American Legion Post
Lat : 40.50500 / Long : -75.69810
General comments on this surviving gun :
Identical items in the same location :
Items covered by this file :
Historic context :
In 1900, the German army asked Krupp to design, for the Metz and Strasburg fortified positions, a long range heavy gun that could be quickly moved with is shielding on several prepared position to operate counter-battery fire, with the help of specific wagons of regular or narrow width railway system.
The result of this study, delivered in 12 weapons only from 1903, had a look real close to the navy guns with its 30cm thick plates shield box. It was named '15cm KiSL' (15cm Kanone In SchirmLafette - 15 cm gun on shielded carriage), and is considered by the artillery specialists as the first precursor of the German WW1 railway heavy guns, even if it was not able to fire from its wagon and was to be translated first on the prepared positions. In this fortress gun configuration, some of these guns of the Feste Wagner (Metz) were ordered to shell attacking French troops in August 1914.
On the other hand, as soon as by the end of August 1914, the headquarters facing the too small numbers of long range heavy guns (only represented by the 32 available 13 cm K 09 guns) requested the use of the 15cm KiSL with their impressive ballistic properties, in the siege and field armies.
8 of the 12 existing guns were therefore divided into 4 batteries of 2 guns each, within the Rheinisches Fussartillerie Regiment 8, and used in the fronts of Nancy, Antwerp, in Flandres (where they fired against the British dreadnought 'Majestic' !). This was made possible by the use of a heavy raod trailer towed by a road locomotive, and a heavy metallic platform, designed in 1908. Afterwards, the guns were dispersed and installed in operation zones in Argonne, at the Eparges, in Champagne, in Verdun, in Hattonchatel, and in the Saint Mihiel salient.
These weapons, despite their rarity and their poor mobility, were appreciated thanks to their good performances and their resistance : On July 6 1916 at night, one of these guns shot more than 200 rounds in 2 hours only during an 'encaging' fire before an assault ! This reputation is certainly one of the inspirations for the choice made by the Reich to develop the 15 cm caliber for its long range heavy artillery (leading to the very good 15cm K 16 guns), as well as its heavy power railway artillery.
Technical data :
- Complete description : 15cm gun in armoured shield
- Design year : 1902
- Calibre : 149.30 mm
- Weight in firing position : 12360 kg without platform
- Weight for transportation : 22550 kg on railway wagon (Förderbahn) or road trailer (Strassenwagen)
- Tube length in calibres : 40.00
- Grooves : 0
- Projectile weight : 52.5 kg
- Initial speed : 688 to 750 m/s
- Fire rate : 2.5 shots per minute
- Range : 15600 m à 19500 m
- Elevation range : -4 to +30 degrees
- Direction range : 184 degrees total range (330 degrees on metallic platform)