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Thread: Coastal Defense Guns

  1. #1
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    Coastal Defense Guns

    This is pretty cool, it is one of only a couple of coastal defense shield guns still in existence. The gun is located at Fort Pickens National Park, an area continuously used as a coastal defense location from 1830 until after WWII. Shield guns guns date from the WWII era with this gun a 6 inch caliber (X aprox 40) with a range of 27,000 yards. There are 2 mounts like this with the other being about 50 yards away. Each gun had a crew of 25, housed and equipped in a reinforced concrete bunker below the mound visible in the background on the right of the bottom picture.








  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I've seen some of the 14" guns that were taken off of outdated Battleships that were used for coastal defense, very few of them left and none in their actual location that I know of. People in the USA don't really think of coastal defense anymore.

    Beautiful pictures as normal...thanks

    Hovis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stonewall View Post
    Hah! The "dynamite" guns are large tricked out pumpkin guns. Never heard of them before.

    Amazing performance for air powered; from the article: These guns had a range of 2,000 yards with 500 lbs dynamite, 3500 yards with 200 lb dynamite, and 5,000 yards with 50 lb dynamite. That beats the devil out of the reality TV show pumpkin guns.

  5. #5
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    16" naval rifle - repurposed by the US Army. One was shipped to Aberdeen Proving Grounds for ballistic testing, and is now in the museum there.
    http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk2_pics.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16_inch_Coast_Gun_M1919

    Some photos of a WW2 German 15" naval rifle, used as a coast defense weapon: http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGE...skc34_pics.htm

    Article about "Battery Arizona". Ever wonder where the USS Arizona's after turrets went? Now you know. http://www.eugeneleeslover.com/ENGIN...RY-ARIZONA.pdf

    Some pages about Fort Drum (the one in the Phillipines):
    http://concretebattleship.vcwsg.org/
    http://concretebattleship.org/
    http://www.pacificwrecks.com/gun/phi...rum/index.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Dr...Fraile_Island)

  6. #6
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    Seen the one at Aberdeen. That is a good museum of equipment. The Anzio gun is there, the U.S. Atomic cannon is there. The stealth Tank (that's a funny one). And a lot of prototypes. I was thinking that gun was a 14" also at Aberdeen but it was back 1992 that last time I was there.

    Hovis

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asa Yam View Post
    Some photos of a WW2 German 15" naval rifle, used as a coast defense weapon: http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGE...skc34_pics.htm
    Here's a picture of the German gun from your link. How did the breech mechanism work? I'm aware of only two breech types used for large guns, interrupted screw and something very similar to a falling block and this doesn't seem to use either.

    Last edited by TomD; 05-03-2012 at 01:28 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD View Post
    How did the breech mechanism work? I'm aware of only two breech types used for large guns, interrupted screw and something very similar to a falling block and this doesn't seem to use either.
    From the companion page for the German 15" gun http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_15-52_skc34.htm :
    Constructed of loose liner, A tube with four rings shrunk over it for about two-thirds of the length from the breech, a jacket shrunk over about two-thirds of the ring layer and a breech end-piece, breech block supporting piece and a horizontal sliding breech block.
    NOTE: The Germans made extensive use of the sliding breech block in heavy artillery - from the companion page, there is the following:
    These guns, like most large caliber German guns, used a "fore charge" which was propellant in a silk bag, and a "main charge" which was propellant in a brass case. The brass case helped to seal the breech of the gun.
    Hope this helps.

    Asa
    Last edited by Asa Yam; 05-03-2012 at 02:19 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asa Yam View Post
    From the companion page for the German 15" gun http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_15-52_skc34.htm :


    NOTE: The Germans made extensive use of the sliding breech block in heavy artillery - from the companion page, there is the following:


    Hope this helps.

    Asa
    Thanks, that's what I meant when I said similar to a falling block, just like an old Sharps, but much bigger.

    Like the breech mechanism in the picture below that I took of 120mm the main gun in a M1 tank. The breech is recessed to the bottom and would slide up to fire. Interestingly the main M1 gun is made by Rheinmetall and is a linear descendant of the famous WWII German 88. The gun photoed below is a little dusty but the tank had just been unloaded after being returned from Iraq.


  10. #10
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    One of my dear departed " pop old dude ! " buddies [ Tom, Bob was another of these ] was a DD or DE sailor in WWII and always got a gleam in his eye when he talked about the 5"38's. I just decided to see what the heck the 38 stands for and found that Wiki has a great page on them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5%22/38_caliber_gun

  11. #11
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    As was the case with the Maginot Line, these guns did not rotate 360 degrees.
    The enemy is within.

  12. #12
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    I was a Gunners Mate Guns when in the Navy. To find the length on the barrel on a naval gun take the designation times itself. 5 inch 38 = 5X38 = 190 inches in length. 16 inch 50 = 800 inches in length.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBecigneul View Post
    As was the case with the Maginot Line, these guns did not rotate 360 degrees.
    The enemy is within.
    This one sure didn't rotate 360

    Below that the USS Alabama just bristles with twin 5" X 38 mounts...



    Last edited by TomD; 05-04-2012 at 11:04 PM.

  14. #14
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    I have never seen the guns, but I have heard Delaware used to be a huge artillery trap set for the German fleets before the first World War and that the gun emplacements were improved for the Second World War. Supposedly the German surface fleet was to be lured into range to attack the DuPont factories and then huge guns would pop up and blast them to smithereens. It never worked out that way, but it was said the guns were still there, and operational, for years. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this story, or was it made up by former coast watchers? I know the watch towers are all up and down the Delaware coast, those I have seen.

  15. #15
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    This is a q for the sailors. In Tom's last pic, is the upper most structure the gun director and range finder ??

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