United States. Army. Ordnance Dept.

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

. (page 12 of 19)
Online LibraryUnited States. Army. Ordnance DeptHandbook of artillery : including mobile, anti-aircraft and trench matériel → online text (page 12 of 19)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

loose diaphragms are placed in position after the projectiles are
inserted in the projectile tubes. When the doors are closed (carrying
either common steel or gas shells) the door stiffeners bear against
the bases of the projectiles, holding them in place. With shrapnel
the edges of the flanged holes in the loose diaphragm bear against
the rotating bands of the projectiles. When used to transport com-
mon steel shells Mark IV the loose diaphragms are placed inside the
body of the caisson next to the front diaphragms. When the doors
are closed the door stiff eners bear against the bases of the projectiles,
holding them firmly against the loose diaphragms.

Foot rests, handrails, and grip straps are provided on the chest
for the convenience of its personnel. The outside of the chest is
provided with implement fastenings for the usual complement of.
accompanying tools and accessories. Blanket straps are provided on
top of the chest for carrying the blanket rolls of the battery person-
nel; provision also is made on top of the chest for carrying the con-
necting pole and on the rear for carrying the lunette and caisson
prop when used as a horse-drawn vehicle.

The caisson prop when down serves to support the front end of
the caisson; in traveling it is swung up and held by the prop chain.

The axle passes through the caisson between the upper and lower
intermediate plates. Axle brackets are clamped on either end of the
axle just outside of the chest, and rotation or lateral motion of the


chest is prevented by clamp screws and Belleville springs. The chest
has a spring suspension similar to that of the 4.7-inch gun caisson,
model of 1917, for the relief of road shocks.

The caisson is provided with a brake mechanism of the band type.
The brake drums are mounted on the hub boxes of the wheels and
the band brakes lined with Raybestos. A brake lever secured to a
bracket riveted to the caisson body, functions as a means by which
the brakes may be applied.

The caisson is usually equipped with the short pole for motor
traction, but the pole socket is designed so that the long pole may be
used when desired to use the vehicle as a horse-drawn limber. A


standard pintle is fitted at the rear for the connection of the other

One caisson in each battery is equipped with a reel for caisson,
model of 1917. This is a hand-operated reel for the transportation
and handling of telephone wire. Se.e page 159.

Weights and dimensions.

Overall length inches . . 79

Overall width do 78. 5

Overall height do 67

Weight without equipment (unloaded) pounds. . 2, 345

Weight fully equipped (unloaded) do 2, 447

Weight completely equipped and loaded do 3, 949

Weight of reel caisson completely equipped and loaded do 4, 006

Width of track inches. . 60

Diameter of wheels do 60

Turning diameter of two caissons feet. . 18



The type of 155-millimeter field gun adopted is known by the
French as the'"G. P. F." (Grande Puissance Filloux), and by the
United States as the model of 1918. This caliber, which corresponds
to 6-inch artillery, is the heaviest mobile artillery, exclusive of the
heavy howitzers and the railroad artillery.

This monster weapon is of rugged design, combining mobility and
power, and has a large horizontal training angle to render it suitable
for the concentration of artillery fire for the destruction of strongly
fortified points, such as armored batteries, etc.; thus no other avail-
able weapon of equivalent caliber can be considered to rival this type.
This piece, like the 155-millimeter howitzer, is especially valuable in


firing against captive balloons, counter battery firing, and inter-

The Filloux gun is mounted on a carriage having a split trail of
box girder section; which is spread out when in action, the ends of
the trail being firmly anchored by spades in the ground. The split-
trail effect permits clearance for recoil at high elevations and allows
a firing over a horizontal field of 60 and an elevation varying from
to 35.

Its muzzle velocity is about 2,411 feet per second, a rate of propul-
sion that throws its projectile weighing 95 pounds, approximately
17,700 yards, or a little more than 10 miles.

The gun recoils in slides formed in the cradle which rests in the
trunnions of the top carriage. The length of recoil is automatically
controlled and varies with the elevation, while the counter recoil is
pneumatic. The entire recoil mechanism is commonly called the
recuperator and is supported on the carriage at its trunnions. When




traveling, tlio trail is closed up and the ends thereof are supported by
a carriage limber provided with a steering gear brake, and is drawn
by a tractor. In traveling position both carriage and carriage
limber are supported on semielliptical springs to absorb all road
shocks and vibrations.


