35.5cm Haubitze M.1

The 35.5cm Haubitz M.1 was a massive siege howitzer that was used at the siege of Sevastopol.

In 1935 Rheinmetall began work on the 24cm Kanone 3, itself a rather weight and cumbersome weapon, but in the same year the German Army asked Rheinmetall to produce an even heavier 35.5cm howitzer version of the weapon. Rheinmetall worked on the two designs in parallel, with the first example of the K 3 appearing in 1938 and the first of the handful of 35.5cm H M.1s in the following year.

The H M.1 had to be split into six loads to be transported - cradle, top carriage, barrel, lower carriage, turntable and rear platform. A seventh load was needed for the gentry required to actually assemble the massive weapon. The H M.1 used a double recoil system, with one recoil system attached to the barrel and a second mounted between the movable top carriage and the static lower carriage. The H M.1 was a very tall weapon, with the crew platform looming above head height. The number of examples actually built is unclear but was probably between three and seven.

The H M.1 could fire a 575kg HE shell or a 926kg armour piercing shell, using up to four charges.

The H M.1 was used by 1 Batterie de Artillerie Abteilung  (mot) 641. It was used at the siege of Sevastopol, where around 280 rounds were fired. Apart from this its combat career is rather obscure. It can’t have been quick to erect, so the opportunities to use such a ponderous weapon must have been fairly rare.

Name

35.5cm H M.1

Calibre

356.6mm (14in)

Barrel Length

 

Weight for transport

123,500kg (272,271lb)

Weight in action

78,000kg (171,960lb)

Elevation

+45 to +75 degrees

Traverse

360 degrees on platform
6 degrees on carriage

Shell Weight

575kg (1,267.6lb) HE
926kg (2,041.5lb) anti-concrete

Muzzle Velocity

570m (1,870ft)/ sec

Maximum Range

20,850m (22,800 yards)

Rate of Fire

1 round every 4 minutes.

German Heavy Artillery Guns 1933-1945, Alexander Lüdeke. Despite the title actually covers light, medium and heavy artillery as well as mortars and anti-tank guns (excludes railway guns, flak and rocket launchers). Each gets a useful write-up, supported by stats and at least one photo. Covers German-built guns and the many types captured and used by the Wehrmacht. [read full review]
cover cover cover

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 June 2018), 35.5cm Haubitze M.1 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_35_5cm_haubitze_M1.html

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