gun carriage

Ch126: wrong carriage, wrong gun

An anon pointed out that the carriage that arrives at the manor looks more like Undertaker’s carriage than the earl’s….

To add to this, here is the earl’s carriage in ch126:

The carriage that arrives at the manor in ch126 (that even looks like Undertaker’s hat on the driver)… and the gun aimed at Soma:

Here’s Undertaker’s carriage in ch82 and the earl’s gun at the Midnight Tea Party

These are obviously different guns…. The one aimed at Soma is labeled as a “BULLPUP” model, but it’s actually a Nagant-style revolver, like the M1895. It was designed in 1886 but not put into production until 1895, hence the name. These were used by the Russian Empire from 1895 throughout the 1950′s….

Whereas the earl’s gun of choice is an early semi-automatic pocket pistol, like this Colt (an American company. Recall that Bardroy special-orders firearms from America….):

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The Agar “Coffee Mill” Gun

A crank driven machine gun, this weapon competed with the Gatling gun during the American Civil War, however unlike the Gatling gun, the Agar gun would be officially adopted by the Union Army.  Interestingly the Agar gun used .58 caliber paper cartridges loaded with black powder, which were then loaded into steel cylinders, essentially a forerunner of the modern self contained metallic cartridge. Each cylinder featured a nipple upon which a percussion cap was placed to discharge the cartridge. Each of the cylinders were loaded with paper cartridges, capped, then placed into a hopper which fed into a revolving multchambered cylinder.  When the crank was turned, the cylinder would revolve, discharge cartridges and loading fresh cartridges from the hopper. Empty cylinders were ejected from an opening on the left hand side of the gun.

The Agar gun often suffered from overheating problems because of its single barrel.  To solve this a fan was added which was also powered by the crank which blew air into the action and internals. This also served to clear the chambers of any paper particles leftover from the discharged paper cartridges. In addition, it’s firing rate was limited to 120 rounds per minute, and in the case that the barrel did overheat it could be swapped out with a spare barrel, of which two were issued as accessories to the gun.  Typically the gun was issued with a light wheeled mountain gun carriage and a manlet to protect the gunners from enemy fire.  Due to its similarity to a hand cranked coffee grinder, the Agar gun was often nicknamed the “coffee mill” gun.

The Agar gun was personally demonstrated to Abraham Lincoln by its inventor Wilson Agar who claimed that the gun matched the firepower of an entire army.  Impressed by the design Lincoln ordered ten to be purchased immediately.  During the Civil War another 52 would be purchased by the Union Army, they’re mass adoption limited by their price and ammo consumption.

The sky lay over the city like a map showing the strata of things and the big full moon toppled over in a furrow like the abandoned wheel of a gun carriage on a sunset field of battle and the shadows walked like cats and I looked into the white and ghostly interior of things and thought of you and I looked on their structural outsides and thought of you and was lonesome.
—  Zelda Fitzgerald
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The T28 Super Heavy Tank was an American heavily armored tank self-propelled gun designed for the United States Army during World War II. It was originally designed to be used to break through German defenses of the Siegfried Line, and was later considered as a possible participant in the planned invasion of the Japanese mainland. The 100-ton vehicle was initially designated a heavy tank, it was re-designated as the 105 mm Gun Motor Carriage T95 in 1945, and then renamed in 1946 as the Super Heavy Tank T28.

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Atomic Annie — The M65 Atomic Cannon,

Designed in 1949 by the American Engineer Robert Schwarz, the M65 “Atomic Annie” was inspired by German railway guns used during World War II.  The M65 however, was designed to deliver a nuclear payload to its target.  The gun and carriage itself weighed around 85 tons, was manned by a crew of 5-7, and was transported by two specially designed towing tractors.  At 280mm in caliber and capable of firing a projectile over 20 miles, the gun was certainly powerful enough as a conventional weapon, but the Atomic Annie was certainly no conventional weapon.  In 1953 it was tested for the first time at the Nevada Test Site, where it fired a 15 kiloton nuclear warhead, creating a blast similar in size to the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  

After the successful test, 20 M65 cannons were produced for the US Army and deployed in Europe and Korea.  They were almost always in constant motion so the Soviets never knew where they were and could not target them.  While an interesting weapon, the Atomic Annie suffered from limited range, especially after the development of ballistic missiles which could strike a target from thousands of miles away.  The last M65 Atomic Cannon was retired in 1963.  Today only 8 survive, and are displayed in museums across the country.

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The T28 Super Heavy Tank was an American heavily armored tank self-propelled gun designed for the United States Army during World War II. It was originally designed to be used to break through German defenses of the Siegfried Line, and was later considered as a possible participant in the planned invasion of the Japanese mainland. The 100-ton vehicle was initially designated a heavy tank, it was re-designated as the 105 mm Gun Motor Carriage T95 in 1945, and then renamed in 1946 as the Super Heavy Tank T28. Only 2 were built, and neither of them saw action.

