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A 75mm Krupp gun used during the War of the Pacific
|Place of origin||Prussia, German Empire|
|Used by|| Prussia
|Wars||War of the Pacific
World War I
In 1811, Friedrich Krupp founded his cast-steel factory Gusstahlfabrik, but it was his son, Alfred Krupp, who attained notable success. In 1856, Fried. Krupp A.G., produced a 9 cm (6-Pfünder-Feldkanone C/61) muzzle-loading rifled gun of cast steel, which gave such good results that Prussia adopted steel for making army guns, which made Prussia the first country to do so.
Krupp guns were purchased by the Russian, Austrian, and the Ottoman Empire armies during the 1860s. By the 1870s, they were being purchased by countries all over the world. Naval guns were also rapidly developed; from 1863, guns were being manufactured for several navies, which included those of Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Prussia, among others.
By the 1880s, Krupp had developed an 88mm naval gun and adopted 75mm as the caliber for the army's field and mountain guns. In 1897, when the French 75mm quick-firing gun appeared, Krupp produced the similar 77mm, which was used in World War I.
Since 1948, according to military sources, the Honduran Navy has maintained one Krupp cannon, which is the first of its kind made by the company and which is still in working order, at the Amapala Naval Base on the Pacific coast.
The principal characteristic of Krupp guns is that they are made of steel. Alfred Krupp was introduced to the Bessemer process to mass-produce steel by his London agent and friend, Alfred Longsdon, in 1859-60. After a lengthy period of trial and error, this steel was developed to such quality that the royal factory of Woolwich in England acquired steel from Krupp to manufacture guns that conformed to British naval standards. Also, Krupp was one of the first manufacturers to design practical breechloading guns for army use.
Initially, Krupp developed a breechloading system with a wedge breech block, but, because of problems with escape of gas, it continued to manufacture muzzle-loading guns until the adoption of the Broadwell ring allowed the problem to be solved. By this means, they developed the best breechloading guns of the time, assisted by Longsdon's patented designs. Initially, Krupp only sold its breechloading guns to Prussia, but, from 1888, it began exporting all over the world. Breech closure was achieved by a steel wedge that slid transversely on a short groove at the rear part of the gun. The movement was imparted by a screw mechanism and the gas-check by the Broadwell ring system.
Krupp also copied the Blakely system to manufacture banded guns.
At first, the caliber of the Krupp guns was determined by the weight of the projectile in pounds, but, in the 1860s, they began to designate caliber by the diameter of the bore in centimeters or millimeters.
The principal guns between the 1860s and the 1880s were:
|Designation||Caliber (cm)||Weight of barrel (kg)||Weight of projectile (kg)||Maximum range (m)||Muzzle velocity (m/s)|
- Galté Lockett, Gilles (2006). «Las piezas de artillería de campaña y montaña usadas en la Guerra del Pacífico». Revista de Historia Militar. Santiago de Chile (5). p 52-56.
- Grieve Madge, Jorge (1983). Historia de la Artillería y de la Marina de Guerra en la contienda del 79. Industrialgráfica S.A. Lima
- Colectivo de autores (1510-1868). Centro de Información para la Defensa (MINFAR). ed. Historia Militar de Cuba
- Krupp. A century's history of the Krupp works, 1812-1912, Krupp Works, 1912
- The London Gazette, Patents, 17 May 1878