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7.7 cm L/27 Ballon-abwehr kanone (Bak) M14

AA Artillery

Contributor :
Manfred Sommer     
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Location :
Heeresgeschichtliches Museum
Coordinates : Lat : 48.18650 / Long : 16.38910
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     7.7cm L/27 Sockel Bak RheinMetall Origin :       ( RheinMetall)             ( Ehrardt )          

Historic context :

During the Paris Siege in 1871, the German armies could not prevent the escape of numerous airship balloons from the besieged capital to the free south part of France. The improvised use of field guns against these mobile targets moving in altitude proved useless, and the remarkably quick gift by Krupp of 3.7cm guns mounted on pivots on trailer did not give better results mainly because of the lack of an adequate aiming device. This failure had remained in the memories and at the start of the XXth century the increasing development of the airships and airplanes weapons led the German headquarters and industry to invest resources in the design of an artillery dedicated specifically to the anti-airplanes or anti-airships, muich sooner and with more conviction than in other nations.

. An incredibly abundant succession of prototypes was invented from 1906 in RheinMetall and Krupp, the calibres evoluting from 5cm to 6.5cm and 7.5cm for an increased power, the barrels being progressively longer for a higher initial speed reducing the time of flight to the target, and the different concepts of automobile, towed of static weapon being experienced. In 1910, the APK (Artillerie Prufungs Komittee) wrote a specification for a anti-airship gun ('Bak' = Ballon-abwehr kanone) that was addressed to the industry, for a AA weapon having a calibre of 7.7cm (already used in the field artillery); towed or automobile, and equipped with a specialized aiming system.

From this specification and based on their experience with the numerous previous prototypes, Rheinmetall and Krupp both proposed in 1913 similar 7.7 cm 27 calibres guns on a pivot ('Sockel Bak' - Ballon-abwehr kanone) : the '7.7 cm Bak M14 RheinMetall' and the '7.7 cm Bak M14 Krupp'. Both were adopted but only manufactured in a total of 8 automobile or static weapons before the war outbreak, then at a very slow pace until 1916. Indeed, during the first years of the war, Germany preferred the adaptation of 9cm old fieldguns or the transformation of Russia, Italian, Belgian or French captured guns for the production of AA weapons, probably mainly to spare the resources of its artillery industry. Moreover, some of these creations (and particularly the 35 calibres long barrel of the French '75') had better performances than the 7.7cm Bak 1914 !
The existence of such a surviving gun in Vienna nowadays seems to prove Ehrardt produced some items of that king of weapons for Austro-Hungary as well.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 7.7cm L/27 M14 Bak anti-aircraft gun RheinMetall on pivot
  • Design year : 1914
  • Calibre : 77.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : unknown (2058 kg in travelling condition)
  • Weight for transportation :
  • Tube length in calibres : 27.00
  • Grooves : 0 unknown
  • Projectile weight : inconnu
  • Initial speed : 465 m/s
  • Fire rate : 25 rounds / min
  • Range : unknown
  • Elevation range : -5 to +70 degrees
  • Direction range : 360 degrees range

  • German Artillery of World War One           Herbert Jager                   Crowood   2001  
  • La Flak 1914-1918 - Volume N°1       Bernard Delsert       Jean-Jacques Dubois       Christian Kowal       Editions La Plume du Temps   1999  
  • La Flak 1914-1918 - Volume N°2       Bernard Delsert       Jean-Jacques Dubois       Christian Kowal       Editions La Plume du Temps   1999  
  • The 88mm Flak in the First and Second World Wars       Werner Müller                   Schiffer Military / Aviation History   1998