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Model 1841 12-Pounder

Towed Mountain Howitzer

United States | 1841

"The Model 1841 12-pounder mountain howitzer gave the United States military good service from the Mexican-American War through the American Civil War."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Model 1841 12-Pounder Towed Mountain Howitzer.
None. This is a towed artillery piece.
Installed Power
The physical qualities of the Model 1841 12-Pounder Towed Mountain Howitzer.
507 lb
230 kg | 0.0 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Model 1841 12-Pounder Towed Mountain Howitzer.
1 x 12-pounder main barrel.
Dependent upon ammunition carrier.
Notable series variants as part of the Model 1841 12-Pounder family line.
Model 1841 - Base Series Designation
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/10/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

For battlefield armies of the 19th Century, howitzers attempted to fill the gap between line-of-sight field guns and indirect-fire mortars. During the American Civil War (1861-1865), there were several prominent artillery pieces in play and one of these was the Model 1841 12-pounder mountain gun howitzer. Howitzers were generally characterized by their shorter barrels and reduced powder charges and fired their projectiles at a high trajectory to bombard hidden forces from above. Mortars were similar in battlefield function but relied on even higher trajectories and shorter ranges to achieve the same effect.

These howitzers seen during the war years were arranged either as part of batteries (typically two assigned per battery) or organized into all-howitzer units when the situation warranted.

The Model 1841 12-pounder gun appeared as a traditional artillery piece of the time, spoked wheels made up a portion of the carriage which incorporated a crossbar and extended tow arm. The gun sat atop a mounting straddling the wheels. No protection was given to the gunnery crew, which numbered as many as eight personnel and each given a specific role to play in the gun's function. The gun would most likely be operated behind the actual fighting lines, somewhat distant from direct danger but this was not always the case. Because of its wheeled carriage, the Model 1841 could be towed into action by "Beast of Burden" and this came along with the associated ammunition supply. However, since a viable artillery recoil mechanism was still some decades away, the gun had to be repositioned after firing due to the recoil forces at play.

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The 12-pounder weapon offered considerable carnage-dealing at medium-to-close ranges and fired a shell or shot projectile. The guns were also more mobile than the Model 1841 6-pounder guns being fielded as their barrels were shorter and lighter. In time the design was superseded by the capable Model 1857 "Napoleon" 12-pounders when its strengths were finally realized across the many battlefields of the Civil War. Regardless, the Model 1841 howitzer continued in service to the war's final days.

Both sides of the conflict used the Model 1841 12-pounder howitzer and some were featured by the Confederates in the famous defense of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor (South Carolina).

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Model 1841 12-Pounder. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 3,000 Units

Contractor(s): State Arsenals - USA
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[ Confederate States; United States ]
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Going Further...
The Model 1841 12-Pounder Towed Mountain Howitzer appears in the following collections:
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