The Minute Book
Monday, 22 May 2017

Mines and Boobytraps: Enemy Sources of Supply
Topic: Militaria

Mines and Boobytraps: Enemy Sources of Supply

FMFRP 12-43; Professional Knowledge Gained from Operational Experience in Vietnam, 1969, Special Issue, Mines and Boobytraps, U.S. Marine Corps, July 1989

Mortar rounds, rockets, LAAW'S, grenades, and small arms ammunition abandoned to lighten the load (or improperly secured and lost by fast-moving Marines) have value as the explosive element in boobytraps.

The enemy uses a very limited number of modern machine-produced mines. The majority of enemy mines are handmade by the VC using U.S. duds, discarded ammunition and equipment, and materials thrown away by U.S. forces as trash. Ninety percent of all the material in enemy mines and booby-traps is of U.S. origin. Of all the explosive devices produced locally in VC mine factories, 95 percent are anti-personnel boobytraps.

All dud ammunition is a source of enemy supply . After airstrikes and artillery and mortar missions, enemy salvage teams make sweeps to collect duds. Lighter ordnance is carried away to preparation areas; large bombs and projectiles are broken down and stripped on the spot. In some cases the larger duds are rigged as boobytraps where they have fallen. This is especially true when the enemy feels the strike or fire mission was a preparation for an infantry attack.

However, dud ammunition is not the only source of enemy supply. Carelessly discarded ordnance of all sizes and in any quantity is collected by enemy salvage teams. Mortar rounds, rockets, LAAW'S, grenades, and small arms ammunition abandoned to lighten the load (or improperly secured and lost by fast-moving Marines) have value as the explosive element in boobytraps. Even a single M16 round ejected to clear a stoppage can be used by the enemy.

Additionally, materials discarded as trash and improperly destroyed such as ration, ammunition, beer and soda cans, batteries, waterproof packaging materials, bandoleers, etc., provide the enemy a valuable source of supply to support his mine warfare operations. These items have, on numerous instances, been employed successfully against Marines and their equipment. Thorough police of friendly positions upon departure and complete destruction of trash are mandatory to deny the enemy this source of supply.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 21 May 2017

Field Fortification (1868)
Topic: Militaria

Field Fortification (1868)

Canadian Volunteer's Hand Book for Field Service, compiled by Major T.C. Scoble, 37th Battalion (Haldimand Rifles), C. V. M., 1868

The Nomenclature, and uses, of the different parts of a field work and obstacles (see fig 1), are as follows: —

a.b. The Banquette is the platform on which the defenders of the work stand. It is level, or slightly inclined to the rear, to carry off the water; three feet wide, or four feet six inches when destined for two files of men, and stands 4 feet three inches below the crest of the parapet. To ascend from the interior of the work, or Terreplein, up to the Banquette, the slope of banquette is constructed.

The parapet is the covering mass behind which the defenders are sheltered; it is connected with the banquette by the interior slope, b.c. The line c.d. is called the superior slope, and slants towards the outside of the works, so as to enable the defenders to cover the ditch with their fire. The parapet should be at least eight feet in height; d.e. is the exterior slope and the ledge, e.f., is called the Berm. This is left to prevent the earth from the exterior slope falling into and filling up the ditch. The slope of the ditch, f.g., is called the Escarp, and h.i. the Counterscarp. The ditch should be from 8 to 12 feet in depth, and from 12 to 20 feet in width. The slope j.k. is called the Glacis. It is raised in order to bring the assailant within the direct line of fire from the parapet. The pitfalls, l.l., are called Trous-de-loups, and are used as an obstacle to the advance of an enemy. They are round holes, about six feet wide and deep, with a sharpened picket set in the bottom, m. is a Fougasse, or small mine, to be fired from the interior of the work. The explosion breaks the ground and throws the assailing column into confusion. The obstruction at n. is called an Abattis, and is a formidable obstacle. It is made of small or trees, stout branches, stripped of leaves and sharpened, and their trunks well fixed in the ground by a few pickets, the branches being interwoven.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Mountain Gun and Mule Team (1916)
Topic: Militaria

The Mountain Gun and Mule Team (1916)

The Illustrated War News, 2 February 1916

In mountainous districts where no roads exist it is impossible to use ordinary field artillery, simply because transport on wheels is out of the question. To meet this difficulty a light mountain-gun is used, this weapon being so designed that it can be rapidly taken to pieces and the individual parts loaded on the backs of a number of mules, varying from three, in the case of the smallest gun, to five in the larger types. The 2.95- inch q.f. mountain-gun may be taken as a good example (Figs. 1 and 4). In its case, one animal, known as the "gun-mule," carries the gun-barrel, or "chase," with its details; another, the "cradle-mule," carries the cradle, or frame, in which the gun rests when put together for action; a third animal, called the "carriage-mule," transports the gun-carriage, or trail; and the "wheel-and-axle-mule" completes the team, carrying those parts on its back (Figs. 1 and 2) . A gun carried in this manner can be rapidly conveyed over rough ground to otherwise inaccessible positions, and, if advantage be taken of available cover, it generally happens that the transport of the gun can be carried out with the minimum risk of discovery by the enemy. The gun and its parts and gear can be removed from the pack-saddles, put together, and made ready for action within the space of a minute.

