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70 mm Saint Chamond

Mountain artillery

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Location :
Congo Democratic Republic

Coordinates : Lat : -5.89240 / Long : 22.40280
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

These two forgotten guns are a superb contribution from the Belgian airborne troops to this database

The two guns are not integrated to any memorial. One is equipped with a shield

First gun markings : 'Royaume de Belgique - Congo - St Chamond 1915 - Canon de 70mm de montagne S.A. - Nr 12'. Secon gun markings : idem +'Nr 10'

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     70 mm Saint Chamond Origin :       ( Saint Chamond)          

Historic context :

In 1906, France had adopted the Mountain Gun of 65 mm Mle 1906 Schneider-Ducrest using the revolutionary (but somehow fragile) 'launching' firing principle. This did not prevent the private companies Schneider and FAHM to continue developping and selling new mountain guns for the export markets.

So the Société des Forges et Aciéries de la Marine et d'Homécourt (FAHM), French private company more often known under the name of its most important plant in Saint-Chamond in the Loire Department, designed and produced a very good ’Canon de Montagne de 70mm SA’ (‘SA’ = ‘Semi-Automatique’) before the start of WW1.

This weapon developped for Mexico had received a semi-automatic Mondragon breech mechanism (from the name of the Mexican General who invented it). It was equipped with a pretty long tail and a steel shield, but despite that suceeded to remain light weight. It could be desassembled in 4 separate charges for the transportation by mules and horses. Finally, its shells were a little bit more powerful than the ones of the 65 Mle 1906.

At the war start in 1914, 12 such guns ordered by Mexico and being built in Saint Chamond were were rquisitionned, finished and sold in 1915 to Belgium. This nation used these modern and performing weapons in the fights against the German colonial troops in Congo, Central Africa and Eastern Africa, in tough climatic conditions. They were particularly appreciated by the Belgian soldiers.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 70 mm Saint Chamond mountain gun
  • Design year : 1914
  • Calibre : 70.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 345 kg
  • Weight for transportation :
  • Tube length in calibres : 16.70
  • Grooves : 24 7 degrees angle
  • Projectile weight : 3.9 - 5.3 kg
  • Initial speed : 275 m/s
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 5100 m
  • Elevation range : -10 / +40 degrees
  • Direction range : 5 degrees total range

  • Le canon de 65 mm de montagne Mle 1906 et ses prédécesseurs - Guerre, Blindés et Matériel Nr 99           Général Guy François                   Histoire et Collection   2012  
  • http://www.lovettartillery.com/      Ralph Lovett                      
  • Wikipedia http://fr.wikipedia.org/