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A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

15 cm sFH 18 German field howitzer - case report.

      Again, artie time! Let us know an artillery piece that accompanied the German armed forces throughout WWII in all theaters, in all conditions: the 15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18 (sFH 18)  Immergrün.

15 cm sFH 18 howitzer displayed on Base Borden Military Museum
      The 15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18 or sFH 18 (German: "heavy field howitzer, model 18"), nicknamed Immergrün ("Evergreen"), was the basic German division-level heavy howitzer during the Second World War, serving alongside the smaller but more numerous 10.5 cm leFH 18.

10,5-cm-leichte Feldhaubitze 18
      It was based on the earlier, WW I - era design of the 15 cm sFH 13, and while improved over that weapon, it was generally outdated compared to the weapons it faced. It was, however, the first artillery weapon equipped with rocket-assisted ammunition to increase range.

15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 1913
      The sFH 18 was also used in the self-propelled artillery schwere Panzerhaubitze 18/1 150 mm. Sdkfz 165 Hummel.
SdKfz 165 schwere Panzerhaubitze 18/1 15 cm Hummel
      The sFH 18 was one of Germany's three main 15 cm calibre weapons, the others being the 15 cm Kanone 18, a corps-level heavy gun, and the 15 cm sIG 33, a short-barreled infantry gun.
15 cm Kanone 18

15 cm sIG 33 (schweres Infanterie Geschütz 33)
Design and development:
      Development work on the sFH 18 began in 1926 and was ready by 1933. The model year was an attempt at camouflage. The gun originated with a contest between Rheinmetall and Krupp, both of whom entered several designs that were all considered unsatisfactory for one reason or another. In the end the army decided the solution was to combine the best features of both designs, using the Rheinmetall gun on a Krupp carriage.
15 cm sFH 18 - early version - in firing position - 1938
Notice the wheels and uniforms
      The carriage was a relatively standard split-trail design with box legs. Spades were carried on the sides of the legs that could be mounted onto the ends for added stability.
15 cm sFH 18 - early version - in transport mode
Notice the barrel disconnected from the recovery pneumatic cylinder.
This shortened the weapon, facilitating the transport
      The carriage also saw use on the 10 cm schwere Kanone 18 gun.
10 cm sK 18s frame the speaker at a swearing in ceremony in Posen
      As the howitzer was designed for horse towing, it used an unsprung axle and hard rubber tires. A two-wheel bogie was introduced to allow it to be towed, but the lack of suspension made it unsuitable for towing at high speed.
Horses towing guns in the winter.
A common scene at the beginning of World War II, but quickly became rare.

Horse towing artillery. 15cm sFH 18 in Russian steppes
15cm sFH 18 horse artillery in Parade
Warsaw, 1939
      The inability of heavy artillery like the sFH 18 to keep up with the fast-moving tank forces was one of the reasons that the Luftwaffe invested so heavily in dive bombing, in order to provide a sort of "flying artillery" for reducing strongpoints.
Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber: the epitome of dive bombers

Dive bomber action
      The gun was officially introduced into service on 23 May 1935, and by the outbreak of war the Wehrmacht had about 1,353 of these guns in service. Production continued throughout the war, reaching a peak of 2,295 guns in 1944.
Too heavy: SdKfz 7 tractor with 15 cm sFH18
      Several other versions of the basic 15 cm were produced. The 15 cm sFH 36 was a version with a greatly reduced 3,450 kilograms weight that was an attempt to improve mobility, but as it used various light alloys to achieve this savings it was considered too costly to put into production.
15 cm sFH 36 
      The 15 cm sFH 40 was another improved version, featuring a slightly longer barrel and a new carriage that was suitable for vehicle towing and allowed the barrel to have wider firing angles and thereby improve range up to 15,400 m.

