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5.7 cm Maxim-Nordenfelt
A captured German 5.7 cm Maxim-Nordenfelt gun. Meaulte-Albert Road after the Battle of the Somme.
Type Fortress gun
Infantry gun
Place of origin Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1887-1918
Used by Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium
Flag of the German Empire.svg German Empire
Wars World War I
Production history
Designer Maxim-Nordenfelt
Designed 1887
Manufacturer Maxim-Nordenfelt
Number built 185 fortress guns
450 infantry guns
Variants Tank gun
Anti-tank gun
Weight Travel: 1,467 kg (3,234 lb)
Combat: 860 kg (1,900 lb)
Barrel length 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) L/26.3[1]

Shell 57 x 224R Fixed QF ammunition[2]
Shell weight 2.7 kg (5 lb 15 oz)
Caliber 57 mm (2.2 in)
Breech Vertical sliding-block
Carriage Box trail
Elevation -10° to +15°[1]
Rate of fire 36 rpm
Muzzle velocity 401 m/s (1,320 ft/s)
Effective range 2.7 km (1.7 mi)
Maximum range 6.4 km (4 mi)[1]

The 5.7 cm Maxim-Nordenfelt "Canon de caponnière" was a fortress gun and infantry gun developed during the 1880's in Britain which was sold to Belgium and later produced under license by the Cockerill company. It saw action during World War I in both Belgian and German hands.


Fortress GunEdit

In 1887 the Belgian War Ministry ordered 185 5.7 cm fortress guns to arm their fortresses including Namur and Liege. The 5.7 cm Maxim-Nordenfelt was a short 26 caliber gun and not the longer 42-50 caliber QF 6-pounder Nordenfelt naval gun. It was a typical built-up gun of the period made of steel with a vertical sliding-block breech and it fired fixed QF ammunition of a number of different styles. The guns were mounted in Grüsonwerke gun turrets or in armored casemates on central pivot mounts and used in an anti-personnel role.[1]

Infantry GunEdit

In addition to its fortress gun role, it was deployed in an infantry gun role. The guns were mounted on light two-wheeled box trail carriages without a recoil mechanism and protected by a three-sided gun shield. During 1914 the Germans captured large numbers of these guns and used them in the infantry gun role mainly to engage enemy machine gun nests in support of infantry assaults. In 1916 the Germans had 450 of these infantry guns in service.[1]

Tank Gun & Anti-tank GunEdit

In addition to the infantry gun role the Germans used a number of guns to arm their A7V tanks and the guns were mounted in an armored casemate at the front of the vehicle with limited traverse. The Germans also mounted a number guns on central-pivot mounts on flatbed truck chassis to act as mobile anti-tank guns.[1]

Belgian FortsEdit

Photo GalleryEdit


External linksEdit

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