Canon de 138 mm Modèle 1893 naval gun
The Canon de 138 mm Modèle 1893 was a medium-calibre naval gun of the French Navy used during World War I and World War II. It was carried by a number of ships built during the 1890s including the Charlemagne-class pre-dreadnought battleships. Guns from scrapped warships were mounted on auxiliary ships during the 1930s; the 45-calibre Mle 1893 was the culmination of a family of guns first produced in 1884. The design progressed from the 30-caliber Mle 1884 and Mle 1891 guns, to the 44-caliber Mle 1888 and Mle 1891 guns and lastly the 45-caliber Mle 1887, Mle 1891 and Mle 1893 guns; the 44-caliber and 45-caliber guns had nearly identical ballistic performance and used the same ammunition. The Mle 1893 used the typical built-up construction of its time, it used separate-loading ammunition. In the battleships it was installed in armored casemates, using central pivot mounts, but no details are available. A number of mle 1884 guns were modified to become railway artillery under the designation Canon de 140 sur affut-truc mle 1884 during 1914.
The conversion entailed mounting the gun carriage on a simple flatbed rail wagon built from steel I beams and timbers with five variable gauge axles that allowed the guns to transition from standard gauge 144 cm to narrow gauge 61 cm allowing the guns to be brought closer to the front. The recoil system for the mle 1884 consisted of a U shaped gun cradle which held the trunnioned barrel and a inclined firing platform with a hydro-gravity recoil system; when the gun fired the hydraulic buffers slowed the recoil of the cradle which slid up a set of inclined rails on the firing platform and returned the gun to battery by the combined action of the buffers and gravity. Elevation was the same but there was no traverse so in order to aim the gun had to be drawn across a section of curved track or placed on a turntable. In order to anchor the gun, there was an attachment at the front of the carriage for a tie bar which attached to an earth anchor and there was an ammunition hoist at the rear of the carriage.
There were four wooden beams with one between each axle which were lowered lay across the tracks by screw jacks to take weight off of the axles. The 7.257-kilogram propellant charge for the Mle 1893 was contained in a cartridge case. Campbell, John. Naval Weapons of World War Two. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4. Friedman, Norman. Naval Weapons of World War One. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Seaforth. ISBN 978-1-84832-100-7
The Chacal-class destroyer, sometimes known as the Jaguar class, were a group of six large destroyers built for the French Navy during the 1920s. Their primary role was scouting for the battleline. All were named for predators: Chacal means jackal, the other five were named for big cats; the ships were split between the Mediterranean Squadron and the Second Squadron, based at Brest. One ship served as a flagship during the 1930s, but her sister ships were assigned as training ships beginning in 1932; the Chacal class was assigned convoy escort duties after the start of World War II in September 1939 until three of them were committed to the English Channel after the Battle of France began on 10 May 1940. Two of these were sunk shortly afterwards by German forces; when France surrendered on 22 June, two ships were in French Algeria, one was refitting in Toulon and the last ship was in England. During Operation Catapult in July, an attack on the Vichy Fleet intended to prevent it from being turned over to the Germans, the British seized the ship in England, but failed to prevent the two in Mers-el-Kébir from escaping to Toulon when they attacked the port.
All three of the ships in Toulon were placed in reserve and two of them were captured intact when the Germans attempted to seize the French fleet in November 1942. They were turned over to the Royal Italian Navy, but they were only used for transport missions before Italy surrendered in September 1943; the Italians scuttled one, but the other escaped to join the Free French and spent the remainder of the war as a convoy escort in the Mediterranean or protecting Allied forces in the Ligurian Sea. In the meantime, the British had turned Léopard over to the Free French who used her as a convoy escort before she helped to liberate the island of La Réunion in late 1942, she ran aground shortly after being transferred to the Mediterranean in mid-1943 and became a total loss. The only ship to survive the war, was used after the war as a troop transport and as a training ship until she was struck from the Navy List in 1954 before being scrapped the next year. Preliminary studies for large destroyers capable of defending the French battleline against attacks by enemy destroyers and torpedo boats by the Naval General Staff began before World War I, but were suspended when the war began.
