90 mm/50 (3.5") Model 1926
Updated 09 October 2015

This gun was an improved AAA weapon intended to replace the 75 mm (2.95") AA guns used on older ships.  Used an autofretted barrel and a semi-automatic Schneider breech mechanism.

The after section of Émile Bertin showing the 90 mm twin mounting


Sketch of 90 mm/50 Model 1926 gun and ammunition
Official drawing from the collection of Robert Dumas

Gun Characteristics
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
Gun Weight N/A
Gun Length N/A
Bore Length 177.2 in (4.500 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
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.

Type Fixed
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
Bursting Charge 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)
Working Pressure N/A
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:
      HE - OEA Mle 1925
      Starshell - OEcl Mle 1926
      Incendiary - OI Mle 1927

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)
Mount / Turret Data
(see Note 3)
Single Mount
   Suffren class [except Suffren and Dupleix] (8) and Émile Bertin (2):  Model 1926

Twin Mount
   Dupleix (4), Émile Bertin (1), La Galissonnière (4) and Jean Bart (5):  Model 1930

Weight  N/A
Elevation -5 / +80 degrees
Elevation Rate N/A
Train about +150 / -150 degrees
Train Rate N/A
Gun recoil N/A

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.

Data from
"Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
"Battleships:  Allied Battleships in World War II" by W.H. Garzke, Jr. and R.O. Dulin, Jr.
"French Cruisers:  1922 - 1956" by John Jordan and Jean Moulin
"Le Croiseur Émile Bertin 1933 - 1959" by Jean Lassaque
"The French Navy:  Navies of the Second World War, Volume One" by Henri Le Masson
"Cruisers of World War Two:  An International Encyclopedia" by M.J. Whitley
Special help from John Jordan
Page History

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