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Post Info TOPIC: info on Beligum


Field Marshal

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info on Beligum
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Hi
I am trying to make a profile of Beligum in WWI
and could anyone point what kind of artillery they used and did they import any armored cars from the French or british?

and does anyone know what kind of fleet they had?

thanks


-- Edited by eugene at 15:24, 2006-01-07

-- Edited by eugene at 15:25, 2006-01-07

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Legend

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Eugene, to be honest, I didn't think Belgium even had a navy! So I did a bit of googling...


The official Belgian Navy website is rather informative: http://www.mil.be/navycomp/subject/index.asp?LAN=en&ID=157&FILE=subjecttext&MENU=0&PAGE=1


On the period in question, the Great War, I was basically right with my first thoughts: http://www.mil.be/navycomp/subject/index.asp?LAN=en&FILE=subjecttext&ID=157&MENU=479&PAGE=1


Belgium no longer had a Navy when the First World War broke out. So we had to improvise in view of the fact that our merchant ships were being hunted by German submarines and our coastal waters were thick with mines.

A crew depot was created at Gravelines. Our seamen served aboard French minesweepers from the 6th Squadron, based at Calais. They also provided men for the artillery pieces which were used to arm our merchant ships. In 1918, the Treaty of Versailles allocated Belgium some of the ships captured by the Allies. The Corps of Destroyers and Sailors received 11 torpedoboats and 26 mine sweepers, which were brought together at Bruges. A Rhine flotilla was created to patrol the river from Cologne to the Dutch border.


It would seem that ever since 1831, they've had several navies (they kept being abolished), finally settling down in 1946. Bless 'em.



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Legend

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If this helps here are some vehicles (domestic and imported) used by the Belgians 1914-18:


Motorcycles  Solo FN 285CC 1912 model (BE) - used by both the Belgian and Australian armies



Trucks Wileys American Overland 1914 model (US) imported from Wiley's British subsiduary
          Kelly Springfield (US)
          Commer (UK)
          Panhard (FR)
          Diato (IT)


Armoured Cars
           Automitrailleuse Minerva 1914 (BE) many improvised versions
           Automitrailleuse S.A.V.A 1914 (BE)
           Autocannon Mors 1915 (FR)
           Sheffield Simplex 1915 (UK)
           Peugot 1915 (FR) armoued by the Belgians


This is nowhere a complete list I suspect but maybe its a start.


 



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Hero

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Berlgium gained the bulk of their artillerie from Krupp; either direct purchase or license built.  Their divisional field gun was the M1904/06 in 75mm.  This was Krupp's best seller in the early part of the century.  (The export versions are distinquished from the Imperial German FK96 n/A issue by splinter shield variations and rohr length.)


French pressure helped in securing fortress contracts for Brailmont, and later for ordnance sales via Schneider-Canet.  As I had mentioned in an earlier trend, Schneider was making deep inroads in Krupp's ordnance monopoly by the first decade of the new century.


By July 1914 examples of the excellent 120mm TR Schneider had begun to deploy with the Belgian Field Army.  ( The same weapon system supplied to Serbia in 1913; again from an earlier tread. )  Their Corps artillerie was exclusively Krupp 10cm , 12cm, and 15cm Ringkanonen.


Virtually 75% of Belgium artillerie fell into Germans hands after the invasion.  The heavy ordmance was put to use very quickly.   The 75mm M04s reappeared in late 1917 as truck mounted "fire brigade" batteries to combat the growing threat of allied tanks.



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Hero

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.. I failed to mention the Schneider M12 which Belgium obtained late 1914.  These weapons had equipped some French Cavalry batteries, but were replaced by the standard M1897 rather quickly. 


Additionally, stocks of the Schneider 75mm TR (their commercial item) went to Belgium in early 1915.  This weapon was a very good piece of ordnance, and served well with all countries that had purchased it before hostilities.


Sorry for these omissions... I was in a hurry earlier... again...



