Lat : 51.20147 / Long : 4.49349
General comments on this surviving gun :
Identical items in the same location :
Items covered by this file :
Historic context :
Since 1915, the increase of the depth of the front lines demonstrated the need for a substantial increase of the range of the fieldguns and fieldhowitzers in order to hit targets from safer positions.
Therefore, in 1916, the German army expressed its need of a fieldgun with increased range. Rheinmetall almost immediately answered to the challenge thanks to a 7.7cm flak gun prototype easily adaptable to a fieldgun mission.
This is how the successor of the famous fieldgun 7.7cm FK 96 n/A was introduced. This new gun was equipped with a longer tube (35 calibres instead of 27.3) in order to get more advantage from the propulsive gasses, and assembled on the carriage of the light field howitzer 10cm lFH 16 (allowing a higher elevation). It is worth noticing these two upgrades were detrimental to the total weight, increase by about 44% !
This new gun designed by Rheinmetall was named '7.7cm FK 16' (FK = FeldKanone - Fieldgun), and entered in operating service from the end of 1917.
It was a nice gun, that could finally rival the French "75" gun range, up to 11200 m with a special shell adopted in 1918, and proved to be really efficient too in an anti-tank role. It was using separate ammunition type, allowing the use of variable propulsive loads. Its high elevation angles also allwed it to good results on entranchments, narrowing the gap between fielhowitzers and fielguns.
At the end of the war, 3020 such guns were still in service in the German Army. Some of them were given to Belgium after the war, but most remained the standard guns of the small German army that was allowed by the Versailles. Treaty.
A last version was introduced in 1934 with a final elongation of the tube up to 36 calibres, for use by the Wehrmacht horse artillery.
Technical data :
- Complete description : 77mm light fieldgun M 1916
- Design year : 1916
- Calibre : 77.00 mm
- Weight in firing position : 1325 kg
- Weight for transportation : 1325 kg without ammo trailer, - one single load
- Tube length in calibres : 35.00 (total tube length) - 27 for the grooved part only
- Grooves : 32 (constant angle)
- Projectile weight : 7.2 kg à 5.89 kg
- Initial speed : 545 to 602 m/s
- Fire rate :
- Range : Max 9100 m to 10700 m depending on the shell and the propulsive load
- Elevation range : -10 / +40 degrees
- Direction range : 4 degrees total range