Skoda 75 mm Model 15
The Skoda 7.5 cm Gebirgskanone M. 15 was a mountain gun used by Austria-Hungary in World War I. In German service, it was known as the 7.5 cm GebK 15. The Italians designated them as the Obice da 75/13 and the Wehrmacht would designate captured guns as 7.5 cm GebK 259(i) after the surrender of Italy in 1943.
|7.5 cm Gebirgskanone M. 15|
|Place of origin||Austria-Hungary|
|Used by||Austria-Hungary |
|Wars||World War I|
World War II
|Mass||613 kg (1,351 lb)|
|Barrel length||1.15 m (3 ft 9 in) L/15.4|
|Shell||Fixed QF 75 x 129 mm R|
|Shell weight||6.35 kg (14 lb 0 oz)|
|Caliber||75 mm (3.0 in)|
|Breech||horizontal semi-automatic sliding-wedge|
|Elevation||-10° to +50°|
|Rate of fire||6-8 rpm|
|Muzzle velocity||349 m/s (1,150 ft/s)|
|Maximum firing range||8,250 m (9,020 yd)|
Its development was quite prolonged, as the Austrians couldn't decide on the specifications that they wanted. Initially, they wanted a gun that could be broken down into no more than five pack-animal loads to replace the various 7 cm mountain guns in service, but prolonged trials proved that the 7.5 cm M. 12 prototype to be the best gun. However, the commander-in-chief of Bosnia-Hercegovina believe it to be too heavy and demanded a return to the 7 cm caliber to save weight. Skoda dutifully built enough guns for a test battery in the smaller caliber and tested them during the spring of 1914 where they were judged inferior to the 7.5 cm guns. This cost the Austrians heavily as the 7.5 cm guns began to be delivered in April 1915 instead of the planned date of April 1914.
For transport, the gun could be dismantled into six parts, generally carried in four loads. In addition, there was a Gun shield fitted on some (perhaps many) such guns. A revised version of this gun was released as the Skoda 75 mm Model 1928. The Germans bought some guns during World War I, but used them as infantry guns in direct support of the infantry, as their light weight would allow them to move with the infantry. They complained that the guns were too fragile and didn't have a high enough muzzle velocity to act as an anti-tank gun. Considering that the guns were designed to be disassembled, it's not too surprising that they couldn't stand the abuse moving through the shell-pocketed front lines on the Western Front.
Serial number 1399 (manufactured 1917) is displayed in Bundaberg, Queensland, having been gifted to that city as a war trophy - in 1921 - by the Australian Government.
- Englemann, Joachim and Scheibert, Horst. Deutsche Artillerie 1934-1945: Eine Dokumentation in Text, Skizzen und Bildern: Ausrüstung, Gliderung, Ausbildung, Führung, Einsatz. Limburg/Lahn, Germany: C. A. Starke, 1974
- Gander, Terry and Chamberlain, Peter. Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939-1945. New York: Doubleday, 1979 ISBN 0-385-15090-3
- Hogg, Ian. Twentieth-Century Artillery. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2000 ISBN 0-7607-1994-2
- Jäger, Herbert. German Artillery of World War One. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire: Crowood Press, 2001 ISBN 1-86126-403-8
- Ortner, M. Christian. The Austro-Hungarian Artillery From 1867 to 1918: Technology, Organization, and Tactics. Vienna, Verlag Militaria, 2007 ISBN 978-3-902526-13-7
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