History Fact 16/100 - The Spanish Armada

The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 is perhaps the greatest naval loss in Spanish history, yet it is eclipsed by battles such as the later combat at Trafalgar. Nonetheless, the defeat marked the beginning of Spain’s decline as a first-rate power in Europe, and brought about the golden age of England. 

King Philip of Spain was intent upon launching an invasion of England, as the English Queen was not only a woman, but had been excommunicated by the Catholic pope. A large force of 130 ships was amassed, the intent being for the Armada to collect a large invasion force from Flanders and continue on to invade England and eventually restore Catholicism. 

The Spanish fleet sailed in tight formation, both as a means of protection and a measure against becoming separated. They anchored near Dunkirk and prepared to collect the Flanders army while the English sought a way to prevent the imminent invasion. As an effort to chase the fleet from anchorage, the English sent fireships into the midst of the Armada, boats set alight and filled with gunpowder. The Armada, struck by the sight of the advancing inferno, fled the spot in a disorder. 

Here was a chance for the English to attack. Not only was the Armada in disorder, and being blown northwards, the Spanish gun carriages were longer and thus harder to reload. It was an outstanding victory for the English, and the remnants of the Armada was blown towards Ireland. In trying to sail home, many more were wrecked on the Irish coast. It was only tattered remnants of a once-great fleet that finally reached Spain. 

So stricken was King Philip that he believed, if only for a moment, that god had been on the side of the English after all. 

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15 cm SK L/45 “Nathan” Railroad Gun

Desperate for long-range artillery in the early part of World War I, Germany resorted to mounting naval guns on wheeled carriages as well as rail cars. The wheeled carriages were less than successful due to their great weight, but the rail-mounted guns rather more so. All of the naval guns received nicknames and were crewed by sailors. They first saw service in 1918.

The 15 cm SK L/45 fired a 97 lb shell with 11 lbs of HE a distance of 22,675 m or 14 miles.

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The Paris Gun of World War I,

On the morning of March 21st, 1918 a explosion was heard across Paris.  There was neither the report of a gun nor the sight of enemy aircraft.  Over the course of the day another 20 shells exploded around Paris, with no clues left as to what had fired or dropped the explosive weapons.  At first, it was thought that the explosions were from bombs dropped from an advanced high altitude zeppelin.  However, Allied air reconnaissance planes quickly discovered what was assaulting the city.

81 miles east of Paris, a monstrous rail gun was sighted firing west.  Nicknamed the “Paris Gun”, the rail gun was a creation of the Krupp factory, famous for making big artillery pieces for the German Empire since the 1860’s.  The Paris gun originally started its existence as a worn out 15 inch naval gun mounted on a battleship, which was refurbished with inserts that reduced the caliber to 8 inches (later rebored to 10 inches).  Germany had much bigger guns in it’s arsenal, however the purpose of the Paris gun was not to have overwhelming power, but extraordinary range.  To enhance the gun’s range, the barrel was lengthened from 16 meters to over 34 meters.  In fact the barrel was so long that the Paris gun had to be rigged with a crane for support, lest the barrel kink under its own weight.

The performance of the Paris gun was impressive, bombarding Paris 81 miles away with 234 lb explosive shells. Its range was so great that gunners had to compensate for the Earth’s rotation (Coriolis effect) in order to fire it accurately. The maximum height of a shell’s ballistic arc reached 25 miles, thus the Paris gun holds the record for launching the first man made object into the stratosphere. Because of its lengthy barrel, the Paris gun achieved a muzzle velocity of 1,640 meters per second, or 5,400 feet per second.  Muzzle velocity was so great that the fired shells would wear away the inside of the barrel.  Gunners noticed that the Paris gun slowly increased in caliber as they were firing it.  The Germans were even able to calculate the rate at which the barrel was being worn, and to compensate, Krupp issued the gun with progressively larger caliber shells to be fired in a specific order. Krupp also supplied 7 replacement barrels as well. Altogether than gun and railway carriage weighed around 256 tons.

