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Post Info TOPIC: 75mm M.1987 to Russia?


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75mm M.1987 to Russia?
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The Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow has a French 75mm M.1897 in the outside exhibit area. I had always assumed that it was war booty from Poland or maybe the French Expeditionary Force in Odessa. I was under the impression that the French did supply 76mm ammunition and technical support for Russian artilllery. Does anyone know if they shipped them actual 75mm M.1897 guns? Russ 75.jpg



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Brigadier

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I am unsure if Russia was supplied with 75mm mle/97s but it is interesting that the example in Moscow has the American four piece shield not the French seven piece shield pattern.

R/

Ralph Lovett

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Ralph Lovett


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Theres a photo in this book published 1920: The history of the American expedition fighting the Bolsheviki; campaigning in north Russia 1918-1919

It shows an M1897 facing page 225, caption reads "Russian Artillery verst 18" the men do look like "Russians"... above this pic is another that I think is also an M1897 with "Polish" Artillery according to the caption.

 

wink



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Legend

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The Rumanians received 126 Mle 1897s in 1926. These served throughout WW2 alongside Putilov M1902s acquired in the 1930s.

"ARTILERIA ROMÂNÃ ÎN DATE ªI IMAGINI" Adrian Stroea and Gheorghe Bãjenaru, 2010, P.48

As well as Rumania, Poland (already noted), Lithuania, Estonia and Finland acquired Mle 1897s between the wars. The Wehrmacht used captured Mle 1897s

so there's a lot of possible origins for the gun in Moscow.

I've never seen a reference to Mle 1897 guns being supplied directly to Russia - the Putilov M1902 was fairly similar in performance.

Regards,

Charlie

 



-- Edited by CharlieC on Friday 6th of September 2019 11:50:37 PM

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Legend

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Polish artillery: https://derela.pl/art_75schneider.htm

According to this site the polish army had 783 m1897s by oct 1920 and 1230 guns in sevice by aug 1939, I think its entirely possible that the moscow gun is a captured polish gun judging by the pics which show similar shields and would seem the mostly likely source.

wink



-- Edited by Ironsides on Saturday 7th of September 2019 09:33:49 AM

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MCP


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Russian Special Brigades sent in Macedonia were equipped with French guns : 24 – 75mm field guns, 12 – 65mm mountain guns, 8 – 120mm field howitzers and 6 – 58mm trench mortars (GOROKHOFF, Gérard – KORLIAKOV, Andrei : Le Corps Expeditionnaire Russe en France et à Salonique. Paris : YMCA Press 2003).



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Hero

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.... interesting speculations, but we're forgetting the gun displayed is American manufacture; not of French.  It is likely post-war in as much as only a limited number of the US made guns were available in France before the armistice. The most likely scenario, in my humble opinion, is the gun was given to the White Russians when the US Expeditionary Force withdrew, and subsequently captured by the Bolsheviki.  Again, only my personal supposition.



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Steve Zaloga wrote:

The Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow has a French 75mm M.1897 in the outside exhibit area. I had always assumed that it was war booty from Poland or maybe the French Expeditionary Force in Odessa. I was under the impression that the French did supply 76mm ammunition and technical support for Russian artilllery.


 The relationship between the French and Russian artillery is quite tangled and complex. After the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5 the Russians realised that their artillery in need of modernisation and upgrade. However, given the limited industrial base of Tsarist Russia, the Russian Govt sought external partners to achieve this. In France the private armament companies were not permitted to bid or participate in French Govt contracts before 1911 so there was considerable motivation to develop and supply armaments to external customers. In 1907 the Russian Putilov company and Schneider signed an agreement for the development of a number of types of artillery pieces which were to be built by Putilov. To keep a facade of fair practice each type of artillery was presented as a design competition with designs sought from a number of manufacturers. Although Vickers and Krupp often entered these competitions the chosen design was almost always Schneider's. For example, the modern 280mm heavy howitzer, 15cm howitzer, 107mm gun and 152mm gun used by the Tsarist army were all Schneider designs. The usual manufacturing plan was for the French to deliver an initial batch of guns and help set up the Putilov manufacturing line although some guns like the 280mm howitzer were all sourced from France. It gets somewhat confusing because the French Army had a deficit of heavy guns and started to panic before WW1. Schneider then offered their Russian designs for the French Army and a number of these these were accepted.