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A gun-mule, it is a curious fact, instinctively acquires special experience during his spell in the service of the battery, which extends in some cases over a period of twenty years, and that experience on the part of the animal adds considerably to the efficiency of the battery. A well-trained mule, for example, will always select the easiest path, and in climbing a stiff gradient will sometimes, if he can get hold of a convenient scrub bush or branch for the purpose, help to pull himself up by his teeth. Again, trusting to the gunners holding on to his tail as a brake, a trained mule will, without hesitation, slide down an incline of 45 degrees. When, with the 2.95-inch Q.F. Mountain Battery, the gun-mule carries a weight of 330 lb.; the cradle-mule, 300 lb.; the wheel-and-axle mule, 302 lb.; and the carriage-mule, 343 lb. These weights can be carried by the same animals all day if necessary, but it is usual to provide relief-mules, to which the loads can be transferred in half a minute as they trot up alongside for the purpose. A mule battery can often be very useful even in a level country, as it can be rapidly and secretly brought into action along a ditch (Fig. 3) or a foot-path through a plantation where such a course would be impracticable with a battery on wheels. In exceptional cases, when the mules cannot safely get up to a difficult position, the gunners themselves can turn to in their place and carry the various parts of each gun in a battery to the desired point, so as to come into action without delay.

When a battery is travelling by road, the guns are put together and their carriages fitted with a pair of shafts each, so that they can be drawn in the usual manner instead of being carried on the backs of the mules.

The 2.95 q.f. mountain-gun (Fig. 4) consists of a trail and carriage, (A) supported on its road wheels (B). Resting on the carriage is a cradle (C) in the form of a cylinder which encloses the gun-barrel, or "chase" (D). To the cradle (C) are attached a pair of piston-rods (E) which carry recoil-controlling pistons within the recoil cylinders. (F), the latter cylinders being rigidly fixed to the carriage (A). A column (G) is attached to the cradle (C) to carry the, "sight" of the gun. Eye-bolts (H H) are provided by means of which the "cradle" and the "chase" are secured to the pack-saddles for transport. In the Vickers-Maxim mountain-gun the trail is divided into three pieces, so that one or both of the after-parts can be removed when it is desired to use the gun in a cramped Position.

The shell fired by the British 2.95 q.f. gun weighs about 13 lb.; that of the Krupp gun of the same calibre, 14.3 lb. There is, in addition, a Krupp mountain-howitzer carried by twelve mules which weighs just over a ton and fires a 27-1b. shell.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 12 May 2017

How It Works: The Rangefinder (1915)
Topic: Militaria

How It Works: The Rangefinder (1915)

The Illustrated War News, 31 March 1915

The Range-finder, as the name implies, is an instrument for ascertaining the distance to any visible point on the landscape from the position occupied by the observer, or operator, who is known as the Range-Taker. Range-finders are of two types: the double-observer type, such as the Mekometer, or Telemeter, used in our own service; and the "one-man" type. In both cases the distance to the object (or range) is found by triangulation, the angles being taken from the ends of a known base…a very short base of about three feet in the case of the one-man range-finder, and a normal base of fifty yards for the Mekometer artillery instrument, and twenty-five yards with the infantry instrument.


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Fig. I on the opposite page illustrates the Mekometer instrument in use, and shows clearly the base, which is the known length of cord stretched between the two instruments, held by the two observers. The man, marked A, with the reading instrument sights an object (in this case, a church) of which the range is required. The second man, marked B, advances until he can, through his right-angling instrument, see both the same object and the sighting-vane on A's instrument. When these two coincide, he shouts "On," and A, by turning the range-drum on his instrument until he also makes the reflection of B's sighting-vane coincide with the object seen in the instrument, is then able to read the range off the range-drum in yards. This instrument was employed at the time of the South African War, but owing to its having a very long base (25-50 yards), and requiring two men to operate it, was found extremely difficult to use because of the lack of cover. In one-man range-finders the base is a bar, or frame, of short length, with a telescope mounted at each end, and having an eye-piece in the middle into which the rays are reflected. With this instrument, measuring only 37 inches long by 3 inches in diameter, and weighing 5 ½ lb., one man is able rapidly and accurately to take ranges of objects up, to 20,000 yards distant. In taking the range the operator directs the telescopes of the instrument on to a clearly defined object, and by turning the range-drum (Figs. 3 and 2) the right-hand telescope is inclined inwards until the two images seen in the central eye-piece coincide. The range given on the drum can then be read.

A typical one-man range-finder is illustrated, diagrammatically, in Fig. 6. It shows the two telescopes already mentioned running at right-angles to the single eye-piece fixed in the centre of the range-finder tube. The rays from the distant object entering the end apertures (a a) of the range-finder base, are received by the left and right prisms and transmitted through the left and right objectives towards the central reflectors, which reflect them outwards through the eye piece. The observer looking into the eyepiece will see the field of view divided by a thin "dividing line." Anything seen above this horizontal line is formed by the left-hand telescope, and that seen below the dividing-line by the right-hand telescope (Figs. 4 and 5). The view will be similar to the images shown in Fig. 4. before coincidence. By turning a drum, these images can be brought into coincidence, and the correct range can be read from the range-drum.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 8 May 2017

Artillery Horses (1939)
Topic: Militaria

Artillery Horses (1939)

FM 6-5; [US Army] Field Artillery Field Manual, Organization and Drill, Washington, 1939

