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Canon de 8c7 Mod 1878

Light artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
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Location :
Musée Royal de l'Armée
Coordinates : Lat : 50.84410 / Long : 4.39330
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

Side view, notice the obvious similarity with the German 9cm K 73

Breech view, with markings 'N 95 - FRIED KRUPP - ESSEN 1878'

Breech view

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     8c7 M 1878 Origin :       ( Krupp)             ( Cockerill )             ( FRC )

Historic context :

As a powerful industrial country owning a well performing metallurgy industry, Belgium had two main companies active in the artillery weapons manufacturing : Cockerill and the 'Fonderie Royale de Canons' (Guns Royal Foundry). Nevertheless, most of the time German designed weapons were adopted by its army all along the XIXth century.

In 1878 the Belgian Army organised guns tests for the renewal of its field artillery, whose winner was the German Manufacturer Krupp (from Essen), with two guns : the 7.5cm FeldKanone Krupp C 75 fieldgun, named 7c5 M 1878 in Belgium for the horse artillery, and the 8.7cm FeldKanone Krupp C 73 fieldgun, named 8c7 M 1878 in Belgium for the field artillery.

Both 7c5 M 1878 and 8c7 M 1878 guns were manufactured under license in Belgium in several lots, and were only delivered to the units between 1882 and 1887. In 1901, both models were given a modernization program by the Fonderie Royale de Canons (FRC) in order to convert them into accelerated fire weapons thanks to a breech modification and the adjunction of a wheels brake made by Nordenfelt.

When Belgium adopted the quick-firing 75 Cockerill-Krupp in 1905, the 7c5 Mod 1878/1901 and 8c7 M 1878/1901 were transferred in the fortress artillery (mainly for the intervals defence), or in the colonial artillery. These guns, obsolete in 1914 and having weak performances compared to the material in service then, were therefore used briefly in 1914 during the Liège, Namur and Antwerp sieges, and perhaps in Africa.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 8.7 cm M 1878 fieldgun
  • Design year : 1878
  • Calibre : 87.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 2145 kg
  • Weight for transportation :
  • Tube length in calibres : 0.00
  • Grooves : 0
  • Projectile weight : 6.8 kg
  • Initial speed :
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 5000 m
  • Elevation range : -7 to +24 degrees
  • Direction range :

  • L'Artillerie Légère de Campagne Belge de 1900 à 1940 - Tome I           Colonel Roger Lothaire                   Editions du Patrimoine Militaire   2011  
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