Austrian 10.4 cm field gun M14


When the word Austro-Hungarian Artillery is mentioned, most of us thinks of the huge 30.5cm Skoda Mortars – a feared and spectacular weapon, used also by the German Army – and we tend to forget all those standard pieces, that made the backbone of that nations Artillery arm. They were the 8cm M5/8 Feldkanone (the standard Field Gun), the 7.5cm M15 Gebirgskanone (the standard Mountain Gun), the 15cm M.14 Feldhaubitze (the standard Heavy Howitzer) and this gun: the 10cm M.14 Feldhaubitze, the standard Light Field Howitzer.

The design was sound, although pretty standard for its time. The barrel was made of bronze, the breech was of the Wedge-type, closing horisontally, and the recoil system of the standard hydro-pneumatic type. The charges were of the cartridge-type, and the charges had six steps: five standard and one extra. It was fired using a contact trigger (Wiederspannung-abzug) with the breech having a special mechanism preventing any discharge if the breech was not completely closed. It was served by a crew of six, who could use the gun to fire up to 20 shells a minute. Six horses were needed to move it.

Austrian 10.4 cm field gun M14Picture: Austrian 10.4 cm field gun M14 with crew in action

The 10cm Feld-Haubitze M.14 was employed in the Field Howitzer Regiments of the Austro-Hungarian Army (Feldhaubitz-Regiment). These Field Howitzer Regiments consisted of 4 batteries of 6 guns each, i.e. 24 howitzers per regiment. Most Army Corps had one of these regiments assigned to them (together with three Field Gun Regiments – Feldkanoneregiment). During 1915 the artillery was reorganized, and these field howitzer regiments were instead organically attached to the Infantry Divisions. There were at least 36 of these Field Howitzer Regiments in service during the Great War. After the War, a modified version of this gun (the vz 14/19) was manufactured in Czechoslavakia by Skoda, and found service in Greece, Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia and Italy.