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Re: Serbian Artillery of World War 1 & the Balkan Wars

October 9 2009 at 5:42 PM
MCP 


Response to Serbian Artillery of World War 1 & the Balkan Wars

LYON. James M. B. : A Peasant Mob: The Serbian Army on the Eve of the Great War. Journal of Military History, 61/3 (July 1997), pp. 491-492, gives this detailed list of Serbian artillery pieces at the beginning of World War 1 :

- 272 quick firing 75mm Schneider-Creusot M. 1907 and M. 1907A field guns,
- 12 quick firing 75mm Krupp guns captured from the Turks,
- 29 quick firing 70mm Schneider-Creusot M. 1907 mountain guns,
- 8 quick firing 75mm Schneider-Danglis mountain guns,
- 32 quick firing 120mm Schneider-Canet M. 1910 field howitzers,
- 8 quick firing 150mm Schneider-Canet M. 1910 QF howitzers,
- 216 slow firing 80mm De Bange M. 1885 field guns,
- 18 slow firing 80mm De Bange M. 1885 mountain guns,
- 22 slow firing 120mm Schneider-Canet M. 1897 howitzers,
- 6 slow firing 150mm Schneider-Canet M. 1897 mortars,
- 2 slow firing 120mm long guns captured from the Turks,
- 16 slow firing 120mm Schneider-Canet M. 1897 long guns

As for the adoption of QF guns, the first order was signed on 31 December 1906 for 47 field batteries (180 field and 8 horse artillery guns), with 12 ammunition wagons and 3000 rounds per battery, and 9 mountain batteries with 100 packs and 3000 rounds per battery.

In 1910-11 a second series of orders was realised:
- 19 batteries of M.1907A field guns,
- 6 batteries of 120mm M.1910 light howitzers,
- 2 batteries of 150mm M.1910 medium howitzers.

An additional loan, granted from France, allowed Serbia to order a third round of artillery purchases:
- 21 batteries of M.1907A field guns,
- 2 more 120mm howitzer batteries.

In 1912, when First Balkan War broke out, some 75mm M. 07A field guns were in Salonika, awaiting transportation to Serbia. The Turks seized 13 batteries (52 guns) and assigned them to the Chadaldzha Army. After capturing Salonika on 9 November, the Greek Army found the rest of these guns in pier warehouse, and, after a request of the Serbian Government, they delivered them to the Serbian Army.
The exact number of the guns used actually by the Serbian Army is still not clear. At the beginning of the World War the Serbian Army had only 272 Schneider Canet 75mm field guns, namely 68 batteries. Since in 1912 Serbia had 62 batteries, this means an increase of only 6 batteries. Since 13 batteries had been seized by the Turks, 6 batteries are lacking. But in 1913 the Serbs delivered to the Montenegrin Army that at that time had only 14 quick-firing guns at least 12 guns, so we can make the hypothesis that they were some of the missing batteries. The 12 guns missing might be lost during the war or sent to the Montenegrins later (LYON, A Peasant Mob, p. 492, claims that at the wars outbreak Serbia sent almost 100 cannons to Montenegro, which had no modern breechloading artillery of its own).



 
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