German Arty. vs. Liége Forts

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Ruhrpottpreusse
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Re: German Arty. vs. Liége Forts

Post by Ruhrpottpreusse » 24 Dec 2013 17:27

Hi Marc!
I have these infos. In 1914 we had the following units. KMK = Kurze Marine Kanonen-Batterie ; SKM = Schwere Küsten-Mörser-Batterie
KMK 1 (2x 42cm Gamma)
KMK 2 (2x 42cm Gamma)
KMK 3 (2x 42cm M) - after mobilizationn
KMK 4 (1x 28cm) - after mobilization

SKM 1-5 (2x 30,5cm)
Later came KMK 5-11 and SKM 6-10
Those units were mentioned in the following battles in 1914:
7.august Lüttich: SKM 1 and 5 (since 11.august) and KMK 3
22.-25. august Namur: KMK 2 and 3 ; SKM 1 ; 3 austrian 30,5 mortar batteries
25.august-7.september Maubeuge: SKM 1, 5 and 6 ; KMK 3 ; 3 austrian 30,5cm mortar batteries
26.-31.august Givet: 1 austrian 30,5cm mortar-Batterie
27.september-9.october Antwerpen: SKM 1, 5 and 6 ; KMK 2 ; 2 austrian 30,5cm mortar-batteries

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jluetjen
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Re: German Arty. vs. Liége Forts

Post by jluetjen » 26 Dec 2013 15:49

Here's a map that I found in my past research that might be helpful. Unfortunately I can't find where I dug this up, otherwise I'd share that too.
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Re: German Arty. vs. Liége Forts

Post by jluetjen » 26 Dec 2013 16:29

Here's the same map overlaid onto Google Earth data. It will give you a sense of where about the battaries were placed in a modern context.
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Re: German Arty. vs. Liége Forts

Post by Ruhrpottpreusse » 26 Dec 2013 21:33

The only 42cm, who shot at Fort de Pontisse was the KMK 3 under Hauptmann Erdmann. Entrained at Herbesthal (11.8.14), they spent the night at Henri-Chapelle. The next day (12.8.) they arrived Mortier. In the afternoon the 40 rounds arrived, so the first Berta was ready to fire at 6h30 pm. At 6h40pm she shot the first 42cm shot in the war!Until 8h10pm 8 rounds were shot. They slept the night near the gun. In the morning (13.8.) they started the fire again at 9h30am. The Fort de Pontisse capitulated at 12h25pm after the Bertas fired 43 rounds at it.

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Re: German Arty. vs. Liége Forts

Post by andre573 » 09 Feb 2014 19:05

I regret being the "bearer of wrong news," however, since publishing "The Forts of the Meuse," I have found that the 28cm was not used at Liege, as Marc has confirmed. My original sources seemed very reliable (Leman, DeSchryver (Chief of Staff of 3rd Div), and the commander of Fort de Fleron who claimed that fort was bombarded by the 42). My latest book, Breaking the Fortress Line, cited in this thread, has the updated (and I hope, accurate) details about the heavy guns used at Liege. The heaviest were the 21 and 42. The Krupp 30.5 was used sparingly, if at all, and was the gun claimed by the likes of Tuchman as a Big Bertha that fired from the Parc d'Avroy in downtown Liege. The 30.5 of SKM1 was indeed transported by rail to the Park where it fired a handful of shots on the last days of the siege. The 42 of KMK3 fired on Pontisse and Loncin. It did not fire on Fleron. I personally believe that was a 25cm SMW (Rheinmetall) trench mortar used by the pioneers of 4 of the German brigades that attacked Liege.

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Re: German Arty. vs. Liége Forts

Post by Terry Duncan » 10 Feb 2014 02:11

MLW wrote:The book will be available end of January 2014. The Skoda mortars are only briefly mentioned. After all, they were not German! The Skodas arrived on the Western Front in time for the attack on Namur and stayed through the end of the winter of 1915.

Regards, Marc
Hi Marc,

Whilst not wanting to derail the threadi did wonder if you had the date the Skoda guns were requested from Austria? I did have this info somewhere but cannot find the date now. I believe it was at about the time of the Austrian Note and maybe as late as 26th July when Moltke wrote out the ultimatum to Belgium, but am unable to find where I had found this at present.

Terry

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Re: German Arty. vs. Liége Forts

Post by MLW » 12 Feb 2014 16:08

Terry,

Sorry, but I do not know. It seems to me that you are right that the request was late. I think this because the Skoda 30.5cm M.11 mortars - two half-battalions with two batteries each (a total of eight guns) - arrived just in time in Belgium to take part in the start of the bombardment at Namur on 20 August.

Regards,
Marc

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Re: German Arty. vs. Liége Forts

Post by woneil » 13 Feb 2014 03:17

MLW wrote:Terry,

Sorry, but I do not know. It seems to me that you are right that the request was late. I think this because the Skoda 30.5cm M.11 mortars - two half-battalions with two batteries each (a total of eight guns) - arrived just in time in Belgium to take part in the start of the bombardment at Namur on 20 August.

Regards,
Marc
It may have had something to do with the fact that the Škodas were only available because no war with Italy had materialized. They had been built to besiege Italian frontier fortifications and the difficulties of the terrain no doubt accounts for great attention having been paid to making them portable.

Will O'Neil

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