203mm/50 Modèle 1924 gun

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203 mm/50 Modèle 1924
Colbert-1-Main guns.jpg
Main guns of the French cruiser Colbert
Type naval gun
Place of origin France
Service history
Used by France
Wars Second World War
Weight 20 tonnes[1]
Length 10.5 metres (34 ft 5 in)[1]

Shell separate charges and shell
Calibre 8 inches (203 mm)
Rate of fire 4-5 rpm
Muzzle velocity 850 metres per second (2,800 ft/s)[1]
Maximum firing range 31.4 kilometres (34,300 yd)[1]

The 203mm/50 Modèle 1924 was a medium naval gun of the French Navy.

The type was used on the Duquesne and Suffren classes of heavy cruisers as main battery, mounted in four twin turrets weighing 180 tonnes each. The calibre of 203 mm (8 inches) was characteristic of heavy cruisers built as a result of limitations imposed by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.


These guns used two bags each containing 23.5 kilograms (52 lb) of smokeless powder with a 123-kilogram (271 lb) projectile to achieve the stated maximum range at an elevation of 45 degrees. Each gun could fire approximately 4 to 5 rounds per minute. Range was somewhat less with the 134 kg (295 lb) M1936 APC (armour-piercing) shell.[1]

The type was also mounted in a single twin turret aboard the French submarine Surcouf, which was designed as a submarine heavy cruiser intended to disrupt enemy supply lines. This flavour of the gun was fitted with mechanically actuated tampions to allow quick dive. These guns could open fire 2.5 minutes after surfacing and fire approximately 3 rounds per minute. Maximum elevation of 30 degrees limited maximum range to 28 kilometres (31,000 yd). These were the second largest guns carried by any submarine after the British HMS M1 during the Second World War.[1]

See also[edit]

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. p. 290. ISBN 0-87021-459-4. 

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