Prussian Cannon

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Description

For a more general view of the subject please refer to our article Prussian Artillery Equipment. The present article is dedicated to the detailed presentation of the various types of cannon used by the Prussian Army.

The tables of this article are based on Gohlke pages 92-93 and additional details from Curt Jany (see references).

N.B.: in the following sections

  • all feet and inches are expressed in Rhenish / Berlin foot (1' = 31,4 cm)
  • “D” represents the shot diameter, itself subdivided into 24 partes
  • “p” represents a parte of the shot diameter
  • Berlin pound = 0.4685 kg

2-pdr Cannon

In 1758, willing to equip his militia battalion with a cannon (apparently Frederick II had refused to give a piece to this unit), Captain von Seebach, by his own initiative, designed a 2-pdr piece. The barrel was cast and its carriage assembled in Stettin. The carriage was mostly based of the M1717 carriage. Only the non-rounded trail and the use of a single horizontal bolt near the centre transom deviated from the M1717 regulations. Also the wedge design was somewhat special. This unique piece was fielded but soon lost in a combat against the Swedes.

3-pdr Cannon

Between 1754 and 1755, Dieskau designed a new 3-pdr which replaced some of the older material. However, during the course of the Seven Years' War, no less than six different models of 3-pdrs were used, including the old M1717 piece as well as some 38 Saxon "Quick-Firer" barrels captured at Hohenfriedberg in 1745 and adapted to Prussian style by end of 1750. In addition, captured Austrian guns were also fielded.

In the following section, all pieces (more precisely the barrels) are designated after their designer/constructor along with the date of construction and/or its first serial casts.

Model Barrel
Weight
Barrel
Length
Barrel
Bore
Calibre (Ratio
Length/Shot Diameter)
Shot
Weight
Shot
Diameter
Chamber Charge
Ratio to Weight of Shot
Horses
Bronze Linger-Holtzmann M1717 800-820 Berlin pounds
375-385 kg
Berlin 5.5'
172,5 cm
2.85”
7,4 cm
25/24 p
24 1,4 kg 2.75”
7,19 cm
none 1/2
3
Bronze Holtzmann M1740 450-495 pounds
197-231 kg
115 cm 2.85”
7,4 cm
25/24 p
16 1,4 kg 2.75”
7,19 cm
conical 1/3 2 or
3 incl. ammunition
Bronze Holtzmann M1740 300-315 pounds
140-147 kg
115 cm 2.85”
7,4 cm
25/24 p
16 1,4 kg 2.75”
7,19 cm
cylindrical 1/4 2 or
3 incl. ammunition
Bronze Linger M1746-50 444 pounds
207 kg
144 cm 2.85”
7,4 cm
25/24 p
20 1,4 kg 2.75”
7,19 cm
conical 1/3 to 5/12 3 incl. ammunition
Bronze Beauvrye M1746 579-600 pounds
270-280 kg
160 cm 2.85”
7,4 cm
25/24 p
22 1,4 kg 2.75”
7,19 cm
none 1/2 3 incl. ammunition
Bronze Dieskau M1754-1768 441 pounds
206 kg
130 cm 7,32 cm 18 1,4 kg 2.75”
7,19 cm
none 1/3 to 5/12 3 incl. ammunition

Bronze Linger-Holtzmann M1717 3-pdr Cannon

Prussian 3-pdr Cannon – Linger-Holtzmann M1717 – Copyright Christian Rogge

The M1717 ‘new ordnance’ was designed by General Christian Nikolaus von Linger (†1752) and Major Johann Heinrich Holtzmann (I. – †1724). It is believed that some pieces of this design did see service during the Seven Years’ War, despite being obsolete ‘old school’ by that time.

First serial casts began in 1722. On these ‘new cannons’, griffins replaced the former dolphins and the muzzle became odd conic shaped, replacing the former cornice moulded shape. This design then remained the distinctive Prussian design for the duration of the XVIIIth century until the introduction of the new ordnance of 1812. For this reason, we have entitled it ‘the Prussian classic system’ because it represents the starting point for the design of all pieces which followed.

N.B.: dimensions and proportions for the barrel illustrated here are based on the extensive details found in Malinowsky & Bonin, Geschichte der brandenburg–preussischen Artillerie, vol. II, Berlin 1841 and on an contemporary illustration found in a gunners' manual dated approximately 1745 and kept in the collection of the Rastatt Army Museum in Germany.

