Massimo (Flickr) Foti
Military Technical Museum
Lat : 49.85254 / Long : 14.53311
General comments on this surviving gun :
Identical items in the same location :
Items covered by this file :
Historic context :
At the war outbreak, the only heavy field howitzer available for the Austro-Hingarian Army were the bronze-barrelled 15cm FH M94/04 and M99/04, only having wooden wedges as a recoil recuperation system, not easily transportable and offering a range of a little more than 6000 m. The need for a more modern and performing heavy howitzer had conducted the Technical Military Commission (TMK) to launch in 1908 studies, together with the ones dedicated to the modernization of the 10 cm light field howitzer for the same reasons.
The first prototype manufactured by Skoda on the basis of the TMK specification was presented in 1912, and after some modifications two test batteries were set up in 1913. The howitzer was adopted in 1914 as the '15cm sFH M14' ('sFH' = schwere feldHaubitze') and arived on the front from autumn 1914. In 1916 an improved version appeared with a longer range thanks to an elongated barrel, the '15cm sfH M14/16'.
Real good heavy field howitzer with a steel barrel and quick-firing thanks to its modern hydro-spring recoil recuperation system, this weapon was manufactured in more than 1000 items, 892 of them being made by Skoda in its Pilsen and Györ plants. It was largely distributed to the units of the heavy field artillery. It was normally transported in two separate loads, but could also be hauled in a single load with an ammunition trailer. A lightened mountain version was studied in 1918.
The 490 Austro-Hungarian howitzers of this type captured by the Italian army were renamed 'Obice da 149/13' and used during WW2 by Mussolini troops, then for some of them by the Germans after Italy surrender.
Technical data :
- Complete description : 15 cm howitzer M 1914 and 1914/16
- Design year : 1914
- Calibre : 149.10 mm
- Weight in firing position : 2765 kg (M14); 2930 kg (M14/16)
- Weight for transportation : single or two separate loads
- Tube length in calibres : 14.00 (M14); 14.1 (M14/16)
- Grooves : 0 unknown
- Projectile weight : 42 kg
- Initial speed : 350 m/s
- Fire rate : 1 to 2 rounds / min
- Range : 8000 m (M14); 8650 m (M14/16)
- Elevation range : -5 to +70 degrees
- Direction range : 8 degrees total range