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Legend

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If you want something very unusual the Belgian army in 1914 used a Maxim machine gun mounted on a two wheeled carriage drawn by a pair of large dogs. The gunners had to walk (or run) alongside.

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Legend

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Going to the dogs
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http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-11/1114252/doggun.jpg



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Legend

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Awwww, aren't they cute?


'The dogs of war'... Oh dear, good to see it's not just modern papers that love their jokes.



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Field Marshal

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I remember seeing a photo of the dog teams pulling a light artillery piece . . .







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Legend

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eugene wrote:


I remember seeing a photo of the dog teams pulling a light artillery piece . . .

Ah but was it Belgian? I have a recollection of seeing an illustration of a Canadian volunteer unit (late 19thC) with a light gun disassembled on a dog sledge. (I'm not sure from whom they would be defending Canada  - an American invasion from Alaska?).
The Belgian machine gun/dog unit was almost certainly someones bright idea of converting the dog drawn milkman's cart that at one time was a common feature in towns in Belgium and Northern France.

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Major

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In reply to one of the missives above, 'Mors' was a Belgian company, not French. Belgium had quite an auto industry of its own through the late 1930s or so, FN most notably of course, but also Brossel and Miesse. They had some French makers on their soil as well, notably Latil and René Gillet (motorcycles). Alas, most of this is now gone, with the exception of FN, which does not produce vehicles anymore. Ford and Volkswagen AG and I believe M.A.N. are the current major manufacturers in Belgium now.  


Here is a list of Belgian artillery types in the First World War as I understand it:  


1. 57mm 'canon de 57 de casemate mle. 1893' fortress gun (Cockerill/Nordenfeldt).


2. 75mm Krupp commercial M-1905 field gun ('canon de 75 mle. 1905 TR (tir rapide)'; some of these were made under licence by Cockerill and FRC). Belgians may still have had some old rigid mounted Krupp/Cockerill 75mm field guns based on the German C-75 export pattern. These were acquired from 1878 and their breech systems were subsequently modified by Cockerill in 1901.  


3. 75mm 'canon de 75 de campagne mle. 1897' (Puteaux, Bourges etc...).  


4. 105mm 'canon de 105 long mle. 1904 Cockerill'. This seems to resemble fairly closely the Schneider commercial 105mm M-1901 field gun of which two batteries were sold to Norway. Later they acquired 26 more equipments. 


5. 120mm 'obusier de 120 Mle. (1912 or 1913?) TR St. Chamond' field howitzer.


6. 120mm Mle. 1911 TR field howitzer (Schneider) ('obusier de 120 tir rapide mle. 1911 Schneider' (the mle. 1915 in France). 


7. 120mm 'Canon de 120 court mle. 1890 Baquet'


7 b. 120mm 'Canon de 120 long mle. 1878 de Bange' (this is unconfirmed, although there is a photo of one of these guns being used by what were claimed to be Belgian gunners [who may in fact be simply French reservists/territorials].)


8. 120mm Krupp long guns and howitzers/'mortars' ('ring-rohr kanone' type, late 1870s/ early 1880s vintage, models or designations not clear).


9. 149mm Krupp field howitzer/'mortar' ('ring-rohr kanone' type, late 1870s/ early 1880s vintage, model or designation not clear). 


10. 149mm Krupp long gun ('ring-rohr kanone' type, late 1870s/ early 1880s vintage, model or designation not clear). 


10 b. 150mm 'obusier de 150 TR mle. 1912 Schneider'. See note below this list on this weapon. These fired a different type of ammunition from the usual Austro-Germanic 15cm (149.1mm or 149.7mm) calibers. It was a true 150mm.


11. 155mm 'canon de 155 long mle. 1877 de Bange'.


12. 210mm Krupp mle. 1891 howitzer.


During the course of the war the French and British also provided quantities of:


1. 105mm 'canon de 105 long mle. 1913 TR Schneider' (L13S).


2. 155mm 'canon de 155 long mle. 1917 Schneider' (L17S). These were provided very late in the war or even post war.


