15cm versuchs haubitz L/30 (Rheinmetall)

The 15cm versuchs haubitz L/30 was a Rheinmetall design for a howitzer with much longer range than the standard 15cm lange schwere Feldhaubitz 13. It was designed in response to a request from the Artillery Testing Commission, and was intended to be used in the counter-battery role.

In order to increase the range of the gun Rheinmetall greatly increased the length of the barrel, from 2,250mm to 4,490mm (L/17 to L/30). The recoil mechanism on the standard gun was contained below the barrel, but the greater recoil forces produced by the longer barrel meant that a more robust system was needed, with elements above and below the barrel. The experimental gun was almost twice as heavy as the standard howitzer, and had to be split into two parts to be transported.

The new gun was also known as the Light Kartaune, a revival of an obsolete term for a light cannon, and generally used to describe a gun that was firing a much lighter shell than normal for its calibre. This wasn't the case for this gun, which fired a slightly heavier shell than the standard howitzers.

Three were produced, the final two in 1918. These last two were used for transportation and firing tests.  


15cm Versuchs haubitz L/30 (Rheinmetall)



Barrel Length

4,490mm (L/30)

Weight for transport


Weight in action






Shell Weight


Muzzle Velocity

600 m/sec

Maximum Range


Rate of Fire

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (pending), 15cm versuchs haubitz L/30 (Rheinmetall) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_15cm_versuchs_haubitz_L30.html

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