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7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n/A
The 7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n/A was the standard German field gun at the outbreak of the First World War, but suffered from a lack of range, and was superseded by the 7.7cm Feldkanone 16 from 1916.
The FK 96 n/A was designed by Krupp in response to an order for the German army, which like most of the European powers was aware that the French were developing a new field gun with a barrel recoil system (the famous 'Seventy Five'). The existing 7.7cm Feldkanone 96 lacked any barrel recoil system, and so although it was very new, was already obsolete.
The unusual calibre was just larger than the French 7.5cm and Russian 7.62mm standards, and allowed the Germans to bore out captured enemy guns to take their 7.7cm shells, while preventing their opponents from doing the same. The weapon used the contemporary German howitzer carriage, and a horizontal sliding breach block. n/A stood for 'neues Art' or new model. The barrel was only slightly longer than the cradle for the recoil mechanism. The FK 96 n/A was paired with a Limber 96 n/A, which carried the ammo. The gun and limber were drawn by six a team of six horses.
The 7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n/A was a contemporary of the famous French Canon de 75 le 1897, but it didn't compare terribly well to the French weapon. It had a lower muzzle velocity, shorter range and slower rate of fire than the French gun, although it did fire a slightly heavier shell.
The FK 96 n/A was produced in large numbers. Field gun batteries in infantry divisions had six guns, those in cavalry divisions had only four guns. By August 1914 there were 5,096 FK 96 n/As in service.
In combat the FK 96 n/A proved to be too short ranged, at least in part due to the relatively short barrel and limited range of elevation. In 1915 the existing barrel was placed on howitzer carriages to increase elevation and thus range. In 1916 it was superseded by the 7.7cm Feldkanone 16, which had a longer barrel, giving it higher muzzle velocity, and used the carriage from the 10.5cm FH 98/09 (field howitzer), giving it a much better range of elevation (maximum elevation rose from 15.2 degrees to 40 degrees. As a result the range with standard HE shells rose from 7,800m to 9,100m.
After the appearance of the 7.7 Fk 16 most of the surviving FK 96 n/As were moved to training units, although some remained in use to the end of the First World War. A total of 3,744 were still in use by November 1918, although that figure must have included training units.
7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n/A
Weight for transport
Weight in action
-12.9 to +15.2 degrees
6.85kg high explosive
7,800m for shell with impact fuse
Rate of Fire
12 rounds/ min
Books on the First World War |Subject Index: First World War
7.7cm Feldkanone 16 (FK16)
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/21/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The Imperial German Army adopted the 7.7cm FK 96 field gun in 1896 though this system was almost immediately made obsolete with the arrival of the French Canon de 75 modele 1897 the following year. The modele 1897 utilized a revolutionary recoil system fitted under the barrel which made for a more efficient weapon - the gun could be fired without it being moved out of place by the recoil force, having to be retrained on a target area. This led to excellent accuracy and rates of fire which the German gun could not match. The French gun managed a range out to 8,550 meters using standard High Explosive (HE) projectiles and went on to see service up to the end of World War 2 in 1945.
In 1904, the German Army attempted a modernization of their FK 96 stock by adding its own recoil mechanism under the barrel and a new carriage assembly with gun shield. This improved the type as a battlefield weapon and it served German gunnery crews into World War 1 (1914-1918). However, the once-fluid nature of the war that began in July of 1914 grew into a network of stagnate fronts to begin the bloody business of "Trench Warfare". As battlefields became deeper, the range of the FK 96 was seriously undermined with an effective, accurate reach of just 6,000 yards (9,200 yards maximum).
