Type 90 240 mm Railway Gun
The Japanese Army's only railway artillery was purchased and produced by Schneider of France. The purchase contract of the gun was signed in 1926 (Taisho 15 years), delivery was in March 1928 (Showa 4 years). The name was due to the year of adoption by the Imperial Army, the imperial year 2590, corresponding to the 1930s of the Gregorian calendar.
The Japanese Imperial Army had made extensive use of armored trains during the Russo-Japanese war . Moreover, the Japanese military attachés in Europe during the Great War had noted the development of the railway cannons, which allowed a good mobility and the rapid risk of extremely high gauges, previously usable only on the battleships.
However, despite this interest, there were other priority projects and there were no developments in Japan until the funds were found to purchase a single Schneider unit in France in 1930. The French company supplied only the 240 mm barrel, while the railway carriage and auxiliary equipment were produced locally.Schneider et Cie acquired the FAMH in 1924 and since it had itself developed its own projects for the TLP program, those of the subsidiary were set aside.
The piece was not actually a Schneider product. It was designed by the Compagnie des forges et acéries de la marine et d'Homécourt (FAMH) of Saint-Chamond as part of the French program for Matériel à très longue portée (TLP, a very long-throw material). The 240 mm FAMH railway cannon was approved in November 1918, but with the end of hostilities the field trials slipped to 1926. The 240 mm weapon, with a long barrel of 52 calibres, reached a range of 59,000 m.
The railway cannon presented some unusual characteristics for a large-scale railway cannon, such as the 360° swing and the presence of an auxiliary engine that allowed an, albeit limited, autonomy to the complex. Two freight cars are connected in front of the train cannon. The middle is an ammunition car, the beginning is a powered car. In other words, the locomotive looks at the front freight car, and the locomotive can do the short distance movement. The interior has a driver's seat similar to the train's cab, generating electricity with a diesel generator, and driving the motor with this generated electricity to move. With this structure, the power transmission shaft can be omitted, and weight reduction and compactness can be achieved.
Originally planned as a gun of the Tokyo Bay Fortress, train gun racks and motor vehicles were developed after the Manchurian Incident. In order to defend the Soviet attack, Japan established a number of fortresses in the northern part of Manchuria, which included the single Type 90 24-cm train cannon in 1938. In January 1942 (Showa 17) it was deployed to the Tora Fortress near the border with the Soviet Union. At the invasion of the Soviet Union on August 9, 1945, the cannon was destroyed and abandoned by the troops of the Army of the Kwantung retreat.
|Barrel length||12823 mm|
|Elevation ranges||0 to 50 degrees|
|Directional shooting range||360 degrees|
|Gun train weight||136 t|
|Maximum range||50120 m|
|Initial speed||1050 m / sec|
|Projectile weight||165 kg|
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