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15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 37(t)

15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 37(t)

15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 37(t)

The 15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 37 (t) was a Czech designed heavy howitzer that entered production just in time to be taken over by the Germans after their occupation of Czechoslovakia.

In the aftermath of the First World War Czechoslovakia had inherited the Skoda works at Pilsen. At first Skoda concentrated on producing First World War era weapons, but by the 1930s they had begun work on a new series of more modern howitzers. In 1933 the 15cm K1 howitzer appeared. This had a split trail, could be towed by horses (as two loads) or by vehicles (as one load). The K1 was exported to Turkey, but wasn’t accepted by the Czech army.

Skoda produced a series of improved weapons, ending with the K4. This had a shorter barrel than the K1 and was designed for motor transport, so had pneumatic tires and couldn’t be split into two loads. The recoil system was mounted under the barrel. It fired a similar shell to the German sFH 18, and had a maximum range of 15,100m, around 1,800m longer than the German weapon.

The K4 was accepted by the Czech army in 1937, and designated as the 15cm hrub houfnice vz 37. When the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia in the spring of 1939 the first few guns were almost complete at the Skoda works. As the weapon was significantly better than the German sFH 18, it was kept in production until the end of 1941 and became the 15cm schwere Feldhaubitze 37(t). It was used to equip the heavy artillery units in the divisional artillery, alongside the German weapons. It took part in the campaign in the west in May-June 1940 and the invasion of the Soviet Union. By 1944 most had been phased out of German service and passed onto Germany’s allied forces in the Balkans. Ironically one of the recipients was the Slovak Army, then fighting against the partisans in Yugoslavia.


15-cm hruba houfnice vz 37
15cm schwere Feldhaubitz 37(t)


149.1mm (5.87in)

Barrel Length

3.6m (11ft 9.7in)

Weight for transport

5,730kg (12,632lb)

Weight in action

5,200kg (11,464lb)


-5 to +70 degrees


45 degrees

Shell Weight

42kg (92.6lb)

Muzzle Velocity

580m (1,903ft)/ sec

Maximum Range

1,5100m (16,515 yards)

Rate of Fire

15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze M 94

The 15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze M 94 was a heavy howitzer used by Austria-Hungary in World War I. It had a bronze barrel and relied on wheel ramps to absorb its recoil. The barrel was modified in 1899 as the M 99 and can be identified by its octagonal shape. Both howitzers could be mounted on a wide variety of carriages to suit their mission, including a carriage only 1.13 metres (44 in) wide for mountain use. Around the start of the 20th century both the M 94 and M 99 were modified to increase their elevation up to 65°. The elevation arc had to be extended and the trunnion mounts and wheels had to be strengthened to withstand the greater recoil forces when firing at high elevation. They were known as the M 94/4 and the M 99/4 after modification.

15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze M 94
TypeHeavy howitzer
Place of originAustria-Hungary
Service history
In service1894–1918
Used byAustria-Hungary
WarsWorld War I
Production history
VariantsM 94/4, M 99, M 99/4
Shellseparate-loading, bagged charge
Caliber149 millimetres (5.9 in)
BreechHorizontal flat wedge
CarriageBox trail
Maximum firing rangeapproximately 6,000 metres (6,600 yd)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kriegspressequartier Alben 1914-1918 (15 cm Batteriehaubitze M94) .

A M94 with its round breech.

A M99 with its octagonal breech.

  • Ortner, M. Christian. The Austro-Hungarian Artillery From 1867 to 1918: Technology, Organization, and Tactics. Vienna, Verlag Militaria, 2007 ISBN978-3-902526-13-7

