15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18 Field Gun
|Country of Origin||Germany|
|Ammunition Weight||43.50 kg|
|Muzzle Velocity||495 m/s|
Contributor: C. Peter Chenww2dbaseIn the late 1920s, German arms manufacturers Krupp and Rheinmetall competed for the design of a new heavy field howitzer, but the German Army thought the Rheinmetall gun design was better, while the Krupp carriage design was superior. The solution, they decided, was to combine the best elements of each design, thus the 15-centimeter schwere Feldhaubitze 18, or sFH 18, heavy field howitzers, were born. They were introduced to the German Army on 23 May 1935, and by the start of the European War in Sep 1939, 1,353 of them were in service.
Given the newly found mobile warfare doctrines of the German Army, the inability for 15-cm sFH 18 heavy field howitzers to keep up with the tanks became a major weakness. Even though the carriages were designed for horse-towing, they could be adopted for vehicle use, but the lack of suspension meant they could not be towed at high speeds. Nevertheless, they remained the standard German heavy field howitzer for the remainder of the war.
As it was discovered that the Russian Army 122-millimeter A-19 howitzers enjoyed a greater range, therefore giving the Russian Army an advantage when conducting counter-battery firing, work was done to improve the range of the 15-cm sFH 18 howitzers. One of the more interesting methods to improve range was found with the 15-cm R. Gr. 19 FES ammunition, which were rocket-assistance rounds that improved the range to 18,200-meters, which was comparable to the A-19 howitzers.
The 15-cm sFH 18 heavy field howitzers were mounted on Geschützwagen III/IV chassis, creating a new weapon more commonly known as Hummel self-propelled artillery.
Finland purchased 48 of these artillery pieces in 1940 and used them under the designation 150 H/40.
Between 1933 and 1945, a total of 5,403 15-cm sFH 18 heavy field howitzers were built. A majority of them, 2,295, were built in 1944.
After WW2, Czechoslovakia, Portugal, and many South and Central American countries continued to use them.
Several countries continued fielding the sFH 18 after the war in large numbers including Czechoslovakia, Portugal and many South American and Central American countries. Finland bought 48 sFH 18 howitzers from Germany in 1940 and designated them 150 H/40.
Source: Wikipedia. ww2dbase
Last Major Revision: Apr 2008
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