German 10,5 cm. leichte Feld Haubitze (l.F.H.) 1898/09 & 1916 Limber (Protze)

Above: The German 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber was used in WWI and WWII. It served the 10,5cm lFH 98/09 and the 10,5cm lFH 1916 howitzers

Above: Close up view of the arm rest for the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber

Above: Pintle hitch and locking pin for the lFH 98 Limber. The locking pin is WW2 Era production and has a three leter code

Above: Pintle hitch and locking pin for the lFH 98 Limber

Above: New hub caps and pin (made by Matt Switlik) for the orginal wheels

Above: Depot marks and date on the orginal wheels "AW Dr 1915"

Above: Painted foot boards and single tree hooks

Above: Painted foot boards and single tree hooks

Above: Painted foot boards and single tree hooks

Above: Side view of the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber

Above: Side view of the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber

Above: The door open for ammunition. Notice the 10,5cm lFH ammunition wicker box

Above: Side view of the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber

Above: This is the yoke mounted on the limber pole

Above: This is the yoke mounted on the limber pole. Notice the single trees in the background on the limber

Above: Front view of the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber. Single trees are mounted on the limber

Above: WW1 German Field Grey paint covering the red oxide primer

Above: Another view of the red oxide primer on the on the limber

Above: Red oxide primer on the on the limber

Above: Another view of the single tree hooks and foot board mounts with the oak boards  

Above: Single tree hooks and foot board mounts with the oak boards

Above: Single tree hook and foot board mount riveted together

Above: Heating a rivet before rounding it with the rivet gun

Above: New single tree hook and mount for the foot board bolted (not yet riveted) to the limber

Above: New single tree hook and mount for the foot board bolted to the limber  

Above: Inside view of the new single tree hook and mount for the foot board.  The parts were cut out based on the paper patterns.

Above: New single tree hook and mount for the foot board.  The parts were cut out based on the paper patterns.

Above and Below:  The armrest for the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber.  The rivets are now set

 

Above:  Armrest handhold, with a welded wire perimeter

Above:  The riveted connection point between the armrest and limber box

Above:  A German WW2 Era projectile holder for the 10,5cm lFH 1916, which is the replacement for the 10,5cm lFH 1898/09 howitzer that saw service into the Second World War

Above:  A German WW1 Era wicker projectile holder for the 10,5cm lFH 98/09

Above:  The armrest are bolted in place but not yet riveted.  The foot boards and hooks for the traces are partly built but not in place for this photograph

Above:  Rear view of the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber.  The paint is striped off, except for the bottom of the limber box.  I will keep a section of this original Field Grey as an example.  There was just too much contrast, with some WW2 Tan in some areas, as well as spots of rust to keep all the original Field Grey.  This was a difficult decision, but I decided the compromise of keeping the section of original paint on the bottom, where there is little rust, was the best solution

Above:  Front view showing the new armrest bolted in place

Above:  New armrest, not yet riveted

Above:  Rear close up of the new armrest. No rivets yet

Above:  Detail of triangle shaped connection between the armrest and back board.  This is put together temporally with bolts and will be riveted later

Above:  Right side view of the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber.  This photo shows the wheel removed and the new connector between the axel and limber box (in red oxide), and the new armrest bolted in place

Above:  The 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber with the new armrest.  The sheet metal is not cut out for the hand holds in this photo

Above:  The paper pattern for the armrest sheet metal

Above:  Rear view close up of the armrest

Above:  Close up of the front of the armrest.  It is bolted to the limber box at this point but not yet riveted

Above:  A distant photo of the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber.  It was raining while I was working this time so no outdoor photos

Above:  The original yoke for the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber.  This is a fairly rare part that I found in Poland.  This is where the swing and lead horse teams hook their trace chains

Above:  The new 10,5cm lFH 98 foot board mounts/trace chain hooks alongside the original 7,7cm lFK 96 foot board mounts/single tree hooks.  More work to go on these