The barrels axis was set at 4/9 of the barrel length – i.e. the vertical line dividing the trunnion in half. Length ratio of 1st reinforce to 2nd reinforce was 2/1 + 0.5 of trunnion diameter (0.5 D).

Metal strength was of this periods custom ‘solid’ design (German: vollgütig) – i.e. barrels metal strength proportioned 24/24 p at the rear, 23 p at front of 1st reinforce, 21 dropping to 20 with the 2nd reinforce, and 18 dropping to 12 with the chase. Rise of muzzle swelling was + 8–10 p for the M1717 pieces (10 p illustrated]) Length of muzzle as well as of the cascabel was proportioned 2.25 D. The button was pointed or ‘pine cone shaped’ until the universal adoption of round shaped buttons around 1774.

Under the reign of Frederick II (1740–86) the barrel markings were a crowned royal cypher with scroll bearing the motto: ‘Ultima Ratio Regis’ engraved onto the first reinforce of the barrel and a crowned eagle with a scroll bearing the motto: ‘Pro Gloria Et Patria’ engraved onto the chase.

The carriage was of the M1717 design. The wheels measured 133,5 cm (51 Berlin inches). The tracks were 136 cm (52 Berlin inches) wide. The illustrated plan view of the carriage does not show the camber of the wheels.

Our illustration shows an artilleryman equipped with a ‘Flail-rammer’ (German: Flegelwischer) used with battalion guns for quick–firing canister rounds.

Bronze Holtzmann M1738/1740 Conical Chamber Bore 3-pdr Cannon

Prussian 3-pdr Cannon – Holtzmann M1738/1740 Chamber Bore – Copyright Christian Rogge

The barrel was designed in 1738 by Lieutenant-colonel Ernst Friedrich von Holtzmann (II.), promoted in 1756 Colonel and Commandeur of the II. or Silesian artillery battalion, †1759. The first casts of this new barrel started only in 1740.

The bore of the piece was 15,6 D long. The barrel axis ( i.e. the vertical line dividing the trunnion in half) was placed at 3/7 of the length of the bore plus 1 p. The first reinforce was equal to twice the length of the second reinforce plus 0,5 D.

N.B.: dimensions and proportions for the barrel illustrated here are based for the greater part on details found in Malinowsky & Bonin, Geschichte der brandenburg–preussischen Artillerie, vol. II, Berlin 1841.

The metal strength of the barrel was calculated for a powder charge of 0,47 kg. For his calculation, Holtzmann adopted the somewhat irregular method of employing a 2-pdr shot diameter as basic scale, equally divided into 24 parts (2-pdr shot D = 2.4" / 6,28 cm). This method was based on the general belief of the period which estimated that the metal strength of the rear of the the barrel should equal the diameter of an iron shot double the weight of the powder charge. This held true for a barrel of 24 shots length and proportionally less for shorter barrels. At this point, now, matters became subject to personal belief or understanding, and as a result, the design of the Prussian barrels worked with as many figures as there were Prussian gun designers during this period. For instance, this barrel designed by Holtzmann l had a metal strength for its 1st reinforce starting at 20 p and descending to 19 p; the 2nd reinforce diminishing from 17 to 16 p; and the chase from 14 to 10 p of the smaller shot diameter. Finally, the height of the muzzle swelling measured 9 p while the length of this same muzzle was 2,25 D of the smaller shot. The cascabel and its button measure a total of 1.5 D long.

The conical chamber bore narrowed to 16 p of the larger diameter. Its dimensions, more precisely its height, are based on Christian Rogge's – i.e. somewhat conjectural. Illustrated volume arrives at 0,594 litres/cubic decimetres including allowance for the rounds canvas or tin case and insulating material. It may have had an even greater height. Specific cavity of gun powder calculated with a middled 0.925, based on former Hanoverian figures of 1 Hanover/Calenberg scale cubic foot holding 47 lb of gun powder or 51 lb of water – the latter equalling 1. Prussian figures are slightly larger, or 60 lb to the larger Berlin cubic foot, as per the same source (Scharnhorst, Militärisches Taschenbuch zum Gebrauch im Felde, Hanover, 1793). During the Second Silesian War (1744–1745), it was found that 1/3 powder charge did not allow to fire at greater ranges so that in 1747 all barrels received an increased conical chamber widened to 23 p of the larger diameter at the rear of the chamber to take a powder charge 1/2 the weight of the shot.