The life of the gun before relining becomes necessary is about
3,000 rounds and maximum rate of fire is two rounds per minute.
The entire equipment is motorized. A carriage limber, which
supports the trails in traveling, accompanied each gun. Caissons
are not used with these guns, the ammunition being carried in motor
trucks or cargo carriers.


155-millimeter gun materiel, model of 1918 (Filloux) consists of:

155-millimeter gun and carriage, model of 1918.
155-millimeter gun carriage limber, model of 1918.

The above materiel is of French design and of both French and
American manufacture.



Weights, dimensions, ballistics, etc.

Weight of gun, including breech mechanism pounds. . 8, 795

Length of gun inches. . 232. 87

Caliber do 6. 1042

Muzzle velocity feet per second . . 2, 411

Rifling: one turn in 2.989 caliber right hand uniform.

Weight of projectile pounds. . 95

Maximum range (Mark 11 1 shell at ;jr> elevation) yards. . 17, 700

Weight of maximum powder charge pounds. . 25

Weight of carriage only do 11, 065

Weight of gun and carriage complete do . 19, 860

Diameter of wheels millimeters. . 1, 160

Width of track do 2, 250

Height of axis of gun from ground do 1, 482

Range of elevation degrees. . . to 35

Maximum traverse do 60

Weight of gun carriage and limber pounds . . 23, 050

Weight of limber complete do 3, 190

The distance from center line of carriage axle to center line

01 limber axle, approximately millimeters. . 4, 500


1918 (FILLOUX).

The gun, models of 1918 and 1918 Ml is of the built-up type.
consisting of a tube strengthened by a ring, jackets, hoops, and
the muzzle bell. All details except the firing mechanism provide
interchangeability of parts with the 155-millimeter (G. P. F.) guns
of French manufacture. A recoil lug on the under side of the breed i
ring provides means of attaching the recoil and recuperator rods.
Bronze clips to serve as guides in the cradle are secured to the sides
of the jackets.


The breech block is of the interrupted-screw type, having four plain
and four threaded sectors. The breech mechanism is of the plastic-
obturator type, having the forward mushroom-shaped head of the
breech block equipped with an asbestos ring known as the obturator
pad. Upon firing, this ring is compressed and acts as a gas check
to prevent the leakage of powder gases through the breech. It lias
sufficient resiliency to resume its original form after firing. The
firing mechanism is of the French-percussion primer type described
under " 155-millimeter Schneider howitzer/' page 216, and is inter-
changeable with the guns enumerated therein.

The cradle is a steel forging bored with three parallel cylinders for
housing the recoil brake and recuperator, and is pivoted by trunnions
in the trunnion bearings of the top carriage. On the upper side of
the cradle are slots for the gun slides, and to its lower side the elevating

rack is bolted





The recoil mechanism is of the hydropneumatic variable recoil
type. The larger of the three cylindrical bores in the cradle block
contains the recoil mechanism; the two smaller ones, the parts of
the recuperator mechanism.

This mechanism consists of a piston and piston rod and a control
rod. The piston rod is connected to the breech lug and, therefore,
recoils with the gun. Grooves of variable depth are milled along the
length of the control rod, controlling the flow of oil through the
ports of the piston during recoil. The control rod assembles within
the bore of the piston rod, and does not move longitudinally, but
rotates. The amount of this rotating changes the area of the orifices
through which the oil can pass. Its rotation is accomplished as the
gun is elevated by means of an arm and gear sectors in such a manner
as to shorten the recoil as the gun elevates.


A replenisher or gravity tank is provided in connection with the
recoil cjlinder which assures the recoil cylinders being full at all
times and also takes care of any expansion of the oil due to heating.
Its capacity is about 17 quarts.

The recuperator mechanism consists of two connected cylinders,
one containing the piston and piston rod which are attached to the
breech lug, while the other contains a mushroom valve and a dia-
phragm. The diaphragm separates the oil contained in the first
cylinder and part of the second cylinder from the high-pressure air,
which compels the return of the gun into battery after recoil. Nor-
mally a small amount of oil must be between the valve and diaphragm.
Oleonapthe is the liquid used in this recoil mechanism. The amount
of oil in the recoil and recuperator mechanism is shown by indicators
so that it can always be seen whether or not they need filling.