This limitation brought forth a new need for an artillery piece offering greater engagement ranges. The storied German concern of Krupp manufactured a new gun to fit this requirement as the "7.7cm FK 16" and it was quickly introduced in 1916 to help shore up German artillery stocks. The new weapon was given a longer barrel, which provided a range out to 11,700 yards, and a box-type carriage taken from the 10.5cm Feldhaubitze 98/09 field howitzer. Recoil was managed through a hydro-spring system and the weapon's caliber remained 7.7cm (77mm) for logistical friendliness. Each shell weighed approximately 16lbs and was made available in several flavors to suit tactical needs (HE, Shrapnel, illumination, smoke, poison gas). Shells were fed through a horizontal sliding breech block (as in the FK 96) and elevation controls spanned -10 to +40 degrees while traverse was 4-degrees to either side. The gun barrel sat atop a heavy mounting which was mated to the two-wheeled steel carriage. Transport was by horse team and the crew numbered five personnel. The system as a whole weighed some 2,900lbs and sported a barrel length of nearly 9 feet - much larger and heavier than the preceding FK 96 design it replaced which made it a more cumbersome weapon to field.
Once in action, the hasty development and shortened testing cycle of the new field gun turned up key deficiencies that were largely related to poor quality in manufacture of both guns and projectiles. Despite this, the need was great and Krupp delivered on 3,000 units for the German Army between 1916 and 1918. The FK 16 certainly held tactical value in being able to lob its projectiles thousands of meters away with direct line of sight or indirect fire. With access to a variable store of munitions, the gunnery crew could engage dug-in enemy personnel hiding in trenches, assault hardened fortifications and attack enemy machine gun nests with relative impunity. The weapon could also fire dreaded poison gas shells to both psychologically and physically damage the enemy. When the British unleashed their tank offensives in 1917, the FK 16 was called in use as an ad hoc anti-tank gun - more Allied tanks fell to artillery fire and mechanical breakdown than to any other weapon of the war.
With German proving the loser in World War 1, the nation was stripped of its war-making capabilities and ex-German guns were handed to Belgium as war reparations. Belgian Canon de 75 mle TR barrels were mated to FK 16 carriages to produce the 75mm "Canon de 75 mle GP11" and another type fitted a sleeve inside of the existing barrels of FK 16 systems to produce the "Canon de 75 mle GP III" in 75mm caliber. When Germany reemerged in the 1930s under Adolf Hitler's rule, any remaining German FK 16 guns were given new barrels of 7.5cm (75mm) caliber and redesignated as "7.5cm FK 16 n.A." ("n.A." signifying them as "new model artillery"). After the conquer of Belgium in 1940, the Germans recouped their lost FK 16 equipment from the beaten Belgian Army and assigned the designations of "7.5cm FK 234(b)" for the Canon de 75 mle GP11 marks and "7.5cm FK 236(b)" for the Canon de 75 mle GP III marks.
With the fall of Germany in May of 1945, the story of the FK 16 and its foreign variants ended for none were used beyond the worldwide conflict.
7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n/A - History
7,7cm leichte Feld Kanone (l.F.K.) 1896 n/A
Above: This is a German 7,7cm lFK 1896 n/A. This gun was manufactured in 1896. Restoration is nearly complete at this point. The only significant piece lacking is the trigger. This is one of two guns of this type in the collection. Restoration is complete on the second (1917 dated) gun
Above: Side view of the 7,7cm lFK 96 n/A. The 7,7cm was originally designed as a non-recoil gun but was rebuilt in 1906 with an improved breech, a spade, shield, layer and loader seats, plus the hydro-spring recoil mechanism. With these modifications the 7,7cm lFK 96 was called the &ldquoNew Model&rdquo. This is what the n/A represents in the designation
Above: Another side view of the 7,7cm light field gun
Above: The sliding wedge breech mechanism of the 7,7cm lFK 96 n/A, missing the trigger
Above: Rear or breech view of the 7,7cm lFK 96 n/A showing the attached pioneer shovels and shorter entrenching tools. The sliding wedge breech block is completely open in this photograph
Above: The 7,7cm lFK 96 n/A sight mount and sight
Above: Right, is the 1896 dated gun still in need of a replacement trigger. Left, is the 1917 dated 7,7cm lFK 96 n/A that is compete
Above: Right, is the 1896 dated gun still in need of a replacement trigger. Left, is the 1917 dated 7,7cm lFK 96 n/A that is compete
Above: A photograph of the 7,7cm l.F.K. 1896n/A after painting wartime field grey. The breech block is missing in this photo
Above: A rear veiw of the German 7,7cm lFK 1896 n/A
Below: 7,7cm lFK 96 with the upper shield folded forward. In this way the leather back pads are availble for the
two gun crew members riding on the axle tree seats
The 7,7cm. leicht Feld Kanone 1896 neuer/Art (light field cannon 1896 of the new pattern) is a German Field Artillery piece originally designed by the Fried. Krupp company with no recoil system, however, most were rebuild later by the Rheinmetal Company with a hydo-spring recoil system, spade and shield. Follow on production continued with 7,7cm. l.F.K. "96 n/A pieces built from the ground up with the recoil system, spade and shield. This rather dramatic change in design was prompted by the realization of the rapid fire capabilities of the French 75mm mle/1897 with its hydro-pneumatic recoil system.
