French 155mm GPF Gun

The French 155mm GPF (Grande Puissance Filloux) was a heavy field gun used by the French Army and US Army and Marine Corps during the Great War and World War II. It was designed by the French engineer Colonel L.J.F. Filloux. In 1917, the United States switched to the metric system in artillery and began making the French 155mm GPF at home. During World War I, it was actively used in the field on the Western Front in 1917 and 1918 by both the French and US armies, but during World War II the United States used this gun only for coastal defense and defense of Allied territories such as Australia. France also deployed the 155mm GPF during WWII, but after the Battle of France in 1940, the Wehrmacht seized the 450 155mm GPF guns that the French had and began using them as their own for the rest of the war.


Type: standard heavy field gun
Country of origin: France
Designer: L.J.F. Filloux
Caliber: 155 mm
Barrel length: 5.92 m (20 ft)
Elevation: 0 to +35º
Weight: 13,000 kg (28,660 lbs)
Maximum range: 20 km
Shell: 43.1-kg separate-loading cased charged

Gribeauval 12-Pounder Cannon

The Gribeauval 12-pounder was a French field artillery cannon used during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. It was designed by Jean Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval, who was an 18th-century French artillery reformer that standardized equipment. To reduce the weight of the cannon, he simplified the design by removing the heavy artistic ornamentation which had characterized guns until then. By adding new light interchangeable wheels, he also gave the 12-pounder cannon speed and mobility in conducting maneuvers. Thus, a lighter cannon rendered the flexibility he wanted. He also improved the old aiming mechanism by introducing elevating screws for easier raising of the cannon barrel as cannonballs were redesigned to fit snuglier the gun bore. Aside from balls, it shot grapeshots and canisters and had an effective range of about 1,000 m. The Gribeauval 12-pounder cannon barrel weighed 2,174 pounds and the whole gun, with carriage and limber, 4,367 pounds.

M109 Howitzer

The M109 is an automotive, 155mm-caliber howitzer fielded by the US Army during the Cold War. The development of the M109 began in the 1950s. It entered service in 1961. It is powered by a 8V71T diesel engine, generating 490 hp. Its crew of six is protected by hardened aluminum alloy. The 155mm cannon has an interrupted screw breech and fires both conventional and tactical nuclear rounds. The M109 was used in the Vietnam War, Yom Kippur War (1973), the Gulf War (1973), in the 1982 Lebanon War, and in the Iran-Iraq War (1983-1988). This self-propelled, armored artillery piece was manufactured in several variants, the most widely used of which is the M109A6 Paladin, which has an increased armor protection, safer internal stowage arrangement for ammunition and equipment, and engine and suspension upgrades.

The M109A6 Paladin has an integrated inertial navigation system, sensors detecting the weapons’ lay, automation, and an encrypted digital communication system which utilizes computer controlled frequency hopping to avoid enemy electronic warfare and allow the howitzer to send grid location and altitude to the battery fire direction center (FDC). The battery FDCs in turn coordinate fires through a battalion or higher FDC. This allows the Paladin to halt from the move and fire within 30 seconds with accuracy. The Paladin has both a Kevlar-lined chassis and a pressurized crew compartment to guard against ballistic, nuclear, biological, and chemical threats.

Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000

The Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000) is a 155mm self-propelled armored artillery gun used by the German Army. It is manufactured by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall. It can hit targets at 40 km (30mi) away at the rate of 13 rounds per minute. This German howitzer has a Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) capability, with five round simultaneous strikes. The 8meter-long gun was designed by Rheinmetall and is chromium-lined for its entire length. The Panzerhaubitze 2000 is fitted with a new modular charge system with six charges, which can be combined to provide the optimal total charge for the range to the target. Primer is loaded separately via a conveyor belt, as the entire loading, laying and clearing is completely automatically done.

Deployed and used successfully by the Dutch Army, the Panzerhaubitze 2000 first saw action in August 2006 against Taliban targets in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Medusa. On July 10, 2010, German ISAF troops also used the PzH 2000 at PRT Konduz, Afghanistan, to provide cover for the recovery of a damaged vehicle. It was the first time in the history of the Bundeswehr that a heavy artillery piece was used in combat by German troops since World War II.

Specifications for the PzH 2000

Type: self-propelled howitzer
Gun: Rheinmetall chromium-lined 155mm-caliber L52
Engine: MTU 881 Ka-500 diesel engine, delivering 986 hp
Range: 420 km (300mi)
Maximum speed: 60 km/h (37mph)
Armor: 90mm steel armor reinforced at the roof to protect the crew from mortar fire
Weight: 55 tons
Width: 3.6 m (11.8 ft)
Length: 11.7 m (38.4 ft)
Crew: 3

Panzerhaubitze 2000 in Action (Video)