Background on the Obice da 210/22
During the late 1930s, the Italian Army decided to replace the bulk of their heavy artillery that by that time resembled an oversize military museum with all the World War I pieces. The army selected a good and thoroughly modern design, the Obice da 210/22.
An Italian Army team designed the Obice da 201/22 modello 35 howitzer, but Ansaldo produced it. Although shown in prototype form in 1935, it did not enter service until 1938 when the Italian Army requested a production order for no less than 346 units.
The Obice da 210/22 had a very sound design. It used a split trail carriage with two road wheels on each side. When the howitzer fired, the wheels raised off the ground. The weight became assumed by a firing platform under the main axle.
The entire weapon could traverse 360 degrees after raising the stakes that anchored the trail spades to the ground.
The main problem for the Italians was that having designed a first-rate howitzer, they could not produce it quickly enough. Despite the desire of the Italian Army not to enter the war with antiquated artillery, Ansaldo only produced 20 Obice da 210/22’s by the autumn of 1942. Five remained in Italy and 15 saw action on the Eastern Front.
Despite the requirements of the Italian Army, Hungary purchased Obice da 210/25’s as they came off the assembly line in exchange for raw materials and food. The Hungarians found it necessary to make their own carriage modifications and eventually set up their own 21-cm 40a.M production line in 1943.
Use by the Italians and Germans
In service, the Obice da 210/25 was successful enough. It could be transported in two loads, but for prolonged transfers, it could be broken down further into four loads with extra loads for assembly equipment and accessories. The Obice da 210/25 attracted the attention of the Germans. When Italy signed the Armistice in 1943, Ansaldo was forced to continue production of the Obice da 210/25 for German units in Italy. The Germans named it the 21-cm Haubitze 532(i). The Obice da 210/25 saw action till the end of the war.
After 1945, Ansaldo attempted to sell the Obice da 210/25 to the Italian army and the export market. Ansalso found little interest. American equipmet and war surplus supplies had saturated the market.
Specifications of the Obice da 210/25 Modello 35
|Model||Obice da 210/22|
|Caliber||8.26" (210 mm)|
|Length||16' 4.85" (5m)|
|Traveling Weight||52,977 lbs (24,030 kg) - Two Loads|
|Firing Weight||35,020 lbs (15,885 kg)|
|Muzzle Velocity||1,837 ft/sec (560 mps)|
|Maximum Range||16,850 yards (15,407 m)|
|Shell Weight||222.7 or 232.2 lbs (101 or 133kg)|
|Elevation||0º to +70º|