100mm Skoda 100/17 m 14 / leFH 315 (i)
Light field howitzer
|One of the greatest Italian army problems emerged during the ww1 - the lack of a light howitzer -
was solved when 1339 mod 14 field and 95 mod 16 mountain 100/17 howitzers were delivered.
after taken them from Austro-Hungarians. Also 557 barrels + 56 gun carriages mod 16 mountain, 915 barrel s+735 gun carriages field were passed as war reparation.
The 100mm Skoda mod 14 and mod 16 howitzers were good weapons, solid and strong. Besides, the power of burst of the projectile's load was clearly better then that of the Italian 105/28 Ansaldo/Schneiders howitzers.
In early thirties, a new model of a projectile was adopted, signed as mod 32. With 2,3 kg of tritolo (1,0 more than the Austrian's ones) and a good ballistic coefficient made a range increased about 500m.
Old Austrian ammunition on stock, was standardized and endowed with Italian fuze. The howitzers were suited for the motorized drawing, using specially constructed carriages and semi pneumatic wheels.
1940 - the Army had available 1325 howitzers mod 14 animal drawing, 199 motorizd drawing and 181 mod 16 mountain.
1941 - were lined up in Albania 140 howitzers mod 14 and 108 mod 16.
1941 - Northern Africa, October ; 137 on semi pneumatic wheels; in 1943 they were reduced to 56. To improve the mobility due to conditions of kind of war there, some were installed on heavy trucks Lancia 3RO.
1942 - In April , there were available 173 howitzers mod 16, 192 mod 14 motorized drawing, 1583 animal drawing.
Employed in Russia, and in Deserts, the 100/17 underline all its limits especially in terms of maximum range and mobility.
Despite the low muzzle velocity and the limited horizontal sector control, it was often employed as an anti-tank gun. The new EP cartridges were ready near to a middle of 1942, while the EPS ones in May 1943. In May, 1942, in common with Germans test shooting at T34 tanks were run and showed the great efficiency of the EP projectiles. The obtained results were also surprising the Germans, which considered that such effects were better then their own 10.5cm Hl projectiles.. Italian artillerymen invented ( lack of AT ammo in hot moments ),that using HE projectiles without fuze against the tank, due to a projectile's big kinetic energy only, caused it's serious damages.
After Italian's surrender, the howitzers captured and used by the Germans were marked as 10cm leFH 315(i).
M O D E L
|The gun equipped with semipneumatic metal wheels to enable speed towing (motorized).
Some modernizations and simplifications , comparing to an older model, were introduced.