The 7,7cm. l.F.K. "96 n/A, like most German artillery, has a horizontal sliding wedge breech block. It fires fixed ammunition consisting of a primer train, shell case and projectile. Point detonating (PD) and time fuzes were used by this piece. Elevation and traverse are limited by the design of the trail. The gun is fitted with a folding shield and, a set of axle tree seats are mounted to the front to seat two gun crewmen while the piece is towed. The 7,7cm. used a panoramic sight graduated in mils (0-6400) and a graduated sight-mount used to calculate quadrant (elevation of the gun barrel). Note that this gun is missing its sight-mount. The barrel is marked with the Latin phrase "ULTAMA RATIO REGIS" roughly translating to mean that artillery is the " Finial Reckoning of Kingdoms ". This phrase served as the motto of both the German Field and Foot Artillery branches. The overlapping letters "WRII" and crown is the crest for Kaiser William II, who was the King of Prussia and Emperor of Imperial Germany. The barrel was once marked with a Prussian Eagle crest near the muzzle but the original barrel mantel was replaced in a wartime era depot rebuild. Because of the pressure of WW1 wartime production the eagle was not again marked onto this replacement barrel mantel.
In wartime service one shortcoming in its design became evident. The trail did not allow enough elevation so greater range was difficult to achieve. Field expedient methods where employed by the crewmen to increase range and a redesigned gun was pushed into service incorporating the carriage of the 10,5cm. l.F.H. 1898/09 and the barrel/recoil group of the 7,7cm. l.F.K. "96 n/A. The few guns produced of this type were known as the K.i.H. Following this effort, the 7,7cm. l.F.K. 1916 was developed again using the carriage of the 10,5cm. l.F.H. "98/09 but was fitted with a completely new longer barrel. The Box trail of the 10,5cm re-used in the design of both the K.i.K and the 7,7cm. l.F.K. "16 allowed for grater elevation and increased range.
Above Left: A photograph of the Kaiser William II (WRII or William Rex II) crest. You can see that this Kaiser William II crest is not complete. When the barrel was first rebuilt in 1906 as an upgrade from the 7,7cm lFK 1896 non-recoil gun type to the 7,7cm lFK 1896 n/A with a hydro-spring recoil mechanism the lathe work for the new bands partly erased the scroll. When this piece was first produced as a 7,7cm lFK 1896 type there was a Prussian Eagle crest etched onto the muzzle end of the barrel. During the wartime period when this piece was yet again arsenal rebuilt the breech ring sleeve was retained with the Kaiser William II crest but the barrel sleeve, with the eagle crest, was replaced. This is a fairly common occurrence and it is actually less common to see a 7,7cm lFK 96 n/A with both crest. Above Right: Another view of the Kaiser William II crest after the barrel was remounted onto the recoil mechanism and painted field grey.
Above: The barrel sliding back into position along the recoil cradle. The cylinder of the recoil mechanism is visible fitted to the breech ring. The piece is still only painted in red oxide primer.
Above: The barrel almost in place.
