Prussian Artillery Equipment

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The transformation of the artillery from a civilian guild into a purely military began during the reign of King Frederick William I; it was this monarch who re-classified field guns into four main categories: 3, 6, 12 and 24 pounders and this system was imposed as from 1715.

General von Linger recorded in 1722 that the Prussian army then had 722 bronze cannon, 1,425 iron cannon, 171 bronze mortars, 128 iron mortars, 28 bronze howitzers and 27 of iron. This total of 2,501 guns represented an increase of 500 pieces over the inventory of 1712.

When Frederick II came to the throne, the Prussian artillery was at much the same state of evolution as that of any other European nation.

Field-Artillery by 1756

With the death or retirement of the former commanders Linger, Hotzmann, and Beauvry by the early 1750’s, Carl Wilhelm von Dieskau, lieutenant-colonel in 1756 and promoted General-Inspecteur of the artillery, became the most influential person for gunnery construction design in the Seven Years' War period.

By 1750, the range of cannon of Prussia comprised 3-pdr battalion guns and short barrelled 12-pdr and 24-pdr heavy cannon. Furthermore 10-pdr howitzers (approx. 6.5 inch class with the French/British system) and 10 and 50-pdr mobile ‘field-mortars’. A popular light 7-pdr howitzer of the same size as the Austrian 7-pdr or the British 5.5 inch howitzer (German 8-pdr) was introduced only in 1758 (see below).

The number of guns that were to take to the field was based on a plan for mobilization by Major General von Beauvry adopted in 1749 which planned a total of 360 pieces.

In 1753 Dieskau initiated an improvement to the state of readiness of the artillery for war. The entire park, till then concentrated in Berlin and Breslau (Silesia), was now distributed also to Königsberg (Prussia) with 48 pieces, Stettin (Pomerania) with 24 pieces and Magdeburg (Altmark) with 72 pieces.

A range of new ordnance replaced some of the older material between 1754 to 1755. Dieskau designed a new 3-pdr, a new light 6-pdr. Some 62 of these new light 6-pdr pieces had been cast by 1756 and were distributed to the infantry of the first line of the Royal Army in Saxony that year. Dieskau also designed a new conical chamber 12-pdr . 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. Finally, early in 1756, Dieskau designed a much more mobile 25-pdr mortar. Ten such pieces were soon cast and replaced as many 50-pdr mortars of the existing park. The Prussian Army now had only 4 x 50-pdr mortars.

In the Summer of 1756, on the eve of the new war, Prussia mobilized 240 battalion guns for a total of 126 battalions (including Pioneers and some battalions assigned to garrison duty who did not receive any piece). Among these, 62 were newly cast 6-pdrs replacing the same number of Holtzmann 3-pdrs with a cylindrical chamber bore. The remainder were all 3-pdrs. In terms of numbers, the Holtzmann M1740 conical chamber piece was the most common, amounting to near 100 out of the 178 total. Its new and particular light construction replaced the heavy M1717 long barrel pieces from 1740 on. The construction was indeed found to be too light as demonstrated in the campaigns of 1744 and 1745. Its shot hardly carried 1,000 paces. With the widening of the chamber in order to take a larger powder charge, its shot now could carry up to 1,500 paces. Nevertheless, it seems that, after 1745-47, no new pieces of this model were cast. New designs were given the preference instead.

Each heavy artillery gun was served by 6 men; each howitzer by 9 bombardiers; each 25-pdr mortar by 6 bombardiers; and each 50-pdr mortar by 9 bombardiers. Furthermore, there was one NCO for each two pieces.

