- Years of issue – 1942 – 1945
- In total, 420 units were produced.
- Caliber – 105 mm
- Weight in firing position – 1656 kg
- Barrel length – 3150 mm
- The length of the threaded part – 2433
- Calculation – 6 people
- Travel speed – up to 35 km / h
- Rate of fire – 4 – 6 rds / min
- The greatest firing range – 12625 m
- Direct shot range – no data
- Shooting angles:
- Horizontal – 51 °
- Vertical – 5 ° + 70 °
The mountain rifle units of the Wehrmacht were acutely aware of the lack of an artillery gun heavier than the 75 mm Geb.G.36 mountain gun, and at the same time, adapted to the conditions of mountain warfare. The standard 105 mm leFH 18 sample 18 howitzer was too heavy and unsuitable for transportation on packs. Therefore, in 1940 – 1941 the Austrian company Gebr. Bohler and the German concern Rheinmetall-Borsig AG, on a competitive basis, began to develop a 105-mm mountain howitzer.
The Bohler company presented for the competition a ready-made project of a mountain howitzer, created in 1938-1940. Tough tactical and technical requirements led to the fact that both howitzers had the same ballistics, however, the mass-dimensional characteristics of the Bohler gun turned out to be better – it weighed 1660 kg versus 1725 kg for the Rheinmetall-Borsig sample. As a result, this particular howitzer received preference both because of its lighter weight and for a number of other factors. In 1940, it was adopted by the Wehrmacht under the name “105-mm mountain howitzer sample 40” (10.5 cm Geb.H.40). The weapon was intended for the destruction of manpower, suppression of firing points and the destruction of field fortifications.
German 105-mm mountain howitzer Geb. The H 40 is a classic machine with a sliding bed, a horizontal wedge gate and a sprung wheel travel. The barrel of the howitzer consisted of a monoblock pipe and a breech. A very powerful double-chamber muzzle brake was mounted on the barrel, which absorbed up to 30% of the recoil energy when fired. The trunk was fixed on a sled, with which it rolled back along the cradle.The carriage included: a cradle, recoil devices, an upper machine, lifting and turning mechanisms, a counterbalancing mechanism, a lower machine, a chassis with suspension and sights. To reduce the weight of the howitzer, it was necessary to abandon the shield cover. For the same purpose, there were holes in the sliding box-shaped beds. The recoil devices consisted of a hydraulic spindle-type brake with a compensator and a hydropneumatic knurler. The recoil brake was mounted in a cradle under the barrel, the knurler was mounted above the barrel.When the barrel and the slide were rolled back, the rods of the recoil devices were rolled back together with them (while the cylinders remained in place). The features of the mountain howitzer sample 40 also included the design of the hydraulic brake, with the help of which a change in the length of the barrel recoil was achieved in accordance with the elevation angle given to the gun. Lifting and turning mechanisms – sector; balancing mechanism – spring, pushing type.
The shooting was carried out using a sight and a panorama. When the howitzer was transferred to the firing position, the lower carriage of the carriage rested on the ground with a combat stop (pallet), and with the raised beds, the wheels rolled inward helped to reduce the rollback of the gun. The carriage frames were equipped with removable coulters. With the frames extended, shooting was possible with an elevation angle of up to 70 °, and the horizontal firing angle was 51 °. Howitzer Geb. The H 40 had metal wheels fixed on the beds in two positions: in the front (for transporting the system unassembled over short distances) and in the middle (for transporting the lower machine with the beds in the stowed position). The suspension of the wheels was assembled in the frame of the carriage. There was a travel brake.
Due to the presence of a sprung carriage, the howitzer could be transported by mechanical traction at a speed of up to 35 km / h. When transported by horse-drawn, the howitzer was connected to the front end and transported by six horses. In addition, the design of the Geb. The H 40 made it possible to transport it disassembled by horse-drawn traction on four carts (weighing 650 kg each): a lower machine with beds; upper machine, breech and “combat stop”; cradle with skids and recoil devices and trunk pipe. The howitzer was transferred from the traveling position to the combat position, in about 1 minute.
The howitzer’s ammunition consisted of shots of separate cartridge case loading with high-explosive, cumulative, smoke and lighting shells, and if the shells for the 10.5-cm mountain howitzer were interchangeable with the shells of the 10.5-cm field howitzers of model 18 and sample 18/40, then the shots were not interchangeable.
A high-explosive fragmentation grenade (weighing 14.81 kg) was supplied with a head percussion or mechanical remote-percussion fuses. Six variable charges and one special for a cumulative projectile were used, with a minimum firing range of 3850 m, and a maximum firing range of 12,625 m (which was much higher compared to the maximum firing range of 10 675 m for the standard 105-mm howitzer sample 18) …
A high-explosive fragmentation grenade with a colored smoke-forming composition was equipped with a mechanical remote-impact fuse. For firing from 105-mm mountain howitzer model 40, the same cumulative shells were used as for firing 105-mm light field howitzers model 18 and 18/40. The firing was carried out on charge number 6, at which the initial velocity of the shaped-charge projectiles was equal to 460 m / s (with the greatest range – 8000 m).
105 mm howitzer Geb. The H 40 had a well-developed, reliable design and was fully consistent with its main purpose – to support the infantry in combat on very rough terrain. During World War II, it was used in the artillery regiments of the Wehrmacht mountain rifle divisions on all fronts. The first batch of 30 Geb howitzers. H 40 was manufactured by Gebr. Bohler (in Kapfenberg) in 1942. In 1943, the Wehrmacht received 104 of these guns, in 1944 – 223, and in 1945 – 63. In total, 420 model 40 mountain howitzers were manufactured in 1942-1945. By March 1, 1945, the Wehrmacht had 88 105-mm mountain howitzer Geb. H 40 and 7 more – in arsenals.