7.5 cm FK 7M85

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7.5 cm Feldkanone 7M85
TypeField gun
Place of originGermany
Service history
In service1945
Used byNazi Germany
WarsWorld War II
Production history
Designed1944–45
Produced1945
No. built10
Specifications
Weight1,788 kg (3,942 lbs)
Barrel length3.7 m (12 ft)[1]

ShellFixed QF 75 x 690mm R
Shell weightHE: 5.4 kilograms (12 lb)
AP: 6.8 kilograms (15 lb)
Caliber75 mm (2.95 in)
Breechsemi-automatic horizontal sliding-block
Carriagesplit trail
Elevation-5° to +42°
Traverse30° 30'[1]
Rate of fire12–15 rpm
Muzzle velocityHE: 550 m/s (1,804 ft/s)
Maximum firing range10,275 m (11,237 yds)[1]
FillingTNT or amatol

The 7.5 cm Feldkanone 7M85 (7.5 cm FK 7M85) was a field gun used by Germany in World War II.

Design[edit]

The FK 7M85 was designed to a requirement issued in 1944 for a dual-purpose anti-tank and field gun that could be produced quickly. The gun, cradle and recoil system from the 7.5 cm PaK 40 anti-tank gun was adapted to the 10.5 cm leFH 18/40 carriage. The leFH 18/40 carriage had been itself adapted from the PaK 40 so this design essentially returned the gun to its original carriage, albeit with a wider range of ammunition and an extra 20° of elevation.[1]

It is possible the FK 7M85 was influenced by the success of Soviet divisional guns such as M1936, M1939 and M1942 which the Germans captured in substantial numbers earlier in the war. At 3,924 lb (1,780 kg) it was 782 lb (355 kg) heavier than the PaK 40, 1,464 lb (664 kg) heavier than the Soviet M1942 and 582 lb (264 kg) heavier than the 7.5 cm FK 16 nA which it would have replaced. This would have made manhandling the FK 7M85 into position in snow and mud difficult.[1] However, the anti-tank performance of the 75 x 690 mm shell would have been greater than the 75 × 200 mm shell fired by the FK 16 NA or the 76.2 × 385 mm shell fired by the Soviet divisional guns.

Nomenclature[edit]

In 1944–45 the Germans changed their system of artillery designations from the old "year" system. Each weapon was to have a number showing their caliber group, a letter denoting ammunition group, and the last two digits were from the weapon drawing number. In this case 7 denoted 75 mm caliber using the M group of ammunition. The shells were all to be designated as M with a 4-digit number, the first three were the drawing number and the last was the shell's category from the following list:[1]

No. Shell type No. Shell type
1 high explosive 6 gas
2 hollow charge anti-tank 7 incendiary
3 armor-piercing 8 leaflet
4 high explosive, high capacity 9 practice
5 smoke 10 proof projectile

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Hogg, Ian (2002). German artillery of World War Two ([2002 ed.] ed.). London: Greenhill, Books. pp. 43–44. ISBN 185367480X. OCLC 50056418.
  • 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