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Mysterious Thai gun

April 28 2016 at 7:19 PM


Can somebody identify this gun?
[linked image]
According to Wiki this is "Type 41 Mountain guns display in Surasakmontree Army Camp, Lampang, Thailand, 2016". Yes, the gun is similar to Japs Type 41 (or Krupp M.08 mountain gun) but with shorter barrel of slightly different shape (I don't mention the gun shield)...

This is true Type 41 gun for comparison
[linked image]

Another photo of same gun
[linked image]
At the National Memorial, Pathum Thani, near Bankock.

and some fantastical versions...


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And some more photos from Pathum Thani

April 29 2016, 6:35 AM 

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7.5cm Gebirgskanone M1914 L/16

April 29 2016, 5:24 PM 

The gun looks similar to "7.5cm Gebirgskanone M1914 L/16 Rheinmetall" to me but there are some differences anyway...
[linked image]

Unfortunately I can't find any images of "7.5cm Gebirgskanone M1910 L/16 Rheinmetall" and Bofors 75mm L12...

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one more photo

April 30 2016, 3:30 PM 

I have found one more photo of same gun at old version of "even more Thai vehicles" topic. Unfortunately many photos are lost now but I have a lot of stuff saved so I uploaded the photo in photobucket.
A field gun "in action" on the Shan front:
[linked image]
The gun is quite big and looks more like to field gun than to mountain gun...
An assumption. Maybe these guns were built in Thailand (for example as "Type 63 Field gun" that we can see in some lists of Thai WW2 weapon)?

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Some video

May 1 2016, 4:10 PM 

We may also see these guns on military parade
I already saw this film before (thanks to Nuyt) but I was unable to save video from Japs site. Now I saved it for several minutes without any problems...
Pay attention to the caption: 02:59 Ford AA trucks towing Krupp mountain guns. So, really "Krupp"? It should be a special modification for Thailand then! Can it be true?

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May 1 2016, 5:03 PM 

I thought these guns have identified before as 5cm Krupp?

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Re: 5cm

May 1 2016, 7:23 PM 

No! "5cm" was tiny toy in comparison with the subject! See photos of 5cm Kupp

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Re: 5cm

May 1 2016, 8:09 PM 

The 1907 maneuvres of the 5th Army Corps, Nakhon Ratchasima:
[linked image]
IMHO: A small guns on the photo are 5cm Krupp...

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Some old thoughts from 2012 on this weapon

May 6 2016, 6:22 PM 

copied from the thread at Landships:

The carriage frame is far lighter than any Rheinmetall made, it looks a lot like the one on the Japanese 75mm Type 41, which had Krupp origins.
The shield is different from anything Rheinmetall made around WW1 too.
Then the gun itself. Look at the contrast in length between the barrel and the cradle, again nothing in the Rheinmetall 75mm ranges matches this.
This is a long recoil weapon. Krupp developed several on behalf of foreign customers according to Kosars's Gebirgskanonen.
The gun does not match anything in my Kosar books.
I am still speculating that is some unknown Bofors product.
I think it is an infantry weapon and not a mountain gun/howitzer. Look at the elevation possibilities: very limited.
Is the weapon "pack"?
Does the gun have tiny equilibrators fixed outside the shield? Another typical Bofors/Krupp Interbellum feature, though I have never seen them so small.
I think the Bofors 75mm L12 infantry gun of 1934 was an upgrade of old Thai barrels, maybe fixed to the cradle of the Bofors 75mm mountain gun to give them long recoil (a trademark the Krupp men at Bofors at the time could easily have shared), with a new shield. The carriage was also used on one of the Bofors 75mm L22 versions (see Kosar's Gebirgskanonen).