Field artillery by Summer 1756
Battalion guns Total Model Ammunition and horse-draught
3-pdr cannon 160 Various chamber barrel 108 shot, 22 canister – 3 horse-draught with 1 servant
  18 Beauvry M1746 108 shot, 22 canister – 3 horse-draught with 1 servant
6-pdr cannon 62 Dieskau M1754 70 shot, 20 canister – 4 horse-draught with 2 servants
Position guns Total Model Ammunition and horse-draught
12-pdr cannon 30 various chamber barrel 70 shot, 30 canister – 4 horse-draught with 2 servants (each cannon with 2 ammunition carts with a 3 horse-draught with 1 servant)
  30 Dieskau M1754 70 shot, 50 canister – 4 horse-draught with 2 servants (54 rounds carried with the limber box and 66 rounds on ammunition cart with a 2 horse-draught with 1 servant)
24-pdr cannon 26 Holtzmann M1740 70 shot, 30 canister – 6 horse-draught with 3 servants, for each 2 pieces three 6 horse-draught ammunition wagons with each 3 servants
10-pdr howitzer 20 M1744 20 grenades, 30 canister – 6 horse-draught with 3 servants, for each piece one 6 horse-draught ammunition wagon with 3 servants (alternately, ammunition for 2 howitzers could be carried by three 4-horse ammunition wagons)
25-pdr mortar 10 Dieskau M1755 55 bomb-shells, 10 incendiary bombs – 4 horse-draught with 2 servants, for each two pieces five 4 horse-draught bomb-shell wagons each with 2 servants, the incendiary bombs in 4 horse-draught ammunition wagons
50-pdr mortar 4 Holtzmann/Linger 52 bomb-shells, 20 incendiary bombs – 6 horse-draught with 3 servants, each with four 4 horse-draught bomb shell wagons with 3 servants carrying 13 shells each, the incendiary bombs in 4 horse-draught ammunition wagons

During the Seven Years' War, the number of ready rounds carried for each piece changed somewhat as well as the range of ordnance. New pieces were introduced and also the total of guns put afield in preparation of every successive campaign was increased. Up till 1756, a stored reserve for replacement of lost or otherwise defective ordnance was non-existent. By December 1756 some 40 additional 3-pdr battalion guns (apparently Dieskau M1754 pieces) were added for this purpose, thus, increasing the total of field guns to 400 pieces. Changes and augmentations will be given below for each successive campaign.

Evolution of the field Artillery throughout the War

Field-Artillery in 1757

Early in 1757, the 40 reserve battalion guns were distributed among the 20 battalions of the former Saxon army that were incorporated into the Prussian field army. As a general rule, all units serving as garrison troops did not receive battalion guns.

In preparation for the 1757 campaign, 20 new 12-pdr cannon were added (Dieskau M1754) along with 2 additional mobile 50-pdr mortars, thus increasing the total of heavy guns to 146 pieces. Field-artillery now totalled 422 pieces including 142 heavy guns. This figure does not include eight 1-pdr Amusettes attached to the 4 Freibatallions with Frederick's ‘Royal Army’ of Saxony.

By November 1757, Frederick had added 10 heavy 12-pdr siege cannon to his field-artillery, which he took from the fortress of Glogau. They had a civilian 12-horse-draught hired from among the peasants.

Field-Artillery in 1758

During the hard fought campaign of 1757, the Prussians realised that they had clearly been outgunned by the more solid Austrian cannon. More specifically, the chamber barrel 12-pdr was found distinctively inferior to its 12-pdr Austrian counterpart. All Prussian chambered cannon were based on some false assumptions on ballistics during the 1740’s. In parts, also Britain and Russia followed this direction. The British light 12-pdr of this period also had a chambered barrel of 14 calibre length – rather similar to the Prussian model. They were much shorter and lighter than usual and employed a reduced powder charge stored in the barrel’s powder chamber that had a smaller diameter then the bore for the shot. The reduced want of metal also made them a lot cheaper, for the metal cost of a gun would amount to around 80% of the total cost of production at that time. In theory, they were expected to perform just as well as the classic longer and heavier barrels, but the experience of the 1757 campaign revealed their shortcomings. For that reason Frederick ordered to design an ‘Austian-type’ 12-pdr with rather similar dimensions as the Austrian 12-pdr field gun. They were entitled ‘heavy field-cannon’ in distinction to the light 14 calibre 12-pdr. Their shot carried beyond 2.000 paces. 52 such pieces were added to the park till around June 1758.

Another new piece introduced to the Prussian range was a light 7-pdr howitzer of which 45 had been added to the park. Tempelhof describes this guns advantages as being particular useful at forcing the enemy out of villages or entrenched posts in the path of an advancing army. Before, an outright assault had more often been the only means to clear such positions. This could usually not be accomplished without the loss of a many good men. Now a few howitzer grenades would achieve the objective at much less cost.

