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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 15-cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18
15-cm sFH 18

In 1933 Krupp was selected to make the carriage and Rheinmetall the carriage for the 15 cm gun. This became the standard field howitzer for the army.

The early version was made to be towed by horses and was split into two loads. Soon it was designed to be towed by a half track.

Use in Russia

When compared to the Soviet 152 mm, it was outclassed by the range. Attempts were made to increase the 15-cm's range by adding two additional propellant charges, but these were found to cause excessive wear on the gun and the carriage.

Use in Self-Propelled Guns

Was placed in the Hummel.

Use in the Atlantic Wall

Naval units were given sFH 18s to be used in the Atlantic Wall defences.

Other Country Use

Italy (obice da 149/28) and Finland (m/40) were supplied with some models.

15-cm sFH 18(M)

These had muzzle brake installed to help reduce coil but wasn't a great success and few were modified.

  15-cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18
Caliber 5.87"
149 mm, 150 mm
Length of gun 14' 6.8", 14.75 '
4.44 m, 4.495 m
Length of bore 13.53'
4.125 m
Rifling 40 grooves
Right hand twist, 1/36 to 1/18
Weight traveling 13,898 lb
6,304 kg
Weight in action 12,152 lb, 12,154 lb
5,512 kg
Elevation -3° to + 45°
Traverse 60°, 64°
Muzzle Velocity 1,706'/sec
520 m/sec
Range of shell 14,490 yards, 14,570 yards
13,250 m, 13,325 m
Shell weight 95.9 lb
43.5 kg
HE: 95.92 lb
HE: 43.5 kg
Breech mechanism horizontal sliding block, percussion fired

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, 1998, Chris Bishop
  2. German Artillery of World War Two, 1997, Ian V. Hogg
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons from World War II to the Present Day, 2006, Chris Bishop
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site