10.5 cm leFH 18M
|10.5 cm leFH 18M|
The leFH 18M being used in Yugoslavia
|Place of origin||Germany|
|Used by|| Nazi Germany
|Wars||World War II|
|Weight||1,985 kg (4,377 lbs)|
|Barrel length||3.308 m (10 ft 10 in)|
|Shell||cased separate-loading (6 charges)|
|Shell weight||14.81 kilograms (32.7 lb) (HE)
15.71 kilograms (34.6 lb) (AP)
|Caliber||105 mm (4.13 in)|
|Breech||horizontal sliding block|
|Elevation||-6° 30' to +40° 30'|
|Rate of fire||4–6 rpm|
|Muzzle velocity||540 m/s (1,772 ft/s)|
|Maximum range||12,325 m (13,479 yds)|
|Filling weight||1.38 kilograms (3.0 lb)|
The 10.5 cm leFH 18M (German: leichte Feldhaubitze "light field howitzer") was a German light howitzer used in the Second World War. The gun, less the carriage and shield, was also used as the armament of the SdKfz 124 Wespe self-propelled artillery vehicle.
The 10.5 cm leFH 18M superseded the 10.5 cm leFH 18 as the standard German divisional field howitzer used during the Second World War. It was designed and developed by Rheinmetall after the war broke out in an effort to get more range from the basic leFH 18 design. A muzzle brake was fitted and the recoil system adjusted to allow the use of a more powerful charge and new long-range shell. Generally it did not equip independent artillery battalions until after the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943. 53 were also exported to Finland, where they were known as 105 H 33.
Many were converted from the 10.5 cm leFH 18 and retained their original wood-spoked or pressed steel wheels. The former were only suitable for horse traction. Initially, it was fitted with a single-baffle muzzle brake of relatively low efficiency. This was later improved by welding two protruding ears to the rear of the port. However this style of muzzle brake proved troublesome with the early designs of fin-stabilized and discarding-sabot shells and a new cage-type muzzle brake was designed and fitted.
The new FH Gr Fern long-range shell was about 25 millimetres (0.98 in) longer than the normal shells used by the leFH 18 guns, but had a shorter streamlined section behind the driving band to accommodate the larger powder charge required. This fit in the standard cartridge case, but protruded about 50 millimetres (2.0 in) past its mouth.
Ballistically, the 10.5 cm leFH 18M and the leFH 18/40 are identical.
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- 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
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