They resumed in 1917, but serious planning did not begin until after the war when the NGS decided to split the role of the destroyer in 1919. The smaller torpilleur d'escadre would have the role of attacking the enemy's battleline with torpedoes and defending that of the French from enemy torpedo craft; the primary role of the larger contre-torpilleur was scouting. This required high speed in all weather, good endurance and a powerful armament capable of engaging small cruisers; the Naval Minister selected a 1,780-metric-ton design, armed with five 100-millimeter guns, in early 1920, but this was rejected by the French Parliament. Influenced by the large Italian Leone-class destroyers, armed with eight 120-millimeter, the 2,060-metric-ton ex-German destroyer SMS S113, turned over to France as war reparations, armed with four 150-millimeter guns, the French went back to the drawing board for a much larger ship armed with six or seven of the new Canon de 130 mm Modèle 1919 gun. Ordering was delayed by the negotiations during the Washington Naval Treaty, but six ships of the Chacal class were approved as part of the 1922 Naval Law.
They had an overall length of 126.8 meters, a beam of 11.1 meters, a draft of 4.1 meters. The ships displaced 2,126 metric tons at standard load and 2,980–3,075 metric tons at deep load. A double bottom covered most of the ships' length and the hull was subdivided by 11 transverse bulkheads into a dozen watertight compartments, their crew consisted of 10 officers and 187 crewmen in peacetime and 12 officers and 209 enlisted men in wartime. The raised forecastle and the prominent sheer and flare of the bow ensured that the Chacal-class ships were good seaboats, but they proved to be topheavy with poor lateral stability despite 40-meter-long bilge keels. Furthermore, they were not maneuverable because the 14.44-square-meter rudder was too small and its servomotor too weak. The Chacal class was powered by two geared steam turbine sets, each driving a 3.6-meter propeller, using steam provided by five du Temple boilers that operated at a pressure of 18 kg/cm2 and a temperature of 216 °C. Four ships were fitted with Rateau-Bretagne turbines that were satisfactory once the initial teething problems were worked out, but Léopard and Lynx used Breguet-Laval turbines that were troublesome and caused Léopard to be enter service two years late.
The turbines were designed to produce 50,000 metric horsepower, which would propel the ships at 35.5 knots. During their sea trials, the turbines generated 54,850–57,810 metric horsepower and they reached a maximum speed of 36.7 knots for a single hour. The ships carried 530 metric tons of fuel oil which gave them a range of 3,000 nautical miles at 15 knots. Fuel consumption at high speeds was excessive and the range was only 600 nmi at 35 knots; the ships were fitted with two 60-kilowatt turbo generators in the forward engine room. In additio
340mm/45 Modèle 1912 gun
The 340mm/45 Modèle 1912 gun was a heavy naval gun of the French Navy. While the calibres of the naval guns of the French Navy were very close to those of their British counterparts, the calibre of 340 mm is specific to the French Navy; the built-up gun was designed to be carried by the Normandie and Lyon classes in quadruple gun turrets, but no ship of these types was completed as a battleship. They were carried by the Bretagne-class battleships in twin turrets; some of these guns were used as railway guns and coastal artillery in World War I serving in World War II. Due to the cancellation or conversion of most of the ships these guns were made for, the large number of spare guns available facilitated their use as railway guns in both World Wars. Two batteries of 340 mm guns, with an authorized strength of one gun per battery, were operated by the 53rd Coast Artillery, U. S. Army, in World War I; as with most French railway guns, after the Fall of France in World War II some of these weapons were used by the German army.
