Version française


7.7cm FeldKanone 96

Light artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
Gilles Roland      http://vestiges.1914.1918.free.fr/
Lien vers post du blog
Location :
Wehrtechnisches Museum
Coordinates : Lat : 50.36990 / Long : 7.58610
General comments on this surviving gun :
As most of the rare items in this interesting museum, the gun is not very accessible, limiting the ability to take pictures and observe details

Identical items in the same location : 1
Items covered by this file : 1

The barrel is decorated with engravings both on its body and at the muzzle. Notice the lack of recoil recuperation system. Built in 1898

View on the left trunnion

Rear view on the Wahrendorf type breech that was not allowing the quick fire rates

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     7.7cm FK 96 Origin :       ( Krupp)          

Historic context :

The progresses in the ballistic science at the end of the XIXth century allowed most industrialized nations to increase the length of the shells, opening the possibility to reduce the calibre of the guns while keeping the same shell weight.

Germany then began the massive replacement of its old fieldguns 9cm K73 and 9cm K73/91, by the '7.7cm FK 96' proposed by Krupp. The 'quick fire' name of this gun category was not fooling anyone on its technological backwardness : the lack of recoil brake-recuperation system was condemning it to slow fire rates of about 1 round per minute... This issue was hardly understandable for such a technologically advanced nation, and was the translation of an incredibly and guilty conservatism of the head quarters. Years before indeed, some German engineers were at the origin of the developments of such systems that would revolution the field artillery technique, but had been unable make them adopted by the military establishment or in their companies (among them Krupp...), when the other major European nations were fully engaged in that modern direction.

Just when the 7.7cm FK 96 started its operational services, this gun whose technological level was hardly higher than the old 1877 de Bange fieldgun or the old German 9cm K 73 Allemands, the thunder caused by the sudden apparition of the revolutionary French 75mm Mle 1897 made it instantaneously obsolete ! One can imagine the crisis this fact must have caused in the ministries, causing some heads to be fired ....

At the exception of some rare items, all the new guns underwent a radical and expensive modernization program imposed by the government to Krupp that had to accept the collaboration of RheinMetall and the integration in its gun of several innovations designed by its competitor's engineers, creating the well known 7.7cm FK 96 n/a. This gun only arrived in the units from 1906, despite its '1896' millenium.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 77mm light fieldgun M 1896
  • Design year : 1896
  • Calibre : 77.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 914 kg
  • Weight for transportation : 1729 kg with ammo wagon
  • Tube length in calibres : 27.30 (total tube length 2100 mm) - 21.2 for the grooved part only
  • Grooves : 32 progressive angle, to the right
  • Projectile weight : 6.85 kg (shrapnell et explosif)
  • Initial speed : 465 m/s
  • Fire rate : 8 rounds / minute (practically 2 rounds / minute)
  • Range : 8000 m (high explosive shell) or 5000 m (shrapnell)
  • Elevation range : -12 to +16 degrees
  • Direction range : 4 degrees total range

  • German Artillery of World War One           Herbert Jager                   Crowood   2001  
  • Deutsche FeldArtillerie 1864-1910 - Geschütze - Fahrzeuge, Waffen-Arsenal #152       Sonja Wetzig                   Waffen-Arsenal   1995  
  • L'Artillerie de Campagne de l'Armée Impériale Allemande - Tome III - 7,7cm Feld Kanone 96 nA       Bernard Delsert                   B.D.   2013