This piece used the M1717 carriage model in service well into the Seven Years’ War and beyond until the universal adoption of the modified M1766 model.

The Holtzmann Richtmaschine elevating device with iron screw drive, introduced in 1747, replaced the somewhat simpler M1717 design wedges for his 3-pdr.

The carriage is illustrated with its iron trail rings, for manhandling the piece in action. This device was first introduced for Prussian battalion guns with the Linger design ‘20 D’ 3–pounder in 1752, in addition to the otherwise employed bricoles (drag ropes) slung across the gunners shoulders. They were thereafter also adapted for the other battalion guns. Either with the most rearward vertical iron strap or with an additional strap, as illustrated as an example on the accompanying plate.

The wheels of the carriage measured 110 cm (42 Berlin inches). The tracks were 136 cm (52 Berlin inches) wide. The illustrated plan view of the carriage does not show the camber of the wheels.

Bronze Beauvrye M1746 Common Bore 3-pdr Cannon

Prussian 3-pdr Cannon – Beauvrye M1746 Common Bore – Copyright Christian Rogge

The barrel was designed by Major-general Leonard von Beauvrye, †1750 (orig. Low Countries born de Beauvryé). It can be considered as the master design of yet the next transformation of ordnance to come. Indeed, this barrel seems to have been designed in response to the shortcomings of the Holtzmann M1740 piece. It had a longer barrel, but was still much lighter then the old M1717 piece. Only 18 casts of this model are documented at the Berlin foundry. Some more pieces may well have been cast, for these tables are incomplete, but this model was fielded in much fewer numbers as the Holtzmann piece.

This piece used the M1717 carriage model in service well into the Seven Years' War and beyond until the universal adoption of the modified M1766 model.

The Holtzmann Richtmaschine elevating device with iron screw drive, introduced in 1747, replaced the somewhat simpler M1717 design wedges for his own 3-pdr as well as for the Beauvrye 3-pdr.

The carriage is illustrated with its iron trail rings, for manhandling the piece in action. This device was first introduced for Prussian battalion guns with the Linger design ‘20 D’ 3–pounder in 1752, in addition to the otherwise employed bricoles (drag ropes) slung across the gunners shoulders. They were thereafter also adapted for the other battalion guns. Either with the most rearward vertical iron strap or with an additional strap, as illustrated as an example on the accompanying plate.

The wheel illustrated is based on the illustration found in Gohlke Geschichte der gesamten Feuerwaffen bis 1850. The wheels of the carriage measured 110 cm (42 Berlin inches). The tracks were 136 cm (52 Berlin inches) wide. The illustrated plan view of the carriage does not show the camber of the wheels.

Our illustration shows an artilleryman equipped with a ‘Flail–rammer’ (German: Flegelwischer) used with battalion guns for quick–firing canister rounds.

This piece is of special interest because, according to a paper by Hans Bleckwenn, it is quite certain that it was attached to the Berlin region infantry regiments Prinz Heinrich von Preußen Fusiliers, Münchow Fusiliers, Fredericks' own Praetorians I.Leibgarde Bataillon, and possibly also to the II. and III. Garde Bataillon in 1756. They used them during all their exercises at Potsdam in the early 1750’s, as recorded in a diary of the Guards officer von Scheelen (see: Hans Bleckwenn / English translation by Digby Smith: Prussian Field Gun Models in Relation to General Tactics. Original articles in the Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, 1957, Numbers 154, 155, 156, 157. 1958/1 Jan-Feb.)

Bronze Linger M1746-50

In 1746, General Linger designed a 20 calibres barrel with a conic chamber, somewhat lighter than the Beauvrye M1746 barrel. Apparently, this new Linger model was given the preference over the Beauvrye M1746, as around 60 pieces are believed being cast up till 1756. The light barrels seemed to have been mounted on an equally lightened carriage. Bracket cheeks were shorter, and also the wheels were scaled less high.

6-pdr Cannon

By 1749, the earlier existing heavy 6-pdr cannon had been recast into 3-pdr pieces. In 1754, Dieskau designed a new light 6-pdr barrel who soon replaced all cylindrical chamber 3-pdrs (the M1744 Holtzmann). The point blank range of this new light 6-pdr was 480 paces (350 m) and it’s ricochet carried up to 2,000 paces (1480 m).

