Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Coastal Artillery.

This is coolbert:

You learn things in the strangest of places. Watching on TV the other night some film footage of coastal artillery guns in operation.

Big bore land-based artillery designed to engage enemy ships.

These were coastal artillery guns of the “disappearing” variety. Primed, loaded, made ready for action below ground, within a steel and concrete fortress. Brought above ground, fire, recoil, and then are taken back below ground almost instantly. Taken below ground and back into the fortress by a combination of the gun's own recoil and a ponderous counter-weight, all connected to an elaborate mechanical apparatus.

"When a lever is pulled, a lead counterweight drops and the aimed barrel rises to the firing position. After the gun is fired, its recoil drops the gun below the parapet."

These "disappearing" guns were almost totally impervious from enemy fire. NOT exposed during that time to counter-battery fire from any approaching enemy ships.

"This feature made the gun invisible to enemy ships and protected the crew during loading."

[even during World War Two [WW2], the U.S. did have coastal artillery ready to use if necessary. There is an island out in the middle of Boston harbor that had sixteen inch [16"] naval guns available if say the Bismarck approached. Never did fire a shot in anger, but could have!!]

Strangely enough, this film footage was part of a "Three Stooges" episode. Incorporated into the screwy and goofball plot where "The Boys" hijack a submarine and are porpoising toward shore. Surrender to the commander of the coastal artillery unit and turn "enemy spies" over to the unit commander.

You know, the Stooges, being - - Stooges!!

[Mind you now, I only came across this by accident, while trawling the channels for "entertainment".]

Coastal artillery. Gone forever now, but thanks to the “Stooges”, not forgotten.

Thank you Moe, Larry, and Curly!!



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