The Austro-Hungarian Army relied on a vast collection of artillery systems for its part in World War 1 (1914-1918). Many of these were pulled from the previous century and some modernized for the rigors of the new battlefield. Such was the case with the 9cm Feldkanone M75/96 (9cm FK M75/96), a 90mm system first appearing in 1875 and modernized in 1896. It was adopted in 1898 and fought into the war's last days in 1918.
The stock of M75 guns on hand has new barrels made which were still of bronze but engineers to a higher tolerance. A breech-loaded weapon (loaded from the rear of the barrel tube), the new weapon instituted a lock at the touch hole to add some security for the gunnery crew when handling ammunition and propellant near heat sources. A spring-based spade arrangement, designed to be dug into the terrain, was added to provide a better recoil action and reduce re-sighting times for the weapon. A lever at the carriage gave the crew the option to lower or raise the gun's mounting when doing combat on uneven terrain or in the mountains. Overall weight became 2,400 pounds with a barrel measuring 6.8 feet long. Its official caliber was 87mm (3.4 inches).
As a field gun, the M75/96 was primarily a line-of-sight weapon that fired its projectile along a relatively low trajectory. Performance was consistent with the period, featuring a maximum range out to 6,600 yards when using the standard HE (High-Explosive) projectile while effective ranges were closer to 5,500 yards. Muzzle velocity of the outgoing shells was 1,400 feet per second and a rate-of-fire of six rounds-per-minute could be reached. Transport was by mover vehicle or "beast of burden" with ammunition supplied from accompanying carriers. Some examples eventually fitted a gun shield which added some local, albeit light, protection for the crew.
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