The employment of the heavy siege 12-pdr cannon had initially been an improvized measure to overcome Prussia’s shortcoming of long range heavy artillery but Frederick turned out to be particularly fond of this gun performance. As he expressed in a letter to his brother Prince Henry: “Granted, they are somewhat difficult to move about, but their shot carries a 5,400 paces and grape out to 1,000 paces.” Frederick’s army of Silesia added 20 such pieces from the arsenal of the fortress of Neisse (Silesia) to its park in 1758, while prince Henry’s army of Saxony received another 20 from the fortress of Magdeburg adding a total of 40 of these heavy cannon to the field-artillery. They continued to be moved with a civilian draught all through 1758.

The losses of the 1757 campaign could, thus, be replaced. In April 1758, with the fall of the Austrian held fortress of Schweidnitz, the Prussians recaptured the greater part of their guns lost at Kolin, Breslau, etc.

By end of May 1758, the Prussian field artillery totalled 433 pieces consisting of:

  • Royal Army under Frederick near Olmütz in Moravia: 170 battalion guns and 116 heavy guns
    • 8 x 1-pdr Amusettes
    • 138 x 3-pdr battalion guns
    • 32 x 6-pdr battalion guns
    • 42 x light 12-pdr guns
    • 10 x ‘Austrian-type’ 12-pdr (with 20 more due to arrive)
    • 20 x heavy 12-pdr ‘Brummers’ guns (including 8 employed in the siege of Olmütz)
    • 15 x 24-pdr guns
    • 10 x 7-pdr howitzers (with 20 more due to arrive)
    • 12 x 10-pdr howitzers
    • 7 x 25-pdr mortars
  • Saxon Corps under prince Henry: 60 battalion guns and 39 heavy guns
    • 2 x 1-pdr Amusettes
    • 49 x 3-pdr battalion guns
    • 9 x 6-pdr battalion guns
    • 10 x light 12-pdr guns
    • 20 x heavy 12-pdr ‘Brummers’ guns
    • 5 x 7-pdr howitzers
    • 4 x 10-pdr howitzers
  • Pomeranian Corps under Dohna: 48 pieces
    • 10 x ‘Austrian-type’ 12-pdr
    • 10 x 7-pdr howitzers
    • 2 x old 18-pdr howitzers from the fortress of Königsberg
    • 26 batallion guns

Field-Artillery in 1759

In 1759, the heavy siege 12-pdr cannon became a regular part of the Prussian field artillery park until 1796. They received a regular draught and were now rather officially entitled ‘Brummer’ (translating to ‘Growler’) for their distinctive sound.

For this campaign the Prussian field artillery was significantly augmented in response to Austria’s increasingly numerous artillery park. The heavy artillery accompanying the various field armies were organized in brigades of 10 pieces. Frederick estimated the total of Austria’s field and reserve guns at 600 pieces with this campaign. In a letter to prince Ferdinand on May 30, Frederick wrote:

”...I have 214 pieces. You would imagine that it is too much but in Daun's armies facing me, there are, counting the reserve artilery, 360 pieces. If this “fashion” still lasts a few years, we shall march with detachments of 2,000 men with 6,000 guns. Even though this is ridiculous, we have to adapt to this fashion, otherwise there is no salvation. Meanwhile, things have gone so far that the enemy is no more interested to know how many troops I have with me but rather how many guns”.

In the same letter he specified that his three armies fielded a total of 536 pieces (cannon and howitzers). According to the 1759 specification by Dieskau, the distribution of heavy guns among the various Prussian armies for this campaign was as follows:

Ordnance Frederick
Gen. Fouqué
Prince Henry
Gen. Dohna
Heavy 12-pdr ‘Brummer’ 30 20 50
Medium 12-pdr ‘Austrian’ 50 10 28 19 107
Light 12-pdr cannon 20 20 6 10 64
24-pdr cannon 1 1
7-pdr howitzer 24 5 15 44
10-pdr howitzer 12 6 4 1 23
18-pdr howitzer 2 2
25-pdr mortar 7 7
Total heavy artillery 143 36 63 56 298

The total of 536 pieces would thus include 238 battalion guns. The Freibatallion former Amusettes had been mostly replaced by 3-pdr cannon. The Dieskau 6-pdr batallion gun (M1754) would now gradually become the standard piece of the line infantry because no new 3-pdr pieces were cast during the Seven Years' War.

