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Canon de 75mm TR Saint Chamond (Mle 1915)

Light artillery

Contributor :
(Wikimedia Commons) Bukvoed      http://commons.wikimedia.org/
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
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Location :
Museum Batey ha-Osef
Coordinates : Lat : 32.07170 / Long : 34.76620
General comments on this surviving gun :

Identical items in the same location : 2
Items covered by this file : 1

Mexico sold some of its gun to Israël in 1948. The young state called them 'Kukaracha' !

Rear view - unknown markings

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     75 TR Saint Chamond (Mle 1915) Origin :       ( Saint Chamond)          

Historic context :

The heavy losses of the brilliant and reglementary 75mm Mle 1897 French fieldgun during the early fights, aggravated by the need to create new units and later by the 75mm ammunition incidents crisis in spring 1915, could not be compensated by the state arsenals production rates. Therefore as early as september 1914 the Army had to request the help, with some sick mind, to the private industry that had developped for export markets fieldguns not as famous as the reglementary 75 but having most of its modern characteristics.

Consequently, in addition to the requisition in Le Creusot plants of 8 batteries (32 guns) of the 75mm Schneider PD07 built for Greece, the War Ministry ordered between September and November 1914 :

  • 52 batteries of the 75 Mle 1912 (Schneider PD13 bis) that had been initially designed by Le Creusot plant for Russia and adopted by France in 1912 as a cavalry gun

  • 40 batteries of the 75 TR Saint Chamond already delivered to Mexico by the Forges et Aciéries de la Marine et d’Homécourt before the war.
These orders were then cancelled in the end of November 1914 by the Artillery Director (General Baquet) who wanted to avoid the multiplication of the ordnance variaty, felt suspicious with the quality of the private industry guns, and not convinced by the need to boost the fieldguns production capacities that much. Tough negociations with the angry manufacturers and the confirmation of the dramatic lack of fieldguns (made even worse after the 1915 ammunition incidents crisis) provoking the revocation of the General Baquet from his position allowed to reconfirm the original orders, and even to add new orders in May 1915 (50 batteries of 75 Mle 1912 et 50 batteries of 75 TR).

The 75 TR Saint-Chamond fieldgun developped for Mexico and delivered in 8 batteries before the war was the result of a 1913 improvement made by Saint Chamond and the Mexican general Mondragon. It was the fruit of a family of guns from this company, starting in 1888 with the interrupted screw quick acting Darmancier (later Darmancier – Dalzon) breech, and whose accelerated fire 75 Mle 1898 fieldgun was delivered to Spain after winning a contest against Schneider and Krupp guns. In 1900 the integration of a hydro-spring recoil recuperation system allowed to add a quick fire fieldgun ('TR' - Tir Rapide) model to the catalog.

The ‘Mexicann’ gun was slightly modified in 1915 for the French deliveries, in order to allow the use of the 75mm Mle 1897 reglementary fieldgun. For that reason Saint Chamond (but not the Army) referred to this model as a 'Mle 1915'. Delivered with a lot of delay from June to October 1915, these guns were integrated into the fighting units from April 1916. Insufficiently tested in its modified version for the heavier 75mm Mle 1897 ammo, the 75 TR fieldgun soon showed the weaknesses of its recoil recuperation system when sollicitated by the intensive fire rates required by WW1. This issue caused its removal from the front and its recycling as the main weapon of the Saint Chamond French tanks in their early versions. Even in this application, it was later replaced by 75mm Mle 1897 guns.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 75 mm quick fire fieldgun M 1915 Saint Chamond
  • Design year : 1915
  • Calibre : 75.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 1090 kg
  • Weight for transportation : 1770 kg with the field trailer
  • Tube length in calibres : 30.00 (28.5 calibres for the rifled part only)
  • Grooves : 24 constant angle 7 degrees
  • Projectile weight : 7.24 kg (Shrapnell) / 5.32 kg (high explosive)
  • Initial speed : 550 m/s
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 6500 m
  • Elevation range : -8 to +17 degrees
  • Direction range : 5 degrees total range

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  • Les canons de la Victoire 1914-1918 - Tome I - L'Artillerie de campagne       Pierre Touzin       François Vauvillier             Histoire et Collection   2006  
  • Le 75 TR Saint Chamond, du Mexique à la Somme - Guerre, Blindés et Matériel Nr 115       Général Guy François                   Histoire et Collection   2016