      However this version was even heavier than the sFH 18 (at 5,680 kilograms) and was found to be too difficult to use in the field. Some of these barrels were later fitted to existing sFH 18 carriages, creating the sFH 18/40.
15 cm sFH 18 and his SdKfz 7 tractor - Summer folliage cammo

15 cm sFH 18 under an interesting disguise
made with canvas and metal rack

15 cm sFH 18 in winter, wearing
a lovely cammo made with tricot's tablecloths
      A further modification was the FH 18/43, which changed to a split breech that allowed for the use of bagged charges instead of requiring the gunners to first put the charges into shells. Two further attempts to introduce a newer 15 cm piece followed, but neither the 15 cm sFH 43 or 15 cm sFH 44 progressed past the stage of wooden mock-ups.
15 cm sFH 18 in SdKfz 165 Hummel barking in the east front. 1943
Combat record:
      The first field combat for the 15 cm sFH 18 was with the Chinese National Revolutionary Army in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
15 cm sFH 18  with the Chinese National Revolutionary Army - 1937
      The Chinese were desperately short on artillery guns and other heavy weapons, but the few 15 cm sFH 18 units the Chinese did have hopelessly outclassed their Japanese counterparts which were mainly the Type 38 15 cm howitzer and Type 4 15 cm howitzer, forcing the Japanese to introduce the Type 96 15 cm Howitzer. It is interesting that some earlier pieces (about 24) of sFH18 in China were designed specially with a 32/L barrel, known as sFH18 32/L. The maximum range was increased to 15 km. But most of the sFH18 in China were lost to attrition. Only two pieces can be seen in the museums today.
Japanese Type 96 15 cm Howitzer
      Against the Soviet Union however, the sFH 18 proved to be greatly inferior to the Red Army corps artillery 122 mm gun (A-19) and 152 mm ML-20 gun-howitzer, whose maximum range of 20.4 km and 17.3 km allowed it to fire counter-battery against the sFH 18 with a 7 km and 4 km advantage respectively.
Russian 122 mm corps gun M1931 (A-19)
Russian 152 mm ML-20 gun-howitzer
      This led to numerous efforts to introduce new guns with even better performance than the ML-20, while various experiments were also carried out on the sFH 18 to improve its range. These led to the 15 cm sFH 18M version with a removable barrel liner and a muzzle brake that allowed a larger "special 7" or 8 charge to be used. The 18M increased range to 15,100 m , but it was found that the liners suffered increased wear and the recoil system could not handle the increased loads in spite of the brake. This led to a more interesting modification, the introduction of the 15 cm R. Gr. 19 FES ammunition, which used a rocket-assisted round that could reach 18.200 m and give it some level of parity with the A-19 and ML-20.

      Several countries continued fielding the sFH 18 after the war in large numbers including Czechoslovakia, Portugal and many South American and Central American countries. Finland bought 48 sFH 18 howitzers from Germany in 1940 and designated them 150 H/40. These guns were modernized in 1988 as the 152 H 88, and they were used by the Finnish Army until 2007.
152 H 88-40 in Hämeenlinna, Finland
  • 15 cm sFH 18 – standard version
  • 15 cm sFH 18M – modification of sFH-18 with muzzle brake and replaceable barrel liner
  • 15 cm sFH 18/40 – sFH 40 barrels on sFH 18 carriages
  • 15 cm sFH 18/43 – a sFH 18 development to accept bag charge with sliding-block breech
  • 15 cm sFH 18/32L – Chinese version with longer barrel and longer range of 15 km
  • 152 mm houfnice vz.18/47 – Czech changed caliber modification with shorter barrel and a muzzle brake


15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18
Place of originGermany
Service history
In service  1934–70
Used by     Germany
Republic of China
Wars               World War II
Portuguese Colonial War
Syrian Civil War
Production history
ManufacturerKrupp, Rheinmetall, Spreewerke, M.A.N.
and Skoda
Unit cost40,400 RM (1944)
No. built5403[1]
VariantssFH 18M
WeightTravel: 6,304 kg
Combat: 5,512 kg 
Length7.849 mm 
Barrel length4.440 mm  L/29.5
Width2.225 mm 
Height1.707 mm 

Shell149 mm × 260 R (cased separate-loading ammunition)
Shell weight43.52 kg (HE)
Caliber149 mm 
Breechhorizontal sliding block
Carriagesplit trail
Elevation0° to +45°
Rate of fire4 rpm
Muzzle velocity             520 m/s 
Maximum firing range  13,325 m
Sights                                                                   Model 1934 Sighting Mechanism

 The kit:

      This project is a commission work for a very good friend, who is starting to invest in artillery pieces for his collection. The idea is to build this gun being towed by a artillery tractor SdKfz 7. I will take advantage of an old Tamiya kit and modify the cammo and the markings of the tractor, to represent the set in the spring at the Russian front, in the time of the thaw of 1943. As I said, the SdKfz 7 was ready. To the howitzer, I'll use the Trumpeter kit #02304.
Trumpeter kit #02304 German  sFH 18 15cm field howitzer

Tamiya kit #35148 German 8 ton semi track SdKfz 7

      And the fun begins: 
The main characters: the new howitzer and the old SdKfz 7

I'll make a bath of weathering and  improvements on this veteran.
      Starting the gun:

The wheels in alignment!!!