The two horses assigned to a single driver are called a "pair"; the horse on the left side is called the "near" horse, and the horse on the right, the "off" horse. The driver rides the near horse. The pairs assigned to draw a carriage are termed collectively a "team." A team usually consists of three pairs, designated in the order from front to rear as "lead," "swing," and "wheel" pair. When a team consists of four pairs, they are designated from front to rear as "lead," "lead swing," "wheel swing," and "wheel." The middle pair of a team of five pairs is called the "middle swing" pair. The driver stands to horse on the near side of his near horse, and when necessary to control the off horse also holds the coupling rein, detached from the saddle, in his right hand.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 25 March 2017

France Trails the Military Bicycle
Topic: Militaria

France Trails the Military Bicycle

The French tests of the Bicycle as a War Machine

Military Matters, The Gazette, Montreal, Quebec, 26 December 1896

The serious consideration that France is giving the bicycle in connection with service in war, has led the military experts all over the civilized world to take up the matter, but as an admirable article in the London Daily Mail says: "Little has been done by any of the great Powers, although experts have long agreed that the bicycle will play an important part in the next war." But it is not the "faddy" or "ornamental" order with which the French have taken it up. Captain Gerard, a young officer of the French army, is proving by severe tests that bicycle corps can be trained to very nearly take the place of cavalry. He has been training his men to the performance known as the "cleaving of the Turk’s head" with the bicycle instead of the horse. It was found to be extremely difficult at first, and the slightest shifts in the saddle caused a spill. But the men soon acquired great proficiency, and demonstrated that the weight and impetus of the horse count as little, and that the feat is accomplished by strength and dexterity alone.

Rapid firing machine guns are carried on several types of machines, including tandems, double tricycles and the regular bicycle. On the regular safety the rapid-firing gun is fixed between the handles. It is an easy matter to perceive that a charge made by a couple of hundred men riding abreast and armed in this way would be more deadly than a charge of twice that number of cavalry. The tricycle, or military duplex safety, as it is called, is thought of favourably, for the reason that the space between the two rear wheels is well adapted to the carrying of ammunition. The gun is rigged on a crossbar between two saddles, and is easily manipulated by one of the riders. Another machine in use is a tandem fitted with two rapid fire guns.

It is, however, in skirmishing that the bicycle promises most. A commander marching into an enemy’s country has had in times past to rely upon a corps of fleet horsemen to "feel the way" and follow the movements of the enemy. The extent of territory over which this could be done daily was limited by the powers of the horse. The bicycle skirmishers, however, would suffer under no such limitations. The transportation of fodder for the horses is one of the most serious problems that confront a military commander, and their care entails a vast amount of labour, which takes so many men out of the list of available fighters. Many times in history the approach of an enemy has become known by the tramping of the horses, which, upon a hard road, can be heard a long way off on a still night. Experienced campaigners have detected this ominous sound when the horses were miles away. Nothing of this kind would be possible. Again, a mounted horseman makes a large object at night, but a cyclist crouching low could only be seen with difficulty, and would make a very difficult target to hit. The tandem skirmishers are specially formidable. They have a speed which no horse can attain. In times of danger the rider in front can bend low and work the pedals while his companion can fire over his shoulder. Altogether the French officer in charge of the experiment has demonstrated to his own satisfaction the superiority of the bicycle over the horse for many purposes in warfare.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Colours of Regiments of Infantry (1859)
Topic: Militaria

Colours of Regiments of Infantry

The Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, Horse-Guards, 1st December, 1859

1.     The Royal, or first, colour of every regiment is to be the Great Union throughout,—being the Imperial Colour of the United Kingdom of of Great Britain and Ireland, in which the Cross of St. George is conjoined with the Crosses of St. Andrew and St. Patrick, on a blue field,—and is to bear in the centre the Imperial Crown, and the number of the regiment underneath in gold Roman characters.

2.     The regimental, or second, colour is to be of the colour of the facing of the regiment, with the Union in the upper canton, except those regiments which are faced with red, white, or black; in those regiments which are faced with red, or white, the second colour is to be the Red Cross of St. George in a White Field, and the Union in the upper canton. In those regiments which are faced with black, the second colour is to be St. George's Cross the Union in the upper canton; the three other cantons black. The number of the regiment is to be embroidered in gold Roman characters in the centre.

3.     Those regiments which bear a royal, county, or other title are to have such designation on a red ground round a circle within the Union-wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks. The number of the regiment in gold Roman characters in the centre.

4.     In those regiments which bear any ancient badge, the badge is to be on a red ground in the centre, and the number of the regiment in gold Roman characters underneath. The Royal, or other title, to be inscribed on a circle within the Union-wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks.

5.     The regimental, or second, colour is also to bear the devices, distinctions, and mottos, which have been conferred by Royal authority; the whole to be ensigned with the Imperial Crown. Second battalions carry the same colours as first battalions, with the addition of "II BATT." on a scroll below the Union-wreath.

6.     The colours are to be of silk; the dimensions to be four feet flying, and three feet six inches deep on the pike, exclusive of the fringe:—the length of the pike (spear and ferrel included) to be nine feet ten inches: the cords and tassels of the whole to be crimson and gold mixed.

7.     No addition or alteration is to be made in the colours of any regiment of infantry without Her Majesty's special permission and authority, signified through the Commander-in-Chief of the army.

