Background on the Obice da 210/22 Modello 35
During the late 1930s, the Italian Army decided to modernize their antiquated heavy artillery. The army selected a thoroughly modern design with the Obice da 210/22 modello 35.
Although an Italian Army named the Direzione Superiore del Servizio Tecnico Armi e Munizioni (DSSTAM) designed the weapon, Ansaldo actually produced it. The prototype debut in 1935, however, the howitzer did not enter service until 1938.
In all, the Regio Esercito placed a production order for no less than 346 units.
The Obice da 210/22 modello 35 is a very sound and modern design. It utilized a split trail carriage with two road wheels on each side. When put into action, these wheels raised off the ground and the weight became assumed by a firing platform under the main axle.
The entire weapon could traverse 360 degrees after raising the stakes anchoring the trail spades to the ground.
Ammunition weighs 102 kg, 836 mm long and contains 15.7 kg of Trotyl explosive.
The Howitzer could be transported in two loads by a Breda TP32 Artillery Tractor. One load is comprised of the carriage wagon at 10,800 kg. The second load is the Howitzer wagon weighing 8, 200 kg. The Breda TP32 can tow these loads at 25-30 km/h on a flat road.
For extended moves, it could be dismantled into four loads with extra loads for assembly equipment and accessories
Production of the 210/22 Howitzer
The main problem regarding this first-rate howitzer is that Italy could not produce it quickly enough. Despite a desire to modernize its artillery, Italy never stepped up production. By the autumn of 1942, Ansaldo built only 69 units. But this figure is questionable. Italy retained five with the LXXIV Artillery Group and 15 deployed on the Eastern Front with the 176th Battery, LXXIII Artillery Group of the Italian 8th Army. These pieces were eventually abandoned on the Don River in preparation for the retreat on 19 December 1942.
Additionally, Despite the requirements set by the Regio Esercito, Italy sold fourteen 210/22 Howitzers to Hungary as they came off the assembly line in exchange for raw materials and food. After noting a few deficiencies, the Hungarians found it necessary to make their own carriage modifications to suit the 21 cm 39.M to the rigors of their service and eventually modified the carriage and wheels for a new variant identified as 21 cm 40.Ma.
On Military History N ° 171, Nicola Pignato and Filippo Cappellano state the following production numbers for the howitzer. However, these numbers are not certain.
The 210/22 Howitzer attracted the attention of Germany following the Italian armistice of 1943. In fact, Germany forced OTO to continue production of the Howitzer for German units in Italy. The nomenclature for this howitzer in German service became known as the 21-cm Haubitze 532(i). Germany possessed 22 of these howitzers and they remained in action until the end of the war.
After the War
After the war, Ansaldo attempted to sell the Obice da 210/22 modello 35 on the home and export market. However, no interest developed. After the war, American equipment flooded the home market and war surplus equipment became easily accessible.
|Model||Obice da 210/22 Modello 35|
|Length in Calibers||22|
|Projectile Weight||102 kg|
|Charge Weight||10 kg|
|Weight in Action||502 lb (227.5 kg)|
|Projectile Weight||0.276 lb (0.125 kg)|
|Muzzle Velocity||570 MPS|
|Maximum Range||52,493 ft (16,000 m)|
|Arc of Fre Travers||75°|
|Arc of Fire Elevation||0-70°|
|Dismantled to Ready Fire||20 minutes|
|Carriage Wagon Weight||23,809 lbs (10,800 kg)|
|Howitzer Wagon Weight||18,077 lbs (8,200 kg)|
Nicola Pignato and Filippo Cappellano, “The 210/22 mod. 35” howitzer, on Military History N ° 171 (December 2007)
GITAR Gruppo Italiano Armamenti, Obice da 210/22 Ansaldo Mod 935