Remembered Today:

ph0ebus

"New" German Artillery Piece Found...Need Help With ID

40 posts in this topic

12 hours ago, ph0ebus said:

Maybe this gun initially went to Mexico but then somehow made its way back to the German army, only to be captured later?

 

Various possibilities, I think.  Maybe the gun was originally made for export to South America, but was diverted/requisitioned for use by the German army.  Or perhaps it was always intended for German use, but there were castings bearing Spanish inscriptions already 'in stock', so they were used, or maybe demand for components was so great that the Spanish-inscribed moulds were also pressed into service.

 

Another possibility, I suppose, is that the components in question were missing from the gun prior to restoration and the only replacements the restorers could find were Spanish-inscribed parts sourced from somewhere in South America.

 

A photo of the gun from the rear, prior to restoration, and the date of its manufacture, would help considerably. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 27   Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, shippingsteel said:

I am wondering why the carriage or trail on Daniel's gun appears to be so much shorter and narrower than other examples of this type found online.? The serial number (for the carriage at least) seems to be 18 ... with Nr.18 appearing on the placard as well as being stamped into the 'chassis' components. These are just curious observations - happy to be educated by somebody who knows these things. :)

 

The trail on non-recoil absorbing guns can be pretty short since its only barrel weight that needs to be balanced by the trail. On guns with recoil absorption there's also the weight of the recoil absorber and recuperation mechanism. 

 

Krupp had a practice of numbering the guns of every order from 1, so a gun and carriage number of 18 isn't unreasonable. I think all it's telling you is that the barrel and carriage have never been separated.

 

I can't see why Mexico gets the nod as the origin of this gun. Mexico was pretty close to a failed state before WW1 and the limited resources devoted to armaments tended to go to French equipment rather than German - Saint-Chamond (FAMH) built the Mondragon designed 75mm field guns for Mexico. The really big buyers of Krupp guns were Argentina, Brazil and Chile before WW1. 

 

Another possibility is that the gun was Spanish and was acquired during the Spanish-American war of 1898 in Cuba or the Phillipines.

 

Charlie

 

Edited by CharlieBris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All,

 

I plan on reaching out to the American Legion post who owns this gun and will see what information they can add.  At a minimum, we know the gun underwent a restoration effort in 2014.  It very well may have had restoration work done prior to that.  I will report back any developments here.

 

-Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 29   Posted (edited)

Daniel, I believe that I have found the correct identification for your gun. :) (I knew there was something amiss with that carriage.!) Apparently it is a Krupp 75mm Mountain Gun M/98 as discussed in this Landships forum thread shown with many good photos. Señor Eduardo seems to be all over this, and says that it was an export type, with many sent to South America & particularly to Chile.

 

Thanks for posting your excellent photos of the gun post-restoration. And also for opening this thread, maybe not a WW1 gun but still of interest all the same. :thumbsup:

Edited by shippingsteel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the article accompanying Daniel's first post, it would seem that the American Legion post that owns this gun knows little or nothing about its origins and may be surprised (hopefully not unpleasantly) to learn what we appear to have found out about it.  The likelihood of it having come directly from the Western Front seems slim, but not impossible if it was a late-manufactured export model that was retained for use by the German army.  But how, otherwise, would a gun supplied to Chile or Argentina have found its way to the USA and been thought a suitable 'trophy' to be displayed at an American Legion memorial?  How were WW1 trophies distributed in the USA?  Might this gun, for example, have already been in a depot where trophies were later prepared for distribution, and have been allocated to the Legion post without realising what it was? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, SiegeGunner said:

From the article accompanying Daniel's first post, it would seem that the American Legion post that owns this gun knows little or nothing about its origins and may be surprised (hopefully not unpleasantly) to learn what we appear to have found out about it.  The likelihood of it having come directly from the Western Front seems slim, but not impossible if it was a late-manufactured export model that was retained for use by the German army.  But how, otherwise, would a gun supplied to Chile or Argentina have found its way to the USA and been thought a suitable 'trophy' to be displayed at an American Legion memorial?  How were WW1 trophies distributed in the USA?  Might this gun, for example, have already been in a depot where trophies were later prepared for distribution, and have been allocated to the Legion post without realising what it was? 

 

I have been having a good dig through the local newspaper archives (free and online, thankfully!) and thus far can find no mentions of this (or any) cannon anywhere.  Anyone else want to give it a go?

 

http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/titles/places/new_york/suffolk/

 

No response from the American Legion as of yet.  I cannot find any other photos of this cannon online.  I hope that the American Legion staff photographed the cannon before restoration so we can at least see what was there before the latest work was done.

 

-Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 33   Posted (edited)

While this particular gun may not have seen WW1 use, it seems that this type does have some claim as being a GW gun, as there was a small number of this type put to use by the Germans in the African colonies such as German West Africa. When trying to track down the correct ID for this gun I did find an interesting page covering the South African guns of the war. There is a good piece on the Mountain Gun a short scroll down the page, together with a good side-on profile of the carriage. (I think the gun itself may be in a slightly smaller calibre being 70mm)

 

These Mountain Guns were made to be broken down into pieces and loaded onto mule teams for transport. "The trail was in two parts, the rear section being narrow to enable it to slide into the forward section on assembly." You can easily see that type of manufacture in the trail on Daniel's example where I have tried to illustrate the 2-piece design of the carriage.