Above: The barrel hosted up into position and lined up with the recoil mechanism.
Above: A side view of the barrel hosted into position with the recoil mechanism.
Above: New leather back pads riveted onto the shield. These cushion the heads of the crewmembers who ride on the axletree seats.
Above: Close up of the left shield back pad riveted into place.
Above: Close up of one of the two new shovel mounts riveted into place on the lower shield.
Above: The shovel mounts for the 7,7cm lFK 1896 n/A are for two shovels each. One is the large pioneer shovel and the other is the short handled trench shovel. In this view one shovel mount is disassembled and the other is riveted together.
Above: In this view of the restoration process, the elevation and traversing mechanisms are laid out to the side of the carriage.
Above: Close up of the elevation and traversing mechanisms.
Above: The axletree seats are seen is this view of the carriage of the 7,7cm lFK 1896 n/A.
Above: A rear view of the carriage of the 7,7cm. l.F.K. 1896 n/A.
Above: Both 7,7cm&rsquos recoil cradles after sand blasting. The Hydro-Spring Recoil system is removed.
7.7cm Feldkanone 96 (FK96)
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/10/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Artillery firepower still reigned supreme over the battlefields of World War 1 despite the arrival of the aircraft and the "tank" as viable weapons of war. There was considerable pressure put on war time industries to continually output all manner of guns in various useful calibers to coincide with available ammunition types of each army. The Imperial German Army fielded several field gun types during the conflict and one such device became the 7.7cm Feldkanone 96 ("77mm Field Cannon Model of 1896"). as its designation would suggest, the type was first adopted in 1896 and saw use throughout World War 1 into the Armistice of November 1918. A modernized form then appeared in 1904 (7.7cm FK 96 n.A.) and an all-new improved gun replaced the line in 1916 (7.7cm FK 16).
Field guns provided war planners with a long range reach in which apply direct or indirect fire against concentrations of enemy troops or fortifications. As such, they could fire a variety of projectiles ranging from high-explosive to shrapnel. By the time of World War 1, such artillery pieces were breech-loading implements (as opposed to muzzle-loading) with integrated recoil mechanisms which allowed the gun unit to stay in place after firing (the recoil force being absorbed through various means). In this way, the weapon could consistently be training in on the target area without realignment.
However, the FK 96 retained an origination in 1896 in which a viable recoil mechanism was yet to be produced. This was finally brought about by the French through their excellent "Canon de 75 modele 1897" in 1897 - just one year after the German adoption of the FK 96 - which rendered non-recoiled systems essentially obsolete. The FK 96 instead used a crude spade brake on its trail to handle the violent recoil but it was never truly enough - guns would literally "stand up" on their rears when fired which limited how much traverse could be applied. Overall, the design of the system was conventional for the period and included the gun barrel of 77mm, a mounting system with elevation handles and multi-spoked solid wheels. The weapon was transported by animal and required a crew of five personnel to manage efficiently - from command to ammunition handlers to gunner. The storied German concern of Krupp managed the design and development of the FK 96 and many other guns of the German Army through two World Wars.
Prior to World War 1 in 1904, the German Army was pressed to update its stock of FK 96 guns to keep pace with French firepower. This involved rebuilding existing systems to a more modern standard with only the barrels of the original units being retained in the program. This initiative produced the new designation of "7.7cm FK 96 n.A." with "n.A." signifying its position as "new model" ("neuer Art" in the German). A prominent recoil mechanism was added under the barrel as in the French design and a pole trail facilitated transport at the carriage rear. A squat gun shield rounded out the list of improvements and provided some protection for the crew behind. Not all guns in stock were updated as such and older, untouched FK 96 guns were assigned the designation of "7.7cm FK 96 a.A." to signify their "Old Model" status.
