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Russian B4 Howitzer Operation

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  • Russian B4 Howitzer Operation

    Trying to find out how the trail of the B4 howitzer was raised and lowered when setting up. The US 155mm/8" mount had a capstan to rise the trail off the ground to attache the limber - how was this done on the B4?
    There had to be some way to hold the trail up when removing the limber and repositioning the spade - and then lower it down. More importantly (for the gun crew) there had to be a way to lift the trail up and then reattach the limber.
    On the trail are 2 crank handles and underneath is a large round plate - was this cranked up/down to raise or lower the trail.
    Can't find any photos of the B4 being set-up

    Thanks
    Mike

  • #2
    Originally posted by Saransk View Post
    Trying to find out how the trail of the B4 howitzer was raised and lowered when setting up. The US 155mm/8" mount had a capstan to rise the trail off the ground to attache the limber - how was this done on the B4?
    There had to be some way to hold the trail up when removing the limber and repositioning the spade - and then lower it down. More importantly (for the gun crew) there had to be a way to lift the trail up and then reattach the limber.
    On the trail are 2 crank handles and underneath is a large round plate - was this cranked up/down to raise or lower the trail.
    Can't find any photos of the B4 being set-up

    Thanks
    Mike
    Hmm.. Never seen that operation.
    this gun was transported in 2 parts - chassis and barrel apart. Barrel was transported by track wagon B-29


    or by wheeled cart Br-10






    I have repair manual for 203mm gun, but not sure if it contains any instructions for assembling and disassembling of those parts

    Maybe this was done with the help of lifting crane for shells, but not sure...
    Assembling took about 36 hrs as I could read
    Last edited by amvas; 15 Sep 10, 01:02.
    If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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    • #3
      B4 Operations

      I know for long moves it was broken down, in fact I have a photo showing the barrel being installed and there are several showing units moving with the gun in 2 parts, but the weight of the trail makes it impossible that it was manually lifted.
      If you look at the trail (and the kit) there are 2 crank handles attached to the trail that appear to crank something - not the shell crane. Underneath the trail is a large round, 2 part, plate that doesn't appear to do anything.
      The location of the plate, and the 2 cranks, suggest the plate was cranked down to stabilize the trail as the limber was removed, and then used to lower the trail to the ground - when moving, it was done in reverse. I've never found any photos showing what the plate did or why it is part of the trail assembly - the kit doesn't identify it.
      Does you manual show anything about the detail for the large round "plate" assembly underneath the trail
      Mike

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      • #4
        B4 Emplacement

        I may have solved this myself
        On a Greek Modeling site there is a review of the Alan B4 kit.
        (Search Google for Alan B4 Howitzer Greek)
        There are a few pictures of B4's and one shows the plate attached to the underside of the trail lowered down - attached to and arm. Another shows the trail resting on the support
        The arm/shaft appears to both extend and fold - the attachment is flexible.
        It may retract and fold up to store in the trail.

        So far, these are the only pictures I've found of this extended.

        Mike

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