Surviving Turkish 75mm Krupp Field Guns in Australia

by Charlie Clelland


Introduction


The most common light field gun in Turkish service in WW1 was the 75mm Krupp field gun. This was an export only gun sold to many countries before WW1. The Turkish Army bought 736 of these guns in a number of orders from 1903 to 1911. In addition the Turkish Army received part of seized Brazilian order in 1914 and used captured Rumanian guns after the end of the Rumanian campaign in 1917.


The pre-war guns were processed through the Imperial Arsenal in Istanbul where they were (presumably) run through acceptance tests and inscribed with Turkish markings. The Arsenal seems to have had a numbering system which started with the 1903 order 1 - 96 and continued in sequence through the succeeding orders. This makes it possible to assign surviving guns to the original orders.


The Turkish Army in Palestine retreated towards Syria after the battles at Gaza and Beersheba in late 1917. In the succeeding actions in Palestine many 75mm guns were captured by the Light Horse. The captured guns were returned to Australia after WW1 and allocated to communities around Australia as war trophies. Although many of the 75mm guns have been lost over the years there are still about 30 left in Australia.


The purpose of this survey is to show what is left and document the current state of the guns. Where I have images of the survivors these are included. Where I have images of the breech markings and can read these the build date of the gun is included. If anyone has updated or better images of the survivors I would be glad to include those in this article.


1903 Order - 96 Model 1903 guns


٤٨ - (48), Build Date - ١٣٢١ - (1905)
Captured by 27th Light Horse Regiment
Allocated - Gayndah, Qld.
Present - Beside War Memorial Gayndah


48 Gayndah 1 48 Gayndah 2 48 Gayndah 3 48 Gayndah 4

Photo Credit - Des Cowburn




1905 Order - 462 Model 1903 guns


١٦٤ - (164)
Allocated - Australian War Memorial
Present - Gallipoli Display, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT


164 AWM 1 164 AWM 2

Photo Credit - Google Images




١٧٠ - (170)
Allocated - Bega, NSW
Present - Beside War Memorial Bega, in poor condition - missing part of trail


170 Bega 1 170 Bega 2 170 Bega 3 170 Bega 4 170 Bega 5

Photo Credit - Peter Florance




٢٨١ - (281)
Allocated - Mudgee, NSW
Present - Mudgee, thought to have been restored




٢٨٤ - (284), Build Date - ١٣٢٢ - (1906)

Captured by 5th Light Horse Regiment, 1 Oct 1918 at Ziza (El Ziza, Jordan)
Allocated - 5th ALH, Gympie, Qld
Present - 5th Light Horse Museum, Gympie, Qld. Restoration of this gun is planned.


284 Gympie 1 284 Gympie 2 284 Gympie 3 284 Gympie 4

Photo Credit - Shane Black




٣٦٧ - (367)

Allocated - Stanthorpe, Qld
Present - Outside Stanthorpe RSL, Marsh St, Stanthorpe, Qld.

367 Stanthorpe 1 367 Stanthorpe 2

Photo Credit - Dave Scorer





٣٧٦ - (376)

Allocated - Seymour, Vic
Present - Seymour, Vic

376 Seymour 1 376 Seymour 2

Photo Credit - "easo" MVCA forum





٣٩٣ - (393)

Captured by 10th Light Horse Regiment, 28 Sep 1918 at Jenin
Allocated - Moora, WA
Present - Moora, WA

393 Moora 1 393 Moora 2

Photo Credit - Google Images




٤o١ - (451), Build Date - ١٣٢٣ - (1907)

Allocated - Chiltern, Vic - Identified as 77mm gun, #331 (the barrel weight) in AWM records
Present - Conness St, Chiltern, Vic

451 Chiltern 1

Photo Credit - "easo" MVCA forum




٤o٢ - (452)

Captured by 5th Light Horse Regiment, 1 Oct 1918 at Ziza (modern El Ziza, Jordan)
Allocated - Charleville, Qld
Present - Wills St, Charleville, Qld - damaged and unrestored trail

452 Charleville 1 452 Charleville 2

Photo Credit - Clayton Sokoll(1), Google Images(2)




٤٧٨ - (478), Build Date - ١٣٢٢ - (1906)

Not in AWM Records
Displayed at Shorncliff, Qld until 1953, moved to New Farm Park in damaged condition (Image (1)), Brisbane. Placed in storage in early 1980s. Given to 2/14th Light Horse Regiment in 1984. Restored and placed near the 2/14th lines at Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera, Qld.
Present - Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera, Qld - restoration is not accurate.


478_Enoggera 1 478_Enoggera 2 478_Enoggera 3 478_Enoggera 4 478_Enoggera 5

Photo Credit - Michael Cockerill(1), Jason Miller(remainder)




o٠٧ - (507)
Allocated - Barcaldine, Qld
Present - Elm St, Barcaldine, Qld

507 Barcaldine 1

Photo Credit - Google Images




o٢١ - (521)
Allocated - Port Augusta, SA
Present - Port Augusta, SA

521 Port Augusta 1 521 Port Augusta 2

Photo Credit - Google Images




o٢٢ - (522)
Allocated - Glenorchy, Tas
Present - Glenorchy, Tas




o٤٦ - (546), Build Date - ١٣٢٣ - (1907)

Allocated - Pingelly (Perth), WA
Present - Wreck in Whiteman Park, North of Perth

