21 cm Mörser M. 16/18

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21 cm Mörser M. 16/18
Type Heavy howitzer
Place of origin Austria-Hungary
Service history
In service 1916-1945
Used by Austria-Hungary
Czechoslovakia
Nazi Germany
Wars World War I, World War II
Production history
Designer Skoda
Designed 1915-19
Manufacturer Skoda
Number built at least 15
Variants M. 16, M. 18
Specifications
Weight 9,460 kilograms (20,860 lb)
Barrel length 3.36 metres (132 in) L/16

Shell 135 kilograms (298 lb)
Caliber 210 millimetres (8.3 in)
Breech horizontal sliding block
Carriage firing platform
Elevation +40° to +71° 30'
Traverse 360°
Muzzle velocity 380 m/s
Maximum firing range 10,100 metres (11,000 yd)

The 21 cm Mörser M. 16 was a heavy howitzer used by Austria-Hungary during World War I. Skoda began design in 1915 for a wheeled howitzer that could be towed in a single load by a tractor. The first prototype wasn't satisfactory as it was too heavy and traversing was difficult due to the very high limber bar pressure. A second howitzer was delivered in mid-1917 that broke down into two loads for transport. This, at least, cured the traversing problem of the first weapon, as reported by the test battery assigned to the 11th Army.[1] In the meantime, however, a third prototype had been ordered as the M. 18 with a carriage based on that of the 30.5 cm Mörser M. 16 that would allow for full traverse at the price of more time needed to emplace the firing platform. It broke down into three loads for transport. No M. 18s were delivered by the end of the war, although Skoda built some modified versions as the M. 18/19 for the newly independent Republic of Czechoslovakia where they were known as the 21 cm mozdir vz. 18. After the Occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939 the Germans adopted them under the names of 21 cm Mörser 18/19(t) or kurze 21 cm Mörser(t) and used at least 15 on coast-defense duties in Norway.[2]

The only known surviving piece at the National Military Museum, Romania.[3]

References[edit]

  • 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
  • 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

Notes[edit]