75 mm Gun M1897
The 75 mm Gun M1897 was a standard American artillery piece adopted in World War I by the French, who called it the Canon de 75 modèle 1897. The gun is most noted for being the first field gun with a hydro-pneumatic recoil mechanism. The gun was found to be obsolete by larger and better artillery designs, but the huge quantities available kept them in service as a field gun and an anti-tank gun. The gun's ammunition would still be the standard tank round used by the Americans on the 75 mm guns on their medium tanks.
The 75 mm Gun M1897 is almost identical to the 75 mm M3 found on the Shermans. However, the downside with the weapon is its long reload and that it is mounted on the 75 mm GMC M3, a half-track with barely any protection against enemy fire. The 75 mm M1897 gun in Rank I is a hard-hitting gun against the lighter armored vehicles, especially with the usage of the M61 APCBC that can destroy the tank's interior after penetrating.
Guns of comparable performance
- M79 Shot - Armor-piercing round
- M61 Shot - Armor-piercing capped round with explosive filler
- M48 Shell - High-explosive round
- Shrapnel - Round containing 290 lead balls, timed fuze will burst it above enemy.
|Ammunition||Penetration in mm @ 90°|| Type of
Mass in kg
|Fuse delay in m:||Fuse sensitivity in mm:|| Explosive Mass in
|Normalization At 30° from horizontal:||Ricochet:|
History of creation and combat usage
The French artillery piece Canon de 75 modèle 1897 was well-renowned from its service in World War I, being the French Army's standard field gun throughout the war. The gun featured many innovative features in the artillery field, namely the hydro-pneumatic recoil mechanism and a rapid fire capability. The recoil mechanism gave the gun a very smooth and fast recoil, only 2 seconds after firing can it be reloaded and fired again. The rapid fire capability comes from the ability to stay in target after the first shot. After World War I, the gun became obsolete with the development of newer and better artillery designs, but the huge quantities available kept it in service in France and other countries such as Britain and Poland. France attempted to modernize the canon by giving it the ability to act as an anti-tank gun. These were in turn captured by the Germans after the Battle of France in 1940 and captured as the 7.5 cm Pak 97/38, but the gun was still limited in effectiveness as it was put against the heavier T-34 and KV-1 tanks in the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa. Most of the guns were then relegated to second-line artillery or coastal defense guns.
The gun was adopted by the Americans as the 75 mm Gun M1897 in 1917, with an A2 on the end for French-produced and an A4 for American-produced. The Americans manufactured the gun in large numbers after its adoption, building 1,050 units before the end of World War I. American soldiers using the M1897 used them to great effectiveness just as the French did. A notable individual commanding one of the 480 75 mm gun batteries in World War I was Harry S. Truman. The manufactured guns were installed onto carriages during the inter-war period, but it was determined that the guns would instead be mounted onto a motorized carriage. This would place the gun onto a M3 Half-track, and designated as the 75mm Gun Motor Carriage M3. However, this was only an interim design for the Americans due to the replacement of the M1897 field gun with the 105 mm M101 howitzer.