From overvalwagen forum:

Swedish Guns for Siam (Thailand)
October 24 2007, 2:43 PM

Ordered 1934 delivered 1934
8 - 75 mm infantry guns L/12
8 - 75 mm cm AA guns L/50

Ordered 1934 delivered 1935
4 - 105 mm field guns L/24
32 - 75 mm/47 mm infantry guns (combination guns)

Ordered 1934 delivered 1936
8 - 150 mm field howitzers L/24

Ordered 1936 for delivery 1940
36 - 105 mm field howitzers (at least 16 were not delivered but placed under embargo by the Swedish government.

Ordered 1937 delivered 1939
10 - 75 mm AA guns L/50

This message has been edited by nuyt on May 6, 2016 6:38 PM

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Re: Some old thoughts from 2012 on this weapon

May 7 2016, 8:41 AM 

Thanks but on the other hand, Stellan Bojerud came to the conclusion that those 8 Bofors guns were "75mm L/20 M/1929 Mountain Guns (ex-Turkey)ordered 1934 delivered 1934". As for "L12", it was length of 75mm barrel of 75mm/47mm twin-barreled gun! Unfortunately I haven't Kosar's books and I've never seen Bofors guns with similar carriage...
BTW. Do you have any images of "7.5cm Gebirgskanone L/16 Rheinmetall M1910" (Turkey acquired a battery of these guns for testing)?

I have found the small photo of another Thai gun. The caption says that photo is dated 1929 and taken from Chulachomklao Military Academy site. I can only say that the gun has box trail carriage and could be Bofors mountain gun...
[linked image]

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May 7 2016, 5:39 PM 

I think Stellan (RIP) and all of us never reached a final conclusion.
The 75mm half of the dual barrel guns were indeed (also) L12. But that does not prove by itself that the 8 guns were L22 and that L12 was a typo.
The fact that these weapons were delivered in the same year as the order could also mean it was just a modification (mounting old weapons in a new carriage).
Both Bofors history books I have mention the order, but not the specifics.
But Kosar's Gebirgskanonen DOES show a version of the Bofors mountain gun with the trail as constructed as our Thai gun.
But yeah, it could still be a Rheinmetall trial battery ordered and received just before 1914. If it was bought after WW1 and before 1935 it can only be Bofors. There is no mention of Thailand in my HIH records.

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Rheinmetall options from Kosar

May 7 2016, 6:17 PM 

There is no picture of the 1910 L16, but a whole series seems to have been similar (1909-1912). The 1909 L15 is relevant because it is the only mountain gun that has the iron flab down the breechblock on the cradle as the Thai gun has. Am important feature!
There is a picture of the 5cm Kolonialgeschuetz L30 1903, that has the same upright position and a very similar or the same shield arrangement as the Thai gun (but without the carriage, which is regular/Schwanz).
Then there is mention of a 7,5cm L18 1903 Kolonialgeschuetz, similar to the 5cm in layout, in fact a lightweight field gun, prepared for transport by....elephants! Now that's relevant to the Thai situation...happy.gif

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Re: Rheinmetall options from Kosar

May 8 2016, 8:33 AM 

What about my assumption that these guns could be built in Thailand? Look at the Thai "Historical equipment" list in Wiki. The only gun with Thai origin is some "Type 63 Field gun"!
To get the western date of model we should subtract 43 from thai date (63-43=20) so we have M1920.
We well know that Thailand acquired many Bofors guns of different models but we don't see them in Thai military museums (I saw only 40mm AA gun). I'm wondering why just this strange gun is presented until now? Why we don't see more modern and powerful Bofors 75mm field guns (75mm L/40 M1934 - 52) or 105mm and 150mm howitzers on military parade video? These guns would look more showy for people! IMHO: because "our gun" is dear to them! It indirectly confirms the version of Thai origin...
What do you think?

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yes and the China option

May 8 2016, 10:46 AM 

It certainly is possible, but I doubt that in 1920 a Thai Army workshop could have done this without outside help. Production of the barrels is specifically delicate if there is no experience. But maybe there was?
Could be that Siam, cut off from traditional European manufacturers during WW1, started up its own production. But that may have cost a lot of time and money.

