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Canon de 75mm Mle 1897 pour char

on St Chamond tank

Tanks artillery

Contributor :
(Wikimedia Commons) Alf van Beem      http://commons.wikimedia.org/
(Wikimedia Commons) Fat Yankey      http://commons.wikimedia.org/
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Location :
Saumur (49)
Musée des Blindés
Coordinates : Lat : 47.24330 / Long : -0.07090
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     75 Mle 1897 de char Origin :       ( Arsenaux de l'Etat)             ( Saint Chamond )          

Historic context :

It is with some satisfaction but also some surprise that the Colonel Estienne, who had started with the company Schneider from December 1915 the design of a battlefield tank ordered at 400 items in January 1916, learned in May 1916 that the French government had also decided to order 400 tanks of a different type proposed by Schneider's historical competitor Saint Chamond..

Well introduced inside the French administration spheres, particularly with the relations of the remarkable Colonel Rimailho (one of the fathers of the mighty 75 Mle 1897 fieldgun) now working for it, the Compagnie des Forges de Aciéries de la Marine de Homécourt had launched in parallel from early 1916 a study for a 'terrestrial cruiser' based on the same Holt tractor caterpillar carriage. The proposal of this company wanted to challenge the Schneider one by the vehicle bigger size (length 8.83 m instead of 6.32 m) and by its firepower (4 machine guns and a non modified 75mm fieldgun instead of 2 machine guns and a 75 mm blockhaus mortar).

But this difference also gave to the Saint Chamond Tank an almost double weight (24 tons instead of 12.5 tons). Despite its revolutionary transmission based on an explosion engine coupled to a dynamo and two electric motors, its length and its weight always were a big handicap to its maneuverability in the shelled grounds of the battlefield.

Saint Chamond first used their own 75mm TR M1915 fieldguns as the main weapon of the first 210 tanks built. Then it simply integrated the classical '75mm Mle 1897' fieldgun just by removing the wheels and the shield.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 75 mm fieldgun M 1897 for Saint Chamond tank
  • Design year : 1916
  • Calibre : 75.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 1140 kg
  • Weight for transportation : the same, plus the ammunition trailer having a similar weight, both towed together
  • Tube length in calibres : 34.50 (2475 mm - 30 calibres rifled part only)
  • Grooves : 24 to the right, constant 7 degrees angle
  • Projectile weight : 5.3 kg (obus explosif normal) / 7.24 kg (obus à balles) / 7.98 kg (obus explosif allongé) / etc...
  • Initial speed : 550 m/s (normal high explosive shell)
  • Fire rate : 18 rounds / min (recommended 12 rounds / min max)
  • Range : depending on the shell 6000 m / 6900 m / 11200 m / etc...
  • Elevation range : unknown
  • Direction range : unknown

  • Allied Artillery of World War One           Ian V. Hogg                   Crowood   1998  
  • Le Canon de 75 modèle 1897       Général Guy François                   YSEC   2013  
  • Les Canons de la Victoire, 5ème édition du Manuel d'Artillerie Lourde, revue et considérablement augmentée       Colonel Alvin       Commandant André             Henri Charles-Lavauzelle et Cie   1923  
  • Les canons de la Victoire 1914-1918 - Tome I - L'Artillerie de campagne       Pierre Touzin       François Vauvillier             Histoire et Collection   2006  
  • Un siècle d'Histoire des angins blindés Français https://www.chars-francais.net/