This artillery-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

CZK - vz. 37 (15 cm hrubá houfnice)

vz. 37 vz. 37
Originální název:
Original Name:
vz. 37
těžká houfnice heavy howitzer
Škodovy závody, Plzeň /
Období výroby:
Production Period:
Vyrobeno kusů:
Number of Produced:
Prototyp vyroben:
Prototype Built:
DD.MM.1937 K 4
Technické údaje:
Technical Data:
Bojová hmotnost:
Combat Weight:
5200 kg 11464 lb
Přepravní hmotnost:
Manoeuvre Weight:
5730 kg 12632 lb
150 mm 5,91in
Délka hlavně:
Barrel Length:
3600 mm 141,72in
Celková délka:
Overall Length:
? mm ?
Celková šířka:
Overall Width:
? mm ?
Celková výška:
Overall Height:
? mm ?
-5° +70 °
±45 °
Přepravní rychlost:
Manoeuvre Speed:
? km/h ? mph
Používaná munice:
Ammo Used:
ostrý nárazový granát vz. 37
ostrý časovací granát vz. 37
polopanceřový granát
vz. 37 point detonating round
vz. 37 time delayed round
semi-armour priercing round
Maximální dostřel:
Maximum Range:
15100 m -
16513 yd -
Rychlost střelby:
Rate of Fire:
3 ran/min 3 rpm
Úsťová rychlost:
Muzzle Velocity:
580 m/s -
1902.9 ft/s -
Uživatelské státy:
User States:

- -

Despite the success of the howitzer guns 150 mm model K1, the czechoslovak army decided that the weapon does not correspond exactly to its requirements. As the following stage of development was a model of K4, which already fully meet the specifications. K4 had many common characteristics and parts with the K1, but mainly had a shorter barrel. This dropped the overall weight of the weapon, which was very convenient for not completely motorized CSA. The Model K4 was fitted with wheels with pneumatic tyres and has been fully adapted for towing. Model K4 adopted by the czechoslovak army under the designation howitzer vz.37.

After the occupation of Bohemia, the Germans of the Wehrmacht howitzers drove on the test directly from the pilsen Skoda. Cannon surpassed their expectations. And therefore, it was decided to continue production. The designation of howitzers in the German army was 15-cm schwere Feldhaubitze 37(t). Was the standard arms of some of the artillery batteries of attacking France. Served on the eastern front Some zúčastňovaly fighting in the east in 1944, but then was withdrawn to the Balkans.

The number of produced munitions for the guns.37:
1939 - 40 500 pcs
1940 - 92 500 pcs
1941 - 17 000 pieces
1942 - 69 800 pcs
1943 - 245 100 pcs
1944 - 191 200 pcs
1945 - ?.

Weapon system damage is a screw in conclusion, developed from 1930 a joint Stock company, formerly the Škoda works in Pilsen, wherein the first modification were intended for export to the Iranian empire, the Yugoslav kingdom, the Romanian kingdom and the republic of Turkey.
Howitzers was made up of a single transport unit, which is assumed only mototrakce. Steel plášťová the barrel with the conclusion was imposed on the cradle with liquid brake, air vratníkem and vzpruhovými balancer, the cradle was caught by the studs on the upper carriage and the pivoted deposited on the bottom of the post, whose shoulders were a drop-down. Odpérovaná axle was equipped with disk wheels with pneumatic tyres and folding the supports for the relief of rounds in the firing position.
During transportation the barrel is withdrawn backward, the type of tractor was not until the autumn of 1938 yet designed.
Order more than 180 pieces of howitzers was awarded in February 1938, while rearming it was planned since February 1939.

Tactical-technical data
weight shipping – 5 730 kg, the weight of a fighting – 5 200 kg, caliber – 149,1 mm barrel length – 3,60 m (24 caliber), elevation – -5° to +70°, measured quantity – ±22,5°, bullet weight – 42 kg, muzzle velocity – 580 m/s, the maximum range – 15 to 100 m, rate of fire – 3 rounds per minute, the operation – 12 persons.

Fidler, George - Woodcock, Václav: the Encyclopedia of the armed forces of the Republic of czechoslovak. Prague, Libri 2006..

K1 intended for export to Turkey was projected in the years of 1931-1932 and the year 1936 also delivered. The same type of howitzers ordered and Iran in 1939 and in 1940 he was delivered.

A slightly modified version of the howitzer sometimes referred to in the literature as the K2 was in the years 1937-1939 delivered to Yugoslavia and Romania..


