Thursday, October 27, 2011

Big Boom Theory

In 1868 Captain Alexander Moncrief of the Edinburgh Artillery invented the disappearing artillery gun carriage which was a great advance in naval artillery. In the photograph, the date of 21/4/68 is visible on part of the mechanism.


  1. What? Use it once and it disapears? Doesn't sound like a good idea to me, please explain further.

  2. @Adullamite - Where else? I think he also invented those little pill box caps too.

    @Soubriquet - Well the gun disappears down behind a wall and it is loaded again and then pops up its head over the wall like a jack in the box and fires at the ship out there again. I think we are talking coastal batteries here. It didn't last. U.S. was talked into buying some, but it disappeared off the inventory of Wile E. Coyote Acme weapons in about 1920. Many things from Edinburgh were like that.

  3. I had to google it, as I was quite intigued by the idea of a fugitive gun, a huge thing that hides behind a wall, and pops up to hurl a snowball.

    And I find you're more accurate than I ever imagined...
    "The next diagram illustrates the Buffington-Crozier Mounting. This was the acme(!) of disappearing carriage design, the American coast defenses mounted everything up to and including the 16 inch naval rifle on these carriages. The gun arms lift a massive counterweight and are damped by hydraulic buffers at the pivot point, due to the gun arm pivots moving back. The gun describes a complex path during recoil."

    And they built up to 16" guns that schlepped about like that.
    I think I'd be more scared of sharing an emplacement with one, than of being its distant target.



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