During Operation Dragoon, the Free French battleship Lorraine was one of the units engaged with'Big Willie', ex-French turret battery controlling the approaches to Toulon.'Big Willie' was armed with the guns taken from the French battleship Provence, as a replacement for the original guns, sabotaged by its French crews, making this an unusual instance of both sides of an engagement using the 340mm/45 Modèle 1912 gun. BL 13.5 inch Mk V naval gun British equivalent 14"/45 caliber gun US Navy equivalent PIECES LOURDES: 240 et plus 340 mm/45 Model 1912
A breechloader is a firearm in which the cartridge or shell is inserted or loaded into a chamber integral to the rear portion of a barrel. Modern mass production firearms are breech-loading, except those which are intended by design to be muzzle-loaders, in order to be legal for certain types of hunting. Early firearms, on the other hand, were entirely muzzle-loading; the main advantage of breech-loading is a reduction in reloading time – it is much quicker to load the projectile and the charge into the breech of a gun or cannon than to try to force them down a long tube when the bullet fit is tight and the tube has spiral ridges from rifling. In field artillery, the advantages were similar: the crew no longer had to force powder and shot down a long barrel with rammers, the shot could now fit the bore, without being impossible to ram home with a fouled barrel, it allows turrets and emplacements to be smaller. After breech loading became common, it became common practice to fit recoil systems onto field guns, to prevent the recoil from rolling the carriage back with every shot and ruining the aim.
This allowed for faster firing times, but is not directly related to whether the gun is breech loading or not. Now that guns were able to fire without recoiling, the crew were able to remain grouped around the gun, ready to load and put final touches on the aim, subsequent to firing the next shot; this led to the development of an armored shield fitted to the carriage of the gun, to help shield the crew from long range area or sniper fire from the new, high-velocity, long-range rifles, or machine guns. Although breech-loading firearms were developed as far back as the late 14th century in Burgundy, breech-loading became more successful with improvements in precision engineering and machining in the 19th century; the main challenge for developers of breech-loading firearms was sealing the breech. This was solved for smaller firearms by the development of the self-contained metallic cartridge. For firearms too large to use cartridges, the problem was solved by the development of the interrupted screw.
Breech-loading swivel guns were invented in the 14th century. They were a particular type of swivel gun, consisted in a small breech-loading cannon equipped with a swivel for easy rotation, which could be loaded by inserting a mug-shaped chamber filled with powder and projectiles; the breech-loading swivel gun had a high rate of fire, was effective in anti-personnel roles. Breech-loading firearms are known from the 16th century. Henry VIII possessed one, which he used as a hunting gun to shoot birds. More breech-loading firearms were made in the early 18th century. One such gun known to have belonged to Philip V of Spain, was manufactured circa 1715 in Madrid, it came with a ready-to load reusable cartridge. Patrick Ferguson, a British Army officer, developed in 1772 the Ferguson rifle, a breech-loading flintlock firearm. Two hundred of the rifles were manufactured and used in the Battle of Brandywine, during the American Revolutionary War, but shortly after they were retired and replaced with the standard Brown Bess musket.
On into the mid-19th century there were attempts in Europe at an effective breech-loader. There were concentrated attempts at improved methods of ignition. In Paris in 1808, in association with French gunsmith François Prélat, Jean Samuel Pauly created the first self-contained cartridges: the cartridges incorporated a copper base with integrated mercury fulminate primer powder, a round bullet and either brass or paper casing; the cartridge was fired with a needle. The needle-activated central-fire breech-loading gun would become a major feature of firearms thereafter; the corresponding firearm was developed by Pauly. Pauly made an improved version, protected by a patent on 29 September 1812; the Pauly cartridge was further improved by the French gunsmith Casimir Lefaucheux in 1828, by adding a pinfire primer, but Lefaucheux did not register his patent until 1835: a pinfire cartridge containing powder in a card-board shell. In 1845, another Frenchman Louis-Nicolas Flobert invented, for indoor shooting, the first rimfire metallic cartridge, constituted by a bullet fit in a percussion cap.