FK 96 guns relied on separate ammunition components made up of the projectile and a cased charge section. Shells were in the 77mm chambering (3") and fed through a horizontal sliding wedge breech mechanism. The recoil action of modernized units was controlled through a hydro-spring system. Elevation ranged from -12 to + 15 degrees while traverse was limited to 4-degrees in either direction. Beyond that, the gunnery crew would need to use its strength to turn the weapon on its wheels. A trained gunnery crew could supply a rate-of-fire of 10 rounds per minute. Muzzle velocity of each exiting round was 1,525 feet per second and effective range was out to 6,000 yards with a maximum engagement range out to 9,200 yards. Each FK 96 system weighed in at 2,200lbs which necessitated its crew of five (two were afforded crude metal seats behind the gun shield). Laying was accomplished through a tangent sight. The weapon measured a length of nearly 7 feet and a width of 5 feet.
The FK 96 system was cleared to fire a 15lb High-Explosive (HE) shell, a 15lb Shrapnel Shell with HE detonation, a 15lb Shrapnel projectile, an anti-tank projectile, a standard smoke-producing shell, an illumination shell for night and low-level light operations and a poison gas shell. As such, the weapon could be called upon to produce a variety of effects on the battlefield including general attack, defense, gas attack, illumination for night time attacks and smoke screens prior to major offensives. With the arrival of British tanks, the weapon could then be trained on the slow moving targets and utilized as a direct line of sight anti-tank gun. It is noteworthy that many Allied tanks of the war were lost to artillery and mechanical unreliability than to any other battlefield weapon.
Both versions of the FK 96 field gun were utilized throughout World War 1. In time, however, the decades-old development showcased its limited use (primarily range) in the presence of deeper battlefields brought about by the stalemate of trench warfare. This then resulted in the design, development and subsequent introduction of the much improved "7.7cm FK 16 of 1916" which increased effective engagement ranges out to 10,000 yards.
The FK 96 saw use beyond the German Army in World War 1. Operators went on to include the Kingdom of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and German allies the Ottoman Empire. Boer forces in South African procured the type and used them against British and Commonwealth forces in the 1899-1902 Second Boer War.
FK 96 series guns were used up until 1918. A British-captured example is on display at the Bovington Tank Museum in the UK, the gun having participated in combat against the 7th Battalion Tank Corps near Graincourt and afforded the nickname of "The Graincourt Gun".
- Type: Field gun
- Caliber: 3 in (7.7 cm)
- Shell: 77 mm (3 in)
- Crew: 5
- Elevation: -12° 56' to +15° 8'
- Traverse: 7° 15'
- Rate of Fire: 10 rpm
- Effective Range: 5,500 m (6,000 yd)
- Feed System: Single-shot
The 7.7 cm Feldkanone 96 n. A. and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:
|All Quiet on the Western Front||German soldiers||1930|
|Shock Troop||seen on the battlefield||1934|
|The Great Dictator||Tomanian soldiers||1940|
|The Desert of the Tartars||Austro-Hungarian soldiers||1976|
|The Razor's Edge||seen on the battlefield||1984|
|The Lighthorsemen||Australian and Turkish troops||1987|
|War Horse||German soldiers||2011|
|Game Title||Appears as||Notation||Release Date|
|Battlefield: 1918||7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n.A.||2004|
|The Great War 1918||7.7cm Fk 96 n.A.||2013|
|Battle of Empires : 1914-1918||7.7cm Feldkanone 96||2014|
|Battlefield 1||Fk 96||2016|
|Beyond The Wire||"Feldkanone 96"||2021|
7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n/A - History
Prussia Arms on the tube. Markings unknown
Faced to the sudden obsolescence of its new but so conventionnal Krupp fieldgun 7.7cm FK 96 ('FK' = FeldKanone = Fieldgun) because of the appearance of the revolutionary new French 75 mle 1897 fieldgun and the demonstration of its capacities on a battlefield in China in 1900, Krupp was ordered to coordinate with its most serious competitor Rheinmetall to engage a costly modernization program that would integrate this company technical innovations.
Indeed, Rheinmetall was proposing for some years modern devices denied by the APK (Artilerie Prufungs Komission) that the Krup gun was cruelly missing : a quick-acting breech (Ehrardt-Rheinmetall) and a hydro-mechanic recoil recuperator designed by Haussner (Rheinmetall).
