United States. Army. Ordnance Dept.

Handbook of artillery : including mobile, anti-aircraft and trench matériel online

. (page 10 of 19)
Online LibraryUnited States. Army. Ordnance DeptHandbook of artillery : including mobile, anti-aircraft and trench matériel → online text (page 10 of 19)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

support, ammunition chest, brakes, pintle, and connecting pole.

The wheels are 60-inch, steel tired with standard hubs and fasten-
ers. The axle is a hollow single piece of forged steel. A distin-
guishing feature of this caisson is the spring-supported chest. Suit-
able brackets are provided on the chest and arms on the axle for
carrying spiral springs to take up road shocks.

The ammunition chest is built up of flanged steel, except the rear
plate, apron and chest doors, which are of armor plate. The body
of the chest is made of two sheets of flanged steel formed to shape
and joined at the sides. Three vertical diaphragms with connecting
pieces provided an even distribution of the load of ammunition.
The upper door when raised is held at about a 60 angle. The lower
door is made with an armor plate apron hinged to its top edge, so
that when it is dropped, it forms, with the upper door and rear plate,
an armor-plate protection.

The road brake is of the contracting band brake type and is oper-
ated from the right side of the chest by pulling up on the brake
lever; this through a linkage causes the brake bands to grip the
drums of the wheels.

The connecting pole is attached to the caisson by a socket, the
inside being tapered to accommodate the rear end of the connecting-
pole, also the horse pole.

Two foot rests of commercial flange steel are riveted to the upper
chest door; these also serve as handles in opening and raising the
door. A lantern bracket, and fastenings for holding a pick, shovel,
lunette, and spanner wrench are riveted to the rear plate. At the
top are riveted fastenings for holding an ax, connecting pole; also
strap fastenings for the paulin and the caisson blankets. A car-
tridge hook and hatchet fastenings are riveted to the left side of the

Of every four caissons three carry lubricating oil and one hydroline
oil. One caisson in every battery is provided with a reel for caisson,




model of 1917, which is riveted to the top of the caisson and contains
1 mile of field wire so arranged that the "talk" goes through all the
wire. See page 159.

By changing the connecting pole and adding the doubletree and
singletrees this caisson is converted into a caisson limber. A standard
pintle with a semiautomatic latch is provided at the rear.

Weights and dimensions.

Weight of caisson, empty, without implements or ammunition pounds. . 2, 053

Weight of implements carried, including spare pole do 180

Weight of ammunition do 2, 067

Weight of caisson fully equipped and loaded do 4, 300

Rounds of ammunition carried 28

Diameter of wheels inches. . 60

Width of track.. 60


The United States procured a number of batteries of 5-inch, GO
pounder guns with the necessary accompanying vehicles from Great

The materiel is of British design and manufacture throughout,
and the units ceded to the United States include the gun, Mark I,
mounted on a carriage, Mark II; the gun carriage limber, Mark II,
the ammunition wagon, Mark II ; and the ammunition wagon limber,
Mark II.

The materiel was originally designed for horse transportation and
thus is provided with poles and the necessary attachments for horse


draft. By substituting the engine-draft connsctor in place of the
horse draft poles, the materiel is converted into motorized batteries
and may be drawn by tractors. When horse drawn, it is customary
to divide the four vehicles into two trains, each having two vehi-
cles; however, when the battery is adapted for motor draft, the four
vehicles are drawn as ons train.

The load of the gun carriage and limber is about as heavy as is
practicable for horse transportation, although the British originally
designed their 8-inch howitzer materiel, which is of greater weight,
for horse transportation.

The carriage is of tlie constant recoil type, the recoil mechanism
being of the hydro-spring type, located above the gun. The recoil
mechanism consists of two spring cylinders and one hydraulic cylinder
filled with glycerine and water.

The piston rod of the recoil cylinder and the rods of the two spring
cylinders are connected to the lug on the breech ring of the gun and
therefore recoil with the gun.





I 8


Upon recoil of the gun, the liquid is forced past the piston head
through a throttling groove or slot cut in the wall of the cylinder.
The resistance offered by the action of the liquid in the cylinder,
together with the resistance offered by the compression of the springs
in the cylinders, controls and absorbs the shock of recoil, permitting
the carriage to remain practically stationary upon the ground when
the piece is fired.