The top carriage is a steel casting mounted on the bottom carriage,
on which it pivots to traverse the piece. Belleville springs carry the
weight of the gun when traversing, but on firing the springs compress
and the firing stresses are taken on the bearing surfaces between the
top and bottom carriages.

The tipping parts are carried on the trunnions of the top carriage,
which also houses the elevating and traversing mechanism and
permits high angle of elevation for the cradle.

The bottom, carriage is a steel casting suspended from the axle (in
traveling position) by a heavy multiple leaf spring, j t supports
the top carriage, houses the axle, and provides hinge connections for
the trail. When firing the axle is unshackled from the springs and
the bottom carriage bears directly on the axle.

Traversing is accomplished by rotation of the top carriage on the
bearing surface of the bottom carriage by means of a rack and train


of gears which are operated by the handwheel on the left side of the
carriage. A traverse of 60 30 right and 30 left is possible.

Elevating is accomplished by a rack on the cradle operated through
gears by the handwheel located on the gear box at the left of the top
carriage. Elevations from to 35 are obtainable.

The trail is of the split type and consists of steel plate beams of
box section. Locks are pivoted at the forward end of the trails
for securing them in the open position. When closed together they
are clamped and attached to the limber. A traveling lock is provided
on the trail for retaining the gun in retracted position. Two types
of spade are provided, one for soft and one for hard ground. When
traveling the spades are always removed from the trail.

The wheels are of cast steel, each wheel having two solid rubber
tires and are equipped with the usual band brakes. Caterpillar
wheel shoes for traveling over soft ground are provided, which assem-
ble over the rubber tires. They consist of 12 plates for each wheel,
which give a broad bearing surface under the wheel.
18322820 16



The sighting equipment is exactly the same as that described under
the 155-millimeter Schneider howitzer, except the difference in bracket
as indicated on page 219.

Ammunition used is of the separate loading type; the projectile
weighs 95 pounds and the charge 25 pounds. Either shrapnel or
high-explosive steel shell is used, as well as gas shells and other
special ammunition. The propelling charge of smokeless powder
is a sectionalized charge made up of two sections a base charge and
one smaller increment.

The fuses commonly used are the 31-second combination fuze for
use with shrapnel and combining time and percussion elements the
point detonating fuze Mark IV used with the steel high explosive
shell, and the Mark II point detonating fuze used with gas shell.

OF 1918 (FILLOUX).

The carriage limber is a two-wheeled vehicle designed to support
and secure the rear ends of the trails and to provide a coupling
attachment to the tractor when transporting the carriage. The
principal parts are the wheels, axle, steering mechanism, frame,
springs, and seat.

The axle is very similar to the usual design of front axles of auto-
mobiles. It is of I-beam section, having forked ends with axle arms
pivoted therein, providing a means of steering. By means of a drag-
link and steering lever pivoted at the center of the frame and con-
nected to the steel pole steering is accomplished.


The frame or clamp for holding the gun trail in position is mounted
on the axle by means of two semielliptical multiple leaf springs. The
upper cross beam of this frame has bolted to it a seat for the brakeman,
who operates the gun-carriage brake when en route by means of a
lever acting through a wire rope. The wheels are identical with and
interchangeable with the wheels of the gun carriage.

Weights and dimensions.

Weight complete pounds. . 3, 190

Weight with carriage and gun do 23, 050

Weight of carriage on limber (traveling position) do 6, 490

Width of track (center to center of tires) millimeters . . 2, 250

Free height under limber and carriage (traveling position) do 250

Diameter of wheels do. ... 1, 160

Height of seat cushion from ground (seat assembled on top of trails, traveling

position) millimeters. . 1, 550

Distance from center line of carriage axle to center line of limber axle (trails

on limber) millimeters. . 4, 500





r n\c 6-inch gun materiel, model of 1917, is British throughout,
being designed and manufactured in England. It consists of a
6-inch gun, Mark XIX, mounted on an 8-inch howitzer carriage,
Mark VII, known as the 6-inch gun carriage, Mark VIII A. This
Mark XIX gun is of wire-wound construction, having a muzzle
velocity of 2,350-feet per second and a range of 17,500 yards.

