Public Art : Krupp Gun
Manufacturer : The Krupp guns were manufactured at
the works of Friedrich Krupp (1787–1826) a very old family business in Essen, Germany.
Description : I don't profess to be an expert on
military weapons but I will assume that this particular gun was known as Matériel de 75mm
Mle the French 75 or Soixante-Quinze (French for 75) due to the 75 mm shell it used. That
however doesn't explain the Kaiser Wilhelm insignia!
Location : The Krupp gun is located next to the
Te Arawa Soldiers Memorial in the Government Gardens near the museum,
Rotorua, New Zealand.
Background : This particular Krupp gun was
associated with the Pioneer Battalion of Maori soldiers who liberated the town of Lequesnoy
in France during World War I. The gun was cast in 1898 and is engraved with Kaiser Wilhelm's insignia. In
1908 it was converted to a hydraulic system and then in 1998 it was restored after spending many years
mothballed in the museum storage.
History of the Krupp Gun :
Direct from Wiki ... "It was the first field gun to include a hydro-pneumatic recoil mechanism,
which kept the gun's trail and wheels perfectly still during the firing sequence. Since it did not need to be
re-aimed after each shot, the French 75 could deliver fifteen rounds per minute on its target, either shrapnel or
high-explosive, up to about 5 miles (8,500 meters) away."
Brief History of The New Zealand Division: In
their last action of World War I, the New Zealand Division captured the ancient fortress town of Le Quesnoy in a
daring assault on 4th November 1918. The town occupied a strategic position in north-eastern France and had been
held by the Germans since 1914. The Division would later boast this as their most successful mission during
their time on the Western Front. The soldiers started the day by pushing east and in doing so captured 2,000 German
soldiers and 60 field guns. Although with no specific orders to capture the town the New Zealand soldiers were
determined to take it.Over the walls they went and straight into hand to hand combat with the German soldiers. It
wasn't long before the German garrison surrended. I am assuming this is one of the 60 field guns they seized from
Kaiser Wilhelm's insignia