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The LeFH 18/40 was a light howitzer that was used by Germany during World War II.

Description

The LeFH 18/40 could fire 105 mm shells at a maximum distance of up to 12,300 meters at a rate of fire of around 8 rounds per minute.[1] This rate of fire could be maintained with a crew that consisted of three to four men.

The total weight of the LeFH 18/40 howitzer was about 1,900 kilograms which was slightly better than its predecessor and as such did give the weapon slightly better traction in the thick Eastern mud but it alone did not help the crews get it through the tough environments. This light weight can be attributed to the utilization of the PaK 40 frame. The total length of the weapon was around 3.31 meters. Built onto the chassis of the weapon were steel wheels designed with rubber tires. The barrel assembly and muzzle brakes were all carried over from the previous LeFH 18M.

The muzzle velocity of the gun itself was 540 meters per second while the elevation range of the LeFH 18/40 was from -6 to 40 degrees. Traverse was 56 degrees in either direction.[2]

History

The LeFH 18/40 was initially developed in 1942 to meet a Wehrmacht specification for a new modernized howitzer that could withstand the pressures of the Eastern Front. It was quickly produced and technically was adopted in 1942, though in reality, examples did not reach troops in the front until early 1943 and from then on it was a reliable supplement to the heavier artillery weapons of the Wehrmacht. In total, around 10,000 were produced until the end of the war.

References

  1. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/germany/guns/105-mm/105-mm-lefh-18-40.asp
  2. http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=413


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