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Canon de 80 mm de montagne Mle 1878/1881 de Bange

Mountain artillery

Contributor :
Alain Bohée     
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Location :
Draguignan (83)
Musée de l'Artillerie
Coordinates : Lat : 43.52790 / Long : 6.49790
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

Unknown markings

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     80 montagne Mle 1878/1881 Origin :       ( Arsenaux de l'Etat)          

Historic context :

The de Bange system 'canon de montagne de 80mm Mle 1878' made in steel iwas designed to go through difficult roads and paths. The gun could be divided into 3 loads carried by animals : one mule for the barrel, one mule for the carriage, one mule for the wheels and the 'limonière' (as well as the tail elongation adopted in 1881).

In 1880, the French Comité de l’Artillerie proposed to test the Captain Locard idea to modify the carriage of the canon de 80 de montagne : using a removable fake tail, it solved the important main issue of this gun, its reversal when firing at small angles. After comparative tests, the trail extension made by the 'Dépôt Central', different to the one of Cpt Locard, was adopted in 1881 and the gun named 'canon de montagne de 80mm Mle 1878/81'.

It had no recoil recuperation system as all the guns of its generation, and the choices made to make it lighter (particularly the short and thin tube) handicaped its range, barely going to 4 km.

Allocated to the Mountain and Colonial units (who used it during the Tananarive capture on October 1st 1895), it was still in use on August 3rd 1914 at the start of WW1. This obsolete gun, although replaced by the excellent 65mm Mle 1906 mountain gun, was used as extra material during the whole war. Some of the tubes were used in 1914-1915 to improvise the famous Gatard mine throwers, one of the ancestors of the French trench artillery.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 80 mm mountain gun M 1878 modified 1881 de Bange
  • Design year : 1878/1881
  • Calibre : 80.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 305 kg
  • Weight for transportation : (3 separate loads on mules)
  • Tube length in calibres : 11.60
  • Grooves : 0
  • Projectile weight : 6.3 kg
  • Initial speed : 250 m/s
  • Fire rate : 1.5 to 2 rounds per minute
  • Range : 4100 m
  • Elevation range : 0 to +33.3 degrees (23 degrees with the trail extension)
  • Direction range : none

  • Les canons de la Victoire 1914-1918 - Tome I - L'Artillerie de campagne           Pierre Touzin       François Vauvillier             Histoire et Collection   2006  
  • Le canon de 80 mm de montagne Mle 1878 - Guerre, Blindés et Matériel Nr 101       Général Guy François                   Histoire et Collection   2012