24cm Mörser M.98

This, the 24 cm Mörser M.98, can be seen as the big little sister of all the famous Skoda Howitzers, the first in a line of very impressive and deadly pieces of artillery. It can be seen as a sort of "missing link" in the development of the heavy Austro-Hungarian artillery. It can be seen either as the last of the older Siege Mortar (indeed, its original designation was Belagerungsmörser M.1898) or as the first of the big Skoda Howitzers.

24cm Morser M98 1

The M.98 weighed some 9.3 tons in firing position. It was always transported in a disassembled state. When moved, it was broken down into four packs, that each was pulled either by horse or motor vehicles. (Some of the units that used motorized transport was the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Heavy Field Artillery Regiments - Schwere Feld Artillerie Regiment.)

24cm Morser M98 2

The deployment of the gun was "comparatively fast", to quote a contemporary Austrian source. The length of the barrel was 2180mm, it could be elevated between +44° and +65°. It had a traverse of 16°. The Mörser could shoot a 133kg heavy HE shell some 6.500 meters. The muzzle velocity was 278m/sec. It needed a crew of 6 men, and could also be equipped with a shield for the crew.

24cm Morser M98 3

At the start of the Great War in August 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Army had 12 24cm Mörser Batteries in Service (each Battery consisting of 4 guns), all in all some 96 guns. (As was the case with the Austro-Hungarian Artillery in general, there was problems regarding the supply of ammunition: only some 400 shells per gun were available.) This number decreased as the war progressed. In January 1917 only some 30 M.98s were in use, and a year later it had decreased even further, to only 2 batteries (8 guns) were still active.

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