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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.1,3 This became the standard field howitzer for the army.1,3

The early version was made to be towed by horses and was split into two loads.1 Soon it was designed to be towed by a half track.1

Use in Russia

When compared to the Soviet 152 mm, it was outclassed by the range.1,3 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.1

Use in Self-Propelled Guns

Was placed in the Hummel.1

Use in the Atlantic Wall

Naval units were given sFH 18s to be used in the Atlantic Wall defences.1

Other Country Use

Italy (obice da 149/28) and Finland (m/40) were supplied with some models.1,3

15-cm sFH 18(M)

These had muzzle brake installed to help reduce coil but wasn't a great success and few were modified.1,3

  15-cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18
Caliber 5.87"3
149 mm1,3, 150 mm2
Length of gun 14' 6.8"1,3, 14.75 '2
4.44 m1,3, 4.495 m2
Length of bore 13.53'2
4.125 m2
Rifling 40 grooves2
Right hand twist, 1/36 to 1/182
Weight traveling 13,898 lb1,3
6,304 kg1,3
Weight in action 12,152 lb1,3, 12,154 lb2
5,512 kg1,2,3
Elevation -3° to + 45°1,2,3
Traverse 60°1,3, 64°2
Muzzle Velocity 1,706'/sec1,3
520 m/sec1,3
Range of shell 14,490 yards2, 14,570 yards1,3
13,250 m2, 13,325 m1,3
Shell weight 95.9 lb1,3
43.5 kg1,3
HE: 95.92 lb2
HE: 43.5 kg2
Breech mechanism horizontal sliding block, percussion fired2


  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