The gun body is of steel and consists of tubes, a series of layers of
steel wire, jacket, breech bush and breech ring. The breech ring is
prepared for the reception of the breech mechanism and is provided
with a lug on the under side for the attachment of the hydraulic
buffer and recuperator of the carriage.

The breech mechanism is operated by means of a lever on the right
side of the breech. On pulling the lever to the rear the breech screw
is automatically unlocked and swung into the loading position.
After loading, one thrust of this lever inserts the breech screw and
turns it into the locked position. The breech mechanism is similar
to that used on the 8-inch howitzers both in design and operation.

The firing mechanism is of the percussion type and is not inter-
changeable with other British guns. The firing mechanism is
designed for percussion firing, and is so arranged that the gun can
not be fired until the breech screw is locked and the breech mechan-
ism ]ever home.

The only changes necessary on the 8-inch howitzer carriages (p. 268)
for mounting this 6-inch gun are: The rear extension plug, which
connects the gun to the recoil mechanism, is modified and the cut-off
gear is set differently to shorten the recoil when in action. The
firing platform and all of the accompanying vehicles of the 8-inch
howitzer materiel are used.

Ammunition of the separate loading type is used, both shrapnel
and shell being issued.

Weights, dimensions, and ballistics.

Materiel of gun, steel wire wound.

Length of gun inches. . 219

Weight of gun with breech mechanism pounds. . 10, 248

Weight of gun without breech mechanism do 9, 940

Rifling, uniform one turn in 30 calibers.

Weight of shell or shrapnel do 100

Weight of powder charge (maximum) do 23

Weight of powder charge (reduced) 15 pounds 7 J ouncea





Maximum range:

Full charge yards. . 17, 570

Reduced charge do 16, 100

Muzzle velocity:

Full charge feet per second . . 2, 350

Reduced charge do 2, 000

Maximum elevation degrees. . 38

Weight of carriage (only) pounds. . 12, 548

Weight of gun and carriage (fully equipped ) do 22, 796


The 7-inch naval tractor mount, Mark V, is a mobile, track-laying
field piece bearing a 7-inch, 45-caliber naval rifle. Projectiles
weighing 153 pounds may be fired at angle of elevation varying from
horizontal to 40, and at the maximum elevation the extreme range
obtainable is 24,000 yards.

The chamber diameter of the gun is 8.5 and the distance from the
face of the tube to the base of the projectile is 54.39 inches. The
volume of the powder chamber is 3,369 cubic inches. The maximum
charge consists of 60 pounds of smokeless nitrocellulose powder,
which produces the maximum service pressure of 17 tons per square
inch. Under these conditions a muzzle energy of 8,315 foot-tons is


imparted to the 153-pound projectile, the muzzle velocity being
2,800 feet per second.

The re ; coil mechanism is of the hydraulic type; the gun being re-
turned to battery by a pneumatic counterrecoil system. The recoil
'system consists of a simple hydraulic brake, the energy of recoil is
absorbed through a distance of 32 inches by forcing a mixture of
glycerine and water through orifices of gradually decreasing diameter
cut in the head of a piston operating in the recoil cylinder.

The method of reducing the size of the orifices is interesting. The
recoil piston has holes bored through it to allow the liquid to pass
from one side to the other when the piston starts to move back when
the gun is fired. Tapered throttling rods enter the holes in the pis-
ton head, and as the piston moves back the size of the orifice is grad-
ually diminished. The area of the orifices is so calculated that a
constant retardation is given to the gun, and it is brought to rest at
the end of the stroke.



The counter-recoil mechanism adopted on this mount is similar to
the counterrecoil mechanism of the French type, as used on 155-
millimeter guns. In this type of mechanism when the gun is fired,
a piston attached to the gun yoke moves backward in an air-tight
cylinder containing air at a pressure of several hundred pounds per
square inch, still further, compressing the air. The air pressure
acting on the counterrecoil piston when the gun has reached the end
of the recoil brings the gun back into battery or firing position.