8.     The camp-colours to be eighteen inches square, and of the colour of the facing of the regiment, with the number of the regiment upon them. The poles to be seven feet six inches long.

9.     The following table shows the required proportion of camp-colours and pace- sticks for a regiment of infantry, as also the manner in which they are to be provided:—

Articles Price. Length of Time to last. No. of Articles required. Out of What Fund to be paid. Remarks.
s.   d.Years
Pace Stick7   6101712 by Captains of Companies.


5 out of Postage and Stationery Allowance.
1 for each Company.

4 for Drill Sergeant and his Aids.
1 for the Sergeant-Major.
A Camp-Colour5   058Postage and Stationery Allowance.The Bunting to be renewed when required.
A Saluting-Colour5   051Ditto
Adjutant's Aid2   054Ditto
Time Preceptor and PendulumConsidered unnecessary, and cannot, therefore, be admitted as a charge against the Fund mentioned,— a Plummet and String being deemed sufficient. 

10.     The saluting-colour to be an ordinary camp-colour, to be distinguished only from the other camp-colours by a transverse red cross; when the facings are red, by a transverse blue cross. The flags of battalion aids are to be 33 inches in the pole, including the bunting, which is to be of the same size as that of the camp-colour. The flags are to be carried in the hand, and, when elevated, placed on the muzzle of the fire lock.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 23 February 2017

Standards and Guidons (1859)
Topic: Militaria

Standards and Guidons of Regiments of Dragoon-Guards and Dragoons

The Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, Horse-Guards, 1st December, 1859

1.     The standards of the regiments of cavalry to be of silk damask embroidered and fringed with gold.

2.     The guidons of regiments of dragoons to be of silk.

3.     The tassels and cords of the whole to be of crimson silk and gold mixed.

4.     The lance of the standard or guidon to be nine long (spear and ferrel included).

5.     The flag of the standard to be two feet five inches wide, without the fringe, and two feet three inches on the lance: the corners to be square.

6.     The flag of the guidon of dragoons to be three feet five inches to the end of the slit of the swallow-tail, and two feet three inches on the lance. The upper and lower corners to be rounded off at twelve inches' distance from the end of the flag.

7.     The standard or guidon of each regiment is to be crimson, with (except otherwise authorized) the Royal or other title of the regiment, on a red ground round a circle, in letters of gold, the rank of the regiment in gold Roman characters on a crimson ground, in the centre, the whole within a wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks on the same stalk, ensigned with the Imperial Crown:—the white horse, on a green mount on a crimson ground, to be in the first and fourth compartments, within a scroll: and the rose, thistle, and shamrock conjoined, on a ground of the colour of the facings of the regiment, within a scroll, in the second and third corners.

8.     Those regiments which have any particular badge are to carry it in the centre of their standard or guidon, with (except otherwise authorized) the Royal or other title of the regiment, on a red ground round a circle, in letters of gold, the whole within a wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks on the same stalk; ensigned with the Imperial Crown—the white horse, on a green mount on a crimson ground, within a scroll, in the first and fourth corners and the rank of the regiment, on a ground of the same colour as the facings of the regiment, within a wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks, in the second and third corners.

9.     The standard or guidon is also to bear the devices, distinctions, and mottos which have been conferred by Royal Authority; the motto is to be under the wreath in the centre.

10.     No addition or alteration is to be made in the standard or guidon of any regiment of cavalry, without the Sovereign's special permission and authority.

11.     The standards and guidons of cavalry are to be carried by Troop Serjeant-Majors.

12.     Previously to sending to the War Office requisitions for new standards or colours, application is to be made, through the Adjutant-General, to the Inspector of Regimental Colours, for a drawing of the pattern as approved by Royal Authority.

Regiments of Cavalry, Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, 1859 Regiments of Cavalry (con't), Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, 1859

Regiments of Cavalry

With the colours of their uniforms and facinbgs;—their regimental badges; mottois; and the devices of distinctions authorized to be borne on their standards and guidons.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Military Notes; Service Chevrons (1906)
Topic: Militaria

Military Notes; Service Chevrons (1906)

The Quebec Saturday Budget, 6 January 1906

"In order to provide a means of distinguishing those men under the rank of sergeant, and those who have served continuously in their corps for three years, and had re-enlisted for a second period of similar service, there will be issued to each a service chevron of one bar to be worn when in uniform (on the left arm below the elbow) during the period of his re-enlistment.

"An additional chevron of one bar will be issued, to be worn similarly, to those who re-enlist for further service, after completion of each period of three years."

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 17 February 2017

Change of Button With the New King
Topic: Militaria

Change of Button With the New King

Letters "E.R.I." Must Give Place to "G.R.I." on all Uniforms

The Evening Record, Windsor, Ontario, 21 May 1910

"At the time of the German warship's [Huerta] visit [1 October 1913], consideration was being given to the Regiment's badges. The designs bearing the V.R.I. cypher of Her Majesty Queen Victoria were still in use in some instances, but had been replaced in others by types bearing the cypher of His Majesty King Edward VII or that of His Majesty King George V. A number of designs were submitted to Lieut.-Col. Fages, but no decision was reached until, as mentioned later in this book, the point was eventually settled by the restoration to the Regiment of the right to use the V.R.I., "in memory of the Sovereign in whose reign the unit was raised and in view of the services the Regiment rendered in the Great War." - (pp. 193, The Royal Canadian Regiment; 1883-1983, R.C. Fetherstonaugh,1936)

"V.R.I." altered nine years ago to "E.R.I.," must now be changed to "G.R.I." on the buttons and badges of those in the service, military or civil, of the British governments.

