Royal Armouries

C73 Field Gun

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German C73 field gun, 1874.

C73 Field Gun, 1874. XIX.350.

  • German C73 field gun, 1874.

    C73 Field Gun, 1874. XIX.350.

Date: 1874 | Object number: XIX.350

C73 Field Gun

Description

Collection no. XIX.350
Date 1874
Calibre (mm) 8.8
Barrel length (m) 2.1
Weight (tonnes) 1.06
Projectile weight (kg) 7.42
Range (m) 6,500
Crew 6
Fire rate 2 per minute

9 cm Breech Loading

Germany led the way during the 1860s, using new materials and methods to produce a steel breech-loading rifled gun. It was stronger, more powerful and quicker firing than the old smooth bore muzzle-loading guns. This improved Krupp version, introduced in 1873, saw much service until the First World War.

Alfred Krupp, who had visited Britain to learn the art of steel-making, succeeded where Armstrong had failed. After several setbacks, Krupp’s C73 incorporated a cast-steel barrel and a simple sliding breech block to produce a safe, up-to-date field gun.

Widely exported, it had excellent performance, outranging the best British field gun by several thousand yards. The Egyptian government bought these Krupp field guns and used them against British troops in the Anglo-Egyptian War of 1882.

‘In the meantime the fire had increased in intensity, and our staff, which was visible from afar, seemed to be a favourite target. A shell struck the horse of another orderly officer in the body, burst, and tore the lower part of a young officer’s body so badly that he died in a few hours in frightful agony’.
Major Richard Graf von Pfeil describing the battle of Shipka, 1877-8.

The Turkish Government had purchased guns from Krupp and were probably firing C73s.

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