The energy stored up in the spring cylinders due to the compression
of the springs during recoil is sufficient to cause the gun to return to
the firing position.

A hydraulic counterrecoil buffer is provided at the front of the
hydraulic cylinder and acts as a cushion, thereby preventing the
violent return of the gun to firing position.


A range of 12,280 yards (11,230 meters) is possible, when firing a
60-pound projectile with a muzzle velocity of 2,080 feet per second
at the maximum elevation of 21^.

The carriage is equipped with tractor wheels provided with inde-
pendent wheel brakes.

The trail is of the single unit type, being broadened at the spade
end and equipped with a fixed spade for anchoring the trail to the

When traveling, the carriage is connected to the limber by un
adjustable connecter.

The carriage permits elevation from 5 depression to 21 $ elevation.
The carriage permits traverse of 4 left and 4 right, when it is ele-
vated at 16^ or less. At higher elevations the traverse is but 3
right and 3 left, due to the interference of the trail with the gun at
these elevations.

18322820 13


Weights, dimensions, and ballistics.

Weight of carriage and gun pounds. . 12. 09<i

Weight of gun and brooch mechanism do. ... 4. 858

Weight of carriage do 7, 238

Weight of projectile do 60

W T eight of powder charge do .... 9. 44

Pressure of trail on ground do .... 920

Length of gun inches. . L6S. 05

Length, over all. of carriage and limber, traveling position, with gun but with-
out limber pole feet. . 2S. 625

Length, over all, of carriage and limber, traveling position, with gun and

pole , feet. . 37. 5

Length between axles, of carriage and limber, traveling position do. ... 13. 75

Height of axis of gun from ground inches. . 51. 5

Maximum elevation degrees . . 21. 5

Maximum depression do .... 5

Traverse (at elevation of 16 or less):

Degrees right 4

Degrees left 4

Traverse (at elevation above 16):

Degrees right 3

Degrees left 3

Range, maximum yards. . 12, 280

Muzzle velocity, noi mal ft. per sec . . 2. 080

Rifling, uniform 1 turn in 30 calibers.

Diameter of carriage wheels inches . . GO

Track, center line to center line of wheels do ... 63. 5

Diameter of turning circle . . feet . . 54


The gun is of the wire wound type and consists of two tubes,
jacket, breech bush, breech ring, and several layers of steel wire.
The inner tube extends the length of the barrel, the outer tube being
shrunk upon it, extending over the rear of the inner tube to form a
threaded bearing for the breech bush which receives the breech block.
The jacket is fitted over the tubes and extends to the rear, having
a threaded section on which the breech ring is received. Several
layers of steel wire are interposed between the jacket and tubes,
the jacket being shrunk over the wire. The breech ring is provided
at the top with a lug, to which the recoil piston rod and the rods of
the spring cylinders are secured, being the direct connection between
the gun and recoil mechanism, and is provided with lugs at the right
side which accommodate the breech carrier. . On either side of the
j acket longitudinal pro] ections are provided, which engage and slide
in corresponding slots in the cradle.

The breech block is of the interrupted screw type, having threaded
and slotted sectors. The breech bushing is threaded and recessed
to correspond with the sectors on the breech block. The breech
mechanism is so arranged that by one pull of the breech lever from
left to right the breech screw is unlocked and the screw and carrier
swung into loading position. After loading, one thrust of the same
lever inserts the breech screw into position in the breech bush and
turns it into the locked position.

The breech screw is supported by the carrier, which pivots and is
hinged to the lugs provided on the right side of the breech ring.

The firing mechanism is of the "T" type and is fitted with a safety
device which prohibits the firing of the gun until the breech is closed.
Discharge is by means of a lanyard operated from the right side of
the carriage.

The carriage consists of the following major parts: Cradle, including
recoil mechanism; top carriage; elevating and traversing mechan-
isms; trail; brake gear; wheels and axle.

The carriage is constructed on the long recoil principle, having
practically a constant length of recoil at all elevations. The length
of recoil is approximately 57 inches. The recoil mechanism is placed
parallel with, and located above the gun, the gun sliding during
recoil and counterrecoil in slides provided in the cradle.



