24 cm Haubitze 39

The 24 cm houfnice vz.39 (German designation: 24 cm Haubitze 39) (Howitzer model 39) was a Czechoslovak-designed siege howitzer used in the Second World War. It was kept in production after the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 and a total of eighteen was delivered to the Germans. It was only used by the Army's Artillery Regiment 814 once it entered service shortly before the Battle of France in 1940. The regiment participated Operation Barbarossa and in the Sieges of Sevastopol and Leningrad.

24 cm Haubitze 39
Class Vehicle
Type Towed Artillery
Manufacturer Skoda
Production Period 1939 - 1942
Origin Czechoslovakia
Country Name Origin Year
Czechoslovakia 1939
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Germany 1939 1945 View
Turkey (Ottoman Empire) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Skoda 1939 1942 18 View

Škoda designed it for export and Turkey ordered a batch, but only received two before the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939. It was a stablemate of the Škoda 21 cm Kanone 39 and used virtually the same mounting and transport arrangements. It used an interrupted screw breech with a deBange obturator to provide the gas seal with bagged propellant. The carriage revolved on a ball-race firing platform that had to be dug-in before firing, a task that took six to eight hours to accomplish. It broke down into three loads for transport, the barrel, carriage and the ground platform. A modified version entered service in 1942 as the H 39/40 although the changes merely simplified production. A total of eighteen were delivered to Germany.

The 1st Battalion of Artillery Regiment 814 was formed on 15 March 1940 with four batteries of H39s. A month later the Third and Fourth Batteries were used to form the 2nd battalion of the regiment. The 2nd Battalion was still forming when the Battle of France began on 10 May 1940, but the 1st Battalion was assigned to the reserves of Army Group B, but it is uncertain if they saw any combat during the campaign. The regiment was assigned to 1st Panzer Group in Army Group South for Operation Barbarossa. It was transferred to 11th Army for the Siege of Sevastopol in late 1941—42. It accompanied that army as part of its siege train when it was transferred north to attack Leningrad in the late summer of 1942. It remained under the command of Army Group North until it re-equipped with smaller guns in July 1944. Nothing is known of any units that might have been equipped with the howitzers after July 1944. Artillery Regiment 814 is the only unit known to have been equipped with the H39 howitzer.

Type Heavy Siege Howitzer
Place of origin Czechoslovakia
Service history
In service 1939–45
Used by Turkey
Nazi Germany
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Škoda
Manufacturer Škoda
Produced 1939–42
Number built 18
Variants H 39/40
Weight 27,000 kg (60,000 lb)
Length 6.765 m (22 ft 2 in) (total length of gun)
Shell separate-loading, bagged charge
Shell weight 166 kilograms (366 lb)
Caliber 240 millimetres (9.4 in)
Breech interrupted screw, de Bangeobturation
Carriage box trail
Elevation -4° to +70°
Traverse 360°
Rate of fire 1 rd per 2 minutes
Muzzle velocity 600 m/s (2,000 ft/s)
Maximum firing range 18 kilometres (11 mi)
Filling TNT
Filling weight 23.66 kg (52 lb 3 oz)

End notes