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12cm luft Minenwerfer M16 Spitz

Trench artillery

Contributor :
John Woo     
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Location :
Monumento al Cadutti
Coordinates : Lat : 43.72400 / Long : 11.76860
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

This gun is integrated in an elegant memorial park in the nice Tuscany town of Poppi. Opened breech, as for a shell loading

Breech markings : '12cm M16 A LMW - Nr944'

Commercial plaque of the manufacturer Brand und Lhuillier AG de Brünn (Brno),

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     12cm luft MW M16 Origin :       ( Austria)             ( Brand und L'Huillier )             ( Industrie privée Austro-Hongroise )

Historic context :

The Austro-Hungarian company 'Austria Metal Works', in Brno, had proposed in September 1915 a 8cm pneumatic mortar prototype that had been refused by the Military Technical Commission in favour of the German 15cm M MW mortar. In October the same year, the same company proposed again a new model with far better performances, that impressed with the almost 1km range obtained during the tests held in November.

Austria received a first order for 100 of these '12 cm M16 MW' in Janaury 1916. This 1.5 m long smooth bore barrel mortar was loaded by the breech, to which was attached a big cylindric air chamber fed by a compreed air cylinder (with a 11 rounds capacity). A 50cm tube extension could be screwed on the barrel top in order to increase the range even more. The projectile was an unusually stocky cylindro-ogival shell equipped with a percussion fuze.

The manufacturing of this brilliant mortar, sometimes named '12 cm M16 Spitz luft Minenwerfer' as for one of his designers Gustav Spitz. went on during the whole war in Austria works but also in the factory of Brand et L'Huillier in Brno, so that there were about 930 such weapons in service in the army in the end of 1917.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 12cm pneumatic trench mortar M 1916 Spitz
  • Design year : 1916
  • Calibre : 120.50 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 240 kg
  • Weight for transportation :
  • Tube length in calibres : 12.50 (16.5 with the optional tube extension)
  • Grooves : 0 smooth bore
  • Projectile weight : 4.7 kg
  • Initial speed :
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 250 to 1100 m
  • Elevation range : constant at 45 degrees
  • Direction range : 20 degrees total range