The after section of Émile Bertin showing the 90 mm twin mounting
Sketch of 90 mm/50 Model 1926 gun and ammunition
|Designation||90 mm/50 (3.5") Model 1926|
|Ship Class Used On
(see Note 1)
|Cruisers: Suffren, Émile
Bertin and La Galissonnière Classes
Net-layer Gladiateur and some escorts of the Élan and Chamois classes
Fitted as emergency AA on Jean Bart
|Date Of Design||1926|
|Date In Service||1931|
|Bore Length||177.2 in (4.500 m)|
|Rate Of Fire
(see Notes 2 and 3)
|12 - 15 rounds / minute|
1) All members of the Suffren class except Suffren herself carried this gun as their secondary battery. Suffren carried the older 75 mm/50 Model 1924.
2) Loading proved difficult at elevations above 60 degrees and ROF dropped to around 10 rounds per minute.
3) Émile Bertin had an inadequate ammunition supply system which could only supply 20 rounds per minute for all four guns.
|Weight of Complete Round||39.7 lbs. (18 kg)|
|Projectile Types and Weights
(see Note 1)
|HE - 20.96 lbs. (9.51 kg)
Incendiary - N/A
Starshell - N/A
|Projectile Length||15.2 in (38.5 cm)|
|Propellant Charge||6.83 lbs. (3.1 kg) BM5|
|Muzzle Velocity||2,789 fps (850 mps)|
|Approximate Barrel Life||N/A|
|Ammunition stowage per gun
(see Note 2)
|Suffren - 500 rounds
Émile Bertin - 250 rounds
La Galissonnière - 300 rounds
Others - N/A
1) Actual French designations:
2) Émile Bertin had ammunition space for 1,422 rounds but the standard combat loading was 1,000 HE plus 200 illumination rounds for the center mounting. La Galissonnière carried 2,400 HE and 200 illumination rounds.
|Elevation||With 20.96 lbs. (9.51 kg) HE Shell|
|Range @ 45 degrees||16,885 yards (15,440 m)|
|AA Ceiling @ 80 degrees||34,800 feet (10,600 m)|
(see Note 3)
Suffren class [except Suffren and Dupleix] (8) and Émile Bertin (2): Model 1926
|Elevation||-5 / +80 degrees|
|Train||about +150 / -150 degrees|
1) These mountings had automatic rammers but they were apparently difficult to load at angles over 60 degrees, thus limiting their effectiveness as AA weapons.
2) The single and twin mountings on Émile Bertin all fed from the same magazine. This magazine had a single hoist that could supply 20 rounds per minute, an inadequate supply for even two guns let alone the four that she carried. This hoist ended on the upper deck and the rounds had to be carried by hand to the mountings. From the photograph above, it does not appear that there was any ready round stowage close to the mountings to supplement the supply from the hoist.
3) A note on sources: "Cruisers of World War Two" by Whitley says that Émile Bertin was given two additional twin 90 mm mountings in place of her midships torpedo tubes during her August - November 1943 refit in the USA and includes a sketch showing the new armament (page 41). This appears to be taken from "The French Navy: Navies of the Second World War, Volume One" by Henri Le Masson (page 101). However, the removal of the torpedo tubes and addition of these mountings did not actually occur until her refit at La Seyne/Toulon between January and September 1945. At the same time a second HA transmitting station was fitted to enable target engagement on both sides of the ship, and the HA directors were given British Type 285 radar. These additions gave Émile Bertin a total of eight 90 mm guns (3 x 2 and 2 x 1). The additional 90 mm mountings most likely were taken from the Jean Bart.
09 October 2006 - Benchmark
28 March 2012 - Added sketch
05 April 2013 - Replaced picture of Émile Bertin and added information about her ammunition supply
09 October 2015 - Minor additions and note on sources