 

So this makes it definitely a Mountain Gun as opposed to a Field Gun type, and the Spanish markings show it to be a type made for export most likely to South America. The only way I can see for it to have claim as a US 'war trophy' is for it to have been brought back from the Span-Am war, however the date stamped on the breech is 1898 leaving just a small window for delivery prior to this conflict. It may have been originally made for Chile but diverted for Spanish use given their 'pressing circumstances'. Apparently the Spanish already had numbers of the very similar Mountain Gun M/96 they had ordered from Krupp previously, so that could be a possible pathway. 

 

1000.jpg.82a7a32f70b1088cce59c2846bd75d36.jpg

Edited by shippingsteel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another sideways thought.  If the Passion/Compassion website lists trophy guns displayed at memorials and American Legion posts, might it also know of other Spanish-marked Krupp pieces elsewhere in the USA?  If there is one (or more), then perhaps the website owners or the gun's custodians will know more about its origin.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A fascinating tale! Many thanks to all contributors. I wonder if we, in UK, lost any oddities when such pieces were melted down in WW2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 36   Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, shippingsteel said:

While this particular gun may not have seen WW1 use, it seems that this type does have some claim as being a GW gun, as there was a small number of this type put to use by the Germans in the African colonies such as German West Africa. When trying to track down the correct ID for this gun I did find an interesting page covering the South African guns of the war. There is a good piece on the Mountain Gun a short scroll down the page, together with a good side-on profile of the carriage. (I think the gun itself may be in a slightly smaller calibre being 70mm)

 

These Mountain Guns were made to be broken down into pieces and loaded onto mule teams for transport. "The trail was in two parts, the rear section being narrow to enable it to slide into the forward section on assembly." You can easily see that type of manufacture in the trail on Daniel's example where I have tried to illustrate the 2-piece design of the carriage.

 

So this makes it definitely a Mountain Gun as opposed to a Field Gun type, and the Spanish markings show it to be a type made for export most likely to South America. The only way I can see for it to have claim as a US 'war trophy' is for it to have been brought back from the Span-Am war, however the date stamped on the breech is 1898 leaving just a small window for delivery prior to this conflict. It may have been originally made for Chile but diverted for Spanish use given their 'pressing circumstances'. Apparently the Spanish already had numbers of the very similar Mountain Gun M/96 they had ordered from Krupp previously, so that could be a possible pathway. 

 

1000.jpg.82a7a32f70b1088cce59c2846bd75d36.jpg

 

Very interesting developments!  Given the small size, I was wondering if it were for more specialized use.  Thanks for adding to the growing pool of information about this unique gun.

 

12 hours ago, SiegeGunner said:

Another sideways thought.  If the Passion/Compassion website lists trophy guns displayed at memorials and American Legion posts, might it also know of other Spanish-marked Krupp pieces elsewhere in the USA?  If there is one (or more), then perhaps the website owners or the gun's custodians will know more about its origin.

 

 

Hopefully they will respond to my inquiry via their website and can shed some light on this question.

 

-Daniel

 

PS, per a local history brochure, the American Legion post is named after Corporal Wilson Ritch, who was killed near the Vesle River in the Argonne Forest, France on September 6, 1918.  He was attached to the 306th Infantry, Company D.

 

http://longislandgenealogy.com/CEDAR_HILL_CEM_WALKING_GUIDE0.pdf

 

Edited by ph0ebus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In looking at the American Legion building via google maps, it would appear that either they have a second cannon like this one or this is a photo of the same gun prior to being relocated to the park:

 

IMG_7332.jpg

 

I hope to visit later this week to see if we are talking about one or two guns!

 

-Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In digging deeper, it would appear that the cannon, if indeed a captured war trophy, may have made its way to Port Jefferson via the Treasury Department, who awarded cannons to various towns based on their success in their local Victory Liberty Loan drives.  Here's an interesting example from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

 

https://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/58282274/?terms="German%2Bcannon"%2Band%2B"Port%2BJefferson"

 

Amusingly, in the second column, there is reference to a German Cannon being awarded to Glen Cove, which I suspect may be the Locust Valley cannon I referenced in this thread:

 

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/138191-captured-great-war-artillery/#comment-1321230

 

Glen Cove is immediately adjacent to Locust Valley.

 

-Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting discussion, I am not familiar with Passion & Compassion, but the WW1 Ordnance Index (for guns in the US) lists at Fort Jefferson, NY, [I assume it is a miss print of Port] : Gr(erman) H(owitzer)  How. Mtg. Gun, 1896, bore 84 mm.  Could this be the gun in question?  Also a friend in California, made and sold a video years ago of him shooting his Krupp mountain gun in the desert.  Of course I can't find my copy now.  I would also not be surprised if his gun was imported for US collectors by one of the international arms dealers, that made the 50's & 60's so interesting.

Ken 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now