By 1759, the Dieskau M1754 6-pdr batallion gun was gradually becoming the standard piece of the line infantry. In fact, from this date, no new 3-pdr pieces were cast during the Seven Years' War.

Model Barrel
Weight
Barrel
Length
Barrel
Bore
Calibre (Ratio
Length/Shot Diameter)
Shot
Weight
Shot
Diameter
Chamber Charge
Ratio to Weight of Shot
Horses
Bronze 1740 Holtzmann
(none fielded)
900-990 Berlin pounds
421-464 kg
145 cm 9.42 cm 16 2.8 kg 3.46"
9.06 cm
conical 1/3
Bronze Dieskau M1754 light 576 or 605 pounds
270 or 283 kg
145 cm 3.6"
9.43 cm
16 2.8 kg 3.46"
9.06 cm
conical 1/4-1/3 4 incl. ammunition
Bronze M1760-66 heavy 1,930-1,980 pounds
905-927 kg
235 cm 9.42 cm 26 2.8 kg 3.46"
9.06 cm
none 1/2 6
Bronze Dieskau M1762 heavy 1,542 pounds
270 kg
199 cm 9.42 cm 22 2.8 kg 3.46"
9.06 cm
none 1/2 6

Bronze Dieskau M1754 light Conical Chamber Bore 6-pdr Cannon

Prussian 6-pdr Cannon – Dieskau M1754 Chamber Bore – Copyright Christian Rogge

The barrel was designed in 1754 by Lieutenant–colonel Carl Wilhelm von Dieskau (1701 †1777) who was promoted to Inspecteur der Artillerie in place of General Linger, at his death in 1755. Dieskau was promoted to lieutenant–general in 1768. He had been a page to the Old Dessauer and Frederick II prized him highly. He was awarded the Order of the Black Eagle and invented many technical improvements in the artillery. His figure appears at the base of the memorial to Frederick the Great sculpted by Rauch which is now on the Unter den Linden Boulevard in Berlin.

The barrel was of a notably light design. No details are provided in M&B. It is believed the piece was given a rear metal strength in p equal to it's length in D – i.e. 16 p. The 1st reinforce was designed cylindrical with 16 p metal strength. It then dropped to 8 p at the face of the muzzle.

N.B.: the dimensions and proportions of the illustrated piece are a tentative reconstruction based on various details found in Malinowsky & Bonin, Geschichte der brandenburg–preussischen Artillerie, vol. II, Berlin 1841 (M&B); as well as a contemporary draft of the M1754/59 light 12–pounder, also designed by Dieskau, originating from the Copenhagen Army Museum / Denmark.

This piece used a modified M1717 carriage model in service well into the Seven Years’ War and beyond until the universal adoption of the modified M1766 model. Modifications concerned the centre transoms which were placed more upwards. Furthermore, as per M&B, the bracket cheeks had a somewhat greater angle than the other carriages of the period.

The piece was fitted out with the Holtzmann M1747 Richtmaschine elevating device with iron screw drive.

The wheels of the carriage measured are believed to have measured 46 Berlin inches (120.36 cm).

12-pdr Cannon

In 1754, Dieskau designed a new conical chamber short barrelled 12-pdr. This piece performed well with the tests, it’s shot carried over 2,000 paces. On 25 November 1754, a royal order instructed to recast all (59) 12-pdr pieces to this new model. By 1756 some 30 or 31 had been completed.

In 1758, Frederick ordered to design an ‘Austian-type’ 12-pdr with rather similar dimensions as the Austrian 12-pdr field gun. Their shot carried beyond 2,000 paces. 52 such pieces were added to the park till around June 1758.

In 1759, Dieskau designed an improved ‘Austrian-Type’ 12-pdr cannon. Its shot carried beyond 3,000 paces. It had a 8-horse draught with 4 servants. Each gun had a 6-horse draught munitions wagon with 3 servants. Ready ammunition per piece was 80 shots and 20 canister rounds. With only minor alterations in design, this piece was to become Prussia’s most important heavy field gun for the next decades. The same year, the greater part of the light 12-pdr cannon were distributed among the first line of infantry and the grenadier battalions of Frederick’s royal army in Silesia at a ratio of 1 piece per battalion. These battalions now had effectively 3 guns each instead to the former 2.

