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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 7.5-cm leichte Infantriegeschütz 18,
7.5-cm leIG 18

During World War I Germany learned that infantry battalions should have artillery support.1 In 1927 Rheinmetall-Börsig developed a design for the 7.5 cm leIG 18.1,2 It was in service by 1932.1

Design

The first models had wooden spoked wheels but this gave way to solid metal with rubber tires to be towed by motorized vehicles.1,2

A lever moved the entire barrel up and exposed the loading chamber.1

Usage

The 7.5-cm leIG 18 became the standard artillery weapon in the support companies of the infantry regiments.2

leichte Gebirgs Infantriegeschütz 18,
7.5-cm leGebIG 18

This was the light mountain infantry version.1 It was developed in 1935.1 It could be broken down into 10 packs for mules or light vehicles.1 The trailing legs became tubular steel and the shield was optional.1

7.5-cm leIG 18F

This was to be used by the Fallschirmjäger (parachute troops).1,2 It could be broken down into four loads and put into special containers for parachute dropping.1,2 Only six were built as by that time the recoilless guns were being used.1,2

  7.5-cm leIG 18
Caliber 2.95"1,2
75 mm1,2
Length of gun 34.8"2, 35.43"1
0.884 m2, 0.9 m1
Length of barrel 34.9"1
0.884 m1
Rifling  
Length of rifling  
Weight traveling  
Weight in action 882 lb1,2
400 kg1,2
Elevation -10° to +73°1,2
Traverse 12°1,2
Muzzle Velocity 689'/sec1,2
210 m/sec1,2
Range of shell 3,882 yards1, 3,885 yards2
3,550 m1,2
Shell weight HE: 12 or 13.2 lb1
HE: 5.45 or 6 kg1
Hollow: 6.6 lb1
Hollow: 3 kg1
12-13.2 lb2
5.45 kg - 6 kg2
Armor penetration  
Breech mechanism  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, 1998, Chris Bishop
  2. Artillery of World War II, Chris Chant, 2001
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site