10.5 cm leFH 18/40

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
10.5 cm leFH 18/40
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-675-7927-25A, Ostfront, leichte Feldhaubitze in Feuerstellung.jpg
The leFH 18/40 on a fire mission on the Eastern Front
Type Howitzer
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
In service 1942–45
Used by  Nazi Germany
Finland Finland
Wars World War II
Production history
Designed 1942
Produced 1942–45
Number built 10,265[1]
Specifications
Weight 1,955 kg (4,311 lbs)
Length 2.94 m (9 ft 8 in)
Barrel length 2.71 m (8 ft 11 in)

Shell cased separate-loading (6 charges)
Caliber 105 mm (4.13 in)
Breech horizontal sliding block
Recoil hydropneumatic
Carriage split trail
Elevation -6° to +40°
Traverse 56°
Rate of fire 6-8 rpm
Muzzle velocity 540 m/s (1,772 ft/s)
Effective firing range 12,325 m (13,479 yds)

The 10.5 cm leFH 18/40 (German: leichte Feldhaubitze "light field howitzer") was a German light howitzer used in the Second World War.

History[edit]

A 10.5 cm leFH 18 being drawn in Italy

The 10.5 cm leFH 18/40 supplemented the 10.5 cm leFH 18 and the 10.5 cm leFH 18M as the standard divisional field howitzer used during the Second World War. It was designed in an effort to lighten the weight of the 105 mm artillery piece and to make it easier to produce. Generally it did not equip independent artillery battalions until after the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943. Some were also exported to Finland, where they were known as 105 H 33-40.

Description[edit]

The leFH 18/40 howitzer in a concealed firing position in Italy, 1944.

In March 1942 a requirement was issued for a lighter howitzer by the Wehrmacht that must also be ready as soon as possible and capable of rapid production. This requirement was met by mounting the barrel of the leFH 18M on the carriage for a 7.5 cm PaK 40 antitank gun. The new carriage used torsion bars running the full length of the carriage to suspend the wheels. The original wheels of the PaK 40 mounting were too small for use by the howitzer and were replaced by larger pressed-steel wheels with solid rubber tires. The new mounting increased the rate of fire as well as making the howitzer somewhat lighter. The leFH 18/40 shared the different muzzle brakes used by the leFH 18M.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, vol. 5, part 1.
  • Engelmann, Joachim and Scheibert, Horst. Deutsche Artillerie 1934-1945: Eine Dokumentation in Text, Skizzen und Bildern: Ausrüstung, Gliederung, 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 V. German Artillery of World War Two. 2nd corrected edition. Mechanicsville, PA: Stackpole Books, 1997 ISBN 1-85367-480-X