From Encyclopedia Britannia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Gun-howitzer (also referred to as gun howitzer) is a type of artillery weapon that is intended to fulfill both the role of ordinary cannon or field gun, and that of a howitzer.[1] It is thus able to convey both direct and indirect fire.[1]

To be able to serve as a howitzer, gun-howitzers are typically built to achieve at least 60° to 70° of elevation. For effective direct fire, the gun-howitzers typically employ a fairly long barrel, usually not shorter than 30 calibres. Its ammunition also has a high muzzle velocity and often large calibre (usually of 120 mm calibre and larger).[1]


Historically the first gun-howitzer was the French canon obusier of 19th century. The smooth-bore Canon obusier de 12 was a versatile weapon that quickly replaced both ordinary cannons and howitzers in French service, and became one of the basic types of artillery used by both sides of the American Civil War.[2] Owing to their versality, gun-howitzers gained prominence in the period leading to World War II as a more flexible weapon than ordinary howitzers and were adopted by armies of both the Allies (for instance the Soviet ML-20 152 mm M1937 and British (88 mm) Ordnance QF 25-pounder) and the Axis (German 10.5 cm leFH 18).[3]

Modern example of gun-howitzer is Gun-howitzer M84 NORA.

The howitzer was widely used in the American Civil War, the Franco-Prussian War (of 1870), the First World War, and the Second World War, being used as cannons to support discretion. Over the years the Howitzer was modified and in most of its models only the shape of the gun changed, being the case that it would be used as a field support for the infantry, for sieges or for massive bombardment of strategic points.

See also




  • Carruthers, Bob (21 January 2013). German Artillery in Combat. Pen and Sword. ISBN 978-1-78159-133-8. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  • Ciepliński, Andrzej; Woźniak, Ryszard (1994). Encyklopedia współczesnej broni palnej (od połowy XIX wieku) [Encyclopaedia of modern firearms (since mid-19th century)] (in polski). Warsaw: Wydawnictwo WiS. pp. 83–84. ISBN 83-86028-01-7.
  • Hazlett, James C.; Olmstead, Edwin; Parks, M. Hume (2004). Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War. University of Illinois Press. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-0-252-07210-9. Retrieved 13 April 2015.