Model Barrel
Weight
Barrel
Length
Barrel
Bore
Calibre (Ratio
Length/Shot Diameter)
Shot
Weight
Shot
Diameter
Chamber Charge Horses
Bronze Linger M1717/1723 Brummer 1480 kg Rhenish 8 ft. 8.5 inch
273,6 cm
11,9 cm 24 5,6 kg 11,4 cm none - -
Bronze 1754-59 light (unknown designer) 397 kg 160 cm 11,9 cm 14 5,6 kg 11,4 cm none 1,4-1,6 kg 4
Bronze Holtzmann M1740 840-925 kg 182 cm 11,87 cm 16 5,6 kg 11,4 cm conical 1,8 kg 4
Bronze Holtzmann M1740 560-588 kg 182 cm 11,87 cm 16 5,6 kg 11,4 cm cylindrical 1,4 kg 4
Bronze Linger M1744 489 kg Rhenish 5 ft. 9.5 inch
182,5 cm
11,87 cm 16 5,6 kg 11,4 cm conical 1,63 kg 4
Bronze Dieskau M1754
designated as light 12-pdr in 1759
360 kg) Rhenish 5 foot 1 inch
160 cm)
11,87 cm 14 5,6 kg 11,4 cm conical 1,4-1,6 kg 4
Bronze 1754 (unspecified designer)
Siege & fortress cannon in Silesia
the 1757 early Brummer
1472 kg 274 cm 11,9 cm 24 5,6 kg 11,4 cm none 2,3-2,8 kg 12
Bronze 1758 (Austrian-type)
entitled medium or "Austrian" in 1759
15.5 ctw.
(approx. 775 kg)
Rhenish 5 ft. 10 inch
(around 183 cm)
11,9 cm 16 5,6 kg 11,4 cm none not specified 8
Bronze 1759 (Austrian-type)
entitled medium or "Austrian" in 1759
18.5 ctw
(approx. 941 kg)
Rhenish 6 ft. 6 inch
(aprox. 204 cm)
11,9 cm 18 5,6 kg 11,4 cm none 1,8 kg 8
Bronze Dieskau M1761 Brummer
field artillery heavy cannon
1495 kg Rhenish 8 ft.
250.8 cm
11,87 cm 22 5,6 kg 11,4 cm none 2,3 kg 12

Bronze Linger M1717/1723 Brummer Common Bore 12-pdr Cannon

Prussian 12-pdr Cannon – Linger M1717/1723 Common Bore – Copyright Christian Rogge

The Brummer (Growler) was mainly used in battery and for siege. By the time of the Seven Years' War, this heavy 12-pdr was still part of the siege artillery. In November 1757, in preparation of Frederick's campaign to repulse the [[1757 - Austrian invasion of Silesia|Austrian invasion of Silesia, 10 such pieces were mobilized to reinforce the artillery park of Frederick's depleted army. They first saw service as field artillery at the Battle of Leuthen (December 5 1757). The nickname Brummer derives from the distinctive dead or growling sound when firing. They were employed with such great effect that they continued to be part of the Prussian field artillery in growing number. Initially in 1757, civilians, assembled from hired peasants were responsible for their draught. This practice continued through 1758. During the preparations for the 1759 campaign, Dieskau arranged for a regular military draught. From now on they were found under the name Brummer rather then ‘heavy’ in distinction to the 1759 fielded ‘medium’ and ‘light’ 12-pdrs.

The illustrated piece is mounted on a M1717 carriage fitted with the M1717 wedges. The wheels had a height of 56 Berlin Zoll / 146.5 cm. In general, Prussian field and siege gun’s carriages were of a similar design and furnished with similar metal fittings. Different from the field carriages, the siege guns were missing the attachments to fasten the rammer, whiper, etc. to the carriage. Also the iron bars placed at the lower face of the centre section were missing, because siege guns did not have an ammunition chest. Furthermore, no bricole hooks were fitted to heavy battery guns as they were never meant to be moved by manpower in action. Instead, just a pair of Nothaken (general handling hooks) was found at the front of the bracket cheeks, joint with the front horizontal bolt plugged through the front transom.

N.B.: During the 1730s a 26 shot long model was also cast for fortress armament. Whether pieces of this even heavier design were also fielded cannot be verified from the records, but it seems likely that they were.

Bronze Holtzmann M1738/1740 Conical Chamber Bore 12-pdr Cannon

Prussian 12-pdr Cannon – Holtzmann M1738/1740 Conical Chamber Bore – Copyright Christian Rogge

The Carriage is of modified M1717 design. The wheels are illustrated with an estimated 49 /1.28 m and proportions for the naves, fellows and spokes are based on a 8–pounder shot scale. The wheels of the M1717 heavy 24 D pieces would have been more massive and with a taller 54 or 58 diameter.