Derived in the 6 mm and 9 mm calibres, it is since called the Flobert cartridge but it does not contain any powder. In English-speaking countries the Flobert cartridge corresponds to.22 CB ammunitions. In 1846, yet another Frenchman, Benjamin Houllier, patented the first metallic cartridge containing powder in a metallic shell. Houllier commercialised his weapons in association with the gunsmiths Charles Robert, but the subsequent Houllier and Lefaucheux cartridges if they were the first full-metal shells, were still pinfire cartridges, like those used in the LeMat and Lefaucheux revolvers, although the LeMat evolved in a revolver using rimfire cartridges. The first centrefire cartridge was introduced in 1855 with both Berdan and Boxer priming. In 1842, the Norwegian Armed Forces adopted the breechloading caplock, the Kammerlader, one of the first instances in which a modern army adopted a breechloading rifle as its main infantry firearm; the Dreyse Zündnadelgewehr was a single-shot breech-loading rifle using a rotating bolt to seal the breech.
It was so called because of its.5-inch needle-like firi
Hotchkiss M1929 machine gun
The 13.2 mm Hotchkiss machine gun was a heavy machine gun designed and manufactured by Hotchkiss et Cie from the late 1920s until World War II and saw service with various nations' forces, including Italy and Japan where the gun was built under license. In the late 1920s, Hotchkiss proposed a range of anti-aircraft automatic weapons in the 13.2, 25 and 37 mm calibers. They were all based on the same type of gas-operated action; the 8 mm mle 1914 machine gun had proven reliable during World War I and was still in service. The gun started with a 13.2 x 99 cartridge but in 1935 changed over to a 13.2 x 96 cartridge. The majority of guns were fed from overhead 30 round curved box magazines; the guns had a cyclic rate of fire of 450 rounds per minute but their sustained rate of fire was 200-250 rounds per minute due to the need to change magazines which limited their rate of fire. The guns came in a number of different configurations depending on their intended role. There were single and quadruple barreled anti-aircraft weapons on a high-angle pedestal and tripod mounts as well as low-angle bi-pod mounts for anti-tank and heavy machine gun roles.
French infantry commanders that had expressed interest in acquiring light anti-aircraft guns refused to accept the 13.2 mm. They argued that those heavy bullets falling down could be dangerous to friendly troops, went to larger calibers where self-destructing shells were available, but the 13.2 mm Hotchkiss saw extensive use as a naval gun and was chosen by the French cavalry for some of its armored vehicles. The French Air Force used designated as mitrailleuse de 13.2 mm CA mle 1930, for close-range defense of its airfields and other strategic places. It came in two versions: The first was a single gun with a stock and pistol grip that came in a dual-purpose anti-aircraft/anti-armor mounting, it had a two-wheeled split-trailed carriage that weighed 117 kg empty and 155 kg with the machine-gun mounted. When the swing-arm the gun was affixed to was locked upwards, it could be used in an anti-aircraft mode; when the arm was collapsed and a bipod extended it could fire straight ahead in an anti-tank role.
When the gun was packed up and the trails closed, it was towed behind its caisson, pulled by a horse or by the gunner. Second was a fixed tripod mount with a seat and anti-aircraft sight for the gunner, it came in a single mount 120 kg empty, 160 kg mounted. Or a double mount 225 kg empty, 300 kg mounted. Early in World War II, the French and Japanese navies were using twin and quadruple mountings on many of their warships. French warships that were refitted in the United States in 1943, such as the battleship Richelieu or the destroyer Le Terrible, had their 13.2 mm machine guns replaced by more powerful Oerlikon 20 mm cannons. In Italy, the Società Italiana Ernesto Breda produced the gun under license as the Breda Mod.31 from 1931 onwards. It was used as an anti-aircraft gun aboard ships and armored trains Royal Italian Navy. After World War II it was used on the patrol boats of the Guardia di Finanza naval service; the Spanish Navy used it during the Civil War. The "Pirotecnia Militar" Army Ammunition plant produced its cartridges after 1939.
