28-cm Haubitze L/14 i.R.

The 28cm Haubitz L/14 in Räderlafette was a larger version of the earlier 28cm Haubitz L/12, and was another step in the development of the famous 42cm M-Gerät.

The L/14 was a fairly standard large howitzer, very similar in design to the L/12 apart from the longer barrel and the use of a blast shield, introduced to protect the crew from the muzzle flash from their own weapon rather than from incoming fire. It could be split into two loads - the barrel and the carriage with cradle. It had a faster rate of fire than the L/12 (one round every two minutes), but a similar range. The recoil system used two cylinders on top of the barrel. It had a shell lift running along the top of the carriage to make it easier to bring the shell to the breech.

In January 1915 the 28cm L/14 i.R was allocated to battery SKM 8, and sent to the Eastern Front. In February 1915 it took part in the unsuccessful bombardment of Osowiec in mid-February. The battery then took part in the successful German attack on Przemysl, which fell five days after the German siege guns opened fire. In August it took part in the siege of Fortress Kovno in Lithuania, which fell on 18 August after a ten day long siege. In October the gun took part in the German invasion of Serbia, bombarding Serbian strong points on the far side of the Danube. In 1916 the battery took part in the siege of Verdun, firing on the smaller fortifications in the French chain. This time the siege artillery had little impact, and even the 42cm guns were unable to inflict critical damage on the modern fortifications.

The L/14 i.R. was still in service in 1918, and was allocated to the Seventeenth Army for the spring offensive on the Somme. In July it took part in the last major German offensive of the war, serving with the First Army at Reims. In the autumn of 1918 the battery exchanged its single siege gun for long range field howitzers and joined a Landwehr artillery battalion.


28cm Haubitz L/14 in Räderlafette



Barrel Length

3,962mm (L/14)

Weight for transport


Weight in action



20-65 degrees


12 degrees

Shell Weight


Muzzle Velocity

346 m/sec

Maximum Range


Rate of Fire

One round every two minutes

German Artillery 1914-1918, Wolfgang Fleischer. Covers over 100 guns used by the German Army and shore detachments of the Navy during the First World War, a conflict largely dominated by artillery. Each one gets a brief description, a set of technical stats and a good picture. Shows the wide range of gun types and sizes used by the Germans during the First World War, and the way in which they evolved to deal with the unexpected challenges of trench warfare. [read full review]
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Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 November 2017), 28-cm Haubitze L/14 i.R. , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_28cm_haubitz_L14_iR.html

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