The counterrecoil system which is used on this mount is located on
the top of the gun, and has been changed into a combination of three
cylinders, connected at the lower end by a bronze head. The piston
attached to the yoke operates in the central cylinder. The system


of liquid packing is retained but simplified and the entire system is
made up of shapes and materials easily secured and is well adapted to
American machining methods.

A traversing gear, incorporated in the carriage trail, permits of
limited training either side of the center line. When a greater range
of training is desired, the trail is either shifted on the ground or the
carriage is mounted upon a firing platform which provides for training
through a firing angle of 60. A shell-loading tray, which rests
on the carriage trail, is used to load shells into the breech.

The elevating gear consists of a simple combination of a handwheel,
worm gear, rack and pinion. The sighting arrangements for the gun
consist of a standard panoramic field sight fitted to a bracket at-
tached to the gun carriage.


The track layer, which is of the double-tread caterpillar type, is
designed to carry the mount over practically any kind of ground
likely to be encountered in service. The proportions of the chain
tracks are such as to produce a pressure of about 14 pounds per
square inch upon the soil during transportation, which is approxi-
mately half that exerted by a horse. The track layer also serves as a
stand or foundation for the mount during action.

A caterpillar tractor is used to draw this vehicle from one position
to another. A limber hooked between the mount and the tractor
supports the trail during transit; during action the limber and the
tractor are withdrawn from the immediate field of danger.

The limber wheels are carried on taper axles and are equipped with
grease cups for lubricating purposes. A pintle and lunette are pro-
vided on the axle in case it is desired to attach an ammunition or
supply trailer for transportation. The limber is connected to the


mount by means of a swivel pole end which is pivoted on the limber
connection of the trail.

The firing platform provides a durable and substantial foundation,
adaptable to various soil conditions and light enough to permit of
easy and convenient transportation. The firing platform includes a
forward table, upon which the track layers rest, and a rear thrust
beam to which the trail is secured by suitable pins. The rear thrust
beam is made in two sections, which, when combined, provide for
training through an arc of 60. One section may be used alone if
desired. Training is accomplished by shifting the trail around the
arc of the platform to the set of pin holes nearest the desired angle.
Accurate adjustments in training are made with the traversing gear.

The 7-inch naval tractor mount is so designed that its weight is
almost entirely supported by the track layers, but a small percentage
of the weight being carried on the trail. When the mount is being
pulled along an upgrade of appreciable slope, the center of gravity


is shifted and the weight of the gun may have a tendency to throw
the trail in the air.

To preclude any such occurrence, eyebolts are secured to the gun
yoke, which are used to draw the recoiling parts back sufficiently
to bring about equilibrium.

Track grousers may be bolted to the track shoes when there is
likelihood of the mount slipping sidewise during transport on hill-
sides. In an actual road test this gun was pulled over rough ground
and proved able to negotiate any ground over which the tractor itself
was able to operate. Obstructions were mowed down, and yet the
entire weight of the gun was so evenly and well distributed that no
damage was done to roads negotiated. The mount functioned per-
fectly, remaining steady on the point of aim during continued firing.
The caterpillar treads, locked in position by the brake, were as steady
as a concrete foundation.


The 7-inch, 45 caliber, naval rifle is built up of a tube, hoops, and
locking rings. When erosion destroys the effectiveness and accuracy
of the gun it may be rebuilt by boring out the tube and shrinking in
a conical nickel-steel liner. The gun, without the breech mechanism,
weighs 12.81 tons, while the weight of gun and breech mechanism is
28,700 pounds. The rifling is right hand of hook section and consists
of 28 grooves and lands, having an increasing twist from zero at the
origin to one turn in 25 calibers at a point 22 inches from the muzzle.
The remainder of the twist is uniform. This gun is the heaviest and
hardest hitting gun for which a mobile lield mount has been requested
bv our Army.


The carriage, which supports the gun is a structural steel frame-
work built up of standard shapes, consisting essentially of two steel
trunnion bearing plates cross braced at each end to form a single
unit with a central well into which the gun recoils. These side

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 15 16 17 18 19

Online LibraryUnited States. Army. Ordnance DeptHandbook of artillery : including mobile, anti-aircraft and trench matériel → online text (page 12 of 19)