N.B.: the illustrated dimensions and proportions are based on details found in Malinowsky & Bonin, Geschichte der brandenburg–preussischen Artillerie, vol. II, Berlin 1841; as well as on a contemporary sheet originating from the Copenhagen Army Museum / Denmark entitled Anciens canons prussiens de 12, à chambres cylindriques et coniques, coulés à Berlin de 1738 à 1744 [sic.].

Bronze Linger M1744 Conical Chamber Bore 12-pdr Cannon

Prussian 12-pdr Cannon – Linger M1744 Conical Chamber Bore – Copyright Christian Rogge

The carriage was of the M1717 design. The upper face of the bracket cheeks front section was not placed into the upper face of the plank but instead, it descended 1" from the rear end to the front edge. The wheels are believed to have been 49 tall and had paired spokes (as per M&B vol. ii, p. 173).

An additional vertical iron strap was fitted to the bracket cheeks centre section, because of the inferior quality of the supplied timber (as per Linger's correspondence with Holtzmann dated May 1744, as quoted in M&B).

The piece was equipped with the M1717 wedges or coins.

N.B.: the illustrattion is a tentative reconstruction based on a contemporary draft of the barrel (Collection of the Copenhagen Army Museum) and on the information provided in Malinowsky & Bonin, Geschichte der brandenburg–preussischen Artillerie, vol. II, Berlin 1841

Bronze Dieskau M1754 Conical Chamber Bore 12-pdr Cannon

Prussian 12-pdr Cannon – Dieskau M1754 Conical Chamber Bore – Copyright Christian Rogge

The carriage was of the M1717 design, but more crooked as it is recorded in M&B for 1754 Dieskau designs. The wheels are believed to have been 49 tall.

Compared with the Copenhagen draft illustrating the M1774 modified version of Dieskau's 1754 design, the M1774 carriage comes with 51 wheels and longer scaled bracket cheeks with the M1766 straight lower face. Otherwise, the proportions are quite similar.

Iron trail rings would have been adapted to this piece only during the Seven Years' War or after.

The Dieskau M1754 12-pounder was the only position gun that was fitted with a carriage mounting an ammunition box during the Seven Years' War.

With the initial 1754 models, the Holtzmann Richtmaschine (elevating mechanism) M1747, with its single handle horizontal screw drive fitted into the upper wedge, was adapted to this carriage.

N.B.: the illustrattion is a tentative reconstruction based on a contemporary draft of the Holtzendorff M1774 piece (Collection of Copenhagen Army Museum) and on the information provided in Malinowsky & Bonin, Geschichte der brandenburg–preussischen Artillerie, vol. II, Berlin 1841

Bronze Dieskau M1761 Brummer Common Bore 12-pdr Cannon

Prussian 12-pdr Cannon – Dieskau M1761 Brummer Common Bore – Copyright Christian Rogge

This barrel was designed by Dieskau in 1761. According to Schöning (Historisch biographische Nachrichten zur Geschichte der Brandenburg–Preußischen Artillerie, vol. ii, Berlin 1844, pp. 206 ff.) 16 to 20 barrels were cast in 1761 and 1762. The piece was designed to replace the older M1717 Brummers after the Seven Years' War. It was fielded till around 1796 when it was eventually removed from the army’s field inventory.

The illustrated dimensions and proportions are based on an original piece on display at the Paris Musée de l’Armée to the present day. It is likely to be a French capture from the campaigns of the Revolutionary Wars between 1792 and 1795. Some basic specifications of the dimensions of this piece are recorded in Rolf Wirtgen, Das Feldgeschützmaterial der preußischen Artillerie zwischen 1740 und 1786. Exhibition catalogue, Rastatt, 1986. Finally Malinowsky & Bonin, (Geschichte der Brandenburg–Preußischen Artillerie, vol. II, Berlin 1841) make up for the other details.

The illustrated barrel was cast in 1780 as per its signature and weigh Berlin 29 ctw 65 pounds /1.520 kg. No record concerning the proportioning of its metal strength have been found. Since the barrel has about the same weight as the longer M1717 model, it must have been proportioned calibre strong – i.e. 25/24 parts of the shot diametre's metal strength at the rear dropping to about half or 12.5/24 at the front, not including the muzzle swell.