Development work on the sFH 18 began in 1926 and the gun was ready for production by 1933. [4] The model year was an attempt at camouflage. [4] The gun originated with a contest between Rheinmetall and Krupp, both of whom entered several designs that were all considered unsatisfactory for one reason or another. In the end the army decided the solution was to combine the best features of both designs, using the Rheinmetall gun on a Krupp carriage. [5]

The carriage was a relatively standard split-trail design with box legs. Spades were carried on the sides of the legs that could be mounted onto the ends for added stability. The carriage also saw use on the 10 cm schwere Kanone 18 gun. As the howitzer was designed for horse towing, it used an unsprung axle and hard rubber tires. A two-wheel bogie was introduced to allow it to be towed, but the lack of suspension made it unsuitable for towing at high speed.

The gun was officially introduced into service on 23 May 1935, [1] and by the outbreak of war the Wehrmacht had about 1,353 of these guns in service. Production continued throughout the war, reaching a peak of 2,295 guns in 1944. [1] In 1944, the howitzer cost 40,400 RM, 9 months and 5,500 man-hours to make. [6]

Variants Edit

Several other versions of the basic 15 cm were produced:

  • The 15 cm sFH 36 was a version with a greatly reduced 3,450 kilograms (7,610 lb) weight that was an attempt to improve mobility, but as it used various light alloys to achieve this saving it was considered too costly to continue production.
  • The 15 cm sFH 40 was another improved version, featuring a slightly longer barrel and a new carriage that was suitable for vehicle towing and allowed the barrel to have wider firing angles and thereby improve range up to 15,400 m. However this version was even heavier than the sFH 18 (at 5,680 kilograms (12,520 lb)) and was found to be too difficult to use in the field. Some of these barrels were later fitted to existing sFH 18 carriages, creating the sFH 18/40.
  • A further modification was the sFH 18/43, which changed to a split breech that allowed for the use of bagged charges instead of requiring the gunners to first put the charges into casings.
  • Two further attempts to introduce a newer 15 cm piece followed, but neither the 15 cm sFH 43 or 15 cm sFH 44 progressed past the stage of wooden mock-ups. [7]

The first field combat for the 15 cm sFH 18 was with the Chinese National Revolutionary Army in the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Chinese were desperately short on artillery guns and other heavy weapons, but the few 15 cm sFH 18 units the Chinese did have hopelessly outclassed their Japanese counterparts which were mainly the Type 38 15 cm howitzer and Type 4 15 cm howitzer, forcing the Japanese to introduce the Type 96 15 cm Howitzer. Some earlier pieces (about 24) of sFH18 in China were designed specially with a 32/L barrel, known as sFH18 32/L the maximum range was increased to 15 km.

Against the Soviet Union, the sFH 18 lacked the range of the Red Army 152 mm ML-20 gun-howitzer, its maximum range of 17.3 kilometres (18,900 yd) allowed it to fire counter-battery against the sFH 18 with a 4 kilometres (4,400 yd) advantage. This led to numerous efforts to introduce new guns with even better performance than the ML-20, while various experiments were also carried out on the sFH 18 to improve its range. These led to the 15 cm sFH 18M version with a removable barrel liner and a muzzle brake that allowed a larger "special 7" or 8 charge to be used. The 18M increased range to 15,100 metres (16,500 yd), but it was found that the liners suffered increased wear and the recoil system could not handle the increased loads in spite of the brake. This led to the introduction of the 15 cm R. Gr. 19 FES ammunition, which used a rocket-assisted round that could reach 18,200 metres (19,900 yd) and give it some level of parity with the ML-20.

Several countries continued fielding the sFH 18 after the war in large numbers including Czechoslovakia, Portugal and many South American and Central American countries. Finland bought 48 sFH 18 howitzers from Germany in 1940 and designated them 150 H/40. These guns were modernized in 1988 as the 152 H 88, and they were used by the Finnish Army until 2007.

The History of the Panzerwaffe: Volume 3: The Panzer Division

I would have liked more detail on the aggregate numbers of tanks, recce and supporting vehicles in each panzer division, before and after each campaign. If this is not available, generalised average estimates would help-- optimally concocted. I would also have liked more numerical detail on the doubling of panzer divisions, after the French campaign, and the reduction in their tank complement-- offset by a qualitative leap in the tanks themselves.