Since it was originally a naval gun, the Paris gun was manned 80 German Imperial Navy sailors who were experienced in operating similar naval guns.  Between March 21st and August of 1918, the Paris gun fired 367 shells at a rate of roughly 20 a day.  As a result of the shelling 250 Parisians were killed and another 620 wounded.  The worst of the shelling occurred on March 31st when a shell hit the St-Gervais-et-St-Protais Church, collapsing the roof and killing 91.  While the Paris gun had a long range, it was not very accurate, firing shells at random places all over Paris.  Thus, the Paris gun was employed as a terror weapon.  In terms of its effectiveness, the Paris gun was found wanting. Excessive amounts of resources and time were needed for the gun’s maintenance. In addition, the Paris gun’s 234 lb shell was not that powerful, there were many guns in German and Allied arsenal’s which were much more destructive.  Of the 234 lb projectile, only 15 lbs of explosives could be fitted into the shell.  Thus the explosive power of the shell was minuscule compared to its weight.  While the Paris gun was a wonder to behold, or a terror weapon to be scorned, it did little to turn the tide of the war.  In August the Paris gun was withdrawn as Allied forces advanced towards Germany.  After the war the gun disappeared, although it is thought to have been destroyed for scrap metal.  

The Account of the Phoenix, A Slave Ship Stopped by Africans from Trading in the Bonny River, 1757.

[This is the ship from the last post.]

[Photo: “Paquito de Cabo Verdo Portuguese Slave Brig captured by the Boats of HMS Scout on the 11th Jany 1837 in the Bonny River. She had mounted 2 18 Prs with a Crew of 35 men and 576 slaves on board.” – National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.]

“Captain Bailie, commander of the slave-ship Carter, writing to his owners in Liverpool from the River Bonny, Africa, on January 31st, 1757, reveals the method sometimes resorted to by slave-captains to compel the native chiefs to trade with them. He says:—

"We arrived here the 6th of December, and found the Hector, with about 100 slaves on board, also the Marquis of Lothian, of Bristol, Capt. Jones (by whom I now write), who was half slaved, and then paying 50 Barrs, notwithstanding he had been there 3 months before our arrival. I have only yet purchased 15 slaves at 30 and 35 Barrs; but as soon as the bearer sails, I propose giving more; for at present there is a dozen of our people sick, besides the two mates, some of whom are very bad, and I have been for these last 8 days in a strong fever, and frequently insensible. Yesterday morning I buried Thomas Hodge, and on the 13th James Barton. Capt. Nobler of the Phoenix arrived here the 3d, and on the 19th our trade was stopt (as it had often been before) ; upon which we all marched on shore to know the reason and applied to the King thrice, though he constantly ordered himself to be denied, and wou’d not admit us. However, we heard his voice in doors, and as he used us so ill, we went on board, and determined (after having held a Council), to fire upon the town next morning, which we accordingly did, in order to bring them to reason, but found that our shot had little effect from the river, upon which we agreed that the Phoenix and the Hector shou’d go into the Creek, it being nigher the town, whilst Captain Jones and I fired from the river. The Phoenix being the head-most vessel went in, and the Hector followed about a cable’s length astern. The Phoenix had scarce entered the Creek before they received a volley of small arms from the bushes, which were about 20 yards distant from the ship, and at the same time several shot from the town went through him, upon which they came to anchor, and plied their carriage guns for some time ; but finding there was no possibility of standing the decks, or saving the ship, he struck his colours, but that did not avail, for they kept a continued fire upon him, both of great and small arms. His people were thrown into the utmost confusion, some went down below, whilst others jumpt into the yaul which lay under the ship’s quarter, who (on seeing a number of canoes coming down to board them) desired Capt. Nobler to come down to them, which he at last did, as he found the vessel in such a shattered condition, and that it was impossible for him to get her out of the Creek before the next ebb tide, in case he cou’d keep the canoes from boarding him. With much difficulty they got on board the Hector, but not without receiving a number of shot into the boat. The natives soon after boarded the Phoenix, cut her cables, and let her drive opposite the town, when they began to cut her up, and get out her loading, which they accomplished in a very short time. But at night in drawing off some brandy, they set her on fire, by which accident a great many of them perished in the flames. The Phoenix’s hands are distributed amongst the other three ships, and all things are made up, and trade open, but very slow, and provisions scarce and dear.” The Marquis of Lothian was afterwards taken and carried into Martinico.“

– Gomer Williams (1897). History of the Liverpool privateers and letters of marque with an account of the Liverpool slave trade. pp. 481–482.

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“On the day of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales—a sunny Saturday in September 1997—there was one small item that broke a million hearts in a city, and a nation, already awash in grief. A bouquet of white freesias sat atop her coffin as it rode on a gun carriage to Westminster Abbey. Nestled in the flowers was an envelope with a single word“MUMMY”— printed in a child’s hand. Walking behind were its authors, princes William, 15, and Harry, 12, accompanied by their father, Prince Charles, their grandfather, Prince Philip, and their embittered uncle, Charles Spencer, Diana’s brother. At the time, those of us covering the funeral, and millions more watching on London’s streets and on televisions around the world, wondered what these wounded young lads could possibly have said to make sense of the tragedy that befell their mother, and the circus of grief it spawned.”

— Rest in Peace, Princess Diana.  (July 1, 1961 - August 31, 1997) ♡