Artillery in SCW

Discussions on all aspects of the Spanish Civil War including the Condor Legion, the Germans fighting for Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
Sturm78
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Artillery in SCW

Postby Sturm78 » 05 Nov 2012 17:07

Hi all,

I just bought the book "German experimental Artillery in the Civil War in Spain (1936-1939)" by Lucas Molina and Jose Maria Manrique.
After reading it I have raised a few doubts about the accuracy of the information given in this book.

According to information from these authors, to Spain arrived one 10.5cm leFH18 howitzer battery, another battery of 15cm sFH18 howitzers and finally one battery of 10.5cm K18 guns. It is assumed that each battery should have 4 pieces, as this was the normal number in each artillery battery of this type in Germany at that time.

However, the analysis of the pictures that illustrate the book provokes thought in other quantities.

As to 10.5cm leFH18:

The photo illustrates the cover of the book clearly shows a battery of four of these howitzers in his motorized version, equipped with metal wheels with solid tyres (It is curious that the Germans be sent to Spain this version).
However, in the photos that appear on pages 8 and 9 of the book, you can clearly see at least 3 of these 10.5cm leFH18 howitzers (with their limbers) but the horse-drawn version, which had a kind of wheels different and lacked rubber tires.
This suggests that perhaps Spain should receive two 10.5cm leFH18 batteries, one of the motorized version and another of the horse-drawn version.

See images 1-2

Besides, on page 2 of the book there is a photo of one of the howitzers of the motorized version towed (by horses) using a standard limber but also equipped with solid tyres. I've never seen one of these limbers (normally only used in towing the horse version) equipped with solid tires. 8O :? (And I've seen dozens of photos of this howitzers)

See image 3

As to 15cm sFH18 :

For the images seems that to Spain were to send howitzers of the horse-drawn version, equipped with wheels without tires and transported in two separate loads using the corresponding limbers.
However, on page 24 there is a photo of the Victory Parade of 1939, in which there are two howitzers 15cm sFH18 but the motorized version, equipped with solid tires and transported on a single charge. (Although in the picture is used strangely the limber of horse-drawn version, which would not be very appropriate)

This suggests that may also receive one mot. version battery or maybe the battery would have received a mix of motorized and horse-drawn howitzers. :?

Thanks in advance and greetings
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Ironmachine
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Re: Artillery in SCW

Postby Ironmachine » 05 Nov 2012 18:40

AFAIK, there were only one 10.5cm leFH1 battery and one 15cm sFH18 battery, each with 4 pieces, in Spain during the war, and it is almost sure that only one 10.5cm leFH1 battery and one 15cm sFH18 battery remained in Spain after the war.
There are some possibilities that could explain the differences in the photographs, like a change of wheels or a replacement of the guns during the war. However, these possibilities are difficult to explain and AFAIK there is no documental proof of them. On the other hand, there is no documental proof of the existence of additional batteries, either.
However, as those guns were property of the Condor Legion and not of the Spanish Army (at least until after the war, when they were paid by Spain), I will suggest you try posting your enquiry in the Legion Condor section of the forum. Maybe there someone with access to other German sources can help you.
Regards.

Sturm78
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Re: Artillery in SCW

Postby Sturm78 » 05 Nov 2012 20:25

Thank you for your reply, Ironmachine

I posted this question here http://www.elgrancapitan.org/foro/viewt ... 84#p637684
wihtout no definitive conclusion for now.

Regards Sturm78

randwick
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Re: Artillery of Legion Condor

Postby randwick » 05 Nov 2012 21:28

.
Pretty much off the top of my head , The Condor legion only had the usual Flakbteilung 88 Anti-Aircraft complement
there was some PZKW1 under Von Thomas but their use wasn't very decisive

At the battle of Teruel the Republican assault was contained by the fine Italian atillery
and since bad weather made air defence unnescessary , the Condor 88mm guns got used as tank sharpshooter with great effect , for the rest of the campaign , the 88's finished the war being used as ground artillery

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Ironmachine
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Re: Artillery of Legion Condor

Postby Ironmachine » 06 Nov 2012 07:13

randwick wrote:Pretty much off the top of my head , The Condor legion only had the usual Flakbteilung 88 Anti-Aircraft complement
there was some PZKW1 under Von Thomas but their use wasn't very decisive

At the battle of Teruel the Republican assault was contained by the fine Italian atillery
and since bad weather made air defence unnescessary , the Condor 88mm guns got used as tank sharpshooter with great effect , for the rest of the campaign , the 88's finished the war being used as ground artillery

And what does this have to do with Sturm78's question? He is asking about a very specific unit that had Legion Condor's guns and Spanish crews. Did you take a look at the link he posted?

