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30.5cm M 16 Haubitze

Heavy power artillery

Contributor :
Association 14/18      http://www.association14-18.org/
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Location :
Ferdinand the 1st military museum
Coordinates : Lat : 44.44110 / Long : 26.07810
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

This unique mortar has been captured by the Romanian army during WW1

In addition to the barrel elonagtion, the 1916 version saw several modifications including a complete re-engineering of the carriage and base

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     30.5cm M 16 H Origin :       ( Skoda)          

Historic context :

Pride of the Austro-Hungarian heavy artillery, the 30.5 cm M1911 howitzer proved its valor on all the fronts, even assisting the German army for the destruction of some of the Belgian and French forts during the conflict first months. In 1916, improvements were made to this initial model with the version M11/16 (with a 360 degrees horizontal aiming range).

These initial successes, as well as the confirmation of the need of such heavy and mobile mortars in the position war that had become the European conflict since 1915, induced the Military Technical Commission (TMK) and Skoda to design in 1916 a new version whose prototype was tested from October 1916, then sent to the Italian front for further evaluation in January 1917. Following guns arrived into service during 1917 and 1918.

This '30.5 cm L/12 M16 howitzer' saw most of its performances improved, including the range increased to approximately 12 km thanks to a longer tube. Other important differences were the position of the recoil recuperation cylinders that were now placed under the barrel, a heavy steel box platform and a completely redesigned carriage on ball bearings turn table that allowed a 360 degrees horizontal firing range with an improved stability. These gains were obtained at the cost of 3 tons weight increase, but still acceptable for the existing automotive transportation solution.

At the end of 1916, 101 howitzers, all versions included, had been produced by Skoda and put into service in the Austro-Hungarian army; including 29 30.5cm M16 mortars. Amongst these latter, the ones who survived the war were used by different countries such as Italy, Czechoslovak, la Yugoslav, Hungary and Poland. They were also used in the IIIrd Reich Wehrmacht in 1939.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 30.5 cm howitzer M 1916
  • Design year : 1916
  • Calibre : 305.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 23014 kg
  • Weight for transportation : 3 separate loads
  • Tube length in calibres : 12.00 (rifled part)
  • Grooves : 0 unknown
  • Projectile weight : 290 kg à 390 kg
  • Initial speed : 380 to 450 m/s
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 11100 and 12300 m
  • Elevation range : +40 à +75 degrés
  • Direction range : 360 degrees range