Mars 7275.5

Mars 7275.5

MarS: 100mm Skoda 100/24 wz. 14/19 A
This howitzer, marked as 100mm Skoda 100/24 wz. 14/19, alongside with older models m.14, taken from Austro – Hungarian fallen army, have been in service in Polish Army just since 1918. Many guns of Czech production bought in 1920, while Polish – Russian war.

Immediately, a production licence was bought then. Polish production started in Starachowice,1928, when ordered first 100 guns. This was comleted in 1931 and next order for 140 howitzers was placed again.

Polish production versions of the howitzer were : Skoda wz.14/19 P ( means Polish) with first modifications introduced Skoda wz.14/19 A with next serious modifications From 1938 till 1939 , production was run also by steel works in Stalowa Wola. Totally ca. 900 howitzers were completed when Polish Campaigne begun. The gun on wooden, spoke wheels was towed by horses. There were improving works run to change wheels for speed towing. Full pneumatic tyres on metal wheels were used. First 8 howitzers , that way updated, introduced to 16 artillery sq.(mot) of 10th Cavalry Brigade(mot) and some to Warsaw Tank Brigade. 13 were mounted in a special cylinder turret in a gun wagon of armored trains. 598 light artillery batteries were comleted and used in Polish Campaigne.

There were totally 517 Skoda 100mm howitzers ready to action, including 13 pieces mounted in armored trains. The guns were best preserved from all guns served in Polish army that times, with high battle performances. This was proved during heavy battles , specially when they showed ability as anti – tank effective weapon.

Thanks to commanding skilled officers and well trained artillerymen, famous were fights ie. :
- near Janów – Z?oty Potok ( 3rd of Setember, 1939), when 7th Light Artillery Regiment stood successfully against 66th PanzerAbteilung
- near Ruszków ( 16th of September,1939), a sole 6th Battery / 17 Light Artillery Regiment destroyed 22 charging tanks and 32 motorbikes from units of advancing SS – LAH ( 120 tanks enlisted ) forces.

Thanks to a rapid escape, the commander of this unit SS – Obergruppenfuhrer Sepp Dietrich observing this embarrassing attack saved his life, just after when Polish battery’s arillerymen caught in sights his observation point and almost covered it successfully with gun grenades. During this smashing fire, within almost 2 hours, the battery run out 249 shells from 320 in stock. Two days after, the battlefield was visited by General Reichenau HC of 10th Army, when was informed about such shocking events there. Why were possible such effects ? It is given, that explosion of a 100 mm howitzer’s shrapnel grenade in a raduis less then 4,0 m close to a German tank, caused it’s heavy damages or getting in fire.

A strong explosion wave’s impact and big shrapnels were the reason. The conclusions were drawn after examining destroyed vehicles on visited battlefields. That facts show, how the strong possibilities of 100mm Skoda 100/24 wz.14/19A howitzers were not pefectly utilized. It happened, because of not enough ammo production (average number of shells for one howitzer was ca 30! ones only) and not up to date artillery signal service system. A lot of these good guns were taken by German after Polish surrender and put into service, marked as 10cm leFH 14/19(p). They served during German Blitzkrieg, on Eastern Front, many were sent to protect strongholds on French coast.

The Model:

The gun and the ammo carrier equipped with pneumatic metal wheels to enable speed towing (motorized).
An halftrack truck PZInz wz.34 was used as a towing vehicle in in 16th Artillery Sq(mot) of 10th Cavalry Brigade(mot).
Various models of tractors C4P towing the gun, served in “Warsaw” Tank Brigade.