Saturday, February 23, 2013

7.7 cm Feldkanone 96 neuer Art
Artillery Field Gun

7.7 cm Feldkanone 96 neuer Art

Type: Field gun
Place of origin: German Empire

Service history
Kingdom of Bulgaria
German Empire
Poland Second Polish Republic
Ottoman Empire

World War I

Production history
Number built     5,086

Weight: 1,020 kg (2,200 lb)
Barrel length: 2.080 m (6 ft 10 in) L/27
Width: 1.53 m (5 ft)
Crew: 5
Shell: separate loading, cased charge
Caliber: 77 mm (3 in)
Breech: horizontal sliding wedge
Recoil: hydro-spring
Carriage: pole trail
Elevation: -12° 56' to +15° 8'
Traverse: 7° 15'
Rate of fire: 10 rpm
Muzzle velocity: 465 m/s (1,530 ft/s)
Effective range: 5,500 m (6,000 yd)
Maximum range: 8,400 m (9,200 yd) with trail dug in

The by far most numerous gun in the arsenal of the German Imperial Army in 1914 was the 7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n.A.. Germany entered the war with 5.086 of these Field Gun. Throughout the whole Great War, it stayed the workhorse of the German Artillery, and though as such not as well-known as many other, large-calibre pieces, it was of course very important, being used on all fronts and in all battles.

Interestingly, the Feldkanone 96 n.A. started it's career as the Feldkanone C/96, a Field Gun with rigid carriage and of surprisingly traditional design, with no shield and the old type of ammunition, with separate cartridges and projectiles. It was all result of the conservatism in the army's leading circles. The Germans had just started to distribute the FK C/96 to the troops, when the French introduced their famous "75", a gun that revolutionized gun design forever. And over-night the French gun made the technically new German C/96 completely obsolete.

The problem was, that the German Army had used up most of it's allocated money on the old design, and only way to get a new gun fast, was to subject the C/96 to a major redesign. The job went to Rheinmetall and Krupp, who did a complete overhaul, in principle only keeping the barrel - to save money - and the wheels, but putting in on a new trail, a new hydro-pneumatic recoil system, a shield, and a new breech. The result was the Feldkanone 96 n.A., n.A. standing for neuer Art, "new model". Existing guns were mostly converted, and in addition to this many completely new guns, from the wheels up, were also manufactured.

Feldgranate 96: a 6.8 kilogram (15 lb) high-explosive shell filled with .19 kg (0.45 lbs) of TNT.
    FeldkanoneGeschoss 11: A 6.85 kilogram (15.1 lb) shell combining high explosive and shrapnel functions. It contained 294 10 gram lead bullets and .25 kilograms (0.55 lb) of TNT.
    A 6.8 kilogram (15 lb) pure shrapnel shell filled with 300 lead bullets.
    An anti-tank shell
    A smoke shell
    A star shell
    A gas shell

It mainly used the K.Z. 11 time fuze or the later L.K.Z. 16 contact fuze.

As with most guns of its era, the FK 96 n.A. had seats for two crewmen mounted on its splinter shield. Guns taken into service by Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia upon independence in 1919 served until replaced during the 1930s.

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era

  • Ordnance BLC 15 pounder : British equivalent
  • 3-inch M1902 field gun : US equivalent


Post a Comment