Field gun on display in Fareham to mark war centenary

The French 75 gun
The French 75 gun

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ONE of the most famous guns of the First World War is now on display to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the conflict.

The French 75 was the first modern field gun.

It was also one of the most famous weapons of the First World War.

People visiting Fort Nelson, on Portsdown Hill Road in Fareham, can now see the gun on display.

It is part of events by the Royal Armouries to mark the the 100th anniversary of the war.

The 19th century gun could fire an unprecedented 15 to 18 rounds per minute.

It played a central role in the infamous Dreyfus Affaire, which divided France.

Nicholas Hall is the Royal Armouries’ keeper of artillery.

He said: ‘This gun uses ideas that originated in Germany but were not taken up there.

‘It makes a fascinating comparison with its commercially-produced predecessor, the Schneider 75mm quick-firing gun, captured during the Boer War.

‘It is already in the national collection here at Fort Nelson.’

The Victorian fort has been restored to how it would have been in the 1890s.

It is home to the Royal Armouries national collection of artillery.

Admission is free.

For more information on Fort Nelson and its gun collection, visit the website at royalarmouries.org/visit-us/fort-nelson