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Obice pesante da 149/12 mod.14

Heavy artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
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Location :
Museo Storico Italiano della Guerra
Coordinates : Lat : 45.88640 / Long : 11.04740
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

Another great gun in this wonderful museum

Evident family signs with the German 15cm sFH13

The breech markings ('OCT - 1917') prove Italy continued to manufacture those excellent howitzers during WW1 and used them against their ancient designers allies

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     149/12 M 14 Origin :       ( Krupp)             ( Ansaldo )             ( O.T.O. / Vickers Terni )

Historic context :

Before WW1, in 1913, the German company Krupp began to deliver to its country the heavy field howitzers 15cm sFH 13. These weapons easily classified themselves among the very best ones in their category, and took the advantages of the experience acquired by this company with the previous versions of 1893, 1902 and 1906.

In 1914 Italy, then still an ally of Germany, decided to equip with these howitzers and sent an order to Krupp This order was interrupted after the delivery of 112 such weapons in 1915 after Italy entered the war at the side of the Allies against the Central Empires. However, the Italian plants Vickers-Terni and Ansaldo were having the production licence and continued the production of this very good weapon all along the war, reaching a total of about 1500 guns manufactured.

The technical characteristics of the Italian version named 'Obici da 149/12 modello 14' seem to have been identical to the ones of the original German howitzer with its hydro-pneumatic recoil recuperating system and its shiel not protecting the wheels. Some Italian technology was integrated although, for instance the aiming systems. Ansaldo designed two successives variants :

  • the 'Obici da montagna 149/12 modello 16' in 1916 received a modified carriage adapted for the mountain operations, with a narrower wheel train (1.23 m vs 1.48 m) and smaller wheels (1m vs 1.3m), a higher position of the tube and a hydro-spring recoil recuperating system allowing an increased elevation range of 0 to 65 degrees,

  • and the 'Obici da 149/12 modello 14' in 1918 was having a new hydro-spring recoil recuperation system allowing elevation angles up to 65 degrees, and a larger shield protecting the wheel train whose width was increased to 1.5 m for a better stability. This latter variant probably arrived too late to participate to the war.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 149 mm heavy field howitzer 12 calibres model 1914
  • Design year : 1913
  • Calibre : 149.10 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 2344 kg
  • Weight for transportation : unknown
  • Tube length in calibres : 14.00 (total length) - 11 calibres rifled part only
  • Grooves : 36 progressive angle from 5 to 10 degrees
  • Projectile weight : 38.9 kg à 42.34 kg
  • Initial speed : 300 m/s
  • Fire rate : 2 rounds / 3 minutes
  • Range : 6900 m
  • Elevation range : -5 to +43 degrees (M14) - 0 to 65 degrees (M16) - 3.5 to 65 degrees (M18)
  • Direction range : 5 degrees total range