340mm/45 Modèle 1912 gun

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340mm/45 Modèle 1912 gun
Provence-main guns.jpg
The main guns of the battleship Provence
Type naval gun
Place of origin France
Service history
Used by France
Wars First World War, Second World War
Shell separate charges and shell
Calibre 340 mm

The 340mm/45 Modèle 1912 gun (13.4") was a heavy naval gun of the French Navy. While the calibres of the naval guns of the French Navy were usually very close to those of their British counterparts,[a] the calibre of 340 mm is specific to the French Navy.

The built-up gun was designed to be carried by the Normandie and Lyon classes in quadruple gun turrets, but no ship of these types was completed as a battleship. They were carried by the Bretagne-class battleships in twin turrets.

Railway gun[edit]

340 mm Modèle 1912 gun on railway mounting.

Due to the cancellation or conversion of most of the ships these guns were made for, the relatively large number of spare guns available facilitated their use as railway guns in both World Wars. Two batteries of 340 mm guns, with an authorized strength of one gun per battery, were operated by the 53rd Coast Artillery, U. S. Army, in World War I.[1] As with most French railway guns, after the Fall of France in World War II some of these weapons were used by the German army.

Coast Defence Gun[edit]

One of prewar French armoured turrets, equipped with Provence's guns

During Operation Dragoon, the Free French battleship Lorraine was one of the units engaged with 'Big Willie', ex-French turret battery controlling the approaches to Toulon. 'Big Willie' was armed with the guns taken from the French battleship Provence, as a replacement for the original guns, sabotaged by its French crews, making this an unusual instance of both sides of an engagement using the 340mm/45 Modèle 1912 gun.

See also[edit]

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ The 380mm is close to the British 15 inch, the 340mm to the 13.5 inch and the 305mm to the 12 inch.

External links[edit]