Ironically, this brilliant engineer could not convince its use by his employer already in 1888, when he was working for. The powerful bult conservative. Krupp (!). That new gun was genuinely named '7.7 cm FK 96 n/A' ('n/A' = neue Art - new mark) since it was - at least on the paper - only a modification of the existing gun.
However, in practice, this operation was Consequent since on the tube only, the workshops had to machine the rear chamber in order to accommodate the use of assembled ammunitions, change the whole breech, re-machine the diameter and slighrly shorten the barrel to lighten the gun, add side guides, and mount on a new recuperator. The carriage was almost a new one with a longer trail, a shield was added, . The few rare remaining guns that were not modernized were named '7.7 cm FK 96 a/A' ('a/A' = alte Art - ancient mark)
Manufactured since 1904 by Krupp and RheinMetall and introduced in the batteries from 1906, that fieldgun was the backbone of the light artirrely of the German army. This country entered in war in 1914 with 5068 guns of that type, organised in powerful 6 guns batteries for the field artillery and 4 guns batteries for the cavalry divisions. 3744 fieldguns 77 FK 96 n/A were still in service at the armistice. This was a modern and efficient gun, whose perfomances are comparable to the French "75", but for the maximum range (500m lower for the German gun with the initial shell type). A whole generation of guns derivated from that concept were commercialized by the German indusrty before the Great War for exportation in various countries. During the war, IInd Reich allies such as Turkey and Bulgaria were dotated with the same guns.
History [ edit | edit source ]
The FK 96 was designed in 1896, hence the FK 96 designation. Essentially just a modified version of the 9 cm C/1873 Kanone, the FK 96 was a very conventional weapon that fired a 12 round projectile. The FK 96 is often regarded as the last field gun with a rigid mount without any modern recoil systems.
By the next year, however, with the introduction of the French Canon de 75 modèle 1897, the FK 96 was deemed thoroughly obsolete as such, by 1904, most FK 96s were rebuilt into FK 96 n.A.s the unrebuilt guns were referred to as FK 96 alte Art, or FK 96 a.A. for short. The FK 96 n.A.s served throughout World War I to great effectiveness.
One FK 96 a.A. is known to exist today in the Bundeswehr Military History Museum.
7.7cm Feldkanone 96 neuer Art was an updated version of the original FK 96, the standard field gun adapted by the German Army in 1896. This gun was deployed effectively by the German Army during the First World War, and would continue to see action after the war in other theaters.
Armament: 77mm gun
Range: 6 km (3 miles)
Weight: 1,020 kg (2,249 lbs)
Additional information about this Brickmania® custom building kit:
The updated 7.7cm FK 96 N.A includes seats for two crewmen in both firing and riding positions and collapsible hand spike.
Designed by Daniel Siskind
53 LEGO® elements
Full-color printed building instructions
1/35th scale to match other Brickmania kits
Sophomore Skill Level (2-4 years building experience recommended)
All Brickmania® model kits are made of new-condition LEGO® bricks. This model comes disassembled, includes complete printed building instructions and comes packaged in a sealed box. This is a limited-edition kit and production may be discontinued at any time.
This is not a LEGO® Product. LEGO and the LEGO minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this product. The LEGO Group is not liable for any loss, injury or damage arising from the use or misuse of this product.
7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n/A - History
One of the projects I started in the summer was a pair of German 7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n.A., together with some German support weapons and a detachment of Stosstruppen. Over the next few days, I thought I’d post up some pictures of how these look now they’re finished, by way of bringing that project to a close.
You might remember that I found building the two German field guns more than a little tricky. The Renegade model was, in particular, difficult to glue together and I ended up pinning it in a couple of places.
However, painting the guns was a lot easier than building them. I opted for a couple of colour schemes inspired by information on World War I German camouflage on the excellent “Landships” website. So, on the left hand side of the photograph below, there’s a slightly futuristic camouflage pattern which is similar to the pattern which seems to have been painted on some German troops’ helmets and artillery in 1918.
