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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 15-cm schwere Infantriegeschütz 33,
15-cm sIG 33

The German army issued requirements in the early 1920s for a 15 cm howitzer. Development started in 1927 by Rheinmetall-Börsig and was approved for service in 1933. They were issued to infantry battalions starting in 1936.

Design

It was a short barreled gun set on a box trailed carriage. Early production had steel wheels with metal rims for use with horses. The rims were later replaced with rubber for towing by motorized vehicles.

Use in the Field

Some complaints were that it was too heavy as a large team of horses had to be used to tow it. Once it was in place it was also hard to get it ready to move out.

Often the sIG 33 was towed by horses, but trucks and half tracks were used when available.

Special Ammunition

For use against strong points a muzzle loaded stick bomb, the Stielgranate 42, was used. It has a short rage.

  15 cm sIG 33
Caliber 5.87", 5.9"
149.1 mm, 150 mm
Length of gun 4' 4.9", 5' 5"
1.65 m
Length of bore  
Rifling  
Weight traveling  
Weight in action 3,858 lb
1,750 kg
Elevation 0° to +73°
Traverse 11.5°
Muzzle Velocity 787'/sec
240m/sec
Range of shell 5,140 yards
4,700 m
Shell weight HE: 83.8 lb
HE: 38 kg
Breech mechanism  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, 1998, Chris Bishop
  2. The Encyclopedia of Weapons from World War II to the Present Day, 2006, Chris Bishop
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site