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Canon de 155mm L Mle 1877 (et 1877/16) de Bange

Heavy artillery

Contributor :
Association 14/18      http://www.association14-18.org/
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Location :
Ferdinand the 1st military museum
Coordinates : Lat : 44.44310 / Long : 26.07610
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

Front view with the reinforced carriage for mechanical towing

This weapon has equipped the Romanian army during WW1 and after, with modern ammunitions

See the wheels rubber tires, probably added after WW1

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     155 L Mle 1877 - 1877/16 Origin :       ( Arsenaux de l'Etat)             ( Schneider )          

Historic context :

Biggest gun of the long and heavy artillery of the famous French systême de Bange (that included guns and howitzers of various calibre ranging from 80 to 270 mm), the Canon de 155 L modèle 1877 de Bange was a real good weapon, with a long range and quite precise at short and middle distance. It was initially designed for counter-battery and harassment fire from the fortresses.

As its 120 mm smaller 'brother, this heavy gun with a jacketted barrel was available in pretty large numbers before 1914, but only in fortresses (1392 guns). Most of these guns were sent to the front as soon as 1914 as a heavy field gun, despite its obsolescence (particularly the lack of modern recoil compensation system), to mitigate the lack of heavy field artillery in the French army

This gun was equipped with the plastic obturation and interrupted screw breech invented by de Bange. It needed a long building time of a heavy wooden firing platform (5200 kg for the Mle 1883 !) , and had no integrated recoil recuperating or brake system. This lack was compensated by an hydraulic brake Mle 1883 linking the carriage to a static point of the platform, and two wooden 'recoil wedges' benetah the wheels. This system was replaced, for the field gun mission, by the 'wheels belts' system (in French 'cingolis') that allowed the movements and use on soft grounds, but also played the role of a recoil brake thanks to the friction between the wheels and the belts during the fire, the carriage movements being guided by a trailer guiding box.

The 155 de Bange was really heavier than the 120 mm of the same brand, and had to ne transported in two separated loads with its accessories when it was used on a platform. The version with the wheels belts could be towed in one single load. Carriage modifications were made later to allow the automobile towing.

A variant with simplified design for the tube, named Canon de 155 L modèle 1877/16 de Bange, appeared in 1916 (constant grooved angle instead of progressive, and suppression of the jacketted tubing manufacturing system, externally recognizable by the tube transport ring orientation (longitudinal for the 1877 versions, transverse for the 1916 ones)

At the end of 1916 more than 669 such guns were present on the front, then it was gradually replaced by the new generation French heavy field artillery (around 100 still in service on November 11, 1916), but it was still present in 1940 for the short France campaign against Germany invasion.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 155mm M 1877 and 1877/16 siege and fortress long gun de Bange
  • Design year : 1877 - 1877 mod. 1916
  • Calibre : 155.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 5700 kg (6500 with wheels belts)
  • Weight for transportation : From 6500 kg in one load (motorized towing and wheel belts) to 11000 kg in 2 loads (platform version and rear towing wheels)
  • Tube length in calibres : 27.00 (total length) - 20.45 calibres grooved part only
  • Grooves : 48 to the right, progressive angle (end at 7 degrees) for tube 1877, constant angle 7 degrees for tube 1877/1916
  • Projectile weight : 40.8 kg à 43.5 kg selon l'obus
  • Initial speed : 458 m/s to 534 m/s at full charge depending on the shell
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 9850 m to 11000 m depending on the shell - 12700 m with buried trail and special 'D' shell
  • Elevation range : -10 / +28 degrees
  • Direction range : none