De Bange 80mm field gun M. 1885





Bulgarian designation :

8-см нескорострелно банжово полско оръдие

Calibre :

80mm L/28.5

Weight of the barrel :

424.5 kg

Weight of the breech-block :

11.2 kg

Weight in action :

975 kg

Weight of the limber :

420 kg (empty)

Weight in marching order :

1680 kg

Weight of ammunition wagon :

1814 kg

Barrel length :

2.280 m

Barrel grooves

number :


depth :

0.5 mm

width :

8 mm

Height of the line of fire :

1.06 mm

Battering charge :

1.5 kg of black powder


weight :

5.8 kg - charge : 0.24 kg

fuze :

Fusée percutante Budin – 220 g

length :

2.85 calibres

muzzle velocity :

490 m/s

max. range :

5800 m


weight :

6.1 kg - charge : 95 g of black powder

105 bullets x 15 g

muzzle velocity :

466 m/s

max. range :

4000 m

Case shot weight :

5.55 kg - 85 balls x 44 g

Elevation :

- 8°30’ / + 22°30’


weight :

150 kg

height :

1.43 m

track :

1.43 m

Ammunition :

carriage - 2 case shots

limber - 15 shells, 15 shrapnel, 2 case shots

wagon body - 30 shells, 30 shrapnel

Remarks :

Slow firing field gun, ordered in 1885 by the Serbian government from French firm “Societé anonyme des anciens établissements Cail”. Serbia adopted this gun instead of standard French 90mm model. There were at least three reasons for the adoption of this calibre : the 80mm gun was lighter, more suited for Serbian mountain terrain and bad communications; having the same calibre for all light artillery pieces made logistics simpler (Serbians also started production of 80mm shells of their own); the 80mm guns and their ammunition were cheaper than 90mm ones.

Serbian Army bought 270 De Bange field guns and in 1904-06 modernised them to use smokeless powder. France even proposed to upgrade this guns to quick-firing ones, as a cheaper solution for modernization of the artillery, but the Serbians considered that a waste of money. After the regular army formations got modern field quick-firing guns, De Bange guns were assigned to the reserve units with 2nd call personnel, called “positional batteries”. It was common practise to allot one battery of De Bange guns to every “Third call” battalion.

During World War 1 the Serbian Army regarded De Bange guns as second class material; during 1915 defensive battles and the retreat, they were abandoned in bigger numbers than the modern ones. Greater proportion of these guns (compared to modern ones) were left in useful state. But Bulgars had the same low opinion of them, because of their age and abilities. However Bulgarian Army used at least one division (3 batteries) armed with De Bange field guns. It was formed on 14 April 1916 and assigned to the Gigen garrison, and later to the 12th Infantry Division.