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Skoda Heavy Artillery -Plate 8

The final plate in the series is dedicated to the 42cm Autohaubitze / Belagerungshaubitze M16, the heaviest piece of artillery in the Austro-Hungarian arsenal.

As with the 38cm Howitzer in the collection of the Bucharest Military Museum, this piece was captured by the Romanian Army during the 1919 offensive against the Communist Hungarian Republic of Bela Kun, and represents the sole survivor of this type anywhere in the world.

Unfortunately the gun was captured incomplete, without it's base box components and documentation is scarce into that respect, but I'm confident that I managed a realistic illustration of what the gun must have looked like.
Even though there is enough material about the following iteration of this piece of artillery, the "M17" model used by Czechoslovakian forces in the interbellum period and by the Germans against Sevastopol during WW2, few if any details about the WW1 version survive, and, to my knowledge, this is the first time anyone has ever drawn this piece of artillery.

As such, details are mainly based on the 38cm base box, with some specific particularities of the 42cm M16 highlighted: this model got rid of the crane and roller tray used for shell handling on the 38cm Autohaubitze, and instead left a gap between the autoloader and the gun breech into which a special ammunition trolley fitted, helped by two side rails.
This particular trolley had three trays set at a right angle to the direction of travel, the two outer ones for cartridges, while the centre one, fitted with rollers, for the shell.
This then was pushed behind the breech and the shell rammed home into the chamber directly from the trolley.

A second type of trolley had a single tray set on a spindle that could be rotated. This particular type was also used by the Germans during WW2.

Unlike the 38cm, the 42cm Howitzer used a single explosive shell and two types of cartridge, a smaller one a and a taller one, used for longer ranges.

Other plates in the series:

The cover

Plate I

Plate II

Plate IV

Plate V

Plate VI

Plate VII

Plate VIII
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Dario2233's avatar
Well, now I know where the Bosnian word haubica comes from.
Siveir's avatar
Oh, that looks very much like the Gun in the Zeman's movie "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne" (based on Verne's Facing the Flag novel)! It's wonderfull!
wingsofwrath's avatar
Oh, I never knew about that movie, it's a really good one, thanks!

Now that I've seen it, I can tell you this really is no coincidence - the film-makers went with with a deliberate choice of emulating the look of the period engravings by Léon Benett, who, pretty much remains THE definitive illustrator of Jules Verne's books.
Also, as this thing suggests, is also coincidentally one of my own artistic influences, because I grew up reading the novels of Jules Verne and those images stayed with me into adulthood.

Léon Bennet was pretty much a product of his time and his designs are based on real things he saw during his lifetime, chief amid which are the so called "monster guns" made by Krupp and which were exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle starting from 1867.

He drew them quite a few times - off the top of my head I can think of at least another another instance, in the 1879 book Les Cinq cents millions de la Bégum (known in English as "The Begum’s Fortune") which also featured a gigantic cannon and it's mad inventor.

Interestingly, I think that's exactly where they drew their inspiration for the movie, because the gun in Face au Drapeau was drawn by Benett as a small anti-torpedo boat gun in the 3.7-4.7cm calibre range.

It was the shells that were supposed to be revolutionary, in that they contained a new and powerful explosive - again based on real life, with the discovery of "Dynamite" by Alfred Nobel and "Melinite" by the French chemist Eugène Turpin (who, by the way, saw himself in the mad inventor from the novel and actually sued Jules Verne for slander) overturning accepted military tactics in the late 1880s.

This was the so called "crise de l'obus-torpille", literally the "crisis of the exploding shell" because the use of new explosives, coupled with the arrival of new and powerful guns, made short work of the fortifications of the late 19th century and rendered them obsolete overnight - chief amid which were the guns of the Czech firm "Škoda", of which the 42cm was the largest.

These new monstrous guns were every step the proud descendants of the great Krupp guns that inspired Benett and, during WW1, they  reduced the fortresses of Liege and Namur to rubble and mercilessly pounded the forts of Verdun and the Italian positions in the Dolomites (not only the 42cm, but also the 30.5cm and 38cm drawn in the other plates). They were also maintained in use by the Czech army during the interwar years and then used with great success during WW2 by the Germans against Sevastopol.

Since director Karel Zeman is himself Czech, it's also possible he saw these great guns during his childhood and they left a mark, which is why the guns in the film bear as much resemblance to the Škoda guns as to the Krupp ones Benett drew.
Siveir's avatar
You're right about that of course. And it's so great you like the film! Because as much as I like weapons and such things (see my gallery), and these guns you drew are great memorial to Czech abilities, I believe Zeman's films are much better memento of our ingenuity.
polo270's avatar
Very nice picture :D:D:D
weter29's avatar
WormWoodTheStar's avatar
Love them all :) I appreciate your work on details with few resources. I think I'll have to study the Austr-Hungarian's armament in nearest time, because I was not aware of the existance of these beauties :O
wingsofwrath's avatar
Thanks! Since these were designed for publication in a non fiction book I took great pains to be as precise as possible and even though I did "educated guesses" on some of the details I'm confident I managed to create an accurate enough picture of what these interesting pieces of artillery looked like. Besides, my great grandfather was an Austro-Hungarian artilleryman who served on the Italian Front during WW1, so one could say I had a link to them through my family history...
killabee's avatar
Grozav Alex! Ilustratiile sunt geniale. Bravo!
wingsofwrath's avatar
Thanks, sis!
Imi pare bine ca iti plac. Am lucrat vre-o doua luni la ele...