The recoil mechanism being of the hydro-spring type, utilizes two
spring cylinders and one hydraulic cylinder, independent of each
other, and held in relative position by the cradle. The cradle is
cylindrical in form and incloses the breech end of the gun, and is
provided with threaded holes at the front and rear for the reception
of the spring and hydraulic cylinders, which are screwed into these
holes. The three cylinders extend to the rear and engage suitable
holes in the breech ring to which they are fastened by connecting
pieces, the two spring cylinder rods being retained by nuts, and the
hydraulic cylinder rod by an externally threaded collar which passes
through the breech ring and engages the thread on the piston rod,
the three rods recoiling to the rear with the gun.

The trunnions of the cradle are received in bearings in the top
carriage, which in turn is pivoted on the front end of the trail to
permit traverse.

Traverse and elevation is accomplished through the medium of
handwheels located on the left side of the carriage. The elevating


handwheel actuates a pinion meshing with a rack bolted to the
cradle. The traversing handwheel operates a screw, one end of
which is hinged on the top carriage, the other end engaging a nut
which pivots on the trail.

Traversing stops are provided on either side of the top carriage
to limit the traverse to 4 right and 4 left, when the gun is elevated
at- 16^ or less.

The amount of traverse is indicated by a pointer fixed to the trail,
which reads to a graduated scale on the rear transom of the carriage.

The trail is of the solid type, being cut out at the front to give
clearance to the breech of the gun during recoil, and at high eleva-
tions. The front end of the trail is equipped with bronze brackets
through which the axle Dasses. The trail has a bearing at the


forward section on which the top carriage rests and pivots, and
through which the pivot pin passes, retaining the top carriage in
proper position. Clips are provided on the trail which engage
protrusions on the top carriage, preventing vertical movement of the
top carriage when the gun is fired. Traversing stops are provided
to prohibit traversing of more than 3 left and 8 right, when the gun
is elevated above 16^.

The rear end of the trail is equipped with a connector for limbering
the carriage to the carriage limber. The connection is held in
position by pins, and is provided with holes for adjustment.

A spade of the fixed type is riveted to the rear end, and holds the
trail in a practically stationary position when the gun is in action.

A traveling lock is provided on the trail which engages the breech
of the gun at degree elevation, when traveling. The lock is hinged
to the inside of the trail members and swings down when the gun
is in firing position.

The wheels are of the tractor type, being provided with diagonal
cleats riveted to the rims. The wheels are 60 inches in diameter
and have tires 12 inches in width.

A brake ring is provided on each wheel against which an internal
brake shoe is fitted, which is operated by a handwheel at the front
of the carriage.

Sighting is accomplished by means of a tangent sight and foresight
on the right side of the carriage, and by an oscillating sight and dial
sight (panoramic sight) on the left side of the carriage.

The tangent and foresight together form an open sight for the
direct laying of the gun.

The oscillating sight on which the dial sight is mounted is used
for indirect laying; the oscillating sight being used for laying in
elevation and the dial sight for direction.

Ammunition of the separate loading type is used, being both
explosive shell and shrapnel. The weight of each is 60 pounds.
The propelling charge consists of 9 pounds 7 ounces of cordite.
Normally these charges are not separate for zone fire, although
special charges are sometimes made up for this purpose.


The limber consists mainly of a steel frame, two steel chests,
wheels, axle, and draft connections.

The vehicle is designed for 2-horse, 4-horse, or tractor draft.
When horse drawn, the front end of the frame is equipped with a
wooden horse pole, which is retained in place by a pin passing ver-
tically through the rail and pole, and is also equipped with two or
four singletrees, as the draft may require. Chains, with the neces-
sary draft connections, are also provided, and extend from two points
on the frame to the forward section of the pole, thereby adapting
the vehicle for additional horse draft. The necessary neck yoke
bars are provided on the draft pole.


For 4-horse draft, the two outside singletrees are suspended from
outriggers which are hinged to the main frame, and are steadied by
stays extending back to the axle arms.

For 2-horse draft, the two outside singletrees are removed, the
stays disconnected, and the outriggers folded back and over the
main frame, being held in the latter position by straps.

