The French 75mm field gun was a quick-firing field artillery piece adopted in March 1898 after 5 years of research and secret trials. It saw widespread service in World War I including in the American Expeditionary Forces ( AEF ). It also served during World War II in various but more limited capacities . It was commonly known as the French 75, simply the 75 and Soixante Quinze (French for 75). Its official French designation was : Materiel de 75mm Mle 1897 . It introduced, for the first time in the history of field artillery, a hydro-pneumatic long recoil mechanism which kept the gun's trail and wheels perfectly still during the firing sequence. Since it did not need to be re-aimed after each shot the French 75 could deliver fifteen rounds per minute on its target, either shrapnel or high-explosive, up to about 5 miles ( 8,500 meters) away.
The French 75 was entirely researched, developed and manufactured at State-controlled arsenals, principally at Atelier de Construction de Puteaux ( APX ) near Paris for its hydro-pneumatic recoil mechanism . Other parts of the gun were sub-contracted to other arsenals including MAS (an abbrevation of Manufacture d'Armes St. Etienne ) Tarbes and Bourges. It is not to be confused with the Schneider manufactured "Canon de 75mm Mle 1912" used by French cavalry and the Serbian army, and its 1914 modification. Although they used the original French 75's ammunition, these privately manufactured Schneider guns were lighter, smaller, and mechanically different. Sold Out!