Canon de 155 L modèle 1877/14 Schneider

The Canon de 155 L modèle 1877/14 Schneider was a heavy, French cannon, which was built before the First World War and used until the Second World War.

In 1907, the French company Schneider began producing the 152 mm M1910 howitzer for the Russian army. The gun was equipped with a hydropneumatic recoil system and a protective shield and could be pulled by wooden wheels on steel rims of horses or a truck. The performance of the gun also impressed the French military leadership so that they also demanded a French variant, but this was not implemented for the time being.

It was not until 1909, when an official requirement for new guns for the French army was put out to tender with the new and modern de Bange recoil system, that Schneider began to further develop its Canon de 155 L modèle 1877/14 Schneider and adapt it to the required recoil system.

The idea of the designers was to place the barrel of the Mle 1877 gun on the housing of the M1910 and to equip it with the new recoil system. For transport, the gun could either be pulled in one piece or disassembled into two parts and then transported. The dismantling made it possible to distribute the weight to 2 cars and thus achieve a higher speed, but it took some time to assemble the gun.

In October 1913 the prototype of the French army was finally presented. The army command was impressed and in April 1914 issued an order for 120 guns to be delivered between December 1915 and December 1917. Due to the outbreak of the First World War and the priority delivery of another gun, the earliest date was postponed to February 1916.



Canon de 155 L modèle 1877/14 Schneider


Canon de 155 L modèle 1877/14 Schneider



After the war of movement on the western front came to a standstill and the war of positions began, it became apparent that the French guns deployed were no longer up to the new task. Due to the increasingly fortified positions of the German army and the high range of the German artillery, the French army was forced to bring even heavy guns to the front with the appropriate penetration power and range.

The Canon de 155 L modèle 1877/14 Schneider, with its range of 13.9 kilometres, was able to meet expectations and was used on all sections of the Western Front until the end of the war.

After the war, the guns remained in the French army, but were mainly used in the fortresses.

After the invasion of the German Wehrmacht and the capitulation of France in 1940, the Germans were able to capture most of the guns and used them mainly in the Atlantic Wall and in coastal protection.




Data sheet:

Designation: Canon de 155 L modèle 1877/14 Schneider
Manufacturing country: France
Introductory year: 1916
Number of pieces: 120 pieces
Calibers: 155 mm
Tube length: 4,2 meters
Range: Max. 13.900 meters
Weight: 6,01 tons






You can find the right literature here:


Flesh and Steel During the Great War: The Transformation of the French Army and the Invention of Modern Warfare

Flesh and Steel During the Great War: The Transformation of the French Army and the Invention of Modern Warfare Hardcover – October 30, 2018

Michel Goya’s Flesh and Steel during the Great War is one of the most thoughtful, stimulating and original studies of the conflict to have appeared in recent years. It is a major contribution towards a deeper understanding of the impact of the struggle on the Western Front on the theory and practice of warfare in the French army. In a series of incisive, closely argued chapters he explores the way in which the senior commanders and ordinary soldiers responded to the extraordinary challenges posed by the mass industrial warfare of the early twentieth century.

In 1914 the French army went to war with a flawed doctrine, brightly-colored uniforms and a dire shortage of modern, heavy artillery How then, over four years of relentless, attritional warfare, did it become the great, industrialized army that emerged victorious in 1918?

To show how this change occurred, the author examines the pre-war ethos and organization of the army and describes in telling detail how, through a process of analysis and innovation, the French army underwent the deepest and fastest transformation in its history.

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Breaking Point of the French Army: The Nivelle Offensive of 1917

Breaking Point of the French Army: The Nivelle Offensive of 1917 Hardcover – November 2, 2015

In December 1916 General Robert Nivelle was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the French armies fighting the Germans on the Western Front. He had enjoyed a meteoric rise to high command and public acclaim since the beginning of the war - he was a national hero. In return, he proclaimed he ‘had the formula’ that would ensure victory and end the conflict in 1917. But his offensive was a bloody and humiliating failure for France, one that could have opened the way for French defeat.

This is the subject of David Murphy’s penetrating, in-depth study of one of the key events in the history of the Great War. He describes how Nivelle, a highly intelligent and articulate officer, used his charm to win the support of French and British politicians, but also how he was vain and boastful and displayed no sense of operational security. By the opening of the campaign, his plan was an open secret and he had lost the ability to critically assess the operation as it developed. The result was disaster.

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They Shall Not Pass: The French Army on the Western Front 1914-1918

They Shall Not Pass: The French Army on the Western Front 1914-1918 Hardcover – May 19, 2012

This graphic collection of first-hand accounts sheds new light on the experiences of the French army during the Great War. It reveals in authentic detail the perceptions and emotions of soldiers and civilians who were caught up in the most destructive conflict the world had ever seen.
Their testimony gives a striking insight into the mentality of the troops and their experience of combat, their emotional ties to their relatives at home, their opinions about their commanders and their fellow soldiers, the appalling conditions and dangers they endured, and their attitude to their German enemy. In their own words, in diaries, letters, reports and memoirs - most of which have never been published in English before - they offer a fascinating inside view of the massive life-and-death struggle that took place on the Western Front.
Ian Sumner provides a concise narrative of the war in order to give a clear context to the eyewitness material. In effect the reader is carried through the experience of each phase of the war on the Western Front and sees events as soldiers and civilians saw them at the time. This emphasis on eyewitness accounts provides an approach to the subject that is completely new for an English-language publication.
The author’s pioneering work will appeal to readers who may know something about the British and German armies on the Western Front, but little about the French army which bore the brunt of the fighting on the allied side. His book represents a milestone in publishing on the Great War.

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Artillery in the Great War

Artillery in the Great War Hardcover – May 18, 2011

Artillery was the decisive weapon of the Great War - it dominated the battlefields. Yet the history of artillery during the conflict has been neglected, and its impact on the fighting is inadequately understood. Paul Strong and Sanders Marble, in this important and highly readable study, seek to balance the account.Their work shows that artillery was central to the tactics of the belligerent nations throughout the long course of the conflict, in attack and in defense. They describe, in vivid detail, how in theory and practice the use of artillery developed in different ways among the opposing armies, and they reveal how artillery men on all sides coped with the extraordinary challenges that confronted them on the battlefield. They also give graphic accounts of the role played by artillery in specific operations, including the battles of Le Cateau, the Somme and Valenciennes.Their work will be fascinating reading for anyone who is keen to understand the impact of artillery

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