105mm Krupp field howitzer model 1918/40
105mm Krupp field howitzer model 1918/40

The 10.5-cm leFH 18 field howitzer was one of the main pieces of the German artillery during Second World War. Designed by Rheinmetall in late 20s, it was ready for service by 1935. A sound weapon in regard of its technical characteristics, its main drawback was the weight, being too heavy for the mobile character of the field operations, as it was proven on the Eastern Front. The weapon was exported in many countries, including Spain, Hungary, Portugal and some South American nations. In order to increase the range of the gun by using a more powerful propellant charge, a muzzle break was added, the modified howitzer being designated 10.5-cm leFH 18(M). While the weapon fulfilled its role with success in the first part of the war, during the years 1941-42 on the Eastern Front, many were lost to the muddy terrain due to heavy weight and lack of motor traction. In order to solve the problem of mobility, the solution chosen was to use the carriage of the 7.5-cm Pak 40, on which was mounted the leFH 18(M) gun, the shield and the cradle, the resulting piece being designated 10.5-cm leFH 18/40.

Calibre 105mm
Length of piece 3.31m
Weight 1955kg
Elevation -5° +42°
Traverse 60°
Shell weight 14.81kg
Muzzle velocity 540 m/s
Maximum range 12,325m
Author: Dragos Pusca
Chris Bishop, The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Barnes & Noble Books, 1998.
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