The same year, 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 ammunition 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. A total of 67 had been cast during winter. Therefore, the remainder of the 107 ‘Austrian-type’ cannon were of the M1758 calibre 16. A few might also have been captured ‘real’ Austrian pieces.

Once the production of the field guns had been completed, Frederick ordered a park of reserve pieces to be cast. By summer 1759, the Berlin artillery magazine kept a store of 50 pieces (20 ‘Austrians’, 20 6-pdr battalion guns, and 10 7-pdr howitzers); while 30 more were held in store at Breslau (10 ‘Austrians’, and 20 6-pdr battalion guns). This reserve helped to compensate for the loss of guns suffered at the disaster of Kunersdorf (August 12). Including the reserve guns, the Prussian artillery now amounted to 278 battalion guns and 328 heavy guns, or a total 606 pieces and really catching up to Austria’s figures.

The greater part of the 7-pdr howitzers and 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. They now had effectively 3 guns each instead to the former 2. This army was initially destined to be the king’s striking force and for that reason it was fitted out with much more heavy artillery then the other corps.

The campaign of 1759 saw the introduction of horse artillery with the Prussian army in imitation of the Russian cavalry’s light guns with mounted gun crews. Frederick’s observations during the 1758 Zorndorf campaign served as the initial inspiration to raise a battery of field guns with upgraded draught and mounted gun crews enabling it to move at the speed of cavalry. In April 1759, a brigade of 6 6-pdr cannon was raised with a 6-horse draught. It was entitled by the French term artillerie légère or volante (light or flying artillery). This unit was initially attached to the regiment of Jung-Platen dragoons (DR 11). The brigade was lost at Kunersdorf but re-raised soon after only to be lost once more at Maxen on November 20. Nevertheless, this unit performed very well during its short time existence, especially at the combat of Pretzsch (October 29). The brigade was to be re-raised in July 1760 with Prince Henry’s army and attached to the Bayreuth dragoons (DR 5). By August 1760, it was transferred to Frederick’s army and increased to 10 pieces, apparently including two 7-pdr howitzers. From now on, the unit usually remained encamped near the royal headquarters and served as artillery escort of the vanguard or in support of reconnaissance detachments.

Artillery Pieces

The tables of this section 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


From 1738 on, a significant transformation in the Prussian gun design took place. Prussian field cannon became much lighter, thus, more mobile than the M1717 heavy ordnance. This was contrived by reducing the charges, overall barrel length, and metal strength of the gun tubes. The new design was based on the widespread belief that a chambered bore design created much more gas pressure then an ordinary bore design. Based on this observation, Prussian engineers concluded that they could get the same power with less charge. Less gunpowder also allowed for the reduction of the metal strength of the barrel. Thus, the same number of guns could be fielded at a much lesser cost, or alternatively, the number of guns could be increased at the same cost. Indeed, this best price argument was hard to resist, for it so much suited the evolving Prussian battle tactics. Prussian infantry drill had made possible an outstanding mobility on the battlefield. All that was missing was a numerous and equally mobile artillery for a better close range support. Frederick was so enthusiastic about these light pieces, that within a decade, all of the old heavy ordnance was rigorously melted to provide the gunmetal for new casts, or expelled to the arsenals to serve as fortress or siege cannon.

By 1756, all Prussian field guns coming out of the foundries were chambered bore pieces, mostly of a length of 16 calibres. There were also a new14 calibres 12-pdr and a super light 12 calibres 24-pounder. The Beauvry 3-pdr was the single ordinary bore design remaining.

The size of this article getting quite large, the detailed presentation of all type of cannon has been moved to the sub-article Prussian Cannon.


25-pdr Mortar

In 1756, Dieskau designed a more mobile 25-pdr mortar. This mobility was due to a specially designed platform wagon that took the piece along with its carriage, enabling it to be set up and ready to fire much quicker than the older 50-pdr mortar. Ten such pieces were cast and replaced all 10-pdr mortars and 6 (out of 10) 50-pdr mortars. These older pieces were removed from the field artillery.

No technical data available for now

50-pdr Mortar

The 50-pdr mobile ‘field-mortars’ were meant to serve where other countries would field heavy howitzers of above 7 inch class. In 1756, 6 out of the 10 remaining 50-pdr mortars were removed from the field artillery and replaced by the newer 25-pdr mortars.

