Italian heavy gun Cannone da 149/35A in service from 1901 to 1943.
History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model.
Cannone da 149/35A
Type: heavy gun.
The development of a new heavy artillery gun, which could replace the in 1882 introduced older model 149/23, began in 1890. The first shot tests with the prototype were undergone in 1896, and three years later some experimental batteries were used for practical tests, which resulted in a satisfactory result.
The weapon, first as a version 15AL/36 (cast steel, length 36 caliber) and then called Cannone da 149/35A (stainless steel), was adopted in 1901 on a rigid mount. But in 1911 the need was recognized to replace the guns, because there was no system to cushion the recoil and the tube on the carriage could not be rotated, which led again to the aligned and brought into position of the gun after each shot
The German company Krupp should provide a suitable replacement from March 1915 onward, but the orders were canceled with Italy’s imminent entry into the war on the Allied side.
Therefore, the production of the guns was increased once more (also under the designation 149A) and in September 1918 there were 598 pieces in use.
Despite its drawbacks, the gun 149A showed very good ballistic properties, especially in terms of firepower and precision during World War One. The wide range of different shells, which it could fire, was particularly important and the whole construction was simple and inexpensive. However, there was still the need to reorient the gun after each shot which resulted in a reduction of the rate of fire. In addition, the target direction could not be changed in short-term.
Nevertheless, still 895 cannons 149A were in June 1940 available when Italy entered WW2. They were continued in use until the Italian surrender in 1943 and many were captured by German troops, though none appear to have been used by the Wehrmacht.
Animated 3D model Gun 149/35
Specifications Gun 149/35
|Cannone da 149/35A||Specification|
|Type||heavy artillery gun|
|Weight||18,120 lb (8,220 kg)|
|Calibre||5.87in (149.1 mm)|
|Length of barrel||18.77 ft (5.722 m)|
|Length of rifling||?|
|Elevation||-10° to +35°|
|Muzzle velocity||2,136 ft/s (651 m/s)|
|Maximum range||18,000 yds (16,500 m)|
|Rate of fire||1 rpm|
|Shell weight||101.3 lb (45.96 kg)|
|Cannone da 149/35A||figures|
|Production||from 1900 - after 1918|
|Price per unit||unknown, but simple and inexpensive|
|Total production figure||? (598 in use in Sep 1918, 895 available in June 1940)|
References and literature
Die Geschichte der Artillerie (John Batchelor, Ian Hogg)
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War I (Chris Bishop)
An Illustrated History of the Weapons of World War One (Ian Westwell)