Description

Used to arm French pre-dreadnoughts, these guns were similar in design, and apparently used to test various design concepts such as longer barrel lengths.

The construction of all Model types was a complicated built-up design, similar to other French heavy guns. Actual bore diameter was 30.50 cm (12.008").

Gun Characteristics

Designation 305 mm/40 (12") Model 1893/1896
305 mm/45 (12") Model 1893
305 mm/40 (12") Model 1893
305 mm/45 (12") Model 1887
Ship Class Used On Model 1893/1896: Gaulois, Iéna, Suffren, République and Liberté Classes
Model 1893: Bouvet
Model 1893: Massèna
Model 1887: Bouvines
Date Of Design 1893/1896
Date In Service 1895/1898
Gun Weight Model 1893/1896: 47 tons (48 mt)
Model 1893: 45 tons (46 mt)
Model 1893: 43 tons (44 mt)
Model 1887: N/A
Gun Length oa N/A
Bore Length Model 1893/1896: about 480 in (12.200 m)
Model 1893: about 535 in (13.588 m)
Model 1893: about 480 in (12.200 m)
Model 1887: about 535 in (13.588 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire about 1 round per minute

Ammunition

Type Bag
Projectile Types and Weights AP: 770 lbs. (349 kg)
SAP: 770 lbs. (349 kg)
HE: 770 lbs. (349 kg)
Bursting Charge N/A 1
Projectile Length N/A
Propellant Charge Model 1893/1896: 245 lbs. (111 kg)
Model 1893: 196 lbs. (89 kg)
Model 1893: 217 lbs. (98 kg)
Model 1887: N/A
Muzzle Velocity Model 1893/1896: 2,674 fps (815 mps)
Model 1893: 2,559 fps (780 mps)
Model 1893: 2,559 fps (780 mps)
Model 1887: N/A
Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun Iéna: 45 rounds
Others: N/A
  1. ^HE projectiles were made with either black powder (gunpowder) or Melinite bursters, while AP and SAP were made with Melinite bursters.

Range

Range with 770 lbs. (349 kg) AP
Elevation Range
15 degrees 13,120 yards (12,000 m)

Mount/Turret Data

Designation One-gun Turrets: Jaureguiberry (2), Bouvines (2), Massèna (2) and Bouvet (2)
Two-gun Turrets 1 : Iéna (2), Suffren (2), Gaulois (2), République (2) and Liberté (2)
Weight N/A
Elevation Iéna: -5 (?) / +15 degrees
Others: N/A
Rate of Elevation N/A
Train about +150 / -150 degrees
Rate of Train N/A
Gun Recoil N/A
Loading Angle N/A

A novel feature of these mountings was that they used a hydraulic pivot which supported the the rotating structure when it trained. When the proper angle was reached, the mounting was lowered onto a seating ring.

  1. ^The two-gun mountings had nearly all of the gun operating machinery inside of the turret itself, with no barbette as such. Instead, a narrow armored tube protected the ammunition hoists. This arrangement differed little in total weight from other 305 mm (12") mountings built by other nations, but did have a penalty in that all the weight was carried higher in the ship, leading to stability problems.

Additional Pictures

Sources

Data from:

  • "The Big Gun: Battleship Main Armament 1860-1945" by Peter Hodges
  • "The Iéna Disaster, 1907" article by Philippe Caresse in "Warship 2007"

Other:

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