Every button on every serge and tunic and service cap in the active militia of Canada, every helmet and cap badge in the Royal Canadian regiment (sic), and many other corps as well, has been displaying in monogram form that Edward VII was Rex and Imperator, just as they were used to announce to the world that the wearer owed allegiance to Victoria, Regina and Imperatrix.

Postmen of Canada wear the royal monogram on the collar as well as on brass buttons. It is invariably found on the uniforms of customs officers, and sometimes on police buttons. As new clothing is ordered for these the new buttons will appear. In the case of soldiers of the permanent forces, the old buttons will be replaced before new clothing is needed. As soon as the "G.R.I." buttons are to be had by the regimental tailor the change will begin to take place.

Customs, parliamentary and other government stationery usually bears the monogram prominently, and here a change is due in new supplies.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 3 February 2017

Gunnery (1855)
Topic: Militaria

Gunnery (1855)

From: Field Service; The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, 11 May 1855
(From the Household Words)

The management of battering trains requires great energy, patience, and attention from the artillery officer. First, he had to consider the quantity of ordnance—six guns being used to every four howitzers or mortars, besides allowing for spare guns; then, the ammunition; and next, the means of transport. With regard to the ammunition, it is stated that at the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, in six days, eighteen hundred and twenty-five barrels of powder were expended; at Badajoz, in eight days, two thousand two hundred and seventy-one barrels; and at the two sieges of Saint Sebastien, five thousand and twenty-one barrels. As to shot, the average per gun may be (this is speaking roughly) about five hundred; and of shells, one hundred and twenty; but the general conclusion from former sieges is that a breach, one hundred feet wide, can be made by the expenditure of ten thousand six hundred twenty-four-pounder shot, at five hundred yards distance. With a commanding position, much less will suffice.

Upon enquiring into the execution done, we find, from elaborate experiments tried in eighteen hundred and thirty-four at the great artillery school at Metz, a thirty-six pounder, with only one-third charge, at one thousand yards, penetrated twelve inches into good rubble masonry, thirty-one inches into sound oak, and nearly six feet into a mass of earth, sand, and clay. An eight-inch shell penetrates twenty-three feet into compact earth. One thirteen-inch iron mortar, at an angle of forty-five degrees, with a charge of twenty-five pounds, ranged four thousand eight hundred and fifty yards. Weak powder is sensibly improved by heating it, with proper care. Exposure to the sun is useful.

Double shotting, which is chiefly practised in the navy, may be safely tried at short distance with heavy guns. It would seem easy to sink a ship by hitting her below water; but the fact is, the resistance of the water is so great, that a shot can hardly penetrate it; and the only way to damage the ship, would be to catch her as she heels over. Steamers, with their machinery below the water-line are as safe as sailing vessels; even many holes in the funnels are of slight consequence.

The smooth bored percussion musket will fire sixty rounds in thirty minutes, and carry two hundred yards. The carbines used by the artillery and cavalry carry one hundred and fifty yards. These however, are nothing to the new rifle muskets and carbines with Minié balls which are good at eight hundred to one thousand yards. Artillery do not need carbines carrying beyond three hundred yards, as their heavy ordnance effectually keep the enemy at a respectful distance.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 2 February 2017

Banners of Regiments Sacred (1924)
Topic: Militaria

Ancient Tradition Makes Banners of Regiments Sacred (1924)

The Border Cities Star, Windsor, Ontario, 1 March 1924
By Deanna Van Luven

Since the formation of the earliest military and naval organizations in the dim, dark ages, it has been the custom to deck out the fighting units with badges, banners, crests and similar signs.

In heathen times the warring tribes would carry some sacred sign into battle, usually an image of their particular god, thus giving them courage and inspiration.

Down through the ages the custom continued, and when the science of military strategy and tactics became more developed these signs became rallying points of armies and the various divisions of the fighting forces.

In Early Times

It is recorded that the early Egyptians, Assyrians, Jews and Persians carried banners. These would generally consist of cloths, varying in size, shape and colors, or figures of birds and animals.

The armies of the early Egyptian kings carried a fan-shaped design bearing the initials of the reigning sovereign, while the Roman eagles are equally familiar in the pages of history.

The word "flag," which is of Teutonic origin, meaning "a piece of cloth waving in the wind," was adopted to distinguish the banners flown at sea. It was later used as a term for both naval and military banners.

Flags of Barons

To come down to the Middle Ages, the days of the feudal barons, each of the lordly landowners adopted a particular banner, and his followers wore distinctive badges. In the days of the early Crusades the armies were a riot of colorful banners, crests and designs.

The King's banner was carried by the regiments of "mercenaries" when they were introduced, and the men wore the King's badges.

Although St. George had been the patron saint of England from the earliest times, it was not until the reign of Edward III that this was officially recognized, and Henry V was the first to bear a banner with the cross of St. George embodied thereon. St. Andrew was adopted as the patron saint of Scotland about A.D. 750.