Wish one of our Thai forum members (dont know if still active) would go the check the markings on this guns at both facilities. Then we might know for sure.

What about China as origin of this gun? We know that the Japanese transferred some military equipment during WW2 to the Thai Amr (for instance from the NEI). This weapon could be a captured Chinese copy of the Type 41, whence the differences! And there were several production facilities from at least 1921 throughout China:

From the Landships site:


The poor road infrastructure of China meant that mountain guns proved to be better than conventional field guns to support infantry in spite of the lesser performance of mountain guns. Both the Nationalist and Communist Armies in WW2 used numbers of captured Japanese Type 41 guns. These seem to have remained in service until the end of the Civil War in 1949.

Copies of the Japanese Type 41 mountain gun were manufactured at the Shansi Province Arsenal controlled by the warlord Yen Hsi-shan as the Type 133 (Model of 1924) mountain gun; Shansi Province Arsenal also manufactured a copy of the Type 41 (Improved) mountain gun as the Type 17 (Model of 1928) mountain gun. The Manchurian Arsenal in Shenyang also built copies of the Type 41 as the Type 14 (Model of 1925). 72 of these guns were made at Shenyang by 1931.4 The image below is of a Chinese made Type 41 gun at the Beijing Military Museum. The plaque says it is a Type 10 (1921) gun which, if correct, suggests another Chinese centre of production of the Type 41 gun.

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Some early conclusions: Bofors, Chinese or Japanese?

May 12 2016, 10:01 PM 

some preliminary conclusions after studying Kosar again.

1. the weapon (barrel and breechblock and rear end of cradle) bears all the hallmarks of construction around 1903;

2. It's definitely German in origin;

3. It's probably a Krupp weapon as the company made a whole series of weapons with a similar arrangement on the cradle (shape of breechblock and steel slab on the lower end of the cradle), though Ehrhardt made one or two as well;

4. None of the mountain guns in Kosar matches this weapon;

5. It is certainly not the Rheinmetall M1914;

6. It's also not the Japanese version of the Krupp mountain gun (though we can't rule out it was a Chinese copy delvierd to Siam in the 1930s);

7. The carriage perfectly matches the carriage of one of the Bofors-Krupp 7,5cm mountain gun versions of the early 1930s;

8. It could be a modification/modernisation of a 1903ish Krupp mountain gun carried out by Bofors in the early 1930s on behalf of Krupp (old weapon/new carriage);

9. Bofors was just about the only European supplier of artillery weapons to Thailand before WW2;

10. Upgrades of elderly Krupp weapons were also carried out or offered by Bofors in other countries;

11. Kosar mentions delivery of a 5cm Kolonialgeschuetz around 1903 to Siam and states is was an outdated weapon with Lafette Ruecklauf (i.e. not quick firing). That proves Siam bought weapons from Krupp around that time. But Kosar could have been wrongfooted or incomplete.

12. That makes me unsure of the caliber of the weapon: 5cm or 7,5cm, I think both are possible;

13. But V Klykoom wrote elsewhere on this forum re Wesley's list of Siam weaponry: "Also, no mention is made of any Rheinmetall guns. However, the book states that in 1920 a Type 49 (Krupp) mountain gun was altered, increasing its calibre from 50mm to 75mm. This new design was given to the Japanese to manufacture, and entered service in 1922 as the Type 63."

Now over to our correspondents in Bangkok who can conclusively ID the gun after closer inspection.

This message has been edited by nuyt on May 12, 2016 10:11 PM

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Re: Some early conclusions: Bofors, Chinese or Japanese?

May 14 2016, 12:23 PM 

Thanks a lot again! IMHO: it is not unlikely that 13th version is closest to the reality... happy.gif

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We'll see

May 14 2016, 2:45 PM 

The 5cm Krupp cant be the mother of this weapon. You can find surviving examples on the net (from Siam) and the breech and barrel are incompatible with our mystery weapon. There may have been some mix up...

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