Joined: July 20th, 2004, 4:40 pm

May 7th, 2016, 3:39 pm #11

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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Joined: July 20th, 2004, 4:40 pm

May 7th, 2016, 4:17 pm #12

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...
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Joined: March 20th, 2016, 6:51 am

May 8th, 2016, 6:33 am #13

Thanks!
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"!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Thai_Army
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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Joined: July 20th, 2004, 4:40 pm

May 8th, 2016, 8:46 am #14

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:

China

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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Joined: July 20th, 2004, 4:40 pm

May 12th, 2016, 8:01 pm #15

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.
Last edited by nuyt on May 12th, 2016, 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: March 20th, 2016, 6:51 am

May 14th, 2016, 10:23 am #16

Thanks a lot again! IMHO: it is not unlikely that 13th version is closest to the reality...
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Joined: July 20th, 2004, 4:40 pm

May 14th, 2016, 12:45 pm #17

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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Joined: July 20th, 2004, 4:40 pm

May 11th, 2018, 6:38 pm #18

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Joined: March 20th, 2016, 6:51 am

August 19th, 2018, 7:32 am #19

Thanks! With Google translator I have understood from Thai text that these guns were ordered from Japan, committed to active duty in 1920 (2463-543) and removed from the service  in 1961(2504-543). I think it was Japanese license-built copy of the Krupp 1908 mountain gun - some intermediate model before well-known Type 41. The Japanese adopted improved Type 41 while the preceding outdated model was sold to Thailand.
Some more photos of Thai Type 63 Mountain gun:
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