The singletrees, when removed, are strapped across the center of
the frame forward of the steel chests.

For tractor draft, all the singletrees are removed and strapped to
the frame, the horse pole being removed and replaced by the motor
draft connector, which is pinned to the frame.



The frame consists principally of four side rails, two inner and
two outer, connected at the rear to the axle by flanges and pins.
The front end is joined together by connecting plates, the frame
being strengthened by diagonal stays.

In the rear of the frame at the center, a pintle is provided, which
accommodates the adjustable connector on the trail of the carriage
in traveling position. The pintle is provided with a thumb latch
which prevents accidental unlimbering of the trail connector.

The steel chests are riveted to the main frame at the rear, on either
side. The inner rear corners of these chests are formed diagonally


to -allow clearance to the swing of the connector on the carriage,
when traveling.

The chests are of flanged steel, having lift lids which are hinged
at the front side and are equipped with hasps, locks, and chains at
the rear. The interior of each chest is fitted for carrying stores, and
each is provided at the top with a tray which carries small stores.
The left chest is constructed to carry the sights and attachments,
together with a number of small tools, and one powder charge in a
tin box. The right chest carries the clinometer, oil can, and other
various tools and accessories, together with one powder charge in
a tin box.

Extending from the base of each chest toward the rear a steel
bracket is provided on which one round of ammunition is carried.


The shell is held in a vertical position on this support hy a hronze
bracket and a strap.

Suspended below the frame at the rear, a wire net tray is provided
for carrying drag ropes and lashings.

Forward of the steel chests, on the top of the frame, a board is
fastened, extending across the frame, and is equipped with friction
clips for the accommodation of two rifles.

The wheels provided are 60 inches in diameter, having steel tires
6 inches in width. The outer end of the axle arms are equipped with
drag washers to assist hauling. No brakes are provided on this

Weights, dimensions, etc.

Weight without two projectiles pounds. . 2, 240

Weight on limber pintle, traveling position do 641

Weight on pole, carriage limber (at center tug hole) :

Without two projectiles do 51

With two projectiles do 39

Diameter of wheels inches. . 60

Track of wheels, center line to center line do 63. 5


With horse pole. do 186

Without horse pole do 77


Over axle with dust caps do. ... 78. 5

Outriggers extended do 110

Outriggers folded do 65



The ammunition wagon (caisson) consists principally of a steel
frame, ammunition chest, fuze lockers, brake gear, draft fittings,
wheels, and axle.

The wagon is constructed to carry 24 rounds of ammunition,
24 powder charges in tin containers, and 2 fuze boxes. The exterior
is fitted with fastenings to carry ropes, handspikes, also other tools
and accessories.




The ammunition chest is constructed of flange steel, having flange
steel brackets on either side at the center, which extend below the
chest, providing bearings which receive the axle.

The interior of the chest is divided into a front section and a rear
section, by a vertical steel plate, passing through the chest, parallel
to the axle. Each section is divided by steel plates passing crosswise
through the chest into three horizontal rows of compartments. The
lower compartments contain 4 high explosive shell and 4 shrapnel.
The middle row contains 2 high-explosive shell, 2 shrapnel, 2



powder charges in tin containers, 1 fuze box containing 14 fuzes,
and 1 empty compartment. The upper row of compartments
contain 10 powder charges in tin containers.

The powder charge containers, and the shell are retained in the
proper position by quick release straps, and the shell are withdrawn
from their respective compartments by means of the packing blocks
which inclose the nose of the shell, and by the withdrawing straps
provided. The withdrawing straps extend the length of the shell
and are fastened to the nose blocks, and are also riveted to the com-
partment plates, preventing their complete removal. When the

: -*^ZlL^- - j^-^**-*^lll^XS^^-.-* =*- - - **-" *~


shell is withdrawn about half its length, the withdrawing strap is
slipped over the base of shell allowing the complete removal of the
shell, while the packing blocks and straps are held in their respective
compartments. The powder charge containers can be lifted out
without the aid of straps.

