Austrian Liechtenstein Mortars

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After years of experimentation, the teams of Fürst Joseph Wenzel von Liechtenstein introduced a new artillery system in 1750 and 1752. It consisted of a family of three groups of guns:

  1. Light 1-pounder amusettes to be used as regimental guns for the Grenzer (aka Croats) infantry regiments
  2. Field Artillery: 3- (standard regimental guns), 6- and light 12-pounder cannon, whose barrels measured 16 calibres in length, and the 7-pound howitzers.
  3. Battery Pieces (long and short-barrelled guns): 12-, 18- and 24-pounder pieces.

All pieces had been designed and built according to a common scheme. There was no effective alteration to the external appearances of the barrels. The introduction of the Angussscheiben (washers?), which prevented the carriage from shaking, and their later extension, which permitted the introduction of parallel trails instead of the old divergent style.

100-pdr bomb mortar of 1757
Source: Anton Dollaczek; Geschichte der Österreichischen Artillerie von den frühesten Zeiten bis zur Gegenwart, p. 298

There were also heavy mortars: 10-, 30-, 60- and 100-pound mortars firing iron shot and a 100-pound, stone-throwing piece.

The whole system was soon admired by the Prussians; these pieces were even more mobile than their own and they increased the number of guns with the army considerably.


Das Heer Maria Theresias (Albertina), reprinted in Vienna, 1973

Dollaczek, Anton; Geschichte der Österreichischen Artillerie von den frühesten Zeiten bis zur Gegenwart, Vienna, 1887

Duffy, Christopher;Instrument of War: The Austrian Army in the Seven Years War, Emperor's Press, Chicago, 2000

Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin, 1901, pp. 141-142

Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von; Geschichte der K. U. K. Wehrmacht; Vienna and Leipzig, 1911


Christian Rogge for the present version of this article and Digby Smith for the previous version