Model Barrel
Chamber Charge Horses
1752 Breslau Bronze Light 715 kg 71,94 cm 28,5 cm 85,55 kg 27,93 cm 24,8 cm x 10,46 cm -- 8


Howitzers came into general use early, but in about 1740 the heavy 18-pdr field-howitzer became the standard piece. However, by 1756, they had been removed to the arsenals.

The size of this article getting quite large, the detailed presentation of all type of howitzers has been moved to the sub-article Prussian Howitzers.

Types of Shot

Solid shot was cast, then reheated and forged over to reduce irregularities. There were also hollow shot for the 3- and 6-pounder, but they fell into disuse.

Canister (Kartaetschen) was an anti-personnel projectile, it consisted of small balls (iron or lead) held in a copper cylinder, with an iron lid and a wooden base, which sat on the charge cartridge in the barrel.

Grape (Schrottbuechsen) was similar, but with larger balls.

Firing Procedures

To fire a piece, four men were required:

  • one to mop out and to ram the load
  • one to insert the charge and projectile
  • one to insert the fuse-spike
  • one to fire the piece.

During battles, guns were manhandled using tow ropes and hand spikes through the rings affixed to the carriage.


The bronze used for cannon barrels was an expensive material and old, worn out items were melted down and re-used. Mortars were to be bronze pieces at 10, 25, 50 and 75 pounds, the light, wrought-iron Coehorn weapon and a few heavy, stone items.

Gun Carriages

At the start of the Seven Years' War, most carriages in use in the Prussian field artillery followed the general pattern established for the M1717 cannon. For this reason, we present hereafter a detailed description of such a carriage. Obviously, the proportions of the carriage varied proportionally to the size of the barrel. A new carriage design, which will be covered in another sub-section, was gradually introduced starting in 1759.

The Prussian carriages were painted blue; and the metal fittings, black. The tools and other equipment, such as rammers, wedges, etc. were instead painted odd grey.

Constructors and cartwrights kept modifying minor details throughout the period, but in general carriages looked like the one illustrated here.

Reminder: 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

Proportions of the bracket cheeks

Prussian M1717 Carriage – Copyright Christian Rogge

The Prussian artillery track for field guns had a constant width of : 4' 4 (136 cm).

The bracket cheeks were made of raw elm planks painted blue. A Royal cypher was painted with oil colour on the right bracket cheek. Our plate illustrates the cypher of Frederick II (1740–1786).

Height: 3.5 to 4 D (A) plus 1/3 to 1 D to allow for the lower cutout.

Width: approx. 1 D (equal to the length of the trunnion)

Total length of bracket cheek: Y+Z of the illustrated barrel (i.e. equal to the length of barrel) plus 6 to 11 D – the shorter dimensions for the heavier barrels, and the longer dimensions for the lighter or smaller calibre barrels. The cutouts to house the trunnion had a diameter of 1 D with thier centre points (a) 1/6 beneath the line of the bracket cheeks upper edge.

The trail had a length of 3 to 4 D at the lower face.

The axle tree had a height of 1.5 D and a width of 1 1/3 D.

The transoms had a height of 1 D. The trail transom had a length equal the trails top face while the other three transoms had a length of 1.5 D. The front one had a partly bevelled front face.

In 1752, iron rings were added to the trails of the carriages to allow the use of a 7' long hand spike while manhandling the pieces, in addition to the pre-existing bricoles (drag ropes) slung across the gunners shoulders. The spike was inserted into the trail rings and part of the gunners used it to lift the piece while other gunners dragged it using the bricoles.

Metal fittings

Metal fittings were of the standard design used by artillery in this period. However, the arrangement of 4 vertical iron straps (b) was distinctively Prussian: one applied at the very front, 2 – sometimes 3 – in the centre and one at the very rear.

There were also:

  • two horizontal bricole hook plates (c). The front one reached approx. to the centre of the bracket cheeks front section while the rear one reached to the 3rd vertical strap.
  • two bow shaped plates (d), called Bockhörner (Engl. lit.: ram horns), supporting the axle tree

The bracket cheeks were jointed together by 4 horizontal bolts (e), flat or diamond headed on the right side, and a corresponding bolt nut on the left with a similar head. The two centre bolts had large floral ornament shims called Rosen (roses).

