Monday, June 03, 2013

A Confusion of Cannon

I am building in fits and starts the Slovak Rapid Brigade from the Rapid Fire! Second Supplement for the Russian Front. Slovak figures and equipment are not all that hard to come by in these times of wargaming plenty, however, the artillery is a bit of a mixed bag.
A mixed bag of Heavy Metal
For the lighter guns, you can go to HaT for the 75mm mountain guns the Slovaks used as infantry guns. Skytrex and Raventhorpe both do a Skoda 100mm field gun; I am informed that the Skytrex is the better option, and looking at the Raventhorpe ones I'm inclined to agree!

Now, curiously, in addition Mr Marsh requires us to have a couple of 105mm guns to fill out the Slovak TO&E. There was in the Raventhorpe catalogue a GV19 Skoda 105mmgun for $12.95. I duly bought it and assembled the cumbersome beast, replacing the thin and too-breakable trunnions and axles with brass wire drilled and glued in place. Undercoat, paint, gingerly dry-brush (all that superglue...) and ink-wash and the jobs a good 'un.

What's going on there though? A 100 and a 105 mm gun in the one unit? What the..? That makes little sense. And the 105 looks markedly more beefy that the 100mm gun.

Now though, I noticed that the Raventhorpe catalogue has been changed to read:

"GV19 Skoda 152 mm gun 12.95"

Ahh, I thought, that's it. Just a typo in the catalogue. And the close relationship between Messers Chadburn and March (prolific designer in his own right) might explain what was going on in the RF! Blue Book.

But no. Online searches found little resembling it. Indeed, the Czech 150mm Howitzer for the period was the vz 37 (also known as the K4). Indeed, most Czech artillery was very modern for the period, so what the heck is it? Not the cumbersome beast that Raventhorpe are selling.
Skoda vz.37
The answer came unexpectedly as I was leafing through the second volume from the Arms and Uniforms series on the Great War last night. I was engaged in a vain search for colour information on German artillery projectiles. Yet serendipity strikes us when we least expct.

Top marks to Fred and Liliane Funcken:

15cm Autocannone M15/16
And to Wikipedia
In Czech service

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