Description

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.

Gun Characteristics

Designation 90 mm/50 (3.5") Model 1926
Ship Class Used On Cruisers: Suffren 1, 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 2 3 12 - 15 rounds / minute
  • ^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.
  • ^Loading proved difficult at elevations above 60 degrees and ROF dropped to around 10 rounds per minute.
  • ^Émile Bertin had an inadequate ammunition supply system which could only supply 20 rounds per minute for all four guns.

Ammunition

Type Fixed
Weight of Complete Round 39.7 lbs. (18 kg)
Projectile Types and Weights 1a 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 Suffren: 500 rounds
Émile Bertin: 250 rounds 2a
La Galissonnière: 300 rounds 3a
Others: N/A
  • ^
    Actual French designations
    HE OEA Mle 1925
    Starshell OEcl Mle 1926
    Incendiary OI Mle 1927
  • ^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.

Range

Range with 20.96 lbs. (9.51 kg) HE
Elevation Distance
45 degrees 16,885 yards (15,440 m)
AA Ceiling @ 80 degrees 34,800 feet (10,600 m)

Mount/Turret Data

Designation 1b Single Mount
   Suffren class [except Suffren and Dupleix] (8) and Émile Bertin 2b (2): Model 1926

Twin Mount
   Dupleix (4), Émile Bertin 2b (1), La Galissonnière (4) and Jean Bart (5): Model 1930

Weight N/A
Elevation -5 / +80 degrees 3b
Elevation Rate N/A
Train about +150 / -150 degrees
Train Rate N/A
Gun recoil N/A
  • ^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). See photograph below. The additional 90 mm mountings were most likely taken from Jean Bart.
  • ^2.12.2The single and twin mountings on Émile Bertin were 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.
  • ^These mountings had automatic rammers but they were apparently difficult to load at angles over 60 degrees, thus limiting their effectiveness as AA weapons.

Additional Pictures

Sources

"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
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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
01 October 2019 - Added photograph of Émile Bertin