15-cm schwere Feldhaubitz 13

The 15-cm schwere Feldhaubitz 13 was the newest heavy howitzer in service with the German army at the outbreak of the First World War, and was a significant improvement on the earlier schwere Feldhaubitz 02.

In February 1909 Ehrhardt and Krupp were both asked to produce a new 15cm howitzer with a long barrel recoil and a splinter shield for the crew. The Ehrhardt Versuchs-Haubitzen L/13 had a more advanced recoil system, but slightly shorter range and was slightly heavier, and as a result the Krupp model was selected for production in November 1913.

The sFH 13 used a compressed air recuperator in its recoil system which improved its stability. It had a box trail and was designed to be towed by six horses as a single unit. The gun crew sat on a two-wheeled limber, with the gun attached to the limber to produce a four wheeled cart. Because it was designed to be towed by a single team of horses it was lighter than was ideal, with a shorter range than was ideal.

The schwere Feldhaubitz 13 could be towed by a team of six horses. Each heavy howitzer battalion in the Fussartillerie was equipped with four of them, and by October 1918 there were 488 in service. It was joined by 1,550 of the lange schwere Feldhaubitz 13 and around 1,000 lange schwere Feldhaubitz 13/02, converted from the older Feldhaubitz 02.


15-cm schwere Feldhaubitz 13



Barrel Length

2,090mm (L/14)

Weight for transport


Weight in action



0 to 45 degrees


5 degrees

Shell Weight


Muzzle Velocity

365m/ sec

Maximum Range


Rate of Fire

4 rounds/ min

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 February 2018), 15-cm schwere Feldhaubitz 13 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_15cm_schwere_feldhaubitz_13.html

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