The girl is growing

My workbench...under construction!!!
The gun and thearms

This part is in wrong position. I'll fix in the next steps
The parts in subassemblies

The front wheels in alignment...

      Many colleagues ask to me about my alignment tool. What is? Where did I buy it? Tankers, these jigs are nothing more than the core of broken electromagnets of washing machines.
Electromagnets of washing machines.
Broken part
      You remove the electrical components of the assembly (you can use it to make steel cables, wires, details of electrical or hydraulic lines in your models ...) and the metal parts have great angles of 90 degrees. 

Panzerserra's jig
       And the girl is almost ready:

The towing pin in the tractor.

Next step: painting!!!

The markings will be replaced!!
      White primer 

Panzer Gray

Tones and variations...

Painting details...

Starting weathering..

Mking a rear tarp with tracing paper + PVA glue

Markings: Grossdeutschland Division - Towed heavy howitzers
Kursk, July 1943

      And the project was ready: Sdkfz 7 8 ton from Grossdeutschland Division, towing 15 cm sFH 18 German field howitzer in the Battle of Kursk, July 1943.
SdKfz 7 8 ton - Grossdeutschland Division - Towed heavy howitzers
Kursk, July 1943

Kojak and Rover, the dog, with new friends!
      And the 15 cm sFH 18 German field howitzer, from Adam battery, towed by Sdkfz 7 8 ton from Grossdeutschland Division, towing 15 cm sFH 18 German field howitzer in the Battle of Kursk, July 1943.

The howitzer is huge!!

Sdkfz 7 8 ton from Grossdeutschland Division towing 15 cm sFH 18 German field howitzer
 Battle of Kursk, July 1943.
Thanks for following, Soldiers!!

4 comentários:

  1. Hi Panz, its me Cliff. This article helped me in all my vehicle skills, thanks, Is that a "purpose specific" alignment tool? I could use one if they are commercially available, but even if not, I can improvise.
    I went thorough a dry period of about 10 years where I only built two models. Both were super details in my own experience. One was a Sdkfz 7 with quad AA gun. With some care, that old Tamiya kit can be upgraded to modern standards. Don't know about the artillery gun, I have not yet built one of the Dragon vehicles.
    By the way, if you want to build a Famo artillery tractor, I have a Calibre 35 artillery "passenger" section that I will sell you or trade if for something. Trades are usually more fun. I got it when I still didn't know what to do with my Famo. But now I have 3 that will be build to rescue Tiger E models from the mud, so no artillery tractor. Life is too short to build everything.

    1. Hi, Cliff ... Is everything okay with you ??
      On wheel alignment, keeping the 90 ° is important, as the wheels of trailers, rear wheels of the trucks and wheels of the guns did not present camber angles. And nothing is more unpleasant for the appearance of a scale model than crooked wheels.
      There are specific tools on the market, but my "aligners" are electromagnet cores from scrap partss of washing machines. The important thing is that they must have perfectly perpendicular faces between them ...
      Long live the recycling !!!
      About your Famo, thanks for the offer..But as we are miles apart, the mail will charge us a cornea and a kidney. My suggestion: Really do a "zug" of traction, for one of your heavy tanks.
      All the best, my friend !! Cheers!!

  2. Electromagnets of washing machines.
    Coincidentally, noticed, and immediately figured out so many ideas.
    When the mind is open, curious, bicurious, mind visio surrounds to work,
    and clever - nimble fingers, it always helps.
    Quality is always own author

    1. Thanks a lot, Maximex!!! Our hobby is amazing!!

      Improvise and adapt. It is a motto not only of the Marines, but we modelers too ...

      Hugs, my friend!!