Portuguese 10.5-cm Krupp L/35 gun, opposing a 10.5-cm L/40 Koenigsberg gun?
Since I am currently concentrating, due to Corona, more on the southern part of GEA (Tanzania) and the north of
PEA (Mozambique), I came across on an interesting photo; - some backgrounds and detailed operations in autumn
1916 on the border river Rovuma.
PART I – TECHNICAL BACKGROUND AND DETAILS
This first photo_01
undoubtedly shows a 10.5 cm L/35 Krupp gun
on a center-pivot-mount (Mittel-Pivot-Lafette),
i.e. a lower-naval-mount and not a wheel-carriage for land use. Also interesting is the protective-shield, which was
certainly added later and provisionally. Also new for me; - the truncated cone-shaped base, as we know it from the
on-board gun carriages of the "Koenigsberg
"; - but without these vertical long holes (see photo_03
gun tubes and the upper-carriage on the "Koenigsberg" were already the successor type and were designated as
10.5 cm S.K. L/40
. This naval-carriage which is shown, was not intended for field-guns as standard, but only for
permanent installation on ships or possibly on fortifications. I could not determine whether this 10.5 cm L/35 gun
came from the fortress `Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Conceiçao
´ in Lourenço Marques (Maputo). On the other
hand, the small unprotected Portuguese cruiser NRP "Adamastor
", which was used on the coast off PEA and the
estuary of the Rovuma, was equipped with four of such 10.5-cm L/35 guns
; - for me, currently the only explanation
for the existence of this gun. This would be the third example, alongside HMS “Pegasus
” and SMS “Koenigsberg
that 10.5-cm naval guns being used for bush-warfare during the East African campaign.
Portuguese unprotected Cruiser “Adamastor“
Fortress Lourenço Marques: https://www.viajecomigo.com/2017/02/16/ ... ocambique/
It also does not seem likely that the gun could be fired from this center-pivot-mount without being bolted to a solid
base such as a wooden or concrete foundation. We remember; - The first 10.5-cm L/40 Koenigsberg gun was lost
on March 21th, 1916 at Kahe
on the north railway. The gun commander Korv.-Kapt. a.D. Werner Schoenfeld
gunner Sgt. d.R. d.L.II. Hermann Müller
describes in their records that the center-pivot-mount had been screwed
onto a massive double layer of wooden planks with 4.00 x 4.00 meters before the gun could be fired.
01_Portuguese 10.5-cm S.K. Krupp L/35 gun on M.P.L.
01_Portuguese 10.5-cm Krupp L-35 gun on M.P.L. .jpg
Original Source: https://www.operacional.pt/wp-content/u ... 7/0198.jpg
Several German text sources mentioned that the Portuguese built a wide bush-road after the start of the war, which
was later also used for trucks. This was even called as road at the time and ran parallel to the Rovuma River
on the coast to Negomano
at the mouth of the Lugenda River. The route is also clearly visible on this British
Military map, top right: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.asp ... !6!1_f001r
The picture below shows a Portuguese truck (Model Ford T?) in the north of PEA during the war in East Africa. A
single larger gun barrel can be seen on the loading area. The length of the gun barrel is estimated to be between
3.50 and 4.00 meters. On the first half of the gun barrel, a slight, thickening diameter can be seen before a raised
edge merges into the rest of the barrel, where the shield pins are also present. A further thickening can be seen in
the rearmost part, which could represent the cylindrical breech block. The mouth is thinner-walled, the caliber could
also be right. So there is a high probability that this is the 10.5-cm S.L. Krupp L/35 gun barrel
, which is shown on
. Another indication is the fact that the Portuguese forces used only much smaller mountain guns during
the bush fighting in the East African campaign. Here are the two main types used, which clearly show that the two
types cannot be the gun barrel on the truck:
7-cm Schneider-Canet M. 1906/11 Mountain Gun: https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/60d3c6d ... d-Gun.jpeg
7.5-cm L/13 Krupp Mountain Gun: https://www.viajecomigo.com/wp-content/ ... Comigo.jpg
02_Portuguese truck with a 10.5-cm L/35 gun barrel (?) 1916 in northern PEA
02_Portuguese truck with a 10.5-cm gun barrel 1916 in northern PEA.png
(I can still clearly remember about details, but unfortunately no longer the origin of the source itself.)
Here is the further Portuguese text source belonging to photo_01
“ . . . In mid-August, the artillery command became aware of a proposal from the High Command with the intention of crossing the Rovuma River with our forces on September 19th, 1916 in order to then occupy German territory north of the Rovuma Riverbank. In these operations, the artillery was given the main task of supporting the infantry, which was divided into four important columns.
The 1st Artillery Group would be concentrated at Namoto and the 2nd Group at Kionga for this purpose. An artillery division, the 1st of 1st Group's 1st Battery, commanded by the respective lieutenant, was to be incorporated into the 4th Column, which was to pass to the north bank and upstream of the Nhica.
