15cm schwere Feldhaubitze M13

The sFH 13 was created as a hybrid design after the 1911 15cm howitzer trials failed to choose between Krupp and Rheinmetall designs. The hybrid design contained elements of both trial guns. Eventually the Krupp hybrid was accepted in 1913. By the start of WW1 252 sFH13s had been delivered. The first version had an L/14 barrel and the long Rheinmetall designed variable recoil assembly protruded beyond the end of the barrel. The early guns proved to have weak recuperator springs and a pneumatic recuperator was fitted to many of the howitzers. The extended firing demanded of guns on the Western Front showed that the sFH 13s were prone to barrel bursts caused by high peak pressures in the breech.

sFH 13 kurz (short)
 Calibre 149.7mm L/12
 Weight of Gun (emplaced) 2135kg
 Weight of Gun (limbered) 2820kg
 Max. Range 8500m (est.)
 Shell Weight 39 - 42.3kg
 Elevation 0° to +45°
 Traverse 5°
 Muzzle Velocity 365m/sec

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Battery of 15cm sFH 13 kurz at Arras, 1917 and a 15cm sFH 13 kurz at full recoil

The issues with the sFH 13 kurz were finally resolved by changes to the breech to reduce peak pressures and the use of a longer L/17 barrel. Some of the older kurz version were upgraded with the longer barrel. The sFH 13 lang was noted for reliability, given proper maintenance the howitzers were known to have fired 20-25,000 shells before major overhaul. The sFH 13 langs were built by both Krupp, Rheinmetall and a smaller number at the Spandau Arsenal. The final version of the sFH 13, the sFH 13/02, was a simplified howitzer intended to be easier to produce. The obvious changes in the sFH 13/02 are the lack of seats for the gunner and loader and the combining of the spade and trail plate into a single assembly. About 3,400 sFH 13s were produced during WW1.

sFH 13 lang (long)
 Calibre 149.7mm L/17
 Weight of Gun (emplaced) 2250kg
 Weight of Gun (limbered) 2990kg
 Max. Range 8800m
 Shell Weight 39 - 42kg
 Elevation 0° to +45°
 Traverse 5°
 Muzzle Velocity 377m/sec

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Captured 15cm sFH 13 lg, 15cm sFH 13 lg factory photo?

The sFH 13s were supplied to Bulgaria and Turkey. After the war sFH 13s were used by Holland, Belgium and the Baltic States. Some sFH 13s served in WW2.