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Canon de 155mm C Mle 1890 Baquet

Heavy artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
J-P Lucas     
Jean-Marie Balliet      http://www.artillerie.info/
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Location :
Musée Royal de l'Armée
Coordinates : Lat : 50.84310 / Long : 4.39230
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

This 155 mm gun differs from the the analog 120 mm by a much wider trail spade and the presence of a 'servante' on the front and lower part of the large carriage

Rear view. The breech mechanism is a de Bange one. Note the double carriage system

Front view. Once again the Brussels Army Royal Museum managed to keep a rare gun and its original camouflage...

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     155 C Mle 1890 Origin :       ( Arsenaux de l'Etat)          

Historic context :

Future and brief Artillery Director at the French War Minister office, the Captain Baquet designed the very first French gun equipped with a recoil recuperation hydro-pneumatic ('Locard type : the barrel recoils inside a mandrel bearing the trunnions), well before the famous 75 Mle 1897.

Two calibers proposed by the inventor, 120 mm and 155 mm were adopted by the French army in order to build a 'Heavy Field Artillery' corps, and named Canon de 120 C modèle 1890 et Canon de 155 C modèle 1890 (often followed by the name 'Baquet'. The breeches were taken from the de Bange system, with platic obturation, and in the case of the 155 C, the tube was nothing else than the one of the so accurate Canon de 155 C modèle 1881 de Bange.

The 120 C Baquet could fire on wheels, and its double carriage system theoritically allowed to aim on a direction field of 10 degrees, making the small carriage pivot over the big one. This option was rarely used because of obvious de-pointing issues. The 155 C Baquet could not fire on its wheeled carriage, and had to be removed from it before fire to lay on a 'servante' (firing base). The direction aiming range (theoritically 16 degrees) was even more rarely used.

The Baquet system materials showed numerous imperfections. Most important ones were common to both calibers and included the systematic loss of aiming due to the insufficient efficiency of the recoil system, and the very short range. The 155 C material was known to be even less stable than the 120 C when firing, and was quickly removed from the active units, while the 120 C was used until 1916.

This heavy field gun was very promising on the design paperboard thanks to its heavy caliber, its relative mobility (in a single load but at very low speeds) and its fire rate allowed by its recoil recupeartion system, never gave entire satisfaction.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 155mm Mle 1890 short gun Baquet
  • Design year : 1890
  • Calibre : 155.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 3115 kg (without wheels)
  • Weight for transportation : 3865 kg (with additional wheels and fake trail, one sigle load)
  • Tube length in calibres : 12.10 (rifled part only)
  • Grooves : 48 progressive angle ending at 7 degrees, oriented to the right
  • Projectile weight : 41 kg
  • Initial speed : 291 m/s
  • Fire rate : 3 shots each 2 minutes
  • Range : 6280 m
  • Elevation range : -5 to +65 degrees
  • Direction range : 16 degrees total range