The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.
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.

17 cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette - German heavy field gun - case report.

      Now let's talk about a very powerful weapon of the WWII: The German 17 cm Kanone 18 heavy field gun. Achtung !!! This is a commission project for my friend Alois !

17 cm Kanone 18 German heavy field gun in action
      The 17 cm Kanone 18 in Mörserlafette (German: 17 cm Cannon 18 on Heavy Howitzer Carriage) (17 cm K 18 in MrsLaf) was a German heavy gun used in the Second World War.

   In 1939 the 21 cm Mörser 18 began appearing in the German Army Corps level Artillery Regiments, replacing the obsolescent World War I-era 21 cm Mörser 16.
21 cm Mörser 18 captured by Allies
Germany - 1945
Captured German 21-cm Mörser 16 in Stanley Park
Vancouver - 1923
     The 21 cm Mörser was able to send a 113 kg  HE shell out to a range of 14.5 km, however by 1941 the German Army was seeking a longer range weapon and Krupp responded by producing a smaller 173 mm caliber increased velocity weapon utilising the same carriage, with the designation Kanone 18.
      The Kanone 18 quickly impressed German Artillery officers, firing a 68 kg HE shell out to a range of 29.6 km, the real surprise was the explosive power of the shell, which was little different from the 113 kg shell of the 21 cm Mörser 18. Production commenced in 1941, in 1942 production of the 21 cm Mörser 18 was halted for almost two years so as to allow maximum production of the Kanone 18.
17 cm Kanone 18 in Tunisia
The Afrika Korps gunners preparing the gun for firing
Tunisia- 1941
      A notable innovation introduced by Krupp on the 21 cm Mörser 18 and used by the 17 cm Kanone 18 was the "double recoil" or dual- recoil carriage, the normal recoil forces were initially taken up by a conventional recoil mechanism close to the barrel, and then by a carriage sliding along rails set inside the travelling carriage.
17cm Kanone 18 firing in Normandy
Notice the shield over the top recoil oil cilinder
The gunner seems to be expecting the worst...

      The dual-recoil mechanism absorbed all of the recoil energy with virtually no movement upon firing, thus making for a very accurate weapon. For all of its bulk, a full 360 degree traverse could be achieved by one man.
The same gun abovr...17 cm Kanone 18
Notice the gun in total recoil, after fire...
Afrika Korps - 1941.
      For travel both the 21 cm Mörser 18 and the 17 cm Kanone 18 were broken down into two loads, which was common for heavy artillery of the period, with the barrel being transported separately.
17 cm Kanone 18 waiting restoration...
The gun is dismantled for long distance transport
Sapun-Gora Diorama Museum - Ukraine.
The cradles of two 17cm Kanone 18 under transportation
     The carriage was well equipped with a series of ramps and winches which made removing the barrel a reasonably quick task for its time, but still required several hours. For short distance travel the 17 cm Kanone 18 could be transported intact.
17cm Kanone 18 traveling slowly in one piece.
North Africa - 1942
      The 17 cm Kanone 18 was considered a technically excellent long range artillery piece for the German Army, its greatest weaknesses was that it was expensive to build, and it required careful maintenance. It was quite slow to bring in and out of action, fairly difficult to manoeuvre and very slow to move off road, many were lost when their crews abandoned them to avoid capture by advancing Allied forces.
The haste in retreat ... 17 cm Kanone 18 ready for transport, but
abandoned by gunners. This weapon was thus found,
by the New Zealanders - North of Africa -1942.
      The 17 cm Kanone 18 was employed at the Corps level in order to provide long-range counter-battery support, as well as filling the same basic role as the 21 cm Mörser 18. See the movie below, with the 2 heavies guns in action:
     In 1944 some Allied batteries used captured 17 cm K 18s when ammunition supplies for their usual guns were disrupted by the long logistical chain from Normandy to the German border.
    It was also proposed for use on the Geschützwagen Tiger (only 1 prototype built), in the Sturmgeschutz Maus and Sturmgeschütz E-100 super heavy assault tanks. Nothing ever became of the proposal.
Geschützwagen Tiger - artistic view and prototype

17 cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette
TypeHeavy gun
Place of origin               Germany
Service history
In service1941–45
Used byNazi Germany
WarsWorld War II
Production history
ManufacturerKrupp (until 1942), Hanomag
No. built+/- 338
Weightcombat: 17,520 kg
travel: 23,375 kg
Length8.53 m

ShellHE shell: 68 kg 
Caliber173 mm 
Breechhorizontal block
Recoildual-recoil hydropneumatic
Elevation-6°to +50°
Traverse16° on wheels
360° on platform
Muzzle velocity925 m/s 
Maximum firing range29.6 km

The kit:
      The kit is the Trumpeter (#02313) German 17cm Kanone 18. The box art:
Trumpeter (#02313) German 17cm Kanone 18

      The kit is very good, very well detailed, as PMMS described years ago... Building by the book:
Starting by  the two side arms of the gun

In artillery pieces, alignment is everything !!!
Chassis and carriage frame

The beast is huge!!!
      Studying the byuilding of the chassis, I discovered that I had glued two inverted pieces. Glad I'd glued with a drop of welder...
Holly crap!!!
      It was easy to take off and reposition the pieces in the correct position !!!

