Skoda K-series

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Skoda K-series
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-163-0319-07A, Griechenland, Artilleriestellung auf freiem Feld.jpg
15 cm sFH 37(t) in German service, Greece, 1941.
Type heavy howitzer
Place of origin Czechoslovakia
Service history
In service 1933–1995
Used by  Turkey
 Kingdom of Romania
 Yugoslavia
 Czechoslovakia
 Nazi Germany
Slovakia Slovakia
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Skoda
Manufacturer Skoda
Variants 15 cm hrubá houfnice vz. 37
Specifications
Weight K1: 5,020 kg (11,070 lb)
Vz. 37: 5,200 kg (11,500 lb)
Barrel length K1: 4.05 metres (13 ft 3 in) L/27
Vz. 37: 3.6 metres (11 ft 10 in) L/24
Crew 11

Shell 42 kg (93 lb)
Caliber 149.1 mm (5.87 in)
Carriage split trail
Elevation -5° to +70°
Traverse 45°
Muzzle velocity K1: 570 metres per second (1,900 ft/s)
Vz. 37: 580 metres per second (1,900 ft/s)
Maximum firing range 15,100 m (16,500 yd)

The Škoda 149 mm K-series was a heavy howitzer design which served with Germany, Turkey, Romania, Slovakia, and Yugoslavia during World War II.

Description[edit]

The K-series howitzers were modern designs for their time, with a powerful 149.1 mm calibre barrel mounted on a heavy field carriage designed for motorized transport. The K1 model was slightly longer and could be broken down for horse transport as well. The K4 model was more modern and used pneumatic wheels as opposed to the K1's solid rubber rims. Both howitzers used spade plates that had to be pound into the ground to anchor the weapon in place.

History[edit]

K1 howitzer (with postwar pneumatic wheels) in traveling position.

The K-series was an entirely new design by the Škoda Works company of Czechoslovakia. The original K1 model was in production by 1933, and was a successful export weapon, with sales to Turkey, Romania, and Yugoslavia. However, the Czechoslovak Army was not a buyer, but desired modifications to the weapon before any purchase. The newer weapon was titled the K4 and was accepted by the Czech Army as its standard heavy howitzer intended to replace the large variety of World War I era pieces still on inventory. It received the designation 15 cm hrubá houfnice vzor 37 and had just begun production when Czechoslovakia capitulated to Germany in 1939. The Germans continued production for service in the Wehrmacht as the 15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 37(t) or sFH 37(t). The weapon was widely used, particularly on the Eastern Front, and some had been supplied to Axis-allied powers such as Slovakia.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  • Chamberlain, Peter & Gander, Terry. Heavy Artillery. New York: Arco, 1975 ISBN 0-668-03898-5
  • 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
  • Bishop, Chris (General Editor). The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. New York: Barnes £ Noble Books, 1998 ISBN 0-7607-1022-8