Girish Mahajan (Editor)

75 mm Gun M1917

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Type  Field gun
In service  1918 - 1945
Place of origin  United States
Designed  1917
75 mm Gun M1917

Used by  United States United Kingdom Finland Greece Philippine Commonwealth
Wars  World War II Continuation War

The 75 mm Gun Model of 1917 (British) was an interim measure, based on the British QF 18 pounder, produced by the United States in World War I after it had decided to switch from 3-inch (76 mm) to 75 mm calibre for its field guns.



The US decided early in World War I to switch from 3-inch (76 mm) to 75 mm calibre for its field guns. Its preferred gun for re-equipment was the French 75 mm Model of 1897, but early attempts to produce it in the US using US commercial mass-production techniques failed, partly due to delays in obtaining necessary French plans, and then their being incomplete or inaccurate, and partly because US industry was not equipped to work to Metric measurements. By 1917 US firms had produced 851 QF 18 pounders for export to Britain. Hence production of a 75 mm version offered a simple interim solution, being basically a copy of the British QF 18 pounder rechambered for French 75 mm ammunition, utilizing existing production capacity. It remains very similar to the 18 pounder, the main visible difference being a shorter barrel with straight muzzle.

The gun was developed too late to see action in World War I.

Finnish service

Finland purchased 200 old guns from the United States for its Winter War against the USSR in 1940. They arrived too late to be used in that war but were designated "75 K/17 " and after necessary overhaul were used in the Continuation War from 1941, and many continued in use for training until the 1990s.

British service

Early in World War II Britain lost many of its field guns in France, and the US transferred its large remaining stocks of the Model of 1917 to Britain where its similarity to the 18 pounder made it useful for British home defence and training needs. Its British designation was "Ordnance QF 75mm on Carriage, 75mm /18 pr Mark 1PA".

Greek service

The gun entered in Greek service during the Greco-Italian war of 1940-1941. Greece requested aid from Britain and USA, which in part came in the form of the British 75mm field gun. A total of 50 by Britain in January and 24 by the US in March 1941 were offered. Of those, 24 were sent from Britain, but only 18 arrived in January 1941 to Greece. The rest of the offered guns were either sunk or never loaded on ships due to the fall of Greece in April 1941. The 18 that arrived to Greece were in need of maintenance before being pressed into service. Ultimately 4 guns saw service with the 19th Field Artillery Battalion, and 12 guns with the B3 Field Artillery Battalion.

Surviving examples

  • "Minnie" is displayed at the United States Army Ordnance Museum, MD
  • Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England
  • The Central Museum of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, CFB Shilo, Manitoba, Canada
  • References

    75 mm Gun M1917 Wikipedia