WW2 (quick) heavy howitzer, your choice

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Vincenzo, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    following the light field howitzer race, here that for the heavy howitzer

    my proposal for the requirements:
    actually fire in combat in WW2
    shell 90 kg or heavier
    time to ready max 1 hour
    max range 12 km or more
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    You run out of choices real quick.

    US 8 inch Howitzer M1
    British 7.2 Howitzer MK 6 (only) and it doesn't show up until about 1945. Use in combat?

    And then things fall apart.

    The German and Russian guns can be moved for short distances in one piece. For long moves the barrels were pulled and carried on separate wagons/transporters.

    The Italian weapon was produced in very small numbers (but perhaps the British didn't get any more of the 7.2 in service ?)

    Italian_heavy_artillery_WWII.jpg

    There is not a lot of information about it but it too, may have been moved in two pieces.

    breda_02.jpg
    breda_05.jpg
     
  3. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #3 Vincenzo, Oct 17, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
    AFAIK this are the howitzer that fullfill my requirements

    8 inch Howitzer M1: probably in combat since early '43, 90.7 kg shell, towed in 1 load so time to ready minutes, 16.9 km range, weight around 13 tons, lenght 10 meters
    203 mm Howitzer M1931: in combat since Winter War, 100 kg shell, towed in 2 load, 45 minutes to ready, 17.8 km range, weight 17.7 tonnes, lenght 9.4 meters
    21 cm Moerser 18: in combat since Battle of France, 113 kg shell, towed in 2 load, idk but think less of soviet howitzer, 16.7 km range, weight 16.7 tons,
    Obice 210/22 modello 35: in combat since summer '42 (italians, idk for the hungarians), 101 kg shell, towed in 2 load (4 if need in mountain road), ready in 60 minutes, 15.4 km range, 15.9 tons,
    B.L. 7.2-inch Howitzer Mk I to IV: in combat since summer '42 (?), 92 kg shell, towed 1 load so minutes for ready, 15.5 km range, weight 10.3 tons,
    B.L. 7.2-inch Howitzer Mk 6: in combat since ? (if yes however not before of '45), 92 kg shell, towed 1 load so minutes for ready, 17.9 km range, weight 14.8 tons,

    added traverse and elevation
    M1: 60°, +65°
    M1931: 8°, +60°
    Mrs 18: 16° (360°), +70°
    Mod. 35: 75° (360° taking out the stakes), +70°
    Mk I-IV: 8°, +45°
    Mk 6: 60°, +63°
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The British 7.2in How (MK 1-4) was a terrible weapon.

    British_7_2-inch_howitzer.jpg
    300px-7.2_inch_howitzer_of_51st_Heavy_Regiment.jpg

    A re-barreled WW I 8in howitzer the improved range was welcomed but the fact that the recoil system and carriage were over matched and the howitzer needed ramps to limit the distance it moved upon firing meant that the rate of fire was slow and the weapon needed a lot more handling between shots. On occasion the gun would go over the top of the ramps and bounced around rather nicely on the air filled tires. Quite entertaining if you were not close to the bouncing 10 ton monster :)
    While light (compared to the other weapons) you also had 8 degrees of traverse and 10 tons is not that easy to swing onto a new bearing. It also could not fire in upper register.

    The Russian gun has the 2nd best shell weight and best range (?) and can fire upper register, but pays for that in being the heaviest weapon, is slow while being towed and has limited traverse.

    The US 8in (and British MK 6) may have been the easiest to get into/out of action but it was a lot of minutes. One step was using hand crank winches to raise wheels/lower carriage as the wheels are not bearing much if any weight when firing. Coming out of action the crew had to winch the wheels back into travel position.
     
  5. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    just a note
    barrel lenght in calibre

    Mk 1-4: 22
    Mod. 35: 24
    M1931: 24
    M1: 25
    Mrs 18: 31
    Mk 6: 33


    and i added traverse and elevation to post n° 3
     
  6. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #6 Vincenzo, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
    choice temptative
    M1&Mk 6 are near, the same carriage give the same grade for many aspects, i'm more on mk 6 for the longer range
    near there is also the Mrs 18, the heavier shell, the 360° platform and the 70° elevation its strenght point

    edited:
    the italian mod.35 give the edge for mountain warfare the 4 loads wold be usefull for move the howitzer on small mountain road, oh yes italian army thinked of combat an other alps war
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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  8. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #8 Shortround6, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
    They are not the same, the only thing they share is the shell. The MK 6 is a longer barrel (with bigger chamber) on the US 8in howitzer/155mm long tom carriage.


    Well, it appears that there was 360 degrees and then there was 360 degrees.

    6230102327_773ed02666_z.jpg
    21-cm-morser-18-.jpg

    While you could swing the gun 360 degrees could you fire it all all angles of elevation and with all charges without the anchors?

    I wouldn't get too worked up about the difference between 70 degrees of elevation and 65 degrees.

    And here we hit trade offs. According to one book (and it could be wrong) the Hungarians, who also used the Italian howitzer and built some under licence (?) had some problems with the carriage after prolonged use. It doesn't say if this was due to firing or towing but they modified some of theirs to strengthen them (more weight?).
     
  9. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Shortround6 please M1 (the us howitzer) anf mk 6 (the british howitzer on the same carriage)
    i can not see the attachments,
    the anchors need to up for traverse on the platform (i think is not much different from the mod.35 system)

    as far i know (is true hungarians built some on licence) the hungarian howitzer (imported) were initial production and also the draws give were the originals, the trouble were show also in the italians howitzer (note use in war in the summer '42, when there were a few already in service in june '40) so were modified and only later, after hungarianc complaints the new draws were give to hungarians, idk how many the redesigned carriage was free of trouble, neither i known gain of weight of carriage
     
  10. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    after the m115 video, would be usefull know if this howitzers had a load angle or can be loaded at any angle
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The American how, the British how, the Russian How all loaded at a fixed angle. Not sure on the others but it wouldn't surprise me if the did too. Trying to ram 90+ kg shells into the rifling at high angles of elevation is rather difficult without power equipment.
     
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