French 75 mm Field Gun MLE 1897 of World War One, 1914–1918

French 75 mm L.36.3 Field Gun MLE 1897 of World War One, 1914–1918

The famous 75 mm field gun modèle 1897 was manufactured at the foundry and arsenal at Bourges, capitol of the département Cher. One important feature of the M.1897 field gun was its hydropneumatic barrel brake which absorbed most of the recoil and allowed the gun to be loaded, aimed and fired much more quickly than previous guns which had to be manhandled back into their proper firing position after each shot. The famous 75 remained in service long after the Great War of 1914-1918. Thousands of these reliable guns were upgraded in French service in 1938 and 1940, and many of them ended up in the German Wehrmacht and other Axis formations after the fall of France.

Available Scale Model Kits

  • 75 mm Field Gun MLE 1897, 1:72 Fine Scale Factory WE3
  • 75 mm Field Gun MLE 1897 with limber, 20 mm Reviresco ART-2
  • 75 mm Field Gun MLE 1897, 1:76 Tumbling Dice

Technical Specifications

  • Canon de Campagne de 75 mm MLE 1897
  • Weight: 1140 kg
  • Calibre: 75 mm
  • Barrel Length: L.36.3
  • Barrel Recoil: 1,05 m
  • Elevation: 0° to 40°
  • Rate of Fire: 20 rounds per minute
  • Maximum Chamber Pressure: 2600 bar
  • Armour Penetration at 0-100 m:
    • A.P. 90 mm

Bibliography

Museum Exhibits

Barrel No. 15932 (Bourges 1917), Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Barrel No. 15932 (Bourges 1917), Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Left rear view

Left rear view

Nordenfelt breech

Nordenfelt breech

Left side view

Left side view

Rear view

Rear view

Barrel No. 18095 (Bourges 1918), Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Barrel No. 18095 (Bourges 1918), Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Close-up of the plaque

Close-up of the plaque

Elevating mechnism No. 388 (Puteaux 1901)

Elevating mechnism No. 388 (Puteaux 1901)

Apparails de levage No. 1737 ( Paris 1918)

Apparails de levage No. 1737 ( Paris 1918)

Full frontal view

Full frontal view

N 325 (Bourges 1918), Musée de l'Armée, Paris

N 325 (Bourges 1918) and limber, Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Rear view of field gun

Rear view of field gun

Elevating mechanism No. 2066 (Bourges 1918)

Elevating mechanism No. 2066 (Bourges 1918)

Historical Employment

  • French Army 1897-1940

Possible Conversions

  • French 75 mm Field Gun M.1897/1938 with pneumatic tires
  • German 7.5 cm L.36.3 PaK 97/38 (f)
    mounted on the carriage of the PaK 38 and fitted with a T.R. Breech (tir rapide)
  • French 75 mm Field Gun M.1897/1940 with pneumatic tires
  • German 7.5 cm L.36.3 PaK 97/40 (f)
    mounted on the carriage of the PaK 38 and fitted with a T.R. Breech (tir rapide)

The 75 mm field gun MLE 1897 was an important weapon of the French Army of World War One, and it continued to serve throughout World War Two. Wargamers and diorama builders will want a section or battery of these guns in their collection.

Frequently Asked Questions

For further information and updates, please join us on facebook or in the Miniatures Forum.

World War One Miniatures