Antoine Treuille de Beaulieu

Rifled mountain cannon "Canon de montagne de 4 modèle 1859 Le Pétulant". Caliber: 86 mm. Length: 0.82 m. Weight: 101 kg (208 kg with carriage). Ammunition: 4 kg shell.

Antoine Hector Thésée Treuille de Beaulieu (7 May 1809 – 24 July 1885) was a French General of the 19th century, who developed the concept of rifled guns in the French Army.[1] He studied the subject of rifling between 1840 and 1852.[2] Following a request by Napoleon III in 1854 to develop such a weapon, the de Beaulieu system was adopted by the French Army. It consisted in cutting six grooves inside the bore of a muzzle-loading cannon, and to use shells equipped with six lugs which would engage the grooves.[3] This development was paralleled by that of the Armstrong gun in Great Britain (adopted in 1858 by the British Army).[3]

These developments led to the introduction of the La Hitte system in 1858, a fully integrated system of muzzle-loading rifled guns. The Beaulieu 4-pounder rifled field-gun was adopted by the French Army in 1858, where it replaced the canon-obusier de 12, a smoothbore cannon using shells which was much less accurate and shorter-ranged.[4]

The Beaulieu rifled artillery was first used in Algeria, and then in the Franco-Austrian War in Italy in 1859.[5]


  1. A Dictionary of Military History and the Art of War by André Corvisier, p.44
  2. Journal By Royal Society of Arts (Great Britain), p.617
  3. 1 2 A Dictionary of Military History and the Art of War by André Corvisier, p.45
  4. "...the introduction by the French army of the Beaulieu 4-pounder rifled field-gun in 1858: the new artillery, though much more accurate and long-ranged than the smoothbore 'canon-obusier' it replaced (which, incidentally, was the most prevalent artillery piece of the US Civil War), was not suited to firing anti-personnel case-shot (which, in French, is called 'mitraille')." in The Mitrailleuse by Dr. Patrick Marder Military History Online
  5. "Beaulieu rifled artillery was first tentatively used in Algeria but received great acclaim only during the Italian War of 1859." in The Bloody Crucible of Courage by Brent Nosworthy p.644
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