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Canon de 145/155mm Mle 1916

Heavy artillery

Contributor :
Alain Destouches     
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
Alain Bohée     
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Location :
Museo Storico Italiano della Guerra
Coordinates : Lat : 45.88690 / Long : 11.04890
General comments on this surviving gun :

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

This probably unique survivor of this type is a masterpiece of this nice museum rich with WW1 guns. Note the impressive 42 caliber tube length

Lateral view. The info we received do not say wether this one gun has been rebored to 155 mm or not, and the breech markings are barely readable

Rear view on the breech. This tube is the Nr 96, made in 1917

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     145/155 Mle 1916 Origin :       ( Saint Chamond)             ( Fonderie de Ruelle )          

Historic context :

As soon as the end of 1914, the French army impovised the terrestrial use of long range Navy 14 cm Mle 1910 and 16 cm guns on navy carriage or on barge for counter-battery and harassement fire.

More sophisticated adaptations of the 14 cm and 145 mm tubes finally arrived in 1916 on wheeled carriages designed and built by the ordnance private industrials Saint Chamond and Schneider. The 145 mm Mle 1910 navy tube demonstrating the best properties, it was used as a basis for the design of the Canon de 145 mm Mle 1916 that was built in 200 items by the NavRuelle foundry (for the tube) and St Chamond (for the carriage). One originality of this weapon design was the anticipation of the bore wear, therefore made with extra-thickness in order to be re-bored later with a 155 mm caliber. This gun is thus sometimes named Canon de 145 / 155 mm Mle 1916, even if it seems not a single 145 mm tube was re-bored to 155 mm before the end of WW1.

Delivered in 1917, the first rounds of these guns were shot in April in Champagne on Moronvilliers. The range was respectable with more than 18 km. 160 such guns were in service in March 1918, but their intensive use was the cause of a rapide wear, leaving only 43 guns in service at the Armistice day. The 1940 French Army still owned 152 of them when it went to war.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : 145/155mm Mle 1916 gun Ruelle / Saint Chamond
  • Design year : 1916
  • Calibre : 145.00 mm (re-bored to 155 mm after tube wear)
  • Weight in firing position : 12500 kg
  • Weight for transportation : 13300 kg with additional wheels - single load
  • Tube length in calibres : 42.00 rifled part only (for the 145 mm caliber)
  • Grooves : 42 rifled to the right, 5 degrees 13 seconds constant angle (for the 145 mm caliber)
  • Projectile weight : 34 à 36 kg
  • Initial speed : 794 m/s
  • Fire rate : 3 shots each 2 minutes
  • Range : 18500 m
  • Elevation range : +0 to +42 degrees 30 min
  • Direction range : 6 degrees range (4 degrees when slippage system used)

  • Manuel d'Artillerie Lourde, 3ème édition           Commandant Alvin       Commandant André             Henri Charles-Lavauzelle   1917  
  • 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