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Mortier de 150 T Mle 1916 Batignolles

Trench artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
Alain Bohée     
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Location :
Paris (75)
Musée de l'Armée aux Invalides
Coordinates : Lat : 48.85770 / Long : 2.31340
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

This gun was exposed in 2016 for the 199 years anniversary of Verdu battle

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     150 T Mle 1916 Origin :       ( Batignolles)          

Historic context :

The explosive power of the various bombs (16 kg to 46 kg) of the French 58T mortars on the front since early 1915 was sufficient to provide an answer to the German minenwerfers . But the range of these weapons, limited to about 1000 m, was found too short in several battle situations and particularly to reach the second lines.

This is how, some months after the introduction of the 75T Schneider trench mortar, the Ateliers des Batignolles proposed in May 1916 a weapon able to launch a range of 2 km a shell with a power equivalent to the one of a 16 kg bomb.

The 'Mortier de 150T Mle 1916' was equipped with a long 12 calibers smoothbore 150 mm barrel. The fin tailed projectiles (initially 150 mm artillery shells at the bas of which a perforated cylindrical fin-tail was welded) were introduced by the muzzle, while the propulsive charge conditionned inside 75 mm fieldgun cartridges saw cut to a length of 200 mm were introduced by the drawer breech. The mortar could be transported by mounting on its base two removable wheels.

The gun has no recoil brake nor recuperation system, limiting both its fire rate and its precision. A modification was made in 1917 by adding inside the breech a nozzle reducing the gaz flow between the powder chamber and the shell chamber, allowing to obtain similar results to the ones of the materials equipped with a brake.

Despite its interesting concept, this gun was criticized because of its difficult and complex installation (particularly its platfoorm), its fragility, and its poor precision partially caused by the absence of recoil recuperation system. This problem was solved later with the apparition of the 150T Mle 1917 Fabry mortar that will survive until 1940.

In the end of 1916 the gun was considered inferior to the 'old' 58 Nr2 dated 1915, but it remained in service until 1918 with its modified breech and firing the shell of the new 150 T Fabry of 1917, improving the performances. 400 such weapons were built, about 300 of them were in service at the armistice.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 150 mm trench mortar M 1916 Batignolles
  • Design year : 1916
  • Calibre : 150.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 510 kg
  • Weight for transportation : 600 kg with a 2 wheels train
  • Tube length in calibres : 12.00
  • Grooves : 0 smooth bore
  • Projectile weight : 21 kg (bombe 1915) - 18 kg (bombe 1916) - 17 kg (bombe 1917)
  • Initial speed : 140 to 145 m/s
  • Fire rate : 3 rounds per minute
  • Range : 1900 m (bombe 1915) - 1930 m (bombe 1916) - 2120 m (bombe 1917)
  • Elevation range : +10 to +75 degrees
  • Direction range : 16 degrees total range

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