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Obusier de 15c.A.Cockerill - FRC sur affût métallique de siège

Fortress artillery

Contributor :
Charlie Clelland     
Mal Black     
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Location :
Enoggera, QLD
9th Batallion Museum
Coordinates : Lat : -27.42260 / Long : 152.99080
General comments on this surviving gun :
(De C Clelland) This Belgian howitzer is one of the most historically significant in Australia. During the night of July 22-23 1916 Australian troops attacked German positions around the village of Pozieres.

Over the next 2 weeks of the battle Australian troops suffered more than 16,000 casualties. In the early advance into Pozieres, 3 German howitzers which had been damaged by the initial barrage were found - these howitzers were 15cm ex-Belgian Krupp/FRC. The 3 damaged howitzers were returned to Australia after WW1 but only one survives now at the 9th Battalion Museum, Enoggera, Qld.

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

The hewitzer as it was shown before its renovation. Its condistion is a moving witness of the terrible fights that were the circumstances of its capture by the Australians in the Somme

The gun is being renovated by the 9th Batallion Museum. Markings not communicated

Memorial plate

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     Ob. 15 c.A. Mod. 1890 Origin :       ( Cockerill)             ( FRC )             ( Krupp )

Historic context :

With the building of the forts of the Liège and Namur fortified cities in 1887-1891, Belgium gave a big order of more than 600 barrels of calibers 5.7cm, 15cm and 21cm under cupolas or on carriages to Krupp and Nordenfelt..

As soon as 1887, the Belgian companies Cockerill and FRC ('Fonderie Royale de Canons') gathered to propose as well similar weapons whose concept was very close to the one of the foreing companies. This how came the :

  • 'Canon rayé de 15cA Mod 1890 (manchonné et fretté)', echoing the 'Canon rayé de 15cA Mod 1886 (manchonné et fretté)' de Krupp,
  • 'Canon rayé de 12cA Mod 1879 (manchonné et fretté)' (126 barrels),
  • 'Obusier rayé de 21cA Mod 1891 (manchonné et fretté)', echoing the 'Obusier rayé de 21cA Mod 1889 (manchonné et fretté)' de Krupp
  • 'Obusier rayé de 15cA Mod 1890 (manchonné)' (25 barrels), echoing the 'Obusier rayé de 15cA Mod 1887 (manchonné)' de Krupp
  • 'Mortier rayé de 15cA Mod 1890 (manchonné)' (50 barrels), echoing the 'Mortier rayé de 15cA Mod 1887 ' de Krupp
Never mounted under a cupola in the Belgian forts, the Obusier de 15c.A. Mod 1890 (manchonné et fretté) sur affût métallique de siège was one of these steel tubes ('A' meaning 'Acier' - steel) designed for the bell-curve firing, with a mantled barrel. Inspired from the German similar name weapon and probably developped with the help of Krupp, it had a longer barrel and a prismatic rear bloc.

Most of these carriage fortress weapons were captured by the German army in 1914 in the fortified towne of Liège, Namur and Antwerp, and were used by them to supplement the heavy artillery in the position war battlefields. They had 50 Belgian 15cm howitzers of two types (1887 and 1890) in 1916.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 15 cm steel howitzer (mantled) M 1890 Cockerill - FRC on siege metallic carriage
  • Design year : 1890
  • Calibre : 149.10 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 2350 kg (tube only : 1000 kg)
  • Weight for transportation : 3027 kg
  • Tube length in calibres : 0.00
  • Grooves : 0
  • Projectile weight : 32 kg (obus explosif) - 31.22 kg (shrapnel)
  • Initial speed :
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 6800 m (explosive) - 5000 m (shrapnel)
  • Elevation range :
  • Direction range :

  • Vesting - Vestingartillerie           Robert Gils                   Simon Stevin Vlaams Vestingbouwkundig Centrum   2010  
  • Das Ehrenbuch der Schweren Artillerie (II. Band)       Major Franz Nikolaus Kaiser                   Vaterlandischer Verlag Berlin   1934