The front compartment is equipped with a steel door which is
hinged at the bottom and swings downward when opened. The
rear compartment is equipped with an armor-plate door hinged at
its lower edge, and when opened hangs vertically downward. The
front door when opened downward is supported by the footboard


in a horizontal position. Each door when closed is held in position
by latches provided on the sides of the chests, which swing over and
engage steel handgrips riveted on either edge of the door at the top.

Extending above the chest at the front on either side, handrails
are provided. The rails are constructed of steel and are provided
with leather guards. The rails fit into small brackets riveted to the
chest sides, and may be dismounted from tjie chest by removing
the retaining pins. Three grip straps are also fastened to the upper
front edge of the chest to assist the personnel when mounting the

Straps are provided with the usual fastenings, at the top of the chest
to accommodate the soldiers' personal equipment, and also picket
ropes, at the rear. At the front of the chest the fastenings accom-
modate blankets, lamps, and tool cases. On either side of the chest
fastenings are provided, the left side accommodating a saw in a leather
case, and the right side a spanner wrench.

The frame consists of two flanged sides connected by cross stays
to the draft pole, which consists of two flange steel members extending
back, the length of the vehicle. The outside rails are provided with
flanges and holes through which the axle passes. The chest is
mounted on the frame, the axle brackets on the chest corresponding
with the flanges on the side rails, making a solid bearing for the axle,
which is held in place by keys.

Forward of the chest, across the side rails, a wooden footboard
and platform is provided. Suspended below the footboard on either
side, is a fuze locker, which provides carrying compartments for
30 fuzes, 15 in each locker. Each locker is provided with a door,
which swings downward when opened, arid each is equipped with a
hasp and a pivot thumb lock.

Suspended from the platform to the rear of the right fuze locker,
a tin box, containing 3 pounds of grease, is strapped.

The frame is provided at the rear with a steel prop which swings
up to the right side of the frame and is retained in this position by a
spring clip when in traveling position.

Wire-net receptacles are suspended under the rear section of the
frame on either side of the prop bracket. The receptacles provide
space for canvas watering buckets and ropes.

The draft pole, which is an extension of the center rail of the
frame, is joined at its extreme forward end by a lunette, which engages
the pintle on the ammunition wagon limber when in traveling posi-
tion. A pole prop is also provided for supporting the draft pole
when the wagon is unlimbered. The prop swings up to a horizontal
position when the wagon is in traveling position. Attachments on
the underside support a jointed draft pole and a handspike.


Tire brakes are provided for each wheel, the brake system being
operated as one unit. The shoes which bear against the wheel are
supported by brackets fastened to the side rails at the front.

The shoes are operated by a crank located on the left rear side of
the vehicle under the frame. The crank is connected to the shoes
by rods supported on the frame.

Wheels of the wooden type, 56 inches in diameter, having steel
tires 3 inches in width, are provided on this vehicle. They are
retained on the axle by means of an adjusting collar and linch pin.


The bearing is protected from dirt and other foreign matter by a dust
cap which fastens over the end of the hub box.

Drag washers are provided on each wheel to which ropes may be
fastened to assist in the maneuvering of the vehicle.

Weights, dimensions, etc.

Weight of wagon, empty pounds . . 1, 732

Weight of wagon, loaded and equipped do 3, 556

Pressure of wagon pole on limber pintle, loaded do 98

Pressure of wagon pole on limber pintle with two men on wagon, loaded .. do .... 196

Height to top of handrail ' . . .feet. . . 5. 229

Height, handrails removed do . . .

Width, maximum do. . .

Length of wagon do . . .

Greatest projection beyond track of wheels , inches.

Wheel track do. . .

Diameter of wheels ... . . do . .








The limber comprises the frame with pintle; ammunition chest:
I'u/c locker: draft fittings: wheels and axle.

The limber is designed to draw the ammunition wagon by means
of the pintle provided at the rear. The vehicle is e -pupped for
2-horse draft. It carries 16 rounds of ammunition together with
the necessary powder charges. Provision is also made to carry
43 fuzes. 28 of which are carried in the ammunition chest, and the
remainder in the fuze locker fastened to the top of the chest. Imple-

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Online LibraryUnited States. Army. Ordnance DeptHandbook of artillery : including mobile, anti-aircraft and trench matériel → online text (page 10 of 19)