On the right hand side, I opted for a more “dappled” camouflage scheme, trying to echo the colours I used in the wooded terrain boards I built in the early summer.
I tried to stay close to the information on the Landships site, but I fully accept that there’s a degree of interpretation about the overall camouflage scheme I used on both field guns. I thought that the final results looked “about right” and, perhaps just as much to the point, both were a lot of fun to paint.
Finally, here’s a picture of one of the field guns occupying the prepared position terrain insert I blogged about a few days back. As you can see, it’s a tight squeeze getting the gun into place, but it does fit. It helps that the gun crew figures nearest the field gun, from Great War Miniatures, are in kneeling positions and so fit inside the low ceiling of the position (which is glued in place).
Die 7,7-cm-Feldkanone 96 n. A. basierte auf der 7,7-cm-Feldkanone C/96 und wurde um eine hydropneumatische Rohrrücklaufbremse, Richtsitze für die Kanoniere, einen Schubkurbelverschluss und ein Rundblickfernrohr für das indirekte Richten erweitert. Vorhandene 7,7-cm-Feldkanonen wurden als 7,7-cm-Feldkanonen 96 a. A. (a. A. = alter Art) umbezeichnet und im Laufe der Zeit entsprechend auf Feldkanonen 96 n. A. umgerüstet. 5068 Stück wurden von Krupp und Rheinmetall hergestellt.
Das Kaliber verhinderte die Verwendung des Geschützes als Beutewaffe für gegnerische Armeen, deren Munition bei Kalibern von 7,5 cm (Frankreich) oder 7,62 cm (Russland und Großbritannien) nicht verschossen werden konnte, während umgekehrt gegnerische Feldgeschütze aufgebohrt und auf das Kaliber 7,7 cm erweitert werden konnten.
Die robuste Waffe war das Standardgeschütz der deutschen Feldartillerie im Ersten Weltkrieg.
Das Geschütz war leichter und damit beweglicher als das britische Ordnance QF 18-Pfünder-Geschütz, die französische 7,5-cm-Feldkanone M1897 oder das russische Putilow-7,62-cm-Feldgeschütz M1902, hatte jedoch eine geringere Reichweite und war gegenüber der französischen Feldkanone von 20 Schuss pro Minute mit einer Kadenz von 10 Schuss im Feuerkampf unterlegen, ein Nachteil im Stellungskrieg an der Westfront. Dagegen bewährte sich das Geschütz besonders im beweglich geführten Gefecht, vor allem an der Ostfront.
1915 erschien eine verbesserte Version als 7,7-cm-Feldkanone 96/15, mit einer maximalen Schussweite von 8400 Metern. 1916 wurde das Geschütz zur 7,7-cm-Feldkanone 16 weiter entwickelt. Mit kleineren Rädern versehen bewährte sich die FK 96 auch als Infanterie- und Tankabwehrgeschütz. Auf einer hochgestellten Lafette wurde die FK 96 auch als Steilfeuergeschütz oder als behelfsmäßige Ballon- und Flugabwehrkanone eingesetzt.
Nach dem Krieg wurde sie von den Streitkräften Litauens, Polens, Estlands und Lettlands bis in die 1930er Jahre verwendet.
Ein Geschütz ist unter anderem im Wehrtechnischen Museum in Koblenz ausgestellt.
Der volle Schuss bestand aus dem Geschoss mit Zünder sowie der Treibladung mit rauchlosem Pulver, die mittels Metallkartuschen geladen wurde. Standardmunition war die Feldgranate 96, ein 6,8 kg schweres mit TNT gefülltes Sprenggeschoss, oder das Feldkanonengeschoss 11 als Schrapnell. Brandschrapnellgranaten, Tankabwehrgranaten, Rauchgeschosse, Leuchtgeschosse und Gasgranaten wurden ebenfalls verschossen. Dabei wurden Aufschlag- oder einstellbare Zeitzünder verwendet.