The Richtmaschine (elevating mechanism) of the Paris original can be identified as M1774, as per Malinowsky I., “Die preußischen Richtmaschinen” in Archiv für die Officiere der Königlich Preußischen Artillerie– und Ingenieur–Corps, vol. 8, Berlin 1839, pp. 127 ff.

The bracket cheeks of the carriage are of the straight lower face design omitting the former angle, as universally adopted in Prusssia around 1766. The bracket cheek has a length of 370 cm and a height of 43.5 cm. In all, the basic proportions continued to conform with the M1717 regulations. The metal fittings seem to be a variant of the manner adopted around 1774. The 1761 fielded models had similarly cut bracket cheeks, but with the earlier style of metal fittings. The diameter of the illustrated wheels is 148 cm which corresponds approximately to 56 Berlin inches.

N.B.: the piece illustrated on the accompanying plate has post-1774 mouldings and is mounted on a M1774 carriage

24-pdr Cannon

Model Barrel
Weight
Barrel
Length
Barrel
Bore
Calibre (Ratio
Length/Shot Diameter)
Shot
Weight
Shot
Diameter
Chamber Charge Horses
Bronze Holtzmann M1740 1685-1855 kg 230 cm 14.99 cm 16 11.2 kg 5.5"
14.39 cm
conical 3.2 kg 6
Bronze Holtzmann M1740 1120-1176 kg 230 cm 14.99 cm 16 11.2 kg 5.5"
14.39 cm
none 2.8 kg 4
Bronze Holtzmann M1744 Light 673-730 kg 172.6 cm 5.72"
14.99 cm
12 8.4 kg 5.5"
14.39 cm
cylindrical 1.85 kg 4
Bronze 1744 (unspecified designer) 1680-1848 kg 230 cm 14.99 cm 16 11.2 kg 5.5"
14.39 cm
none 1.8 kg 4
Bronze 1754 (unspecified designer) 1680-1848 kg 230 cm 14.99 cm 16 8.14 Gran 5.5"
14.39 cm
none 4.7 kg 8

Bronze Holtzmann M1738/1740 Conical Chamber Bore 24-pdr Cannon

Prussian 24-pdr Battery Piece – Holtzmann M1738/1740 Conical Chamber Bore – Copyright Christian Rogge

The piece was designed by Lieutenant-colonel Ernst Friedrich von Holtzmann (II.), who became colonel and Commandeur of the II. or Silesian artillery in 1756 and died in 1759.

This piece saw service with the field artillery in few numbers during the campaigns of 1741 and 1742. During the Seven Years' War, it was only employed as fortress or siege gun.

The axis of the barrel was placed at 3/7 + 3 p24.

The bore had a length of 15,6 D24. The conic chamber was scaled to a charge of 1/3 the weight of the shot, or 8 pounds. Accordingly, the 16–pound shot diameter served as basic scale for proportioning the metal strength of the barrel walls. It was equally divided into 24 parts
16–pdr shot D16 = 4.8 / 12.57 cm.
Metal strength of breech: 16 p24; Metal strength of 1st reinforce: 23 to 22 p16; of the 2nd reinforce: 20 to 19 p16; and of the chase: 17 to 11 p16.

The dimensions of the carriage are based on the 1717 design with minor modifications as a result of the shortened Holtzmann barrels. The centre transoms were placed more upwards so as to reduce the space for the wedges and likewise the wheels arrived at only 51 as opposed to the regular height believed to be 58 or 60. Likewise, naves and fellows were proportioned to the scale of the smaller shot. The horizontal iron sheets reinforcing the fellow joints only used with the 24-pounder field carriages. They were a common feature of Prussian garrison carriages (Wall-Lafetten).

N.B.: The illustrated dimensions and proportions of this Prussian piece are based on the details found in Malinowsky & Bonin, Geschichte der brandenburg–preussischen Artillerie, vol. II, Berlin 1841; and on an illustration found in Gohlke, Geschichte der gesamten Feuerwaffen bis 1850, Leipzig 1911 – in this booklet falsely identified as a 12–pounder.

N.B.: this piece should not be confused with the Holtzmann design M1744 light 24-pounder field cannon with a barrel length of only 12 D and of entirely different design.