Schusskeile (wedge or coin)

Prussian M1717 Schusskeile (wedge) – Copyright Christian Rogge

The Schusskeile (wedge or coin) designed for the M1717 carriage remained in use for well over 40 years. Most guns of the Seven Years' War were equipped with wedges to this design. It consisted of a lying lower wedge or base and an upright top wedge which stood in a guide slot (f) cut into the lower wedge. An iron gear rack (g) was fitted to either side of the slot holding 60 teeth to serve as a lock for a bolt of triangular section plugged through the upper wedge (h). The lower wedge was placed onto the two centre transoms. A dowel (i) on the lower face of the wedge, plugged into a mortice of the rear centre transom, fastened the wedge to the carriage.

N.B.: to illustrate this Schusskeile, Christian Rogge has consulted the textual description found in the work of Malinowsky & Bonin and an illustration found in a rare paper published by Malinowsky in Archiv für die Officiere der Königlich Preußischen Artillerie- und Ingenieur-Corps, vol. 8, Berlin 1839.

Proportions of the wheels

The length of the naves was 4 D and their greatest diameter was 3.5 D.

The fellows were proportioned 1.25 D high and 1 D wide.

The wheels had a different height for each calibre. The 1690 regulations fixed the height at 12 D for the medium calibre guns and proportionally more or less for the smaller and larger calibre guns (12 D equals approx. Berlin scale 54 for a 12–pdr, believed to be the said ‘medium calibre’).

The camber of the wheel was proportioned at 1/16 of its height.

N.B.: the paired spokes arrangement illustrated in Christian Rogge's plate was used for the 3- and 6-pounders. Heavier guns had wheels with spokes in ordinary arrangement.


Prussian M1768 ammunition limber of a battalion gun – Copyright Christian Rogge

This section describes the M1768 ammunition limber of a battalion gun (German: Kastenprotze) whose design was almost identical to the Linger M1752 limber.

N.B.: the accompanying illustration is based on an original contemporary draft of the M1768 Dieskau 6-pounder found at the Digital Archive Marburg, Germany (DigAM –, Sign. HStAM Karten WHK 43/21 .

The innovative concept of mounting an ammunition box onto the limber was first introduced in 1742 by Ernst Friedrich von Holtzmann for his M1740 conic chamber bore 3-pounders. The ammunition box carried the entire allowance of ammunition for the piece, thus, the additional ammunition cart or wagon to each piece could be spared. Soon, all Prussian 3-pounder battalion guns were fitted out with limbers including an ammunition box. The designs varied somewhat. The illustrated limber came with the post Seven Years’ War M1768 Dieskau 6-pounder. It was based on a near identical design of 1752 by General Linger for his M1746 3-pounders. It was the first with prolonged shafts that placed the bolster with the pintail behind the wheels, while the earlier models of Holtzmann and Beauvrye had the pintail placed much closer to the axle tree. In addition, the Beauvrye model was of the older twin shaft limber design.

The 1752 single shaft ‘A’–frame Linger model became the universal design for the years to follow and should have been the most common in use during the Seven Years’ War. It carried 155 cartridge rounds for the Linger 3-pounders while the same limber for the Dieskau M1754 6-pounder carried 96 rounds. This implies the dimensions of the ammunition box would have been scaled at somewhat different sizes. The dimensions of the illustrated M1768 6-pounder seem to have been scaled to hold 84 rounds as the details provided in Malinowsky & Bonin imply. The original Holtzmann 3-pounder limber mounted a box scaled for 96 rounds plus an additional 4 carried in the carriage ammunition box, or a total of 100.

During the Seven Years' War, only the 3 and 6-pounder battalion guns were equipped with such a type of limber. As a general rule, all heavy position cannon and all howitzers had ordinary limbers throughout the war. The single exception being the Dieskau designed 14 shots light 12-pounders M1754 /1759 who were equipped with limbers that carried approx. 50% of their total allowance, or approx. 60 rounds.

The cover of the ammunition box consisted of an iron frame dressed with cloth which received a waterproofing protection with oil paint. The wheels were of similar design and proportions as those of the accompanying gun, but with a diameter approx. 4 to 6 inches shorter.


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

  • Vol. 9 Bergen, Berlin, 1911, pp.39-40

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


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