Military History/WW1 shell
QUESTION: I have a vase made from a shell I believe to be 75mm from 1916; can u verify markings?
ANSWER: Deciphering the case markings is almost an art.
First you should know that the 75mm was French built, and used by the US and French in WWI. The US had no artillery that was not obsolete so we relied on what the French Army gave us.
We did manufacture ammunition in the US and supplied it to our troops and theirs.
Since it was made in 1916, that kind of eliminates it being of US manufacture. It was probably made in France.
Having said that, the Germans also had 75 mm guns and howitzers. A gun or field gun shoots in a relatively straight line and is not very useful to hit troops on the far side of a hill. The howitzer on the other hand is designed to shoot at 45 degrees or higher, so the projectile drops in a high ballistic arc and is able to hit things on the other side of a ridge or behind a hill. Mortars are used for that today at shorter ranges.
You have a cartridge from a French 75mm Field gun.
75 DE C for Canone 75mm De Campagne or 75mm Field Gun
MA M Is the factory initials
The L 16 C is the cartridge lot number.
The other odd stamped initials like the SD are inspectors marks.
Made by A.RS, Atelier de Construction de Rennes, Lot No.135 in 1914. It should read 75 DE C for Canone 75mm De Campagne or 75mm Field Gun.
Primer made by A.TS, Atelier de Construction de Rennes in 1914
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Thank you very much- I am a bit confused on the date of manufacturing- early in your answer you say 1916; then at the end you say 1914; also MAM and A.rs are the same company lettering? Thank you - it is fun to find out about our trench art vase! Joan Gavin
Sorry, the date is whatever the stamp is on the bottom of the shell. It was 1916 if I recall the photo, not 1914.
I believe the MA M are both for the factory. However I could not find those initials in my list of factories, but they are where the factory designation would be.
I inadvertently left a sentence in the message I had cut and pasted in with the 75 DEC stamp. Ignore the "Made by A.RS, Atelier de Construction de Rennes, Lot No.135 in 1914." and "Primer made by A.TS, Atelier de Construction de Rennes in 1914." I should have deleted that.