First Union Flag

When James VI of Scotland became James I of England he ordered the cross of St. George and the celtire of St. Andrew to be combined, thus making the first Union Flag. It was then commonly known as the "Jack" after Jacques, the French version of the King's name. This flag was carried by the British armies, with some slight variations, and with the exception of the Commonwealth period, until the year 1800, when the celtire of St. Patrick of Ireland was added to then design.

The flags assigned to the various regiments in the British army are known as "Colors," "Standards," or "Guidons," according to the branch of the service concerned. The latter two terms concern the cavalry, while "Colors" are borne by infantry only. Regiments of rifles, artillery and hussars carry no colors or standards.

In the infantry regiments two distinct colors are carried, the first being the King's Colors, a "Union Flag," with the cypher of the King and the name of the regiment enscribed in the centre, and the other being the Regimental Color, which is of variable design.

Regimental Colors

Regimental Colors for the various infantry regiments are as follows: English, cross of St. George; Scotch, yellow; Irish, green (non-existent), royal regiments always blue; and special regiments, corresponding to uniform facings. The crest of the regiment is enscribed in the centre, and encircled by wreaths of entwined rose, thistles, shamrocks or oak leaves as the case might be. The wreath is of maple leaves in Canadian units.

Battle honours are scrolls with the names of "actions" embroidered on them and are awarded to those regiments which have specially distinguished themselves.

Although rifle regiments and certain other branches of the service carry no colors their honors are inscribed on their badges. "Rifles" were originally scouts and skirmishers, and their particular role made the carrying of colors impossible. Later, when formed into units the old tradition remained. The fact that batteries of artillery have no colors may possibly be traced back to the ancient customs of the Prussians in having carved chariots accompanying their field troops instead of banners.

Carried by Subalterns

Colors are usually carried by two subalterns (lieutenants or second lieutenants), with an escort of three N.C.O.'s or men with fixed bayonets. The colors of a regiment must not be confused with the regimental "colors," which are really "club" designations.

Since 1879 colors have not been carried in action by British regiments. In that year, in one of the campaigns against savages, two officers lost their lives while endeavouring to save the colors. It was then decided an unnecessary sacrifice in savage warfare, and the custom has not been revived to the present. It is contended by military authorities that their use would be extremely valuable in civilized warfare, especially in the assault, as they would serve as distinguishing marks and guides where a large body of troops are working together. This, of course, would apply in a campaign of the "open" variety only. They were used to this end in the Russo-Japanese war.

At all times the colors are paid the highest honours, as they are consecrated, and are the epitome of the history of the regiment concerned. The represent Honor, Death and Glory, and the self-sacrifice of thousands of the finest men of a nation. They are a symbol of the trust placed in that regiment by the king.

Overseas Honors

At the conclusion of the Great War, 1914-18, a special King's Color was presented to all overseas units taking part therein. The late King Edward VII presented a similar banner to the Royal Canadian Regiment upon the conclusion of the South African War, 1899-1902, and an elaborate ceremony is still carried out by that regiment on Paardeburg Day, the 28th of February (sic) of each year, and this color is "trooped" on this anniversary.

Many old and historic colors now repose in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England, battle-scarred and torn, but honored by the entire nation. In Canada the majority of the colors of overseas units in the C.E.F. have been "hung" in various churches, and those of one of the units formed in this district may now be seen in the vestry of All Saints' Church, Windsor.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 31 December 2016

Future Battles Will Be Fought By Rival "Tanks"
Topic: Militaria

Future Battles Will Be Fought By Rival "Tanks"

Great Land Cruisers Being Built By Germans to Match Those of British

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 21 September 1917

Herculean battles between droves of allied and Teuton "tanks" will be "as common as air fighting" on the western front soon, Colonel E.D. Swinton, commander of the first British "tank" squadron in France, predicts, according to the Washington correspondent of the Chicago Tribune.

Colonel Swinton, who is in the United States with Lord Reading's commission, originated the now famous British fighting monsters, he said in Washington. He believes the Germans are also building land cruisers and the day is not far distant, he thinks, when it will be a question of the survival of the fittest between "Fritz" and "Teddy" tanks.

Have Two Kinds

"There will be both male and female tanks—so called," he said. "We will have 'Mary' and 'Molly' tanks along with their lords and masters, the big 'Teddy' tanks. The males will lumber into battle surrounded by their harems.

"With the destruction of machine guns as his chief objective, the male tank starts across No Man's land. Shell craters, embankments, barbed wire entanglements, trenches, and even small forests are no barriers. With two six-pounders he blasts his way forward. Being bullet-proof, it is seldom that he is checked until he has accomplished his mission—destroying machine gun emplacements.

"However, he is more or less useless and close fighting and often gets into a place where he cannot extricate himself. It is here that his 'better halves' get into the game.

"The female tanks—dubbed thus because of their man-killing propensities—tag along behind, in advance and on all sides, fighting like mad. They beat off the enemy trying to storm the big 'Teddy.'"

Only Deadlock Breakers

Thus far 'tanks' are the only means that have been devised in breaking the deadlock along strongly entranched infantry fronts, Colonel Swinton stated. Great improvements are being made in their construction and defects remedied. The tank of the future will be a "perfect" fighting machine, capable of feats more startling than heretofore dreamed of, he said.

Of the development of the crawling fortresses, which have changed modern warfare, Colonel Swinton said:

"During that awful first year every soldier realized that something had to be devised to stop the carnage. The futility of a 'naked man' attempting to cross No Man's land was apparent to allies and Germans alike. It was an impossibility to sweep that pock-marked patch of hell with men alone.

