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Canon de 220mm L Mle 1917 Schneider

Heavy artillery

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BulgariaTravels      http://www.warmuseums.nl/gal/148gal.htm BulgariaTravel.org
www.warmuseums.nl      http://www.warmuseums.nl/gal/148gal.htm
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Location :
Marine Museum
Coordinates : Lat : 43.20030 / Long : 27.92220
General comments on this surviving gun :

Identical items in the same location : 2
Items covered by this file : 2

The Black Sea littoral museum owns several rare WW1 period guns

The gun and its carriage look in good condition. Two identical guns are seemingly reported in that place

Side view, unknown markings

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     220 L Mle 1917 Schneider Origin :       ( Schneider)          

Historic context :

Despite the fact the idea of a long 220 mm gun appeared in France as soon as in 1874, the study of such a gun by the Colonel de Bange who was willing to integrate it in his famous artillery system was abandonned definitively in 1894. One had to wait for 1916 and the increasing use of long and heavy marine guns of 21 cm and 24 cm before the HQ show some interest to a Schenider Company design in le Creusot started in early 1916 for a 220mm long range gun towed by tractors.

It is only after the General Joffre, head of the French Army who was not in favor of the designs of the private industry, was replaced that the interest for that gun went to a more serious pace. The debate between the supporters of the ALVF ('Artillerie Lourde sur Voie Ferrée' - Heavy Artillery on Railway) and the ALGP ('Artillerie Lourde Grande Puissance' High power heavy artillery) towed by tractors gave another delay to the decision, the order of 100 such guns to be delivered from January 1918 only took place in June 1917 !

Nevertheless, the 'Canon de 220 Long Mle 1917 Schneider' did not participate to WW1, new delays mainly due to the choice made by the French authorities of the most complex carriage project proposed by Schneider, and later the steel shortage in 1918, added themselves to the already too optimistic contractual delivery dates : the fisrt 16 guns were just delivered in September and October 1918 whne the armistice put and end to the fights.

Able to send an explosive shell weighing a bit more than 100 kg to a distance of almost 23 km, this weapon would have been very useful and deadly in the position war conditions. However, its very relative mobility (its transport had to take place in two separate loads) would have made it less appreciated if the war would have come back to a movement one.

The initial 100 guns order continued to be honoured after WW1, so that 99 such 220L Schneider guns were integrated to the French army in 1939. The IIIrd Reich armies captured most of them and used them particularly on the Atlantic Wall defenses where 52 were deployed. Germany also gave 8 such guns to its Bulgarian ally.

An automobile carriage version (affût autopropulseur CF Schneider) on tracks was also proposed in February 1918 and ordered immediately in 12 items, followed quickly by another 8 items order. But it seems that only 4 such weapons were built after WW1 and participated to the 1940 French battle system.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 220mm M 1917 long gun Schneider
  • Design year : 1917
  • Calibre : 220.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 26000 kg
  • Weight for transportation : transport in two loads
  • Tube length in calibres : 35.00
  • Grooves : 92 constant angle 7 degrees to the right
  • Projectile weight : 104 kg
  • Initial speed : 770 m/s
  • Fire rate : 1 shot / minute
  • Range : 21900 m to 22500 m
  • Elevation range : 0 to 37 degrees
  • Direction range : 20 degrees total range

  • Les canons de la Victoire 1914-1918 - Tome II - L' Artillerie Lourde a Grande Puissance           Général Guy François                   Histoire et Collection   2008  
  • Les Materiels de l'Armee Francaise 1940 (Tome 2)       Stéphane Ferrard                   Charles Lavauzelle   1984  
  • 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  
  • Le canon de 220 L Mle 1917 Schneider - Guerre, Blindés et Matériel Nr 120       Général Guy François                   Histoire et Collection   2017  
  • Les canons de la Victoire 1914-1918 - Tome I - L'Artillerie de campagne       Pierre Touzin       François Vauvillier             Histoire et Collection   2006