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The French 75

The 75mm M1897 field gun that revolutionized modern artillery

Steven J. Zaloga Felipe Rodriguez



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29 October 2020
Series: New Vanguard
The 'Soixante quinze', France's legendary 75mm Modele 1897, was the first modern field gun, pioneering several critical innovations in field artillery designs, including a fast action breech and a soft recoil system. Although some of these features had been incorporated into earlier guns, the 75mm M1897 integrated them into a superior, lightweight field gun.

The 75mm M1897 earned its reputation in the Great War, forming the backbone of French field artillery. It was widely distributed to Allied armies, including the American Expeditionary Forces and was also widely exported after World War I around the globe. It was manufactured under licence in numerous countries, including the United States, which used the gun in its initial Pacific campaigns. Due to its modernity and sound design, the 75mm remained in service well into World War II. It was used by the French, Polish and other armies in the Blitzkrieg campaigns of 1939-1940 and thousands were captured by the German Army in 1940 and used for coastal defence. Surprisingly, many were also converted into a very effective anti-tank gun, the PaK 97/38. These weapons lingered in service after World War II, though by this time, they were largely obsolete.

This fascinating book explores the history of the 75mm Modele 1897 in detail, from its design and development to its deployment around the world. The text is supported by stunning, specially commissioned artwork including three-dimensional views of the gun and its variants.
By:   Steven J. Zaloga
Illustrated by:   Felipe Rodriguez
Imprint:   Osprey
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 248mm,  Width: 184mm, 
Weight:   174g
ISBN:   9781472839305
ISBN 10:   1472839307
Series:   New Vanguard
Pages:   48
Publication Date:   29 October 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Steven J. Zaloga received his BA in History from Union College and his MA from Columbia University. He has worked as an analyst in the aerospace industry for over three decades, covering missile systems and the international arms trade, and has served with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think tank. He is the author of numerous books on military technology and military history, with an accent on the US Army in World War II as well as Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Reviews for The French 75: The 75mm M1897 field gun that revolutionized modern artillery

This book provides a good overview of the development and career of this famous artillery gun, with a clear explanation of how it worked, and an impartial look at its combat career, all supported by the usual high quality illustrations. * HistoryofWar * This is an excellent text work with superb artwork which will satisfy all weapons enthusiasts and collectors of ammunition. * GunMart *

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