French 75MM Model 1897
This was the most advanced field artillery piece of it's day. It was the first gun to successfully incorporate all the latest innovations in a single artillery piece. The Nordenfelt breech mechanism, a combination oil filled gas charged recuperator and an "abatage" system (brake system for the wheels while in battery). It also had a traversing mechanism, a coarse and a fine elevation mechanism.
This particular gun we restored for the Historical Society of the Georgia National Guard. It was made in France in 1917. This type of gun was used by U.S. troops in World War I. Harry S. Truman commanded a battery of these guns. We completely disassembled, cleaned, replaced missing parts with original replacements and painted it with a "dazzle" camouflage pattern as per the 1917 U.S. specifications. This particular gun bears a German sub inspectors mark (Eagle and swastika) on some parts which indicates that it was one of the 400+ captured by the Germans when they invaded France. It was brought into this country in 1964 from France for the Fort Leavenworth museum. This is one of the most complete and fully functional French 75's in this country and we are truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to restore it to its full glory. Very few people have this type of opportunity (or the attention to detail to accurately restore it).