Wednesday 19 February 2020

Conus Gun

Conus Gun

A bit of history

Whilst adapting the French Mle1897 75mm to fire from the back of a truck wasn`t a new idea. Captains Maurice Bayrou and Yves Belan had already built a simple vehicle by piecing a moon shaped hole in the trucks deck into which the end of the guns trail sat.
 Lieutenant Adrien Conus (1900-1947), a Moskow-born civil engineer working in the Colonies before he joined the FFL. He served as master sergeant with 2nd Battalion de Marche and had already adapted several Bren carriers to carry French 25mm AT guns which took part in the defence of Bir-Hakeim, where he was injured. 
Conus mounted the legendary 75mm Mle 1897 on Ford and Chevrolet 4x4 trucks, I`m not sure how many were built? Numbers vary in sources from a single squadron of 1st Moroccan Spahis to a couple of companies! 

At least one became a casualty

Raventhorpe model


  1. Nice work Richard- an unusual vehicle I'd not heard of before.



  2. Thanks Pete

    Just about the only "odd" French SP I didn`t already own :)

  3. Dear Mr. Richard Baber,

    Greetings from Southern California! When the Free French attacked into Gabon, October 1940, they had Renault trucks and 6 or 8 75mm mle 1897 guns. QUESTION: Did the French carry their guns En Porte then or did they start this later?

    ALl the best,
    Robert Hammond

    1. The French had mounted 65mm mountain guns and 37mm infantry guns on trucks (montee to use the French parlance) as early as they had motorised transport in thier colonies. I highly doubt during the invasion of Gabon they had montee 75mm probably only towed guns (but I`ve been wrong before). The 75mm is a big piece, a former Russian engineer (in the Foreign Legion) designed a way to mount and fire it from the back of a truck by cutting a crescent shaped hole in the truck bed for the rail spade, i believe this was after Bir Hakheim?

    2. That should of course read "trail" not rail - sorry