in this context - the hills in the background are actually the Battlefield of 1916, most of it overgrown by woods, but still bearing the horrible scars of the fighting.







It was a very important gun, as it combined mobility and firepower in a very balanced way. The German High Command also stated in November 1917 that "in this war, the sFH13 has become the principal gun of battle" (Hauptkampgeschütz).

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