French/Serbian/Ottoman 75mm 1907 A Field Gun in Iraq

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Ralph Lovett
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French/Serbian/Ottoman 75mm 1907 A Field Gun in Iraq

Post by Ralph Lovett » 07 Mar 2008 00:11

An acquaintance, who serves as the commander of a US field artillery battalion, in Iraq has recently contacted me with photos of several pieces his unit has acquired. I have identified the pieces as the French manufactured “75mm 1907 A”. I believe the manufacturer is St. Chamond and the emails from Iraq indicate that they believe this is what the markings show too. As you can see in the photos the breech is an interrupted screw type not the Nordenfelt for the Schneider mle/97.

(1st Question) Was St. Chamond a manufacturer for the “75mm 1907 A” as well as Schneider-Creusot?

(2nd Question) Is the “75mm 1907 A” always fitted with an interrupted screw breech or is this group unusual?

It appears likely to me that these pieces were captured by either the Austro-Hungarians or Germans from Serbia and turned over to the Ottoman Army. Their location in Iraq makes this sequence of events logical.

(Observations) The eagle & crest is obviously Serbian. The St. Sava’s Cross is clear in the photograph. The wheels are original 12 spoke types not the normal 14 spoke wheels for the French Schneider 75mm mle/97. The sighmount is not at all like the mle/97. This also appears to match a number of Australian captured Ottoman pieces that have been described to me.

The US Artillery BN appears to have been given permission to bring these home. With the regulations regarding captured weapons in Iraq these can only be counted as safely home, once they are here in the US “on the ground”. In my two years in Baghdad, I acquired two British WW1 3.7 Inch QF Howitzers, four German 10,5cm lFH 18/39, four Italian 105mm Melara and one British 25 pdr. Despite restoring them, I was unable to bring them back to my unit in the US. I had little choice but to turn them over to the Iraqi Tomb of the Unknown Soldier museum in Baghdad. Hopefully, these 75mm 1907 As will have better luck.

Ralph Lovett
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Ralph Lovett
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Re: French/Serbian/Ottoman 75mm 1907 A Field Gun in Iraq

Post by Ralph Lovett » 07 Mar 2008 00:14

More related photographs---(75mm 1907A, SERB/Ottoman)----Ralph Lovett
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The Edge
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Re: French/Serbian/Ottoman 75mm 1907 A Field Gun in Iraq

Post by The Edge » 07 Mar 2008 10:19

Nice find, Ralph! :D
(Especially because no such gun is preserved in Serbia today)


Ralph Lovett wrote:(1st Question) Was St. Chamond a manufacturer for the “75mm 1907 A” as well as Schneider-Creusot?

To my knowledge, Serbia ordered M.07A guns (as well as earlier M.07 model) from Schneider-Creusot. These were commercial "P.D." guns, similar to ones bought by Spain & Greece. St. Chamond had their own commercial model (not liked by Serbian authorities). It is possible that Schneider (more busy at that time) passed some of their orders to St. Chamond - if so, this is very interesting finding!

Ralph Lovett wrote:(2nd Question) Is the “75mm 1907A” always fitted with an interrupted screw breech?
Yes

About the Serbian gun in Turkish use: When in 1912 First Balkan War broke out, 72 Serbian M.07A guns were in Salonica pier (than Turkish territory), awaiting transportation to Serbia. Turks seized them. Some sources claim that Greek forces, after taking the town, found them all still in pier werehause and forwarded them to Serbia. Others claim that Turks made use of them (at least part of this number). My calculation shows that some M.07A guns did arrived in Serbia 1913 - either ex-seized Salonica guns or some other previusly ordered guns. (Serbs suspended part of Second Schneider contract to cover 1912-13 War expenses)
About 1913 Turkey (must check exact year) ordered also Schneider guns (both field & mountain ones). Some of them were delivered before WWI started in 1914, some not. So it is also plausible that Germany sent some of captured Serbian guns (1915 booty) to reinforce Turkey (since they already used similar guns).

Regards,

Edge/Antic

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dimi_labada
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Re: French/Serbian/Ottoman 75mm 1907 A Field Gun in Iraq

Post by dimi_labada » 09 Mar 2008 00:56

Those are Hellenic Canon de 75 mle 1907 Schneider. Parade in Athens, year unknown

D Lampaditis
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The Edge
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Re: French/Serbian/Ottoman 75mm 1907 A Field Gun in Iraq

Post by The Edge » 10 Mar 2008 11:04

NICE PHOTO, DIMI! :D ("Alal ti Dimitrije, sine Mitre" - from one Serbian song) :wink:

I checked the data - Turkey did order Schneider fild guns, but none were delivered before 1914. Seized Schneider field guns (Turkish, Greek, etc) French army used as stop-gap armament ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_de_7 ... _Schneider ).

At this moment I'm supporting theory that the gun found in Iraq is one of 1912 Turkey-seized Salonica guns. (There is one person in Belgrade who will probably eat his shirt & pants when he see these photos. :wink: )

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