75 mm Modèle 1907 A Light Field Gun, Ottoman Army : 5th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Accession Number RELAWM04997
Collection type Technology
Object type Artillery
Physical description Steel, Wood
Place made France, Germany
Conflict Period 1910-1919
First World War, 1914-1918

75mm quick-firing field gun with an hydraulic buffer and spring recuperator recoil system. The breech of the gun is machined to accept a swinging interrupted-screw breech block, which is missing. The gun is fitted with a two-piece bullet proof shield. This is perforated by a 20mm diameter irregular shrapnel hole on the right hand upper part of the shield, and a small chip has been taken out of the upper-most part of the shield. On the rear left side of the shield is attached a thin metal open-topped box, inside which are the remains of wooden forms which are 'french fitted' to accept the gun's sights. The forms are lined with thin brown leather. The leather is quite brittle in part.

The gun's carriage is of rivetted steel box construction, with two metal seats. The seat for the gun-layer on the left side of the barrel is fixed, while that on the right hand side has seized in the stowed, upright position. The gun is traversed using a spoked handwheel located on the left side of the carriage. Elevation is achieved using a horizontally mounted solid metal handwheel also on the left side of the barrel, actuating a worm shaft and gear, which then connects to a toothed arc underneath the barrel, and via a now missing handwheel on the right hand side of the barrel. The latter handwheel is missing its vertically mounted hand-grip. The gun is equipped with a Goerz Schneider collimateur with aiming circle and a spirit level mounted to the left of the barrel. The sight is graduated up to 6000 meters and bears the serial number No 14942. The gun has two wooden wheels. Each wheel has 12 spokes, each spoke being attached to the fellow with metal spoke shoes. The wheels are metal-tyred, with metal brakes applied using a handwheel on the forward right hand side of the shield.

The gun is painted in a thin finish of sand yellow, through which in many areas the primer and the parent metal is visible. The paint in many areas overlies parts of the gun which would not have ordinarily been painted in operational use, giving rise to the possibility that it is post-war, and has abraded off parts such as the uppermost portion of the barrel.

The piece is inscribed on the rear upper part of the breech with maker's details - Schneider at Cresot Works, the year of manufacture - 1907, and the barrel number - 371. Above the manufacturer's details are inscribed Cyrillic characters, together with the Serbian Royal Crest - a double-headed eagle of the Nemanjic dynasty, and a Serbian cross on an ermine background.

History / Summary

This French-manufactured 75 mm field gun is one of two captured from the Turks by the 5th Light Horse Regiment in their attack at Amman on the 25 September 1918.

Attacking an enemy force that had taken up strong natural defensive positions, Lt. BR Byrnes, MC, with less than twenty men, galloped 900 yards under heavy machine gun and rifle fire, dismounted and rushed upon the Turks with the bayonet. Three officers, 44 other ranks, 2 Field guns, 2 machine guns and one Hotchkiss rifle were captured.

This gun was one of 188 Modèle 1907 and 160 Modèle 1907 A field artilley pieces made by Schneider at Cresot Works in 1907 specifically for export to Serbia. It is possible that the piece was one captured by the Ottoman Turks during the First Balkan War in 1912, but more likely to have been one of the large number of such weapons abandoned in late 1915, following the collapse of the Serbian front in Albania. These guns were distributed to Bulgaria and to the XV Turkish Corps, at that time under Bulgarian command on the Eastern Front. After the cessation of hostilities with Russia, the equipment of this Corps was re-deployed to the Middle East, where the gun was captured by the Light Horse.