Regards,

Charlie

 

 



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28juni14 wrote:

.... interesting speculations, but we're forgetting the gun displayed is American manufacture; not of French.  It is likely post-war in as much as only a limited number of the US made guns were available in France before the armistice. The most likely scenario, in my humble opinion, is the gun was given to the White Russians when the US Expeditionary Force withdrew, and subsequently captured by the Bolsheviki.  Again, only my personal supposition.


 
Do we know that the gun in question is actually of American origin, or is that solely based on Mr Lovell's comment about the gunshield?

I only ask the question because at least one gun shown on the Polish artillery link posted above has the same shield, as does this Portuguese gun, which was apparently issued by the French to the Portuguese Expeditionary Force in 1917.

http://www.passioncompassion1418.com/Canons/Eng_AfficheCanonGET.php?IdCanonAffiche=1151

Kevin



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There were a large number of guns of American manufacture supplied to the Allies from the entry of the US into the war until the Armistice.

Benedict Crowell in "America's Munitions 1917-18" states that 1102 guns of 3inch (75mm) to 9.5inch calibre were supplied to the Allies. The production of

complete Mle 1897 75mm guns was about 1600 and the US production of completed guns was roughly split between 75mm guns and 155mm howitzers.

Certainly over 400 Mle 1897s were shipped to France - these presumably had the US modified gun shield.

As well as complete guns the US also supplied vast numbers of gun forgings, some 14,000 of these of which 5,000+ were 75mm forgings.

Regards,

Charlie

 



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Interesting subject - I have no real knowledge about the guns in question, I'll admit, but I wondered whether the simplified shield seen on the American manufactured guns might actually be a French design (wartime economy measures, perhaps?) that was adopted by the US when the guns went into (their) domestic production in 1918 (presumably they would have obtained the drawings of the latest production standard guns from the French). For example, I note that the 'First Shot' gun at West Point has the simplified shield, but is said to have been drawn from French stocks when the AEF arrived in Europe in 1917 - i.e., before the US began manufacturing it's own version of the guns - and is said to be in its original wartime condition. The wartime Portuguese gun and some of the interwar period Polish guns also have the simplified shield, but are said to have been supplied by the French.

Incidentally, Wikipedia (insert usual disclaimer of your choice here) suggests that, "American industry built 1,050 French 75s during World War I, but only 143 had been shipped to France by 11 November 1918; most American batteries used French-built 75s in action".


Kevin

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I know that most US manuals refer to the 4-piece shield as the "American" type and the 7-piece as the "French" type (for example TM 9-305), but I am beginning to wonder whether the 4-piece wasn't actually a late-war French improvement that became the pattern for the US manufactured guns. I have photos of the 4-piece in some odd locations for US-built guns. Perhaps the most compelling photo is this one of the first AEF gun to fire in anger in October 1917. This one must have come from French production and certainly seems to show the characteristics of the 4-piece shield.

First US 75.jpg



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Regarding the supply of 75mm Gun M1897 from the US to France, the US could not have provided any significant number during the war though November 1918. According to Dickinson's official history of the 75mm gun program ("The Story of the 75"), the US had completed only 74 cannon (i.e. gun barrels), 291 carriages but only 2 recuperators through 11 November 1918. (Table on p 87). Dickinson's book is much more detailed on the production of the 75mm in the US, and in my view, much more reliable than Crowell (Dickinson was with the Ordnance Dept.).

