10cm Kanone 17

The 10cm Kanone 17 was an improved version of the earlier 10cm Kanone 14, with a longer barrel to improve range.

10cm Kanone 17 in London
10cm Kanone 17 in London

The 10cm K 17 had a long barrel with the recoil mechanism below the barrel, mounted on the cradle. It had spoked wheels and a one piece box carriage trail. It could be split into two loads to be moved by two horse teams, as the longer barrel made it too heavy to move moved in one piece by a single team. It inherited a number of features from the Kanone 14 that had originally been intended for use against aircraft, including the elevation of 45 degrees, a double elevation system, a variable recoil system (to cope with problems caused by firing at high angles) and the ability for it to be mounted on a base plate that gave it 360 degrees traverse. Removable ramps could be placed on the trail to guide the barrel into the right place when the gun was being reassembled after a move.

The 10cm K 17 was a complex weapon, and as the First World War dragged on the resources to build it began to run short. An order was thus placed for 1,000 of the original Kanone 04, which was seen as being less complex to construct than either of the later models. However, the K 17 was a much more useful weapon, and so a compromise was reached. A new simplified version of the K 17 was produced, the 10cm Kanone 17/04. This removed many of the more complex features, including the variable recoil system, the double elevation system and the advanced gun sights. The new, lighter, version, couldn't be split into two to be transported.

By October 1917 ninety of the K 17s were in service. A total of 192 were used and it was generally used as a long range counter-battery gun, taking advantage of its impressive 16,500m range.

The Germans were meant to have destroyed all of the 10cm K 17s at the end of the First World War, but many were hidden away instead, and reappeared when the German army re-armed in the 1930s. More examples entered German service after the 'anschluss' with Austria, where the type had also been in use. Former Austrian guns were known as the 10cm K 17/04(ö)


10cm Kanone 17/ 10cm K 17


105mm (4.134in)

Barrel Length

4725mm (L/45) (186in)

Weight for transport


Weight in action

3,300kg/ 7,276lb


-2 to +45 degrees


6 degrees

Shell Weight

18.5kg/ 40.79lb

Muzzle Velocity

650 m/s  2,130ft/ sec

Maximum Range

16,500m/ 18,050 yards

Rate of Fire


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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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]
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Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 January 2018), 10cm Kanone 17 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_10cm_kanone_17.html

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