How Idea Was Developed

"I has seen one of your Yankee inventions—Holt's tractor. I remembered its feats of navigating rough country and simply applied the idea. At about the same time someone else got a similar idea and wrote Winston Churchill, first lord of the admiralty.

"Independently of each other the war and navy branches began perfecting the same idea. Navy officials, unknown to me, worked on a 'land cruiser,' while we struggled with the 'tank.' Then we got together, with the result you have read about.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The Soldier's Uniform (1902)
Topic: Militaria

The Soldier's Uniform (1902)

… the reply of the soldier who, when asked how he would like to be dressed if he had to fight in a second Waterloo engagement, is reported to have said "I should like to be in my shirt sleeves."

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Australia, 8 March 1902

For some time past it has been rumoured that radical changes were to be made in the uniforms of the military. Several alterations have indeed already been made. It is now officially announced that the King has approved of the new design of service uniform for officers of all arms of the British army. Food and dress are two of the chief essentials to a happy and useful life, and the wise man who also has it in his power to act upon his judgment endeavours to adapt both to the requirements of his work. Although dress can hardly be said to be a natural necessity, yet it is the expression of a habit of civilised life that is in some respects more imperious in its demands than the craving for food. And it is remarkable that in spite of the kaleidoscopic changes in the fashion of dress there is the impress of a rigid conservatism in the main outlines. The same general ideas are to be seen in the dress of men and women to-day as might have been noted a century ago. There is a greater amplitude of material from which to make a selection, there is greater diversity in the shades of colour and in the designs, and these admit of such innumerable variation that it is hardly necessary to repeat exactly the same arrangement in any two articles of attire. But the radical alterations are exceedingly few. Even those which have been brought about by the changing conditions of life are for the most part modifications in detail only. And it is the strict attention to these that marks off the man or the woman of fashion from the individual who, either from choice or necessity or mere indifference, treats them with neglect. The changed conditions of modern warfare have led the naval and military authorities to pay special attention to the food and dress of those who may be called upon at any moment to fight in defence of the Empire. A few months ago an order was issued increasing the quantity and improving the quality of the food issued to the crews of the ships in his Majesty's service, in the belief that better results would follow from a more intelligent attention to this important detail. And following upon it is the order already referred to for several important changes in the service uniforms of military officers.

The very decided distinction between uniforms, and especially military uniform and the ordinary civil dress of the time, is of comparatively recent date. The serviceable buff coat of the Commonwealth era was the completion of the evolution from the mail and plate armour of earlier days. The changes which have taken place since up to the earlier part of the last century, and indeed some of a later date, were dictated by caprice and a desire for variety rather than by an intelligent attempt to adapt the soldier's dress to the exigencies of military life. Among the exceptions were those that were made at the instance of the Duke of Wellington. The great general probably felt the force of the reply of the soldier who, when asked how he would like to be dressed if he had to fight in a second Waterloo engagement, is reported to have said "I should like to be in my shirt sleeves." Since Waterloo, since the Crimean war, and in fact since the Franco-Prussian war, the conditions of warfare have been completely transformed. The munitions of war and military tactics have, in turn, become a cause and an effect of the modern methods of warfare. The formations of the troops on the battlefield that were effective a century ago are as thoroughly out of date now as the weapons that were in use before the invention of gunpowder. The pomp and panoply of war may look effective on the stage or at a review, but except as furnishing a target for the enemy's artillery would be useless on the battlefield to-day. Except in rare instances, the battlefield itself, in the old application of the word, has no existence. When the belligerents come to close quarters the dress and the accoutrements would have a marked effect, and might go a long wat towards ensuring victory if followed up by vigorous and decisive action. In these days of smokeless powder and quick-firing guns, throwing projectiles from an enormous distance, and when detached portions of the force may suddenly find themselves in the midst of a shower of bullets before they know from which quarter they are coming, dress and display count for little. Everything that is an encumbrance to prompt and rapid movement is thrown aside. The dress and the accoutrements need to be such as will facilitate and not impede the free movement of every part of the body, and the colour selected must be one that will not offer facilities for the distant and perhaps concealed marksman to take accurate aim. It is in these directions that the changes in the service uniforms of the officers point. The material is to be serge of a much darker shade than the khaki. The tunic will be close fitting round the waist, but easy elsewhere. Knicker breeches will take the place of trousers. Metal badges are to be discarded and coloured braid will be substituted. The official rank will be indicated by drab braid on the cuff. The coat, the cap, and the hat are all designed with a view to comfort and utility; while at the same time the whole kit will present a smart appearance.