Adding many details...
      My good friend Alois wants his girl in a firing position. I listen and obey, Pukka Sahib !!
Preparing the girl for firing position !!!


Adding details... Notice the big wheels!!

...and details...

      As I said before, I like to study about the weapon I'm building ... The kit comes with two (excellent) steel springs (see red arrows, below..) , to support the rear bogie. But looking at the spring in scale, I thought the thickness of the spring wire is a bit thin. I compared the actual photos of the gun and this impression seems correct: the spring has its wire with a very thin thickness ...
The kit with the original springs in the chassis rear...
      I compared the actual photos of the gun and this impression seems correct: the spring has its wire with a very thin thickness ...
The real spring. Notice the thickness of the spring's wire

      Well ... Let's test the theory ... I'll make the springs using a thicker wire ...
New springs in coo´per wire

Testing in the chassis...  No doubt!!
Chuck's right again!!!
Much, much better!!
      And the chassis almost ready, with gun and kojak, for size comparison. Indeed, this gun is very huge!!! 
Big, big  badda boom gun!!!
      And the building is 99% done. An absurd: why the trumpeter don't send a single shell for this big gun??? The kit is full in details, but dont have a SINGLE PROJECTIL??  WHY???
The adults are stupid!!!

The Kojak in the catwalk...Big girl!!!
      Details of the advantage of a good search: shooting tables in a real photo ...
German gunner aiming his girl...
      And the reason of the 2 plates in the kit:
The reason of the two mysterious flat parts in the gun ...

I do not settle for the Trumpeter silliness !!

      Next step: painting and markings. As usual, I like to made a profile as a guide for my markings. My friend Alois request an artillery piece in Russian Front. I introduce to you guys the 17 cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON" serving in the German Army Group North; German Eighteenth Army; 1st Infantry Division; 37th Artillery Regiment; A Battery in the Siege of Leningrad, March 1942.
Tod den Bolschewiki !!!

The bluish Panzer-Gray...first colors...
            Our friend Cesare (he have an excellent blog: NEBELWERFER) asked me "What's the recipe for my bluish Panzer-Gray??"
      Well, Cesare...Thanks for your presence and sorry that I did not add my alchemy in the photos, but here it goes: I use Vallejo Acrilic Model Colors. For base color, I used Field Blue (#70.964) pure, in my airbrush (after dilution, of course ...). When the base color dries, I apply a thin layer of light tone, obtained with a mixture of 5 drops of Luftwaffe Uniform + 1 drop of White. After dilution, apply to the flat and convex surfaces of the model. After the light tones, I apply the dark tones, using a mixture of Field Blue (4 drops) with Black (1 drop). I apply the darker tones in recesses and concavities. You must realize that I belong to the "Old School." I particularly do not like the exaggeration of "Color Modulation" !!!
The colors for my Panzer-Gray

Base color: pure Field Blue

Light tones: Mixture of Luftwaffe Uniform and White

And dark tones...
      Well you can vary the amount of white and black, getting interesting intermediate tones ... The cool thing is to try. But I liked the result of this mixture: the Panzer-gray does not get so dark and, at the same time, not very gaudy blue, as it seems to be the fashion nowadays ...

      After the painting, markings: The decals, made with my Laserjet:

In position...

Battery and shooting tables (red arrows)
A of ANTON...
      Almost ready:
Weathering almost ready...

      And the Big Girl  was ready: 17cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON", in service with German Army Group NorthGerman 18th Army1st Infantry Division; 37th Artillery Regiment; A Battery in the Siege of Leningrad, March 1942.
17cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON"
18th Army; 1st Infantry Division; 37th Artillery Regiment; A Battery
Leningrad, March 1942

17cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON"
with Kojak and Rover, the dog.

Kojak in the 17cm Kanone's catwalk...

17cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON"
with Sherman II DV for size comparison
The Alois's girl is really huge!!!

17cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON"
18th Army; 1st Infantry Division
37th Artillery Regiment; A Battery
Leningrad, March 1942
Stay tuned !!!
The end is near!!

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