3. The ubiquitous 155mm 'canon de 155 court mle. 1917 Schneider' (C17S).


4. The 6 inch BL (152mm) 26cwt. howitzer Mk.1.


5. The 220mm 'mortier de 220 mle. 1880' or 'mle. 1880/91 de Bange'.


6. The 220mm 'mortier de 220 mle. 1916 Schneider'


7. The 9.2 inch BL (234mm) howitzer Mk.1.


8. The 12 inch BL (305mm) howitzer Mk.2.


9. Captured German 21cm Mörser M-1910 (some were later bored out to the French 220mm caliber).


The Belgians periodically used various other German ordnance against their former owners. They acquired substantial quantities of modern German ordnance after the war due to war reparations including: 7.7cm FK-16s (subsequently relined to 75mm), 10.5cm leFH-16s, 15cm sFH-13 'lang', 15cm K-16s (both the Krupp [the more common one] and some Rheinmetall versions), 17cm SK i.R.L. L/40s (including some mounted on the railroad car ie: 'Samuel'), and finally some 28cm 'Eisenbahn-Bettungskanone' L/40s. There is some evidence that the post war Belgian Cockerill 'canon de 155mm long mle. 1924' was largely based on captured or reparations sourced 13cm (135mm) Kanone M-1909s. 


As for the Schneider 75mm commercial field guns, including the M-1912 cavalry piece, I have so far not found any reference to these in Belgian service, however I would certainly like to know where this report comes from; it is certainly possible that the French supplied some of these field guns. If anyone also knows more details of the old Belgian Krupp 120mm and 149mm 'ring-rohr' guns, that would be very helpful; I would especially love to see the designations for these. The Royal Army Museum in Brussels has some of these guns in front of the main entrance, but they were not labelled and there were no signs saying what exactly they were. The fortresses seem by and large to have had six turret mounted Krupp 120mm and 149mm guns (probably in a ratio of four to two) and two Krupp 210mm howitzers. 


Note on 10b: There is a report on the Bulgarian 'Voina Slava' site that the Belgians took delivery (in 1915 or 1916?) of some ex-Romanian contract Schneider 150mm M-1912 field howitzers ('obusier de 150 TR mle. 1912 Schneider') when the Romanians were cut off from the allies and defeated by the Bulgarians and Germans. There is a photo of one of these howitzers in the museum in Brussels on the 'Voina Slava' site.


   



-- Edited by SASH155 at 00:01, 2006-01-09

-- Edited by SASH155 at 01:01, 2006-01-09

-- Edited by SASH155 at 01:38, 2006-01-09

-- Edited by SASH155 at 07:44, 2006-01-09

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Wesley Thomas


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SASH155 wrote:


In reply to one of the missives above, 'Mors' was a Belgian company, not French.      

The Societe Nouvelles des Automobiles Mors was a French company formed in 1895 in Paris. It had extensive interests in Belgium including having some of its products made under licence in Antwerp and it also imported Minerva emgines into France. Its chasis were sometimes used by in the construction of Belgian armoured cars in Antwerp, But it was French. By 1915 the manufacturing facility in Antwerp was in German hands and the car I refered to was built in France in Mors' French plant. Some were used by the Belgian armoured car unit in Russia.

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Field Marshal

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sash155, thanks thats some super info, you really know your artillery!

could you help me get a good list of Romanian artillery?

also heres a pick of belgian dog teams


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Major

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Oh, well I will eat a nice helping of 'foot in mouth' souflé. Its a tasty dish which goes well after having ones head handed to oneself on a platter. I will look Mors up, as I always had understood it was a Belgian company.  

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Wesley Thomas


Major

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Eugene, I will try to come up with a list of Romanian artillery asap. This could take a while. 



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Wesley Thomas


Legend

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SASH155 wrote:


Oh, well I will eat a nice helping of 'foot in mouth' souflé. Its a tasty dish which goes well after having ones head handed to oneself on a platter. I will look Mors up, as I always had understood it was a Belgian company.  


