12-pounder Napoleon mod. 1859

(GPM)

The Canon obusier de 12, also known as the "Canon de l’Empereur" was a type of canon-obusier (literally "Shell-gun cannon", "gun-howitzer") developed by France in 1853.

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GPM-CN-1002

More info

  • Type: cannon
  • Historical period: Crimean War, 1859
  • Country: France
  • Scale: 1:16
  • Number of sheets: 6 sheets A4

Historical information

The Canon obusier de 12, also known as the "Canon de l’Empereur" was a type of canon-obusier (literally "Shell-gun cannon", "gun-howitzer") developed by France in 1853.

Its performance and versatility (it was able to fire either ball, shell, canister or grapeshot) allowed it to replace all the previous field guns, especially the Canon de 8 and the Canon de 12 as well as the two howitzers of the Valée system.

The cannon owes its alias to French president and emperor Napoleon III.

The "canon obusier" was a smoothbore cannon using either shells, balls or canisters, and was therefore a vast improvement over previous cannon firing metal balls, such as the Gribeauval system.

Although the "Canon obusier de 12" is commonly described as a 12-pounder in English, the "12" in the cannon's designation actually represents the caliber (12 cm). The new weapon "revolutionized field artillery.

The Napoleon was light enough to be moved rapidly on the battlefield by horses, heavy enough to destroy field fortifications almost a mile away, and versatile enough to fire solid shot, shell, spherical case, and canister." The French Army introduced the "canon obusier de 12" in 1853.

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