Perhaps inevitably, the writing goes technically turgid in places. On balance though, I'm pleased to own the book.

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From other countries

Die Bilder in dem Buch sind sehr gut, aber dann wird es problematisch. Ich habe es nur durchgeblättert und dabei folgenden Fehler gefunden:

S. 213: "A 15cm schwere Feldhaubitz [sic!] (s FH - heavy field howitzer) 18 was the mainstay of all [sic!] German artillery units." Das ist einfach falsch, für divisionale Artillerie war die 10.5cm leichte Feldhaubitze die Basis und der Standard, letzteres steht auch auf S. 183. Von daher keine Ahnung was hier passiert ist. Es ist auch mindestens das dritte mal (S. 29, S. 213, S. 215), dass "Feldhaubitz" statt "Feldhaubitze" steht, eventuell sind dies auch Fehler, die der Editor eingebaut hat.

Es gibt dann auch noch einige Bild-Text-Kombinationen worüber man streiten kann, zB beim "Origins" Kapitel, ist ein Bild wo Guderian mit einem Luftwaffe Offizier spricht. Es geht hier um die Vorkriegsjahre, das Problem ist, Guderian trägt auf dem Bild ein Ritterkreuz, welches erst im 2. Weltkrieg verliehen wurde.

Skoda 149-mm vz 37 howitzer (K4)

By the early 1930s the Skoda works at Pilsen in Czechoslovakia were in a position to design, develop and produce entirely new artillery pieces that owed nothing to the old World War I weapons that had hitherto been the company’s main output. By 1933 they had produced, among other things, an entirely new 149-mm (5.87-in) range of howitzers known as the ‘K’ series. The first of these, the Kl, was produced in 1933 and the entire output of these vz 33 weapons went for export to Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia. The Kl was a thoroughly modern piece with a heavy split trail, and was designed for either horse or motorized traction. For the latter the piece could be towed as one load, but for the former the barrel could be removed for towing as a separate load.

Despite the success of the Kl, the Czech army decided that the weapon did not meet its exact requirements and funded further development to the stage where a K4 model met the specification. The K4 had much in common with the earlier K1, but had a shorter barrel and (as the Czech army was making considerable strides towards full mechanization) the need for removing the barrel for separate horse traction was no longer required, The K4 also used pneumatic wheels (the Kl had solid rubber-rimmed steel wheels) and some other modifications to suit it for the mechanized tractor towing role.

With these changes the Czech army decided to adopt the K4 as its standard heavy field howitzer to replace the large range of elderly weapons remaining from World War I. The K4 was given the army designation 15-cm hrubâ houfnice vz 37, vz 37 (vz for vzor, or model) denoting the equipment’s year of acceptance for service, Skoda drew up production plans, but as always this took time and in the interim the Germans occupied the Czech Sudetenland. Plans for production became even more frantic, but with the Sudetenland line of defences in German hands Czechoslovakia was wide open to further German aggression and in 1939 they duly marched in to take over the rest of the country.

The Germans also secured the Skoda works at Pilsen, finding on the production lines the first of the full production vz 37 weapons. By that time only a few models had been produced, and these the German army tested on ranges back in the Reich, discovering that the vz 37 was a sound and serviceable howitzer with a good range of 15100m (16,515 yards) and firing a very useful 42-kg (92.6-lb) projectile. The Germans decided to keep the vz 37 in production at Pilsen for their own requirements, and thus the vz 37 became the German army’s 15-cm schwere Feldhaubitze 37(t), or 15-cm heavy field howitzer Model 1937 (Czech), the (t) denoting tschechisch, or Czech. With the German army the sFH 37(t) became a standard weapon of many divisions, forming part of the divisional artillery equipment and even being used by some corps batteries. It was used during the French campaign of May and June 1940, and later in the invasion of the Soviet Union during 1941. Some were still in service in the Soviet Union as late as 1944, but by then many had been passed to the various Balkan forces under German control and operating within what is now Yugoslavia the Slovak army was one such recipient.


