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24cm M 98 Haubitze

Heavy power artillery

Contributor :
(Wikimedia commons) Christoph Tietz      http://commons.wikimedia.org/
Massimo (Flickr) Foti     
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Location :
Heeresgeschichtliches Museum
Coordinates : Lat : 48.18600 / Long : 16.38760
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

The partially jacketed inner tube designates this survivor as an original M98 version

The carriage has been pivoted slightly on the base, showing the horizontal aiming possibility

Interesting rear view with the loading cradle that could only work once the barrel was set horizontally

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     24cm M 98 H Origin :       ( Skoda)          

Historic context :

At the end of the XIXth century, the Austro-Hungarian army had no capacities for producing heavy artillery weapons, so that it had to rely on foreign companies to buy such important material. In 1896, the War Ministry decided to put an end to this uncomfortable strategic situation by soliciting the firm Skoda to develop a 24cm heavy siege mortar inspired from a 1888 Krupp design mounted on a pivot.

The Military Technical Commission (TMK) very wisely suggested that a second prototype should be launched in parallel, equipped with a recoil recuperation system and a steel barrel instead of the usual bronze, following the latest technological developments applied by the big European powers. During the tests, this modern version easily won the competition and was adopted in November 1900 as the 'M98 24cm Mortar'.

It was a mortar equipped by a jacketed steel tube and an interrupted screw breech, linked to a haevy carriage via a hydro-spring recoil recuperation system. the 24cm M98was then the very first Austro-Hungarian artillery weapon equipped with this kind of system. It was also the first being designed for the automotive towing, in two separate loads.

Some design issues were still present in this early version, probably caused by the unusual short time between design and adoption, particularly with a weakness of the counter-recoil springs that could make the barrel jump out the craddle at high elevation angles shots. The mortar was improved in 1907 and took the name '24cm M 1898/7 Mortar'. In addition to the correction of these issues, that version also had an elongated jacket that covered the inner tube until its muzzle, while the first version had it covered only partially.

The disappointing performances of this weapon, with a small range and a shell lacking power against modern fortifications, as well as a low fire rate handicapped by the need to load the barrel in horizontal position, at least were the trigger for triggering new design works on a better weapon that ultimately gave birth to the 30.5cm M 1911, the incontestable 'stars' of this nation heavy artillery in 1914. At the war outbreak, the Austro-Hungarian Army had 48 such 24cm mortars available. Great Britain also had bought 4 items in 1900, named 'BL 9.45 inch Howitzer'.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 24 cm howitzer M 1898 and 1898/07
  • Design year : 1898
  • Calibre : 240.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 9070 kg including 7040 kg for the mortar without platform
  • Weight for transportation : 2 separate loads
  • Tube length in calibres : 9.10 (total length) - 30 calibres rifled part only
  • Grooves : 56 constant angle
  • Projectile weight : 133 kg
  • Initial speed : 278 m/s
  • Fire rate : unknown
  • Range : 5800 then 6500 m
  • Elevation range : +40 to +65 degrees
  • Direction range : 16 degrees total range