546 Pingelly 1

Photo Credit - "inners" Great War forum




o٤٧ - (547), Build Date - ١٣٢٣ - (1907)

Allocated - Wallaroo, SA
Present - Outside Wallaroo RSL, Wallaroo, SA

547 Wallaroo 1 547 Wallaroo 2

Photo Credit - Google Images(1), www.tributesofhonour.info(2)




1910 Order - 90 Model 1909 guns


These guns have a different breech, sight bracket and gun shield compared to the earlier guns. The Imperial Arsenal also inscribed the Ottoman coat of arms on the barrel with the "tughra" (seal/signature) of the reigning Sultan (Sultan Mehmed V).


o٨o - (585)
Allocated - Clare, SA
Present - Clare, SA

585 Clare 1

Photo Credit - www.tributesofhonour.info




o٨٦ - (586)
Allocated - 4th Australian Light Horse at Colac, Vic
Present - Colac, Vic - May be in a private collection




٦١o - (615)
Allocated - Katanning, WA
Present - Beside War Memorial, Katanning, WA - markings are obscured by many coats of paint

615 Katanning 1

Photo Credit - Google Images




٦١٦ - (616), Build Date - ١٣٢٦ - (1910)

Allocated - Helensburgh, NSW
Present - Army Museum, Bandiana, Vic

616 Bandiana 1 616 Bandiana 2 616 Bandiana 3
616 Bandiana 4 616 Bandiana 5

Photo Credit - Dave Scorer(1,2), Google Images(3), Kevin Browning(4,5)




٦١٧ - (617), Build Date - ١٣٢٦ - (1910)

Allocated - Red Cliffs, Vic
Present - Outside Red Cliffs RSL, Red Cliffs, Vic - the inscription on the bottom of the breech ring (last image) is the barrel weight (kg).


617 Red Cliffs 1 617 Red Cliffs 2
617 Red Cliffs 3 617 Red Cliffs 4 617 Red Cliffs 5 617 Red Cliffs 6

Photo Credit - Lorraine Roberts




1911 Order - 88 Model 1911 guns


As far as is known there are no surviving 75mm guns from the 1911 order in Australia.




1914 Brazilian order - 54 Model 1911 guns


The German Army seized 108 75mm guns from a Brazilian order at Krupps at the start of WW1. The Germans gave 40 of these to the Ottoman Army - Turkish records say they received 54 guns. These guns retained the Krupp gun numbers and build dates (1913)


34 - Build Date - 1913

Allocated - Dungog, NSW
Present - Dungog, NSW

34 Dungog 1

Photo Credit - Kevin Browning




35 - Build Date - 1913

Captured by 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, 25 Sep 1917 near Amman
Allocated - RMC Duntroon, Canberra, ACT
Present - RMC Duntroon, Canberra, ACT

35 Duntroon 1

Photo Credit - Google Images




57 - Build Date - 1913

Captured by 25th Australian Light Horse Regiment
Allocated - Murrurundi, NSW
Present - Murrurundi, NSW

57 Murrurundi 1 57 Murrurundi 2 57 Murrurundi 3

Photo Credit - Kevin Browning




65 - Build Date - 1913

Captured by 26th Australian Light Horse Regiment
Allocated - Woy Woy, NSW
Present - Military Museum, Cowra, NSW - incomplete gun, most of the trail missing

65 Cowra 1 65 Cowra 2 65 Cowra 3

Photo Credit - Kevin Browning




Rumanian Guns


Rumania bought 636 75mm Krupp field guns in 1904/1905. Most (624) of these were Model 1904, similar to the Turkish Model 1903 except that the gun used a Rumanian developed panoramic sight. Three Turkish infantry divisions were deployed in Rumania in 1916. Of the 3 Turkish divisions only one (the 26th) was redeployed to Palestine after Rumania withdrew from the conflict in March 1917. It is thought that the Rumanian guns in Australia were captured from the 26th Division. The Rumanian guns retained their Krupp gun numbers and have the cipher of King Carol I cast into the barrel.


87 - Build Date - 1904

Captured by 17th Australian Light Horse Regiment
Allocated - 17th ALH at Bendigo, Vic
Present - Private Collection




134 - Build Date - 1904

Captured by 22nd Australian Light Horse Regiment
Allocated - 22nd ALH at Launceston, Tas
Present - Private Collection

134 Launceston 1 134 Launceston 2 134 Launceston 3 134 Launceston 4

Photo Credit - Geoff Green




136 - Build Date - 1904

Allocated - Deniliquin, NSW
Present - Deniliquin, NSW - The breech and barrel images were taken before restoration


136 Deniliquin 1 136 Deniliquin 2 136 Deniliquin 3

Photo Credit - Kevin Browning




153

Allocated - Windsor, NSW
Present - Windsor, NSW

153 Windsor 1 153 Windsor 3 153 Windsor 4 153 Windsor 5
153 Windsor 2 153 Windsor 6

Photo Credit - Kevin Browning




232

Allocated - Sale, Vic
Present - Sale, Vic




317

Allocated - Beechworth, Vic
Present - Beechworth, Vic

317 Beechworth 1 317 Beechworth 2 317 Beechworth 3

Photo Credit - Google Images(1), "Neil" Landships forum (last 2)





Acknowledgement


I'd like to thank the following people for their contributions to the body of information which underlies this article:

Osman Levend and Tosun Saral from the Axishistory forum.
Damien Allan, Kevin Browning and Michael Cockerill.


Thanks Guys.