The Skoda 220mm howitzer was produced by the Czech firm Skoda in the 1920s and used by Poland, Yugoslavia, and Germany during World War II. The Skoda 220mm fired 128-kg shells to a maximum distance of about 15 km (9 miles). When the new European nations formed after the Treaty of Versailles, such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, they started to arm themselves against an uncertain future as they wanted heavy artillery, but not too heavy. An interim caliber of about 220 mm (8.66 in) was still about right for the destruction of heavy structures, but the howitzer itself needed not be too ponderous. So, Skoda sensed the market and produced the required 220mm design incorporating much of its considerable experience in such matters. Between, 1928, this new heavy howitzer was exported to Poland and Yugoslavia; the Polish designated it the M28.
Nevertheless, the Skoda 220mm did the Poles no good, for in 1939 the Germans invaded and captured or destroyed the entire Polish gun park. The unfortunate Yugoslavs followed just over a year later. Thus the Germans found themselves with a useful quantity of 220-mm howitzers, which promptly became part of the German army’s inventory. There was not much of a role for such a relatively heavy piece in the German Blitzkrieg concept, so the captured howitzers were distributed mainly to garrison and static units in the occupied territories. Some of these were as distant as Norway, but in late 1941 a number of these howitzers were gathered together and added to the siege train that was sent to take part in the siege of Sevastopol in the Crimea.
Type: heavy howitzer
Country of origin: Czechoslovakia
Caliber: 220 mm (8.66 in)
Length: 4.34 m ( 14 ft 2.8 in)
Weight: 23 tons
Maximum range: 15 km
Shell: 128 kg (282 lb)