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Canon d'infanterie de 37 mm Mle 1916 TRP

Trench artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
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Location :
Albert (80)
Musée des Abris
Coordinates : Lat : 50.00160 / Long : 2.65190
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

Rear view, the gun cannot be approached

The barrel is not equipped with the conical flame hider

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     37 Mle 1916 TRP Origin :       ( Etablissements et Arsenaux de Puteaux)          

Historic context :

The light 37 mm (1.5 inches) caliber was introduced in the second half of the XIXth century as ship deck gun or landing gun in the Navy of several countries, including the one of France, as well as for close defence guns in fortresses/ The 37 mm Hotchkiss revolver-gun was the most famous representative of this latter category. Some of these light guns were indeed used on the frontline by several fighting nations during the improvisation times of the first months of WW1 and the start of the position war. The marine '37mm Mle 1885 TR' gun has been used as an improvised weapon on the French trenches as soon as the end of 1914, on 'chandelier' carriage or 'wheelbarrow' carriage, sometimes equipped with a Saint Chamond recoil recuperating system..

The learnings of the bloody beginnings of the trench warfare soon demonstrated the deadly efficiency of the machineguns against the infantry attacks, and the difficulty to silence them before the assaults and during them, this high precision job being hardly achievable by the conventional artillery. The 'Canon d'Infanterie de 37mm Mle 1916 TRP' (Tir Rapide Puteaux), was therefore developed specifically for this purpose by the French state arsenals on the basis of a Hotchkiss Mle 1885 gun (sometimes taken from existing 37mm revolver guns), a Nordenfelt breech and a hydro-spring recoil recuperation system.

This light weapon could be quite easlily transported in three different loads by its servants on the battlefields devastated by the artillery shelling. It coul be placed on a removable wheel train, or on a low profile tripod. The 37mm Mle 1916 infantry gun could fire high explosive shells, shrapnell shells and armor piercing shells. Its use introduces a deep change in some infantry tactics during the last years of the war.

This gun was adopted by the US army on the West Front under the name '37mm gun M1916' (bought to France or built under licence in the USA), and knew a long career until after the WW2. Germany and Austro-Hungaria armies had similar guns of the same caliber during WW1. It was modified and renamed '37mm SA-18 L/21 Puteaux' to adapt it as the principal weapon of the Renault FT-17 light tanks.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 37 mm infantry Puteaux quick firing gun M 1916
  • Design year : 1916
  • Calibre : 37.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 110 kg on tripod
  • Weight for transportation : 164 kg on wheels
  • Tube length in calibres : 20.00
  • Grooves : 12 constant angle 6 degrees to the left
  • Projectile weight : 450 g (obus 1888 M) - 500 g (obus rupture 1892 M) - 560 g (obus explosif 1916) - 580 g (boîte à balles 1908)
  • Initial speed : 402 m/s (1888 M shell) - 388 m/s (1892 M piercing shell) - 365 m/s (1916 high explosive shell)
  • Fire rate : 35 rounds / minute
  • Range : 2400 m (1888 M shell - 1892 M piercing shell - 1916 high explosive shell) - 500 m (1908 canister shell)
  • Elevation range : -6 to +17 degrees
  • Direction range : 34 degrees total range

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