Duxford Building 8 - Land Warfare - WW1

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     2 : IWM Duxford History
     3 : Indoor Displays
    4 : Outdoor Displays

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WWI GERMAN 21cm HEAVY HOWITZER (above and below)

Although technically obsolete this weapon served with the Gerrman Foot Regiments throughout the First World War.

The Land Warfare Hall was opened on 28 September 1992[85] by Field Marshal Lord Bramall. The building provides accommodation for the Imperial War Museum's collection of armoured vehicles, artillery and military vehicles. Also included are vehicles belonging to the Duxford Aviation Society Military Vehicle Section.

The hall comprises a viewing balcony that runs for most of the length of the hall, providing views over a range of tableaux of vehicles, tanks and artillery that run chronologically from the First World War to the present day.


The most widely used Italian truck in the First World War. Employed by the British Army on the Italian and Greek fronts agaist the Austro-Hungarian Army and against the Turks in the Middle East.

Mr Richard Peskett states :  "The lorry is the Fiat 15 TER.
This I bought from Melton Mowbray in 1976 where it had been stored in a shed for many years and still complete ......

" It was .... restored in my workshop and (it later) took part in many events and promotions ....

"I sold it to the IWM in the late 1990s..... a good strong runner and easy to drive (and) must have (had) a great advantage over many other vehicles in WW1."

GERMAN 7.7 FIELD GUN FK 16 (left of the picture below)

An older German 7.7 cm FK 96 n.A.  field gun was very mobile, but, once the war settled into trench warfare, its lack of range became a serious disadvantage. The FK 16 was intended to remedy this problem. The barrel was lengthened and it was given a box carriage to allow for greater elevation, which increased the range.

It was also given separate-loading ammunition to reduce powder consumption and barrel wear at short ranges, although this had the drawback of reducing the rate of fire compared to the older gun.

The gun was prematurely rushed into production in 1916 and early guns suffered from a number of defects, mainly stemming from the German use of substitute materials to reduce consumption of strategic metals. It also suffered from a large number of premature detonations of its shells during 1916. These were traced to poor quality control of its shells, which were sometimes too large in diameter, and problems with the picric acid used as high explosive filler in lieu of TNT.

The picric acid would form very sensitive picric salts within days of filling the shells and would often detonate from the shock of firing. Lacquering the insides of the shells and spraying them with a turpentine/starch solution neutralized the picric acid and prevented it from forming picric salts.

WWI GERMAN 21 cm HEAVY HOWITZER (see also top of page)

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