I am not clear on whether the US shipped any guns to France after the war as so many contracts were cancelled. I do know that France ordered 75mm guns from the USA in 1940, most if not all of which ended up in the UK. Some of these were later delivered to Free French units in North Africa. I am under the impression that the "Bir Hakeim" gun at the army museum in Les Invalides in Paris is US built (the modified one with the cut-down shield and pneumatic tires).

There was an agreement between the USA and France for the US to provide 75mm Gun M1897 components to France, though I am not certain how many were delivered prior to the war's end. Part of the problem is that many accounts simply refer to US deliveries of "75mm guns", not specifying whether they were 75mm Gun M1916, M1917 or M1897. From the material I have seen, US deliveries to Europe were 124 of the British pattern 75mm Gun M1917 and 34 of the US pattern Model 1916 in transit or delivered by war's end. 



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US built 75mm mle/97s did not make it to France during the war.  My assumption about the shield was that they were a US made component that were fitted to late war French guns.  However, this was just a guess.  On a related note, the American pattern shield on my French manufactured gun is a reproduction built by Matt Switlik.  Many guns in the US and possibly some in the UK have his excellent reproduction US shields.  Matt does not offer the French shield as a reproduction. I have attached the images of the two shield types from an American Ordnance Manual.  Link to the web page on my French manufactured 75mm mle/97 with a reproduction American shield by Matt Switlik:  https://www.lovettartillery.com/French_75mm_mle_97_.htm

 



-- Edited by Ralph Lovett on Tuesday 10th of September 2019 02:00:48 PM

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Ralph Lovett


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"Russian 75s bound for Pinego" facing pg 97 from "The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919" (Gutenberg better quality) this image is missing at least I cant find it in the other link I provided for this volume, again this looks like an M1897 though the pic is too poor for any real details other then the overall shape but clearly shows an M1897.

Russian 75.jpg

 

 

 

"Russian artillery verst 18" (US official photo 158870) a clearer pic of the M1897 facing page 225, this to me looks like it has the four piece shield, one assumes that since this is an official pic that it may still be available somewhere in better quality.

Russian 75 Verst 18.jpg

 

 

I'm pretty convinced that these guns saw action in North Russia, and appear to have been supplied to White Russian forces at least according to this book, the American troops were conversant enough with this gun to be able to man a battery of (Russian) French 75s, and I think the origins of this gun was French as the AEF doesn't appear to have any Artillery other then trench mortars of its own.

 

Canadian M1897?

Canadian 75.jpg

 

I should point out though my only source is this book and "Order of Battle of the United states land Forces in the World War" Vol1 pg380 on.

Please let me know if you can see the 3 images as I had problems posting.

wink




-- Edited by Ironsides on Wednesday 11th of September 2019 10:05:06 AM

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Legend

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Came across this table from: "The armies of industry" Vol1 1917-1918, B.Crowel & R.F.Wilson 1921.

Facing page 104:

Production of complete artillery units.jpg

According to this table it can be seen that only one US 75mm M1897 was completed by nov 1918.

Also check the table facing page 69 concerning recuperator manufacture and it can be seen that this is likely the cause, plenty of forging but no factory for finishing.

The singer company was meant to produce the completed recuperators at 17 a day but didn't kick of production till 1919, also Rock island where this recuperator came from had a month of failures where the recuperators would not pass the tests.

 

wink



-- Edited by Ironsides on Thursday 19th of September 2019 12:08:38 PM

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Legend

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From: United States Army in the World War Vol 15

Final Report of the Chief of Artillery, American Expeditionary Forces

pg187

"One of the great lessons that our people should learn from this war is that it requires much time to manufacture guns. On November 11. 1918. with the exception of
twenty-four 8" howitzers manufactured upon plans which had been used by the Midvale
Steel Co. in the construction of howitzers for the British Government. there was not in
the firing line a single field or heavy artillery gun manufactured for us in the United
States after our entrance into the war---a period of nineteen months"

ERNEST HINDS.
Major General.
Chief of Artillery. A.E.F.

wink



-- Edited by Ironsides on Saturday 21st of September 2019 03:59:50 PM

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