75 mm Gun M1897

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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.

Game Usage

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.

Game Statistics

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
in m/s
Mass in kg
Fuse delay in m: Fuse sensitivity in mm: Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30° from horizontal: Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
M72 shot 108 107 90 74 60 50 AP 609 6.3 N/A N/A N/A -1° 43° 30° 25°
M48 shell 10 10 10 10 10 10 HE 594 6.3 0.4 0.5 666 +0° 11° 10°
M61 shot 88 86 79 71 63 57 APCBC 609 6.8 1.2 20 63.7 +4° 42° 27° 19°

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.

Though retired after 1942, the M1897's ammunition lived on much longer in the 75 mm guns of the M3 Lee and the M4 Sherman.


Additional information (links)