Several self-propelled anti-aircraft combinations were tested in the 1930s, with Citroën-Kegresse or Berliet chassis, but none was mass-manufactured. The 13.2 mm Hotchkiss was used on the Belgian T15 and the French AMR 35, light tanks as well as the AMD Laffly 80 AM armored car and on fortifications. The Free French used field-modified self-propelled mountings, with guns recovered from French ships, in North-East Africa in 1942; the Breda Mod.31 was used as an anti-aircraft and heavy machine gun on command tanks of the Royal Italian Army as well as on L3/33 light tanks sold to Brazil. The Japanese mounted license-produced version of the gun on a number of Type 92 Heavy armored Cars, armed with only a pair of 6.5mm machine guns. Belgium Brazil France Nazi Germany - Captured French guns were designated MG 271. Greece Israel Italy - Built under license as the Breda Model 1931 machine gun. Japan - Built under license as the Type 93 machine gun. Poland - Designated the wz.30. Republic of China Romania - 200 delivered before the Fall of France.
Spain Kingdom of Yugoslavia Anti-aircraft 25 mm Hotchkiss anti-aircraft gun - A related French anti-aircraft gun. Type 96 25 mm AT/AA Gun - A related Japanese anti-aircraft gun. Ferrard, Stéphane. France 1940 l'armement terrestre, ETAI, 1998, ISBN 978-2-7268-8380-8 "Las armas de la guerra civil española", José MAría MANRIQUE, ISBN 84-9734-475-8, pages 394 -398
330mm/50 Modèle 1931 gun
The 330mm/50 Modèle 1931 gun was a heavy naval gun of the French Navy. The built-up gun was carried by the Dunkerque-class fast battleships, in quadruple turrets inspired by those intended for the Normandie class, they had one of the longest ranges, while firing quite powerful projectiles: APC – 560 kg and HE – 552 kg. The range was over 40 km in both cases. Dunkerque's guns were affected by inaccuracy caused by their quadruple mounts, but could engage German battleships of the Scharnhorst class with enough power to pierce their armour: at 0 metres, the shell could pierce 713 mm, at 23 km penetration capability was 342 mm and 292 mm at 27.5 km. Theoretically, it could pierce Scharnhorst's 320 mm belt at over 20 km. Given the flat trajectory, the deck perforation was less impressive, but still 105 mm at 23 km and 110 mm at 27.5 km. Therefore, the armour-piercing capability was near that of the best battleship guns, at least at medium to short range; the armour-piercing capability of Scharnhorst's guns varied from 604 to 205 mm in the same range, so they were weaker weapons.
However, Dunkerque had a weaker armour belt, so the deadly range of the German battleships was not inferior. The battleship Strasbourg had thicker armour and this reduced the useful range to only about 18 km; the deck perforation was always in favour of the 330 mm gun, the 280 mm gun being unable to pierce more than 76 mm at 27.5 km. The 330 mm guns had many faults, they were complex and moved with a weak system for such 1,500 t turrets. They had two 100 hp engines. Despite the great range, elevation was only 35°; the guns were coupled in two twin arrangement, sleeved in pairs. The turrets were protected, internally had a 25–40 mm bulkhead to separate the two twin mounts; this was important at Mers-El-Kébir, where a 381 mm shell hit Dunkerque in one of her turrets: the projectile penetrated the roof and killed everyone in the semi-turret, but the other pair of guns continued to operate. The 380mm/45 Modèle 1935 gun enlarged the design. PIECES LOURDES: 240 et plus French 330 mm/50 Model 1931
A modern torpedo is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it. It was called an automotive, locomotive or fish torpedo; the term torpedo was employed for a variety of devices, most of which would today be called mines. From about 1900, torpedo has been used to designate an underwater self-propelled weapon. While the battleship had evolved around engagements between armoured ships with large-calibre guns, the torpedo allowed torpedo boats and other lighter surface ships, submersibles ordinary fishing boats or frogmen, aircraft, to destroy large armoured ships without the need of large guns, though sometimes at the risk of being hit by longer-range shellfire. Modern torpedoes can be divided into heavyweight classes, they can be launched from a variety of platforms. The word torpedo comes from the name of a genus of electric rays in the order Torpediniformes, which in turn comes from the Latin "torpere".