On the same day, the 2nd Mountain Battery marched to Namoto. At the end of August, the artillery commander was ordered to select a 10.5 cm gun, which was sent from Lourenço Marques to Namoto. This gun was commanded by an ensign previously detached from the 5th Mountain Battery.
[ . . . ]
On September 26th, 1916, the commander of the 5th Mountain Battery ordered the removal of this battery from its combat position after he had justified his request.
[ . . . ]
On October 14th, 1916, the chief of staff followed the expedition to Mocímboa do Rovuma, later to join the Massassi column. This column of the 1st Battery of the 1st Mountain Group consisted of artillery. There was also a Munitions Column Artillery Ammunition Section which would be destined off Nangade for the time being.
[ . . . ]
On November 22nd, the Germans began attacking Newala with two columns of about 300 Europeans and more than 2000 Askari who had artillery at their disposal and this attack lasted until the 29th, when it was decided to withdraw our forces, which returned to Palma.
[ . . . ]
I must remember that after the capture of Newala by our forces from the Germans, the entire personnel of the 1st Mountain Artillery Battery, which was located there, was handed over by the 2nd Mountain Artillery Battery.
On December 3rd, 1916, the whereabouts of a lieutenant in artillery, one of the assistants to the commander of the 2nd Mountain Group, was unknown; He was then sent to speak to the Germans and to learn the whereabouts of said officer and other missing personnel, one of the captain's assistants to the commander of the expedition, who was accompanied by the German interpreter. The car in which they returned after carrying out the mission was robbed at our post in Matchemba on December 7th 1916, by the Germans, as they thought it was occupied by the Portuguese, and that captain was killed there."
Original Source (translated): ``A artilharia de montanha expedicionária a Moçambique em 1916´´
https://www.operacional.pt/a-artilharia ... e-em-1916/
The Portuguese officer who was killed on 7th December 1916 was Capitão João Luiz Ferreira da Silva
03_Capitão João Luiz Ferreira da Silva † 07.12.1916
03_Capitão João Luiz Ferreira da Silva † 07.12.1916.png
Original Source: “Mortos em Cobate – Moçambique 1914-1918”: https://fliphtml5.com/lmtui/rlcr/basic
The next photo_04
, from a Turkish source, shows, as far as can be seen, an identical gun version as on photo_01
Possibly a remaining gun of the two old Ottoman battleships "Barbaros Hayreddin" (ex. "Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm")
and "Torgud Reis" (ex. "Weissenburg"), which carried eight and respectively six of the 10.5-cm S.K. Krupp L/35
on board, where the exact type of this center-pivot-mount, M.P.L. C/1894 or C/1897 couldn´t be determined.
04_Turkish (?) 10.5-cm S.K. Krupp L/35 gun on M.P.L.
04_Turkish 10.5-cm Krupp L-35 gun on M.P.L.png
Original Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10.5_cm_SK_L/35
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... _L35-1.jpg
Unfortunately, the otherwise detailed homepage of www.navyweapons
does not provide any clear answers either.
Under the heading: 10.5 cm/35 (4.1") SK L/40
(such a designation is in itself contradictory - either /35 or /40) it is
now stated that on the Brandenburg battle ship class 10.5 cm SK L/35
were installed on MPL C/1891
To add to the confusion, this image is now supposed to show a newer 10.5cm L/40 gun on an older M.P.L. represent C/1891: http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_4 ... un_pic.jpg
Here is an excerpt from the book that can be considered the primary source: “Die Schnelllade-Kanonen der Schiffs –
” from 1898. The text accompanying the photo explains that it is a 10.5 cm S.K. L/35 to M.P.L. C/1891
mechanism for the recoil-system can be seen quite clearly. Also clearly recognizable is the rail of the lower carriage,
which rises diagonally to the rear, and the movable carriage with tongs and supports for the trunnions. Regardless
of the fact that the two hand cranks for elevation and windage adjustment are not installed, the clear differences in
the center-pivot-carriage are immediately noticeable. This version, called M.P.L. C/1891
, is not only cylindrical, but
also significantly deeper (shorter) than the version (allegedly) also called M.P.L. C/1891
(Turkish) with the vertical ones slots. The height differences in the M.P.L. could be explained by the
different elevation ranges.
05_German 10.5-cm Krupp S.K. L/35 gun on M.P.L. C/1891
05_German 10.5-cm Krupp S.K. L-35 gun on M.P.L. C-1891.png
Source: “Die 10,5 cm S.K. L/35 in M.P.L. C/1891, In: Die Schnelllade-Kanonen der Schiffsartillerie
für Einheitspatronen und ihre Munition“, Berlin 1898. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008600802
Perhaps one of the readers has further knowledge or notes about the Portuguese gun type!?!
Will be continued with: PART II – HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND DETAILS
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“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984