Length of piece: 3.60 m (11 ft 9.7 in)

Weight: travelling 5730 kg (12,632 lb) and in action 5200 kg ( 11,464 lb)

History [ edit | edit source ]

In 1935 the army drafted a requirement for a lightened version of the 15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18 which could be towed by a single horse team in one piece. After testing in 1938 a design from Rheinmetall was selected to meet the requirement. The new design consisted of a shortened sFH 18 barrel with a prominent muzzle brake with four rows of 13 baffles and a split trail carriage made largely of light alloys. ΐ] The carriage had two pressed steel wheels with solid rubber tires and for travel the barrel could be disconnected from the hydro-pneumatic recoil system and pulled back to lie on top of the closed trails for towing. A limber with a tow bar was provided for the horse team for towing. The sFH 36 used the same separate loading cased charges and projectile as the sFH 18 and it used the same sliding-block breech as the sFH 18. ΐ] However, the sFH 36 used up to 7 bagged charges to vary velocity and range, while the sFH 18 used up to 8. Production of the sFH 36 ceased in 1942 due to increased mechanization of the army, limited supplies of light alloys and the prioritization of their use for aircraft production. ΐ]

LIV. Armeekorps corps units, 1941

Post by CNE503 » 04 Apr 2020, 13:11

When created on June 1st, 1941 from elements of the Deutsches Heeresmission in Rumänien, this corps headquarters were supported by the usual corps units: signal battalion, logistic staff, mapping, field post and military police detachments.
According to the numerical rule, these units should have been numbered 454. It was obviously the case for the Korps-Nachrichten-Abteilung 454, and probably the smaller detachments.

But was it the case for the logistic staff?

Some sources (for instance, Leo Niehorster's website) say so (Korps-Nachschubführer 454). But I digged in other ones, like LdW, and I found that Korps-Nachschubführer 454 wasn't create until September 4th, 1942. It was raised from Nachschubstab zbV 737.
So, what was the logistic staff number in June 1941?

Kampfgruppe v. Courbière, Odessa 1941

Post by CNE503 » 24 Mar 2020, 13:31

Does anyone know what units were involved in the help provided by this Kampfgruppe to the Romanians facing Odessa in September or October 1941?
The Romanian 4th Army was involved in bloody and unsuccessful fights to take this city and the Germans were requested to help them as of September 24th. Apparently, on the ground, this help was mainly provided by this task force led by general von Courbière.
I guess it was a Kampfgruppe led by Generalleutnant René de l'Homme de Courbière, CO 213. Sicherungs-Division, right?

Re: Kampfgruppe v. Courbière, Odessa 1941

Post by Brad Hunter » 25 Mar 2020, 22:06

About 10 year ago, I did extensive OoB and ToE research on the Rumanian Army and Air Force for Gary Grigsby's "War in the East" by Matrix Games. I used Rumanian language sources and NARA records.

The Soviets considered Odessa worth defending, and committed a lot of resources to it's defense. The whole Rumanian 4th Army was decimated in combat around the city, taking all of the 4th Army's units out of the war until 07/42 - 08/42, after they could be rebuilt, reequipped, and retrained.

The Rumanians asked the Germans for assault pioneer and artillery units, and the Germans responded by creating the "Befehlshaber der deutschen Truppen vor Odessa," also know as "Division de Courbiere.” I found this information from a Kriegsgliederung, but, unfortunately, I can't find the exact NARA document. This is from my notes:

"Division de Courbiere”
--HQ – Stab – from 213. Sicherungs-Division
-- 123.Infanterie-Regiment (-) – From 50.Infanterie-Division
----HQ – Stab
----6./Lehr-Regiment “Brandenburg”
-- Stab, 604.Pioniere-Regiment
----HQ – Stab
----50.Pioniere-Bataillon (mot.)
----70.Pioniere-Bataillon (bicycle)
----71.Pioniere-Bataillon (bicycle)
----666.Pioniere-Bataillon (mot.)
-- Stab, 37.Flak-Regiment
----HQ – Stab
----leichte Flak-Abteilung
-- Stab, 787.Artillerie-Regiment
----HQ – Stab
----154.Artillerie-Bataillon (mot.)
--Nachrichten-Kompanie (mot.) From 11.Armee

Watch the video: sFH18 150mm Howitzer - Walkaround - Cherain, Belgium. (January 2022).