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7.7cm NahKampfGeschütze

Light artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
Dick Pope     
Charlie Clelland     
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Location :
Boalsburg, PA
Pennsylvania War Museum
Coordinates : Lat : 40.78120 / Long : -77.79400
General comments on this surviving gun :
The gun is integrated into a nice memorial, close to the museum. These modifications, and the memorial plate of the small monument close to, indicating the cross it supports has been offered by the village of Montblainville (55 - Meuse - France) near Varennes en Argonne let us think this captured gun might be a bunker gun from the position "Blinkstelle Brunhild".

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

The tube has Prussian arms engraved. The breech markings are covered with a thick paint layer, but the date 1914 can hardly be read.

One can observe the unusual modifications given to the original 7.7 FK 96 n/A design for conversion into close support gun, such as steel wheels design for use on rails and the end of the tail apparatus over the spade.

Front view

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     7.7cm NKK Origin :       ( Krupp)          

Historic context :

The apparition of the first British tanks in 1916 demonstrated both the power of this new weapon and its vulnerability to the fieldguns explosive shells in direct hit. This event created a new need of infantry guns of the same calibre than the fieldguns but easier to bring close to the first lines in order to fight the tanks efficiently.

This is how the German War Ministry ordered in the end of 1916 to deviate some 7.7cm FK 96 n/A firldguns components for the manufacturing of new guns specifically designed for this mission. The new gun was named '7.7 cm InfanterieGeschütze L/27 Krupp' ('Infantry gun'), sometimes more simply named Nahkampfgeschütze ('Close support gun'), this name being later adopted for a 7.7cm L/12 Skoda gun from 1917. It equipped more than 18 batteries. Numerous other developments were launched between 1915 and 1918 for the creation of infantry guns, either through new designs from the weapon industry, or by use or conversion of of mountain guns.

This close support 7.7 cm InfanterieGeschütze L/27 Krupp gun used the components of the standard German fieldgun 7.7cm FK96 n/A, in a configuration allowing to lower its profile and lighten its initial 925 kg weight to 845 kg. These changes included :

- smaller diameter wheels (1 m) and a wheel to wheel distance narrowed 30 cm - wheels axle shifted 30cm to the rear without the usual seats, needing the use of couterweights - a narrower shield designed to be dismounted easily - a new system for an easier gun tube dismounting - a gun tube shortened some cm...

The gun could be disassembled into two separated loads for transportation. Its weight was anyhow still pretty heavy, and its ballistic performances far too good for the needs of close support fighting, so that it was gradually replaced by new infantry guns or mountain guns much lighter, handsome and with a reduced gun tube length.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 7.7cm NahKampfGeschütze Infantry Gun
  • Design year : 1916
  • Calibre : 77.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 845 kg
  • Weight for transportation : Idem - two separate loads for easier transportation
  • Tube length in calibres : 26.90 (total tube length)
  • Grooves : 32 (progressive angle)
  • Projectile weight : 6.85 kg
  • Initial speed : 465 m/s
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 7800 m to 8300 m
  • Elevation range : -13 / +15 degrees
  • Direction range : 4 degrees total range

  • German Artillery of World War One           Herbert Jager                   Crowood   2001  
  • Wikipedia http://fr.wikipedia.org/