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Ironmachine
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Re: Artillery in SCW

Postby Ironmachine » 06 Nov 2012 07:20

I don't think it will be easy to reach a definitive conclusion. We can only speculate about different possibilities, all of them quite difficult to justify, unless any new document appears that reveals a new aspect of the story. And frankly, I don't expect that to happen any soon.
Regards.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Artillery in SCW

Postby Ironmachine » 06 Nov 2012 10:13

I have just found this:
En la GCE hubo una unidad de artillería llamada "grupo de artillería experimental" dotada de mandos (instructores) y material alemán y otros mandos y tropa española, en concreto (varía según diversas fuentes) 6-12 piezas de 10,5cm LeFh18, 4-6 de 15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18 y 4-6 del k18 de 10,5 cm.

8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O
It is ever more shocking as 4 is not given as the minimum number of leFH18 in Spain.
8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O
However, as the sources are not revealed and as in another post the same poster says that only 4 sFH 18 went to Spain, I would take that with many, many grains of salt. I would really love to see those sources, though.
Regards.

randwick
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Re: Artillery of Legion Condor

Postby randwick » 06 Nov 2012 22:55

.
Thanks for the reminder Ironmachine
still , the link to the condor legion is somewhat tenuous , especialy if the crews were spanish
there is hardly any mention of field artillery in the Legion establisment

This seems to be an individual special project who used the Legion as an administrative umbrella

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Ironmachine
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Re: Artillery of Legion Condor

Postby Ironmachine » 07 Nov 2012 06:38

still , the link to the condor legion is somewhat tenuous , especialy if the crews were spanish

Then, the same can be said about the PZKW1 you mentioned earlier.
Certainly, the status of these batteries is somewhat difficult to define; indeed, the batteries were attached to Spanish units for administrative purposes, but there were many links to the Condor Legion: it was von Thoma who ordered the guns from Germany, without a Spanish request; when the guns arrived in Spain, the guns were recorded in the financial records of the Condor Legion; the Spanish command was reminded that these guns were German property and that to use it them in combat they must have the German approval; there were German instructors with these batteries, and when they went into combat the Germans went with the units; the guns were still German property at the end of the war, when they were paid for by Spain. Perhaps a "good" definition will be: Spanish units with Condor Legion's guns.
Anyway, Condor Legion or not Condor Legion, these guns came from Germany, and any additional gun or replacement part sent had to be recorded in the German archives. That is the answer Sturm78 is looking for: any reference in German sources to the total number of leFH18 and sFH18 sent during the war.
Regards.

randwick
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Re: Artillery of Legion Condor

Postby randwick » 08 Nov 2012 10:49

.
Thanks for the clarification ,the PZKW1 could be justified on the shaky ground of airfield defence ,
field artillery is a bit thick , of course , beside the political angle it was a real maneuver exercise
weapon and procedures testing was the main point
getting various equipment live firing experience is quite right
wasn't Göring the boss of Borsig the canon maker , it would create a link

Sturm78
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Re: Artillery in SCW

Postby Sturm78 » 14 Oct 2014 23:52

Hi all,

I found this image on EBay of the Victory parade in 1939. You can see several batteries of German origin.
I think in the foreground the 10.5cm K18 gun batterie with mot. limbers and in the background the 15cm sFH18 batterie with horse-drawn limbers.....

Sturm78
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Ironmachine
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Re: Artillery in SCW

Postby Ironmachine » 15 Oct 2014 06:55

I try, but I can't see the horses. :?

Leo Niehorster
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Re: Artillery in SCW

Postby Leo Niehorster » 15 Oct 2014 08:35

I thought the same thing.
Upon reflection, what he means — I think — is the type of limbers. I.e. one type is for use in combination with motor vehicles (for example, tires), and the other in combination with horses (for example, the steel rimmed wheels). I'm not an expert on limbers, so I could be completely wrong. :P

Cheers
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Sturm78
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Re: Artillery in SCW

Postby Sturm78 » 17 Oct 2014 11:02

There are not horses in the image ...... but the howitzers are coupled to horse drawn type limbers

See http://www.kfzderwehrmacht.de/Homepage_ ... spg_-.html

and http://www.kfzderwehrmacht.de/Homepage_ ... kzg_-.html

Regards Sturm78

Sturm78
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Re: Artillery in SCW

Postby Sturm78 » 24 Oct 2014 15:08

Hi all,

I found this image on EBay. According to photocaption, the image was taken in Spain.
I think the guns are 155mm Mle 1877 and Mle 1877-16 (in the background) guns. It seems that the french gave some of these guns to Russia during WW1 and some of them these were sent by the Soviets to the Republican forces during SCW

Sturm78
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