75mm Krupp Export field gun


Although the 75mm Krupp export field gun was sold or acquired by many countries before WW1 the 75mm Krupp guns in Australia are Turkish guns captured in Palestine in 1918. The following relates to the Turkish 75mm guns.


The development and deployment of the 75mm French Mle 1897 field gun with full recoil absorption and high rates of fire rendered most countries' field guns obsolete before WW1. The French Govt refused to export the Mle 1897 and created a market opportunity for similar guns to the French Mle 1897. The German Army dithered until 1906 about ugrading its M1896 field guns so German gun manufacturers developed their own guns to compete with the French Mle 1897. Both Ehrhardt and Krupp offered 75mm field guns with full recoil absorption for export from 1900 onwards. The Krupp gun was more successful in terms of numbers built possibly because of the attractive financing options available from the Krupp Bank. The Ottoman Govt decided to modernise its field guns in and ordered 96 75mm Krupp field guns in 1903 with a follow up order of 462 guns of the same model (M1903) in 1905.


The guns were of two types: a "foot artillery" model and a "horse artillery" model. The horse artillery type was slightly lighter and had axle tree seats in front of the gun shield but was otherwise identical to foot artillery type. It's not known how many of each type were exported to Turkey. The Krupp guns were processed through the Turkish Imperial Arsenal (Top Hane i Amire) in Istanbul where the guns were remarked with Arabic characters and, presumably, acceptnce tested. The process at the Arsenal numbered the guns by type in sequence so it is possible to identify which order a gun belongs to since gun numbers 1 - 96 are from the first order and 97 - 558 the second order.


The Model 1903 guns had a horizontal sliding breech block which was actuated by a large screw on top of the breech. The original sights were arc sights with a prominent fore sight on the left side of the barrel. The sights were replaced by standard German Goertz panoramic sights before WW1. Recoil was absorbed by a hydraulic cylinder and recuperation was by pre-loaded springs.


Ottoman empire fought a war in the Balkans in 1912-13 against the Bulgarians and Serbs which proved to be disastous and many guns were lost. To make up for the losses further guns were ordered, 90 in 1910 (Model 1909) and 90 in 1911 (Model 1911). These guns all seem to have had axle tree seats and a different sliding breech block similar to the 7.7cm FK 96 gun.


In addition the Ottoman Army received 54 75mm Krupp guns in 1914 which were part of a Brazilian order seized by the German Army at the outbreak of hostilities. The Brazilian guns were slightly different from the standard Krupp export gun but were capable of using standard 75mm ammunition.


In 1917 3 Ottoman infantry divisions supported the Central Powers invasion of Rumania. The Turkish divisions appear to have acquired a number of captured 75mm Rumanian Krupp guns. One of these divisions (the 26th) was deployed to Palestine after Rumania capitulated. These guns and the Brazilian guns were not processed by the Imperial Arsenal and retained their original markings.


The collapse of the Ottoman forces in Palestine in 1918 and the poor infrastructure in Palestine meant that many Ottoman field guns were captured by Australian Light Horse units. Many of these captured guns returned to Australia were allocated in 1921 especially to country towns.


 Calibre 75mm L/30
 Weight of Gun (emplaced) 990kg
 Weight of Gun (limbered) 1863kg
 Max. Range 5400m
 Shell Weight 6.35kg (Shrapnel)  6kg (HE)
 Elevation -5° to +15°
 Traverse 7°
 Muzzle Velocity 500 m/sec


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The surviving 75mm guns in Turkish service after WW1 were used in the War of Independence (1919-21) when Kemal Ataturk expelled the occupation forces and reunified Turkey. Components of the original Krupp guns were used in the locally produced 75mm L/35 field gun built in the late 30s which was in service until the 1950s.