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Post Info TOPIC: Foster-Daimler Tractors and 15-inch Howitzers.


Legend

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Foster-Daimler Tractors and 15-inch Howitzers.
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Part softskin, part artillery, this one.

Can anyone explain how the tractors moved the howitzers? I've read that there were 12 howitzers, each moved in sections on eight trailers. Does that mean 96 tractors were needed, or did fewer tractors haul more trailers or make several trips? There's a Landships II article on the 15-inch but it doesn't explain how it was moved.

Any advice?



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Legend

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I think the 15inch breakdown was probably similar to the 9.2inch howitzer. Each component was designed to be carried by a trailer which could be pulled by a team of horses. With mechanised towing the trailers were hooked together as a train. The number of trailers for the 15inch is quoted as 8 or 9 so possibly three tractors towing trains of three trailers.

The 15 inch was deployed afaik as a single gun - the effort to deploy them and the manpower required to serve them was so large that a battery of 15inch guns made no sense.  

Regards,

Charlie

 



-- Edited by CharlieC on Thursday 22nd of February 2018 11:38:44 PM

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Legend

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Thank you, Charlie. That seems plausible. I've had a good look for examples of the tractor towing the trailers, but can only find it towing a 6 inch naval gun on a carriage or towing a covered truck; neither looks as if it's meant to carry part of a howitzer.

I shall continue delving.



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Legend

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I downloaded these scans (which I suspect are from a 15in howitzer manual), doubtless from somewhere on this forum, apparently in Feb 2014, hope they help...



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Legend

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As you can see, each tractor towed multiple trailers, depending on their loads, the largest number of trailers towed by a single tractor appearing to be four ammo trailers. There appear to be six Foster-Daimlers per howitzer (including the one for the ammo trailers and one towing spare platform parts), plus a couple of motor lorries carrying spare parts, petrol etc.

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Legend

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That's amazing. Thank you, Todders.



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"Sometimes things that are not true are included in Wikipedia. While at first glance that may appear like a very great problem for Wikipedia, in reality is it not. In fact, it's a good thing." - Wikipedia.



Legend

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Definitely will have to update the article on the 15inch siege howitzer.

According to https://www.lincstothepast.com/Download/1654 there were 97 tractors ordered and all were delivered by early 1915. There is a statement in the .pdf that the 15inch howitzers were intended to defend Paris. 10 of the 12 howitzers built went to France - one was sent to the Middle East for Gallipoli but  was never deployed. I guess the other one was used for training in the UK. I don't think the 15inch howitzers saw much action since the range was fairly short and it couldn't be used as a long range interdiction weapon. A 15inch projectile was, presumably, gross overkill for German fortifications. Good propaganda gun though.

Regards,

Charlie

 



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Legend

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James H wrote:

That's amazing. Thank you, Todders.


Always glad to help when I can!



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Legend

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Found a couple of images of Foster-Daimler tractors towing trailers loaded with what might be 15inch howitzer components.

The first image seems to be a trial towing two trailers loaded with the bedding plates for the howitzer. The second seems to be a train of 4 tractors loaded with a 15inch howitzer - looks like the diagram from the manual.

Charlie

 



-- Edited by CharlieC on Friday 2nd of March 2018 10:37:45 PM

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Hero

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Has any one got more details of the trailers?



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Barry John


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Attached are some more images of the trailers - the caption said that this type of trailer was reinforced to carry the howitzer projectiles.

Regards,

Charlie



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Hero

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Charlie

Great picks,they help but what I really want is scale plans,I have tried everywhere but no luck.The reason why is I would like to get some done to go with the enclosed which I shall be bringing out soon.

 



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Barry John


Legend

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Unfortunately don't have plans of the trailers. There are drawings of the trailers in the images earlier in this thread of the 15inch howitzer being assembled. Presumably there are drawings in the 15inch howitzer manual but I've never seen that.

That's an impressive looking model - even in small scales it would be a big model.

Regards,

Charlie



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Major

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In the RFC Communiques 1917-1918 there re mentions of RFC aircraft spotting for 15 inch howitzers. These guns were big heavy short ranged ect I know at least one was captured by the Germans during one of the 1918 offensives.

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Lieutenant

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Barry,

Noting they are only one view, the drawings were scaled in the drawings from the manual in Rogers post of 1 March, though without a scale on the page, you would need the original manual to be accurate. I have sent you an email with the catalogue links to the manual at the IWM. Further to that email, my correction I forgot the 15" Howitzer was a Royal Marine/RN project, so the artillery museum may not have anything.


Cheers,
Chris

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Commander in Chief

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The Landships article says over 25,000 shells were fired from these guns, with a range just under 10,000 yds (Not much different to the 9.2" Mk1) 



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Pzkpfw-e wrote:

The Landships article says over 25,000 shells were fired from these guns, with a range just under 10,000 yds (Not much different to the 9.2" Mk1) 


 Sure about the same range as the 9.2", but a much bigger bang at both ends of its trajectory.



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Colonel

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CharlieC wrote:

 

Attached are some more images of the trailers - the caption said that this type of trailer was reinforced to carry the howitzer projectiles.

Regards,

Charlie


Excellent images Charlie C...I've never seen those wagons before.  

Grant 



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