Military Review

The guns on the railway transporter. French 340-mm gun 1912 M on the "carriage with a cradle"

The fleet of the French railway artillery in 1918 was supplemented with the 340-mm 1912 M gun on the railway carriage with a cradle. This artillery installation was made by St. Chamond for the project, which provided for the separation of the railway carts at the firing position from the transporter. The artillery mount was armed with a powerful 1912 M naval cannon with a barrel in 47,4 caliber. The length of the threaded part was 39,0 calibers, the barrel bore was locked with a piston gate, the weight of the gun was 66950 kg. High-explosive shells of 465, 445 and 431,8 kg were used with the cannon. During full charge shooting, they had an initial speed of 893 m / s, 916 m / s and 921 m / s, respectively, and hit targets at a distance of 33, 37,6 and 38 km.

To defeat the enemy's fortifications, a semi-armored projectile weighing 555 kg was used. On the railway transporter, the gun was installed using powerful recoil devices - 4 hydraulic recoil brakes, as well as a pneumatic knurler. The transporter consisted of a main beam, mounted on two railway carts with six axles. The longitudinal supporting structures of the beam had a horizontal lower belt. In the upper part, the profile of these structures had a lift to install the gun in such a way that if there is a specially dug ditch under the breech of the gun, the angle of the vertical guidance of the gun in + 42 degrees was provided.

To prepare the firing position it was necessary not only to prepare the ditch under the breech of the gun, but also to carry out other very labor-intensive preparatory work. First of all, on both sides of the railway track, two narrow railway tracks were created, which serve to move the assembly crane (tonnage of 4). With the help of this crane the central support was prepared - wooden bars were laid in two layers crosswise. This base with the size of 2,5 x 3,0 meter was used for laying two more bars, which are the support for the base plate (made by casting).

Wooden bars were also used to make supports for the rear and front of the main beam. After the installation was supplied to the firing position under it, the rail track was dismantled, the central pin of the machine gun was inserted into the axle of the cast base plate and, with the help of hydraulic jacks, the main beam was lowered onto the central support. After that, the railway carts rolled out from under the main beam and, with the help of screw jacks, were supported on specially prepared supports of the rear and front parts of the main beam. Preparing such a firing position required 4 - 5 days. True, once the settlement, manned by American soldiers, performed all the preparatory work within a day and a half, but to achieve this record they created ideal conditions.

After the installation was supplied to the firing position, 30 was needed - 60 minutes for its preparation for firing. The installation could leave the firing position 25 minutes after the shooting. During the shooting, ammunition was fed from an armored cellar car. With the help of a crane, semi-charges and projectiles were placed at the preparatory post, which was equipped behind the breech of the gun on the main beam, the barrel of the gun was transferred to the declination angle -8 degrees for loading. After that, the projectile and poluzaryadov under the influence of its own mass were fed into the barrel charging chamber along an inclined chute. It should be noted that careful calculation of all elements of the conveyor structure, as well as due to the arrangement of numerous cuts in places of construction that are not subjected to heavy loads, the weight of the artillery installation as a whole was only 166 tons, which is approximately 100 tons less than the weight of installations of a similar caliber developed by other companies .

Several such installations in 1940 were captured by German forces and under the designation 34, see Kanone (E) 674 (f) used on the Atlantic coast of France in the coastal defense system.

Performance characteristics:
Caliber - 340 mm;
Barrel length - 47,4 calibers;
The largest angle of elevation is 42 degrees;
Angle of horizontal fire - 10 degrees;
Weight in traveling position - 166000 kg;
The mass of the high-explosive projectile - 465 kg;
The initial velocity of the projectile - 893 m / s;
The longest firing range - 33000 m.
Articles from this series:
The guns on the railway transporter. French 155 mm 1877 M
The guns on the railway transporter. French 164-mm cannons M 1893, M 1893 / 96 and M 1893 / 96 M
The guns on the railway transporter. French 274-mm cannons M 1887 / 93 and M 1893 / 96
The guns on the railway transporter. French 240 mm 1884 / 17 M
The guns on the railway transporter. French 305-mm cannons M 1893 / 96, M 1906 and M 1906 / 10
The guns on the railway transporter. French 194 mm cannon 1870 / 93
The guns on the railway transporter. French 340-mm cannons M 1881, M 1884, M 1893 and M 1912
The guns on the railway transporter. French 340-mm gun 1912 M on the "carriage with a cradle"

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  1. Iraclius
    Iraclius 6 February 2013 09: 29
    In my opinion, of all the installations discussed earlier, this is the least successful. Despite the large caliber and decent firing range, a huge deployment time (almost a week, what to say!) Negates the main advantage of guns on the railway conveyor - high mobility.
    True, once the calculation, staffed by American soldiers, completed all the preparatory work within a day and a half, but to achieve this record created ideal conditions.

    Interestingly, what were these conditions? The German offensive at Verdun? lol
    1. carbofo
      carbofo 8 February 2013 15: 20
      At that time, aviation was not a serious force, and therefore for a weapon of this caliber a week to prepare a position was acceptable.
      Read about DORA Germans fussed with her no less.
  2. Akuzenka
    Akuzenka 6 February 2013 17: 09
    So believe after this that the French were not going to attack the Germans. They gathered, but screwed up.