×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks
Advertisements

HOME
ARMOR
MODERN ARMIES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
WORLD WAR 1

Canon de 274 modele 93/96 Berceau


Railway Gun (1915)


Land Systems / Battlefield

1 / 1
Image from the Public Domain.

Jump-to: Specifications

The Canon de 274 modele 93-96 Berceau inspired a whole slew of railway guns for the French during World War 1.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/18/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Advertisements
The railway gun proved a sound solution in the fighting of both World War 1 (1914-1918) and World War 2 (1939-1945). The units were behemoth designs, typically mounting massive naval artillery on carriages that ran along an established rail system. Not wholly accurate, these devastating weapons were nonetheless respected and proved great propaganda and psychological tools for all sides of each conflict. In time, however, their usefulness wore off and the rise of the ballistic missile ensured that the era of the railway gun had come to an end.

The French became leaders in the field when The Great War broke out in July of 1914. What started as a mobile, fluid war soon bogged down to Trench Warfare as massive trench networks sprung up about the European countryside. As both sides became more and more entrenched, artillery proved more and more valuable. However, to dislodge the most stubborn of enemies, alternative solutions were sought.

Naval guns held the inherent power and range to make a difference on land, yet there were limitations and restrictions of such weapons on such terrain. Thought was given to fielding these massive guns on mobile platforms utilizing the mature European railway network, transporting the entire system in this fashion while keeping it out of reach of the enemy's return fire.

Schneider of France championed the railway gun even before the start of hostilities and the outbreak of war fast-tracked development of these weapon systems. One of the earlier iterations became the Canon de 274 modele 93/96 "Berceau" which was designed, and first fielded, during 1915. The company would built four to the standard and these saw service through to the end of the war in November of 1918.

The weapons featured a 37.8 foot L/40 barrel assembly mated to its mounting hardware set within an armored housing. The gun was of 274 caliber and fired a projectile weighing between 475lb and 565lb utilizing a separate loading bagged charge. The shells were inserted via an interrupted screw breech design while recoil was handled by the cradle. The inherent elevation span was limited to +25 degrees and traversal was heavily restricted by the armored housing. The carriage included 2 x Four-axle rail bogies, these sections being hinged fore and aft of the gun section so as to better navigate the curves of rail.

A trained gunnery crew could let off one round for every five minutes. These projectiles reached a muzzle velocity of 2,840 to 3,000 feet-per-second and could range out to 14 miles at the full 25-degree tilt. Projectile types included the Armor-Piercing, Capped (ACP) of 562lb, the Semi-Armor Piercing, Capped (SAPC) of equal weight, and the Common Incendiary (CI) variant of 486lb. The universal bagged charge itself added another 187lb.

The guns arrived from the Schneider facilities in mid-1915. In practice, these weapons proved their worth to French authorities who now pushed for newer solutions of greater reach and caliber - giving rise to a whole collection of railway guns originating from the French during World War 1. In time, the original barrel assemblies were worn down through fatigue, forcing the Army to have them rebored to new calibers of 285mm and 288mm (11.2" and 11.3") which then forced the ammunition stock to be revised for the new size.

The Canon de 274 modele 93/96 Berceau project laid the groundwork for other French railway guns still to come, namely the Canon de 274 modele 1887/1893 "Glissement" (detailed elsewhere on this site) and its exposed mounting which gave better elevation spans and, in turn, great engagement ranges by 1917.

Specifications



Service Year
1915

Origin
France national flag graphic
France

Status
RETIRED
Not in Service.
Crew
40
CREWMEN
Production
4
UNITS


Schneider - France
National flag of France France
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Special Purpose
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.


In-Direct Fire Capable
This system's capability is such that it can engage targets / target areas without Line-of-Sight attained.
Psychological Effect
Ability to provide lethal, in-direct firepower at range for area saturation; can include nuclear, biological, and chemical agents.


Length
37.7 ft
11.5 m
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Canon de 274 M93/96 production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: None. Weapon driving about rails by way of steam locomotive propulsion.
Transmission: Not Applicable.
Range
13.7 mi
(22.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Canon de 274 M93/96 production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 274mm (10.8" / 27.4cm) main gun tube / barrel; barrels rebored after heavy use to 285mm and 288mm requiring revised ammunition stock.


Supported Types


Graphical image of a tank cannon armament
Graphical image of an artillery gun tube/barrel


(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Dependent upon ammunition carrier(s); supported types included Armor-Piercing, Capped (APC, 562lb); Semi-Armor-Piercing, Capped (SAPC, 562lb), and Common Incendiary (CI, 476lb) with 187lb powder charge.


Canon de 274 modele 93/96 Berceau - Base Series Name; four examples completed and fielded during World War 1.


Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of the Bulge
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Kursk
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental military vehicles


Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Similar Land Systems



Battlefield developments of similar form and function, or related to, the Canon de 274 modele 93/96 Berceau...


Advertisements





Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


2022 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-