Rimailho Model 1904TR

The Rimailho Model 1904TR gun was a French medium-weight artillery developed before the First World War and one of the few larger modern artillery of the army.

The designer Captain Emile Rimailho was already involved in the development of the widely used French gun Canon de 75 modèle in 1897. This gun was a light artillery adapted to the concept of offensive attack of the French military strategy.

Rimailho recognized, however, that in return the development of medium and heavy artillery was neglected. Thus, in 1904, he began to build a prototype with a 155 mm calibre, but with the fire rate of a light artillery.

In order to achieve the target fire rate of 15 rounds per minute, it was necessary to simplify the loading process of the weapon considerably and to make it faster, as this cost the most time. For this purpose, Rimailho developed a procedure in which the breech was opened automatically after a shot. After the gun barrel swung back into position, the breech remained open and the operator could insert a new cartridge. The movement of the tube then causes the cartridge to be pushed to its intended position and the ignition lever to be tensioned. As soon as the trigger of the gun is pulled, the cartridge is pushed into the breech and the gun fires it.

This procedure could lead in the end to a clear increase of the fire rate of the gun, since the construction was however very complex the necessary parts of the weapon were worn out fast.



Rimailho Model 1904TR


Rimailho Model 1904TR



On 4 September 1906, several artillery guns were demonstrated to the military leadership at the French Kriegskolleg in Langres. The Rimailho Model 1904TR was able to assert itself against other guns both in the fire rate and in the penetration power, so that in 1907 the French army issued an order for the series production of over 120 pieces.

After the introduction 5 artillery regiments were equipped with the gun.

At the outbreak of the First World War, around 104 guns were in use on the western front. After the front line had solidified in 1915 and the positional war began, it became apparent that the guns were no longer suitable for the tasks set due to their short range.

From 1915 to 1917 these were gradually withdrawn from the front. Although attempts were made to increase the range with other ammunition, this also led to even greater wear of the material, so that in 1918 not a single gun was used at the front.



Rimailho Model 1904TR and its operating crew


Rimailho Model 1904TR gun on the way to the front


Rimailho Model 1904TR gun at the front




Data sheet:

Designation: Rimailho Model 1904TR
Manufacturing country: France
Introductory year: 1904
Number of pieces: about 120 pieces
Calibers: 155 mm
Tube length: 2,4 meters
Range: Max. 6.000 meters
Weight: 3,2 tons






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