Bronze Holtzmann M1744 Chamber Bore 24-pdr Light Cannon

Bronze Holtzmann M1744 Chamber Bore 24-pdr Light Cannon – Copyright Christian Rogge

This Prussian ‘light’ 24–pounder field cannon was entitled Stein-Stück (Engl. lit. ‘stone piece’). Its barrel was designed in 1744 by Lieutenant-colonel Ernst Friedrich von Holtzmann who would in 1756 be promoted Colonel and Commandeur of the II. or Silesian artillery battalion.

The piece was designed to fire conventional canister and specialized grape rounds of Holtzmann's invention, called Klemmkartätschen, as well as a hollow round shot of only 18 pounds weight. With the latter, it was intended to reduce the weight of the ammunition supply, as well as to reduce the force of the recoil. The cylindrical chamber was scaled for a charge of 4 to 4.5 pounds.

The Klemmkartätsche (simplified illustration) for this piece consisted of a solid cylindrical wooden casing with 2 cylindrical bores holding 6 iron shots of 3 pound diameter (7.19 cm). The rear end of the casing had a conical shape to adapt to the shape if the chamber bore of the piece.

The dimensions of the illustrated barrel are a tentative reconstruction based for the most part on the details found in Malinowsky & Bonin, Geschichte der brandenburg–preussischen Artillerie, vol. II, Berlin 1841 (M&B). The design is said to have been essentially the same as the Holtzmann M1744 ‘long’ 10–11 pounder howitzer Stein–Kartaune. Accordingly, its principal proportions are believed to have been as follows: barrels axis point was placed at 4/9 plus 3 p from the rear end. The 1st reinforce was proportioned 2/3 the length from the axis to the rear of barrel, and the 2nd reinforce had a length of 1/3 plus half the trunnion diameter, which is believed to have been 1 D despite the otherwise reduced metal strength design. Length of muzzle believed to have been 2 D. Length of cascabel and button 1.5 D. The 1st and 2nd reinforce had a cylindrical design, as did the howitzers, with 16 p for the 1st reinforce – equal the diameter of the chamber – and 12 p with the 2nd reinforce. The chase had 10 p at the rear dropping to 8 p at the front (illustrated). Possibly even less or 6 p. Rise of muzzle swelling in the accompanying illustration is +10 p.

The measures indicated for the carriage are all expressed relative of the size of shot (D). Some of the figures remain Christian Rogge's conjecture. As per M&B, vol. ii, p. 173, the carriages had a straight lower face. The front section was perfectly square shaped, the centre sections lower face was placed 2" upwards the planks lower edge, thus, taking a good deal off the rounding of the trail. The metal fittings included an extra vertical sheet on the front and centre section (b). The front hook plate (a) linked with the first 3 horizontal bolts, reaching as far as the centre section of the carriage. In all, much resembling the pre 1717 metal fittings. Height of the wheels is believed to have been 51. Track width was 4' 4".

References

Gohlke, W.; Versuche zur Erleichterung des Feldgeschütze im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert, Zeitschrift für historische Waffenkunde, 1906-8, p. 92-93

Großer Generalstab, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (commissioner). ie Kriege Friedrichs des Großen, Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763. Berlin 1901-1914, vols. I to IX

Guddat, Martin, Kanoniere Bombardiere Pontoniere - Die Artillerie Friedrichs des Großen, Herford 1992

Hüttemann, Bernd, Das Erscheinungsbild und die Gefechtsformen der preußischen Artillerie im 7-jährigen Krieg, Paderborn 1993

Jany, Curt, Geschichte der Preußischen Armee vom 15. Jahrhundert bis 1914 Volume II, Die Armee Friedrichs des Großen 1740 - 1763. Reprint Osnabrück 1967 of the 1928-1937 edition

Malinowsky and Bonin, Geschichte der brandenburg–preussischen Artillerie, vol. II, Berlin 1841

Scharnhorst, G. J. D. v.; Militairisches Taschenbuch, zum Gebrauch im Felde, Hannover, 1793

Smith, Digby; The Prussian Army - to 1815, Schiffer Publishing, 2004

Tempelhof, Georg Friedrich von, Geschichte des siebenjährigen Krieges in Deutschland zwischen dem Könige von Preussen und der Kaiserin Königin mit ihren Alliirten als eine Fortsetzung der Geschichte Lloyd, J. F. Unger, Berlin, 1783-1801

Acknowledgments

Christian Rogge and Digby Smith for the initial version of this article