No need for the sackcloth and ashes, its an easy mistake to make. There were a number of French companies whose military sales were almost exclusively to Belgium that have been catagorised in more than one publication as Belgian (a sort of reverse Hercule Poirot). For example the French company of Ponnier who produced a very mediocre fighter that was sold only the the Belgian flying corps (funneling aircraft rejected by their own air forces to those of their allies seems to have been a common French practice at the time) and so appears in a number of books on WW1 in the air as a Belgian company. Even more strangely the very French Hanriot company's sales were to countries other than France (even though some of their aircraft were very good indeed) and it has sometimes been labled as a Belgian firm. This is probably because almost all of the French production of their excellent single seat fighter went to Belgium. The top scoring Belgian ace  Baron Willey Coppens (occasionally refered to as The Green Baron) was a great champion of Hanriot products which probably reinforced the Belgian assumption. (Interestingly enough the greatest number of Hanriot aircraft were license built in Italy and prefered by many top Italian aces to both other French offerings and domestic designs).
As far as Mors is concerned its hey day was between 1900 and 1910 when it specialised in two types of car - large and luxurious tourers, sold to customers such as Indian Maharajahs and the like, and fast two seater long distance racing cars (a Mors car held the World speed record once). In this period they were very much the rivals of Renault and Panhard, beating them in such road races as the Paris- Madrid. It was the big touring car chasis that formed the basis of the armoured cars.



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SASH155 wrote:


Note on 10b: There is a report on the Bulgarian 'Voina Slava' site that the Belgians took delivery (in 1915 or 1916?) of some ex-Romanian contract Schneider 150mm M-1912 field howitzers ('obusier de 150 TR mle. 1912 Schneider') when the Romanians were cut off from the allies and defeated by the Bulgarians and Germans. There is a photo of one of these howitzers in the museum in Brussels on the 'Voina Slava' site.   


The Schneider 150mm M-1912 field howitzers were obtained by Belgian army at the beginning of 1914 and were used during the siege of Antwerpen. Unfortunately I don't remember where I read this information.



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Major

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I was aware that Hanriot was a French company. Interesting note on Willy Coppens, I have not paid too much attention to the war in the air as my interest in military aircraft starts in the 1920s for the most part.  



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Wesley Thomas


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The list of SASH155 is very good. I have some additional information about it :

All C75 TR Mod 1905 were constructed by Cockerill-FRC, under Krupp license.

56 of the 75 Schneider Mod 12 (of which 8 cavalry model)  called "Schneider Portugais" that were produced for portugal were delivered to the Belgian artillery in 1915.

12 How 150 Schneider "Romania" were bought in august 1914 in Antwerp.

C120 Mod 1878 is confirmed

12 How 149,1 Krupp Mod 1909 of the fortress Antwerp were converted to field artillery and still in use behind the Yser.

Several Krupp Mod 02 and Mod 13 were used during WW1

C105 L were from Schneider; FRC ones were for export

C75 Grande Puissance was an interbellum evolution

4 british BL 6 Inch mk VII gun with Fowler tractor in 1918

Several How 155 Schneider prototypes and How 155 Mod 1881-1912 were used et tehe belgian artillery

One How 8'' and one Mor 9'' Schneider Mod 1909 were used in a special Btry

17cm, 28cm, even 24 cm and 38 cm Eisenbahn were later delivered to Belgium for war damage.

There was also trench artillery and air defense artillery.

All details (and more) about this in my books :www.editionsdupatrimoine.be

 LR livres.jpg

 

 



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Lieutenant

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I have found this picture here: blog.seniorennet.be/bmb_oeren/archief.php

http://blogimages.seniorennet.be/bmb_oeren/1535627-010e6049f9d7e684d32267680502c259.jpg


Any idea what for gun this is?



-- Edited by Sniper Snoop on Sunday 24th of August 2014 07:07:02 PM

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The gun on the picture is a C155 Mod 1917 Schneider in use at the Belgian artillery until 1940.biggrin



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