Bavarian Artillery - Franco-Prussisn War, 1870-71


Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
This may be too obscure even for history geeks, but here goes:

The sizable Bavarian army used field artillery of 4 pounder and 6 pounder guns based on the "Zoller System." I can not find anything on this either in Osprey publications on the war, or on Wikipedia. All that comes up on the Web is Zoeller pumps and mechanical equipment (a US company). NOT very exciting.

Does anyone know about this Zoller artillery system? Were the guns muzzle or breach loaders? Were they brass or iron? I doubt the guns were steel, but I don't know that.

Thanks for any help.


Forum Staff
Aug 2016
There was a General von Zoller in the Franco-Prussian War but he was an infrantry officer. I suspect the Zoller artillery system is named for Baron von Zoller, a Bavarian artillery officer in the Napoleonic Wars. This source lists him as an adjutant in 1805 and as a major and lt col a few years later:
Unspecified Error! (link works for me)

This source makes vague reference to zoller system artillery :
The United Service Journal

It seems more to do with the gun carriage than the gun tube, perhaps having to do with the way the carriage is hitched to the limber or caison. Alternatively, it may have to do with the way the gun crew rides on the caison while the gun is in transport mode. Or both.

This source mentions Bavarian artillery in 1870 using the Zoller system consisting of brass guns of 4 and 6 pounders. However, again the Zoller system is not specifically linked to the type of gun tube: (search on "Zoller") History/19th century/Osprey - Men at Arms 422 - German Armies 1870-71 (2) Prussia's Allies.pdf

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
I’m at work. I have some FPW stuff at home.
I’ll check when I get home.

The United Service Journal
Did find this though.
So it sounds as though the system is related to the structure and style of limber to increase mobility.


Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
@Edric Streona,

Thanks. See what you can find if it is not too much trouble. The article referenced of course seems to indicate something other than the guns themselves.

The Bavarian army was relatively advanced in armaments by 1870 (it had machine weapons and a rifle much better than the Dreyse) and I am wondering if there were advances in artillery sometime in the mid 19th century that have gone unrecognized. Unfortunately I don't have enough proficiency in German - or access to sources - to fully investigate any further.