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Cannone da 149 G (149/23)

Heavy artillery

Contributor :
Marco Accigliaro      Google Earth
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Location :
Cresta Croce all'Adamello

Coordinates : Lat : 46.16100 / Long : 10.55870
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

This old gun has been bring at the top of this 3236 m high mountain in 1916 at the cost of 78 days of titanesque efforts. It has been classified as a national monument

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     149G (149/23) Origin :       ( Ansaldo)             ( Arsenale di Torino )          

Historic context :

Designed by Ansald with the name '15 GRC Ret ' but quickly renamed 'cannone da 149 G' ('G' as 'ghisa' - cast iron), this gun was adopted by the Italian army in 1877 as a siege and fortress weapon. It could have been named a howitzer as well, because of its short (23 calibers) barrel.

Technically, the gun had the usual characteristics of this period artillery weapons, with a jacketted and rifled tube, a plastic obturation breech allowing the projectile loading by the rear, but without any other recoil control system than simple wooden wedges under the wheels. It was also used under steel cupolas in the Italian fortresses. From 1905, this obsolete gun started to te replaced by the cannone da 149/35 (ou 149 A) with really better ballistic characteristics. This susbtitution was still going on when WW1 enrolled Italy in the fightings in in 1915.

In the early months of the First World War (that began in 1915 for Italy), big numbers of these respectatble old weapons stored in depots or used in fortresses were called to the front in the heavy field artillery units to satisfy the need for artillery and compensate the heavy losses. Meanwhile renamed 'cannone da 149/23' and equipped with wheel belts (an invention of the Italian major Crispino Bonagente), they were kept in service until the end of the war.

28 guns of 149 G were present in the siege artillery units in May 1915. These numbers climbed to 89 such guns in January 1916, 103 in December 1916, 410 in October 1917 just before the Caporetto disaster. This catastrophe provoked the loss of 216 such weapons in late October 1917. The 149 G guns quantities were restored to reach 389 pieces in June 1918, then back to 206 at the armistice (caused by wear, replacement by allied guns and modern Italian ones).

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 149 mm heavy gun G - 149/23 calibres
  • Design year : 1877
  • Calibre : 149.10 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 5180 kg
  • Weight for transportation :
  • Tube length in calibres : 23.10
  • Grooves : 36 constant angle, to the left
  • Projectile weight : 30.4 kg
  • Initial speed : 520 m/s
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 9000 m
  • Elevation range : -10 to +35 degrees
  • Direction range : none