RARE French WW1 75mm Anti Aircraft Canon de 75 antiaérien mle 1913-1917 Round, overall in good relic condition, complete with a correct casing in stunning shape, this is not the same casing as for standard Schneider cannons, the case for the AA cannon was only used in the AA cannon.
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The Canon de 75 antiaérien mle 1913–1917 were a family of French 75 mm anti-aircraft guns designed and manufactured by Schneider et Cie at Le Creusot. The guns were used by the French Army during the First World War and Second World War
The origins of the modèle 1913–1917 go back to the Canon de 75 modèle 1897 field gun which was first employed on improvised anti-aircraft mounts, which were typically earthen embankments or scaffolds to get the muzzle pointed skyward. Later in the war, specialized anti-aircraft mounts were developed.
- Canon de 75 mm antiaérien mle 1913 - a self-propelled version, on the back of a De Dion-Bouton truck chassis. The gun could be brought into action in five minutes, but its traverse and elevation were slow which combined with a lack of fire direction equipment limited its effectiveness. Puteaux completed 20 self-propelled versions in 1913 and by the end of WWI 196 had been completed.
- Canon de 75 mm antiaérien mle 1915 - a pit mounted high-angle steel girder framework which took approximately 24 hours to prepare for firing. There was also a version with a rotating platform mounted on a concrete pedestal. The platform allowed 0° to 75° of elevation and 360° traverse. During the 1930's improvements in aircraft speed and ceiling combined with slow traverse and elevation of the mount rendered them obsolete. In April 1940 approximately 20 mle 1915 were left in service.
- Canon de 75 mm antiaérien mle 1917 - a single-axle towed version with three outriggers. This had all fire-control equipment mounted on the carriage and was a Schneider design.
- 7.7 cm FlaK L/35 - a Krupp conversion of captured M1897 field guns to fire German 7.7 cm ammunition. The guns were placed on a modified de Bange 120 or 155 carriage to allow up to 60° of elevation and the guns were mounted on an elevated ring to allow 360° of traverse. By Spring of 1916 every division had a two gun platoon for AA defense and 394 guns were converted. An unknown number of guns were also converted by Rheinmetall to stationary AA guns. This conversion entailed mounting the guns on a high-angle pedestal mount with a platform and 360° traverse. When the barrels became worn out they were replaced with German made ones of the same length without the distinctive muzzle roller guides of the French gun.
The most common anti-aircraft configuration was a fixed battery of four mle 1915 guns located near cities, factories or military bases. Target range was measured
by optical coincidence rangefinders and height by optical height finders which measured the distance to the target and the elevation angle, which together gave the height of the aircraft. These coordinates were transmitted to a single Brocq fire-control station, which was an electric tachymetric device that calculated target speed, altitude and direction to determine deflection angles. The deflection calculations were transmitted to displays on each gun for the crew to aim at for barrage fire. The guns themselves had only simple sights and lacked the ability to engage individual targets.
Anti-aircraft effectiveness during the First World War was poor but many of these systems remained in use without improvement until the Second World War. By which time they were nearly useless against faster, higher flying targets. During the late 1920s it was realized that the mle 1897 was outmoded as an anti-aircraft weapon and development of a new gun barrel was begun in 1928. The goals of the rearmament program were faster rate of fire, higher muzzle velocity, increased vertical range, modern fire control and greater mobility with new gun carriages. Priority for armaments was given to the Maginot Line fortifications being built and work moved at a slow pace. Lack of funds meant all three anti-aircraft versions of the mle 1897 were still in use in large numbers when World War II began in 1939. It is estimated that 913 mle 1897 anti-aircraft guns were still in service in 1940.