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21cm M 16 Haubitze

Heavy artillery

Contributor :
Association 14/18      http://www.association14-18.org/
Massimo (Flickr) Foti     
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Location :
Ferdinand the 1st military museum
Coordinates : Lat : 44.44110 / Long : 26.07710
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

This very rare weapon has been probably captured in the very last days of the war or even after Austro-Hungaria capitulation, like many other very heavy calibre guns of this museum

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     21cm M 16 H Origin :       ( Skoda)          

Historic context :

At the war outbreak, Austro-Hungaria owned very good 30.5cm heavy mortars. On the other hand, its 24cm M98 H mortar showed insufficient performances, particularly when compared to the excellent 21cm M10 German mortars. On the front, the need for this type of calibre mobile mortars was proved for the destruction of concrete shelters.

Despite the negative opinion of the War Ministry, the TMK started in 1915 the design of a 21cm mortar with the help of the Skoda works in Pilsen (this company was also manufacturing some 21cm M10 mortars under licence for Germany). These efforts led to a 21cm M 16 mortar that could not hide evident look alikes with its German equivalent. It could be transported as a single load behind a tractor, as well as in 7 separate loads for mountain transport.

Only two such gun prototypes were built and sent to the Front in the middle of 1917 in a test battery. These trials gave mixed results. The ballistic properties were good but reserves were particularly made concerning its weight, its maneuverability and the poor transversal aiming range. A secon design; this time based on a carriage without wheels similar to the one of the 30.5cm mortar was launched and was named 21cm M 18. Only one prototype of this version was built and was still under test at the end of the war.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 21 cm howitzer M 1916
  • Design year : 1916
  • Calibre : 210.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 10200 kg
  • Weight for transportation : the same in a single load, or 7 separate loads for mountain transport
  • Tube length in calibres : 0.00 unknown
  • Grooves : 0 unknown
  • Projectile weight : 120 kg
  • Initial speed : unknown
  • Fire rate : unknown
  • Range : 9500 m
  • Elevation range : unknown
  • Direction range : unknown