Above:  The 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber (Protze) without the sheet metal for the armrest

Above:  Side view of the 10,5cm lFH 1898/09 Limber without sheet metal for the armrest

Above:  Close up of the armrest without sheet metal

Above:  The underside of the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber.  The red oxide parts are new connectors between the axle and limber box

Above:  New connector between the limber box and axle

Above and below:  Fitting the new connector for the axle and limber box

 

Above:  New (left) and original armrest (right)  

Above:  New (front) and original armrest (rear)  

Above:  Original pintle hook and retaining pin for the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber.  The pin is later WW2 Era production with a three letter code

Above and Below:  The 10,5cm lFH 1898/09 Limber (Protze) with a 7,7cm lFK 1896 Limber arm rest temporally set onto the ammunition box just to get a sense as to how the complete limber will look.  Notice that the arm rest is not long enough for this box because of the proportional difference between the 7,7cm and 10,5cm limbers. Also, the limber box is too far forward in these photos. See the identification drawings link for a comparison between the 10,5cm Limber and the 7,7cm Limber

Above:  10,5cm lFH 98/09 Limber with original wooden pre-WW1 single trees, limber pole, prop-pole, wheels, limber ammunition box and under-frame.  The hub caps and lynch pins are reproductions cast by Matt Switlik

Above: Close up of the 7,7cm arm rest set onto the 10,5cm Limber box. With this view you can see arm rest are too short to fit the longer 10,5cm box. I will have to make reproduction arm rest to the correct length

Above:  The older style wooden single tree is very evident in this photo.  Also, the shovel mount for the pioneer shovel is very clear in the photo on the limber box.  The outer section of the mount will have to be replaced

 

Above:  Photograph of the full length of the limber with limber pole.  The arm rest are not attached.  The wheel team of horses are meant to hook up to the single trees and limber pole

Above:  Another view of the full length of the 10,5cm lFH Limber, without arm rest attached

Above:  Front view of the 10,5cm lFH 1898/09 Limber.  The hook on the end of the limber pole is seen in this photo.  This is where the yoke attaches.  I have the correct yoke but was not available to photograph on this particular day

Above:  Limber hook to attach the howitzer.  The locking bolt is missing in this photo.  Some detail of the under-frame is evident in this photo

Above and Below:  Front and rear view of the 10,5cm lFH 89/09 Limber (Protze)

Below:  The ammunition box open for the 10,5cm lFH 98/09 Limber

Below:  Rear view of the Limber Box open.  The box came from France.  It survived all these years in a Frenchman’s basement being used as a wine cabinet.  The limber under-frame, wheels, limber pole, and other parts came from eastern Germany.  These parts from eastern Germany appear to have been used on a 7,7cm lFK 1896 n/A Limber.  For this reason, not all the bolt holes match up correctly.  The 7,7cm lFK ammunition box is smaller than the one for the 10,5cm

 

Above and Below:  The limber under-frame set up-side-down on the ammunition box.  Finally bolted together

Below:  The under-frame set on the top of the limber ammunition box.  The orginal color of the box is clear in this photo.  I think the dark yellow might be from the WW2 era and the green appears to be WW1 era field grey

Below:  The newly made end piece for the under-frame

Below:  The hydraulic press used to press the blister in the replacement end pieces for the limber under-frame

Below:  The paper pattern for the end pieces taped the limber under-frame.  From this paper pattern, the new metal was cut out and then blisters pressed in

 

Above:  Two 7,7cm lFK or 10,5cm lFH 98/09 German Field Artillery Limber frames, axels, single tree hook mounts, and a hitch. These have recently come in from Germany (2014) There are also two limber poles not pictured

Above:  The bench seat arm rest for the German 7,7cm Field Artillery limber from a collector in Germany (these are about 4.5 inches too short for use with the 10,5cm Limber)

Above:  Two wheel sets from Germany for a 7,7cm lFK Limber

Above: Hook for Limber pole. This is the part that holds the yoke for the wheel team horses

