French 75 mm MLE 1897/1940 Field Gun

French 75 mm MLE 1897/1940 Field Gun

This version of the famous 75 mm field gun has been converted to the MLE 1897/1940 specification. Pneumatic tires have been fitted in place of the spoked wooden wheels, the gun shield has been cut down to reduce the weapon's silhouette, and a gun sight has been added to allow more accurate anti-tank fire. The gun is said to have been used by French Foreign Legion troops of the Forces Françaises Libres (FFL) defending the desert outpost of Bir Hacheim during the Battle of Gazala 26/27 May 1942. The defenders of Bir Hacheim repulsed several strong German and Italian attacks against this important flank position of the Gazala line in front of Tobruk, but they had to evacuate the strongpoint on June 10. The gun is now in the Musée de l'Armée in Paris.

Available Scale Model Kits

  • 75 mm MLE 1897/1940 Field Gun, 1:72 Fine Scale Factory WZ01
  • 75 mm MLE 1897/1940 Field Gun, 20 mm Raventhorpe
  • 75 mm MLE 1897/1940 Field Gun, 1:76 Hinchliffe 20/217
  • 75 mm MLE 1897/1940 Field Gun, 15 mm Forged in Battle F-43
  • 75 mm MLE 1897/1940 Field Gun, Limber, Caisson, and Horse Team, 12 mm Minifigs FV-84
  • 75 mm MLE 1897/1940 Field Gun and Crew, 1:300 Heroics & Ros F04

Technical Specifications

  • Canon de Campagne de 75 mm MLE 1897/1940
  • Calibre: 75 mm
  • Barrel Length: L.36.3
  • Barrel Recoil: 1,05 m
  • Elevation: 0° to 40°
  • Rate of Fire: 20 rounds per minute
  • Maximum Chamber Pressure: 2600 bar
  • Armour Penetration at 0-100 m:
    • A.P. 90 mm (French, German)
    • A.P.C.R. 128 mm (German Panzergranate 40)

Bibliography

Museum Exhibits

Cannone Francese da 75 mm MLE 1897/1940

The Bir Hacheim gun, Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Cannone Francese da 75 mm MLE 1897/1940

Breech mechanism of the Bir Hacheim gun, Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Historical Employment

  • French Army 1940
  • Forces Françaises Libres 1940-1943

Possible Conversions

  • German 7.5 cm L.36.3 PaK 97/38 (f)
    mounted on the carriage of the PaK 38 and fitted with a T.R. Breech (tir rapide).
  • German 7.5 cm L.36.3 PaK 97/40 (f)
    mounted on the carriage of the PaK 38 and fitted with a T.R. Breech (tir rapide).

Many of the famous 75 mm field guns of World War One were upgraded in 1938 and 1940, they received pneumatic tires and the shield was cut down to reduce the silhouette of the weapon. After the fall of France, many of these upgraded field guns ended up in the German Wehrmacht and other Axis formations.

Frequently Asked Questions

For further information and updates, please join us on facebook or in the Miniatures Forum.

French Miniatuers of World War Two