In naval usage, the American Robert Fulton introduced the name to refer to a towed gunpowder charge used by his French submarine Nautilus to demonstrate that it could sink warships. The concept of a torpedo existed many centuries before it was successfully developed. In 1275, Hasan al-Rammah described "...an egg which moves itself and burns". In modern language, a'torpedo' is an underwater self-propelled explosive, but the term applied to primitive naval mines; these were used on an ad hoc basis during the early modern period up to the late 19th century. Early spar torpedoes were created by the Dutchman Cornelius Drebbel in the employ of King James I of England. An early submarine, attempted to lay a bomb with a timed fuse on the hull of HMS Eagle during the American Revolutionary War, but failed in the attempt. In the early 1800s, the American inventor Robert Fulton, while in France, "conceived the idea of destroying ships by introducing floating mines under their bottoms in submarine boats".
He coined the term "torpedo" in reference to the explosive charges with which he outfitted his submarine Nautilus. However, both the French and the Dutch governments were uninterested in the submarine. Fulton concentrated on developing the torpedo independent of a submarine deployment. On 15 October 1805, while in England, Fulton put on a public display of his "infernal machine", sinking the brig Dorothea with a submerged bomb filled with 180 lb of gunpowder and a clock set to explode in 18 minutes. However, the British government refused to purchase the invention, stating they did not wish to "introduce into naval warfare a system that would give great advantage to weaker maritime nations". Fulton carried out a similar demonstration for the US government on 20 July 1807, destroying a vessel in New York's harbor. Further development languished as Fulton focused on his "steam-boat matters". During the War of 1812, torpedoes were employed in attempts to destroy British vessels and protect American harbors.
In fact a submarine-deployed torpedo was used in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy HMS Ramillies while in New London's harbor. This prompted the British Captain Hardy to warn the Americans to cease efforts with the use of any "torpedo boat" in this "cruel and unheard-of warfare", or he would "order every house near the shore to be destroyed". Torpedoes were used by the Russian Empire during the Crimean War in 1855 against British warships in the Gulf of Finland, they used an early form of chemical detonator. During the American Civil War, the term torpedo was used for what is today called a contact mine, floating on or below the water surface using an air-filled demijohn or similar flotation device; these devices were primitive and apt to prematurely explode. They would be detonated on contact with the ship or after a set time, although electrical detonators were occasionally used. USS Cairo was the first warship to be sunk in 1862 by an electrically-detonated mine. Spar torpedoes were used; these were used by the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley to sink USS Housatonic although the weapon was apt to cause as much harm to its user as to its target.
Rear Admiral David Farragut's famous/apocryphal command during the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" Refers to a minefield laid at Alabama. On 26 May 1877, during the Romanian War of Independence, the Romanian spar torpedo boat Rândunica attacked and sank the Ottoman river monitor Seyfi; this was the first instance in history when a torpedo craft sank its targets without sinking. In 1866 British engineer Robert Whitehead invented the first effective self-propelled torpedo, the eponymous Whitehead torpedo. French and German inventions followed and the term torpedo came to describe self-propelled projectiles that traveled under or on water. By 1900, the term no longer included mines and booby-traps as the navies of the world added submarines, torpedo boats and torpedo boat destroyers to their fleets. A prototype self-propelled torpedo was created by a commission placed by Giovanni Luppis, an Austro-Hungarian naval officer from Fiume, a port city of the