Below:  This is a 10,5cm lFH Limber box.  It is missing the under frame and the bench seats that once mounted on top of the box.  This fairly thin sheet metal part of the limber is extremely rare because few were preserved as monuments and the few that were not scraped were often left outdoors.  In these conditions, the sheet metal rapidly deteriorated.  Fortunately, this example had a second life as a wine cabinet in a Frenchman's cellar.  After this less than dignified period of its survival, it will be restored as a functional 10,5cm howitzer limber

10,5cm Limber Box 10,5cm lFH Limber

Below: Orginal photograph of the German Field Artillery Limber

Below: 10,5cm lFH Limber with driver crew

Below Left: A view of the limber box open. This is the same veiw in the orginal drawing on the right. Wicker boxes of ammunition fit within this shelving

Inside the Limber Box 10,5cm. lFH Limber

Below: This limber has the much the same outward appearance as the7,7cm lFK LimberThe side detail of the box is seen on the drawing and the photograph below

Limber box side view

The Limber for the German Field Artillery 10,5cm l.F.H. 1898/09 and 10,5cm l.F.H. 1916 are the same and share many common features with the limber for the 7,7cm l.F.K. 1896 n/A and the 7,7cm l.F.K. 1916.  The wheels are taller for the 7,7cm limber and the ammunition box differs with both interior and exterior details.  The easiest way to tell them apart is that the ammunition shelves in the 7,7cm limber stack horizontally, whereas the shelving in the 10,5cm limber stacks vertically. The limber frame, axels, limber pole, and prop pole appear to be essentially interchangeable between the 7,7cm and 10,5cm limbers.
These limbers are rare.  There is one 10,5cm limber at Kamal Ataturk’s Mausoleum in Ankara, Turkey.  There is another in a private collection near Idar-Oberstein, Germany without an original ammunition box.  There are the remains of two 10,5cm lFH limbers in private hands Russia.  Both of these in Russia have badly damaged ammunition boxes and other sheet metal is damaged and heavily rusted with wheels missing.  I do not know of a surviving 7,7cm lFK limber, other than the one in Brasschaat, Belguim.
Finnish limbers for the Russian 76.2mm Field Gun were imported to the USA in the 1990s.  These hold little value.  Sometimes unethical dealers try to sell these as German limbers.  There is little commonality between them but some people are dishonest and some gullible.  For this reason they seem to have a market.    
With the parts that I have imported there are two wheel sets for a 7,7cm lFK limber and a second frame/axle set that could be used for a 7,7cm lFK limber.  This combination holds the potential to complete a 7,7cm limber if a 7,7cm ammunition box can be located or if detailed drawings of one found. 

Below: A drawing of the under frame for the 7,7cm lFK 96 limber. This is not quite the same as the 10,5cm lFH 98 Limber but close.

10,5cm lFH Limber Frame

Below: This is the Limber Pole End illustrated for the 9cm C/73 Limber but has common featurs to almost all German WW1 Era Limbers. The two chains hook to the wheel team horses' collar

Limber Pole wheel team harness attachment

Below: German Artillery Trace and Limber Pole Chains

Below: Original photograph of two 10,5cm lFH 16 Limbers in Third Reich service. Note, the single tree

Below: One of the single trees for the 10,5cm Limber. The two hooks were likely added later by a German farmer

Below: Original photograph of a 10,5cm lFH 16 and its Limber in Third Reich service

10,5cm lFH 16 with its Limber

The Lovett Collection also has most of the harnessing and saddles for the six horse driver team for German Field Artillery Service

This horse equipment can be seen on the WW1 Era Field Artillery Harness and Saddle page

WW2 Era Field Artillery Harness and Saddle

For the 10,5cm lFH 1916

For the 10,5cm lFH 1898/09

Link to the 10,5cm Ammunition

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All images, research, and text are sole property of Ralph Lovett.