Tu n-ai mai pus nimic pe DA de mult. Ce-ai mai lucrat in ultimul timp?
killabee's avatar
Sunt grozave! Si mi-a zis mom ca si corecte, desi aici nu stiu!

Sincer nici nu cred ca o sa mai pun mare chestie, nu ma prea mai incanta Da-ul asa de mult.
Pai, ce-am lucrat trebuie sa apuc odata sa fac poze si sa trimit - am o groaza!

Acum lucrez intens la postere pentru film noir, un film despre James Bond si o poveste ilustrata despre cum e sa ajungi de la bogat la sarac, avand ca background Londra (of course!)
wingsofwrath's avatar
Eh, ce sa-i faci - eu raman pe DA din lene. E mai usor sa dau direct submit decat sa stau eu sa am grija de un site propriu.

De la bogat la sarac e usor - te duci si tu la un joc de carti amical cu Don Corleone si ciracii lui si pana se termina seara esti gata aranjat... Mai greu e invers, ca spargerile de banci nu prea renteaza in criza asta...
killabee's avatar
Da just, dar nu trebuie neaparat sa fie Da, poate sa fie carbon made sau tumblr.
Bine, nu stiu, cred ca sunt in perioada - sunt paranoia cu lucrarile pe net. Mi se pare ca se pot fura atat de usor!

Hehe- nu, este vorba de o poveste mai profunda putin, trebuie sa exploram caracterul personajului si latura morala. Azi am facut monoprinting la curs - incearca sa ne invete ce este o secventa de desene.
wingsofwrath's avatar

Eu din contra, sunt in perioada post-paranoia cu lucrarile pe net.

DA ofera un cadru organizat si, cel mai important, un "timestamp" pentru ele. Intr-adevar, cineva ti-o poate copia, dar odata ce ai aflat de chestia asta, e foarte usor sa dovedesti faptul ca tu ai facut originalul si mai ales ca originalul tau e online de nu stiu cat timp, cand individul a facut copia saptamana trecuta...

-Insert lots of money from resulting lawsuit- ( :D glumesc, nu cred c-o sa fie nimeni destul de idiot sa incerce)

Un alt avantaj (si in acelasi timp un dezavantaj) il constituie dimensiunile la care a a juns comunitatea. Desigur, ai sanse foarte mici ca ceea ce pui pe net sa fie vazut de cine trebuie, dar odata ce a fost vazut si placut de catre cineva, totul evolueaza exponential- din ce in ce mai multi oameni o sa le vada in colectiile de "Favorites" ale celorlalti care la randul lor o sa le disemineze si mai departe. E doar o chestiune de timp sa ajunga si pana la cine trebuie.

Case in point - saptamana trecuta de abia daca aveam doua fav-uri sau comentarii pe saptamana (nu ca ma interesa foarte tare, nu este asta scopul meu in viata). Intre unu noaptea ieri si unu ziua azi am avut 31, ca urmare a planselor Skoda, care aparent au placut.
Si mai important decat atat, asta m-a adus in contact cu o multime de oameni pasionati de exact acelasi chestii care ma intereseaza si pe mine, deci de aici sanse foarte mari de a invata lucruri noi unii de la altii (polenizare incrucisata).

Cu alte cuvinte, da, exista si probleme cu sistemul (motiv pentru care ani de-a randul am ignorat site-ul asta) dar, daca stai sa te gandesti bine, poti sa te strecori si sa utilizezi doar chestiile care iti plac.
Acelasi lucru era valabil si cu Visualart, dar macar aici e mult mai usor sa te tii departe de eventualele conflicte ce pot aparea.
killabee's avatar
Woha!Big message!

Da, stiu avantajele si dezavantajele site-ului, dar eu, spre deosebire de tine, ma invart in prezenta fizica intr-un cadru cu oameni cu aceeasi pasiune pentru mine - deci eu imi fac contactele in real life si n-am nevoie de un substitut virtual. Da, stiu ca e o comunitate mare - dar exact asta ma si deranjeaza, pentru ca nu multi din comunitatea asta si apartin ei - majoritatea avand cont doar de ocupatie extracuriculara. Despre VisualArt nici nu mai vreau sa comentez, forum-ul si oamenii de-acolo m-au dezamagit de mult prea multe ori si este mai mult un grup dedicat ego-urilor proprii decat artei.
Plus, eu sunt in Londra nu in 'Brazilia mioritica' si sansele aici cresc in spatiile verzi - asa ca ma rezum in a avea portofoliul printat pe hartie si a ma duce la expozitii.
Dar, da, sigur - cred ca oricine trece prin faza de web-paranoia.
wingsofwrath's avatar
Well, pentru scopurile mele actuale putem zice ca DA-ul e mai mult decat adecvat.
Mai tarziu, vom trai si vom vedea...
killabee's avatar
Grozav Alex! Ilustratiile sunt geniale. Bravo!
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