Canon de 155mm GPF

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Canon de 155 GPF mle.1917
Canon de 155mm GPF 3.jpg
155 mm GPF gun in travel position at US Army Ordnance Museum
Type Field gun, Coastal artillery
Place of origin France
Service history
In service 1917–1945
Used by France
United States
Nazi Germany
Imperial Japan
Free Poland
Wars World War I
World War II
Production history
Designer Colonel Louis Filloux
Weight Travel: 13,000 kg (28,660 lbs)
Barrel length 5.915 m (20 ft) L/38.2

Shell separate-loading, cased charge.
43 kg (95 lb)
Caliber 155 mm (6.10 in)
Recoil 1.8m 10° to 1.1 28°
Carriage split trail
Elevation 0° to +35°
Traverse 60°
Rate of fire 2 rpm
Muzzle velocity 735 m/s (2,411 ft/s)
Maximum firing range 19,500 m (21,325 yds)

The Canon de 155 Grande Puissance Filloux (GPF) mle.1917 was a 155 mm cannon used by the French Army during the first half of the 20th century.


US gun and crew, France 1918
Coast defence gun on Panama mount, Garden Island, Western Australia, 1943

The gun was designed during World War I by Colonel Louis Filloux to meet France's urgent need for modern heavy artillery, and became the standard heavy field gun of the French Army from 1917 until World War II. It was also adopted by the United States as the M1917, and a close derivative of it was made in and used by the US as the M1918 through World War II.

It was also manufactured in the USA from 1917, after the US switched to metric artillery based on French patterns. It was used by the United States Army and United States Marine Corps as their primary heavy artillery gun under the designation 155 mm Gun M1917 (French-made) or M1918 (US-made) until 1942, when it was gradually replaced by the 155 mm M1A1 'Long Tom'. US Army forces in the Far East (USAFFE) such as the 301st FA Regiment (Philippine Army) and the 86th FA Regiment (Philippine Scouts), and also US Coast Artillery units (91st and 92nd CA Regiments, Philippine Scouts) used this artillery piece against the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941-42. Some of the guns were originally emplaced in "Panama mounts" on Corregidor, Caballo, and Carabao islands at the entrance of Manila Bay. A number of them were removed from their emplacements and used as "roving batteries" and gave effective counterbattery fire. The gun was later mounted on a self-propelled mount as the M12 Gun Motor Carriage and saw action in 1944-45.

During World War II, some US-made guns were used for coast defense of US and allied territories, such as Australia and Bermuda, typically on "Panama" mountings - circular concrete platforms with a raised centre section, with the carriage tires pivoting around the center section and the split trails spread out on rails at the platform's edge.[1]

In 1940, France fielded 450 of these guns.[2] Many of them were captured and used by Germany for the rest of the war. In German service it was known as the 15.5 cm K 418(f); it served with heavy artillery battalions and on coastal defense duties. A battery of six of these guns near four empty emplacements for larger guns was the cause of the actions at Pointe du Hoc in June 1944.[3]

Surviving examples[edit]

Many of these weapons survive as memorials. The following list is not exhaustive:[4]


See also[edit]

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era[edit]


  1. ^ Berhow, Mark A., Ed. (2015). American Seacoast Defenses, A Reference Guide, Third Edition. McLean, Virginia: CDSG Press. pp. 200–231. ISBN 978-0-9748167-3-9. 
  2. ^ Crawford, Steve; Chant, Chris. Artillery of World War II. p.11
  3. ^
  4. ^ Berhow, pp. 237-238


  • van der Vat, Dan; Eisenhower, John S. D. D-Day: The Greatest Invasion - A People's History Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, ISBN 1-58234-314-4
  • Gander, Terry and Chamberlain, Peter. Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939-1945. New York: Doubleday, 1979 ISBN 0-385-15090-3
  • Touzin, Pierre; Vauvillier, François (2006). Les Matériels de l'Armée Française: Les canons de la victoire, 1914-1918. Tome 1: L'Artillerie de Campagne. Paris: Histoire et Collections. ISBN 2-35250-022-2. 
  • 155-Millimeter Gun Materiel, Model of 1918 (Filloux) Handbook of artillery: including mobile, anti-aircraft and trench matériel (1920) US Army Ordnance Dept, May 1920. Pages 229-245.

External links[edit]