10.5 cm leFH 18

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Summary

The 10.5 cm leFH 18 is a light field howitzer developed by the Germans in the 1930s, which they used widely in World War II.

Users

Ammunition

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
PzGr 85 84 79 73 68 63 APHE 475 14 0.8 28 238 -1° 43° 30° 15°
F.H.Gr. 22 22 22 22 22 22 HE 472 15 0.1 0.1 1,750 +0° 11° 10°
Gr.39 rot HI/B 105 105 105 105 105 105 HEAT 495 12 0.0 0.1 2,530 +0° 28° 21° 17°
Gr.39 rot HI/C 115 115 115 115 115 115 HEAT 495 12 0.0 0.1 2,550 +0° 28° 21° 17°

History of creation and combat usage

The 10.5 cm leFH 18 howitzer was developed by Rheinmetall in 1929 and finished in 1930, though entered German service in 1935. The howitzer had a simple breech mechanism with a hydro-pneumatic recoil system. Though the howitzer initially did not have a muzzle brake, it was added later for using rounds with increased effective range. The muzzle brake version of the leFH was the leFH 18M. Another modification to the leFH was made when a lighter howitzer was requested, making the leFH 18/40 by mounting the gun onto a 7.5 cm PaK 40 carriage. The howitzer saw more widespread service among the independent artillery battalions after the German defeat in Stalingrad. Eventually, some were mounted on motor carriages for increased mobility, such as the StuH 42, a heavy assault version of the StuG III assault gun.

The leFH was also widely exported to German allies such as Hungary, Spain, Finland, and Bulgaria. Sweden also bought a few as well. Enough of the artillery piece was spread that even today, they could be seen in use on the battlefield; their most recent sightings being in the Syrian conflict.

Images

Additional information (links)