The changes are significant in more ways than one. Hitherto the Imperial military authorities have not been too eager to march with the times. When subjected to an unusual and severe strain they have been found to be sadly deficient in qualities that make for success. There has been a disposition to cling to old traditions and continue useless methods of discipline. It seems as though all this is now to be changed as the result of the severe lesson that we have learned. So far, this is a cause for congratulation. There is another aspect of this question that gives rise to reflections of a mixed character. Long years of comparative peace created the tendency to regard the military profession as an ornamental rather than a practical pursuit. That illusion has been rudely dispelled. Though a soldier in time of peace may be out of place like a chimney in summer, of the fire brigade where there are no fires, yet each must be adapted and ready for the service required when the occasion calls. The military profession is to be coveted, not because of the gorgeous uniform which the member of it is entitled to wear on festive occasions, but because of the hard work in defence of the Empire which may fall to his lot when wearing his service uniform. And as the latter becomes more and more the badge of the soldier's work, the real reason for the existence and maintenance of a military force will appeal more strongly to the popular mind. "The apparel oft proclaims the man," and a military uniform specially adapted to the work which those who wear it have to perform will in the long run captivate the popular imagination more completely than the gold braid and gay colours which the thoughtless were proud to regard as the chief glories to be won.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 28 November 2016

Relics of Boer War
Topic: Militaria

Relics of Boer War

Canada gets Four Large Guns and 700 Mauser Rifles

The Montreal Gazette, 8 August 1904

Ottawa, August 7.—(Special)—Of the extensive armament captured from the Boers during the war of 1899-1903 the British Government has awarded four large guns and 700 Mauser rifles to Canada in recognition of the part it took in the great campaign. The weapons will most likely be allotted among the larger cities, the big guns to adorn the public places as mementos of Canada’s baptism of fire and the rifles to do similar duties in military and public museums. These trophies will be of great benefit in preserving the memory of the war that welded the Empire and inspired the young with that hardy manly spirit that forms a strong power in the preservation of the life and virility of a nation.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Tribal Warriors Stalk Axis With Strange Weapons
Topic: Militaria

Tribal Warriors Stalk Axis With Strange Weapons

The Sherbrooke Telegram, 25 May 1944
By The Canadian Press

There are strange warriors with the Allies—black, brown, yellow, bronze, some a loin cloth for a uniform and a snickersnee for a fighting tool.

Some are virtually unknown soldiers of the United Nations. Who ever heard of the Tcherkesses, the Atjehnese, and the Dyaks, the Gojjams, the Tanganyikas, or the redoubtable Wah?

Or who can say what manner of weapon is the dah, the koumia and khukri? Yet the Axis soldier fears them more than all the secret weapons turning on the lathes of the propaganda mills.

The little-known people, and many more, are making stout contributions toward the day of victory, says the United Nations Information office.

Take the Tcherkesses, fur-bonneted Syrian cossacks. They were stalwart allies of the British and Free French in Syria and Iraq.

The Atjehnese and Dyaks are some of the fierce guerillas who have kept the Japanese "masters" of the Netherlands East Indies clinging to the beaches, afraid to enter the interior except in force.

Gojjams provided loyal Ethiopians with a base for revolt and with the Armachahos, Wikaits and Bagemirs made the return of Emperor Haile Selassie from exile infinitely easier. Tanganyikas are blacks who with Kenyas, Ugandas and Nyasas make up the crack King's African Rifles who shooed Italians out of East Africa.

The Wah Has a Dah

And the Wah is an interesting party who may give the British a lift in Burma. His weapon is the dah, an evil looking bowie with the blade of a broadsword and the edge of a razor.

The British booed Mussolini out of East Africa and the Nazis out of North Africa with such characters as the Ghurkas, Punjabis and the Sihks that made up most of the 300,000 Indians in the British Army.

The Afrika Corps especially disliked Ghurkas, who made a habit of lopping off heads with a Khukri, a curved knife.

From East Africa come black, spindly-legged Sudanese, who are silent fighters. The Somali camel corps, Askaris from Eritrea and Turkanas helped to throw Italians out of Italian Somaliland. South Africa sent 32,000 native soldiers to North Africa and the Middle East—20,000 Bechuanas, 9,000 Basutos (who are so fond of drilling that the only way to punish them for infractions is to not let them drill) and 3,000 Swasis. Zulus fought well in Kenya. Many black Nigerians were in the Nigerian force which swept 1,054 miles in 30 days through Italian Somaliland.

Most populous of the Burman allies are the Burmese—also handy with the dah—who are training in India agsinst the day of liberation. The Chins and Kachins are unhealthy guerillas to start trouble with in a Burman jungle.

The Free French have some tough customers. Pig-tailed Goumiers from Morocco swing a Kouma, another of those ugly exotic knives. There are the Spahis, native cavalry from North Africa and the Senegalese.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 14 November 2016

Armoured Cars (1927)
Topic: Militaria

Armoured Cars (1927)

Cavalry Co-operation
Lighter Infantry

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, 7 January 1927

The possibility of British cavalry regiments remaining cavalry regiments in name, but in actual practise dispensing more and more with horses and gradually replacing them with armoured cars, was suggested by General Sir Alexander Godley, G.O.C.-in-C., Southern Command, presiding recently at a lecture on "The Horse and the Machine in War," by Sir Percy Hambro, at the Royal United Service Institution, Whitehall.

Sir Alexander Godley, referring to the exercises on Salisbury Plain this year to show how tanks could co-operate with cavalry, spoke of the "wonderful advantage" which a reduction in the soldier's pack would give the troops. Anything done by the petrol machine in that way would be of untold value.

He thought that is the armoured car came more generally into use it would be as a cavalry weapon. If a change were to be effected in the cavalry regiments he thought it possible that they would be armed with a certain number of armoured cars, and fewer horses would be employed. But in his view we could not obliterate the great traditions and efficiency and all the possibilities we now got from our cavalry regiments. "We ought to look before we leap," he said, "We must not too hurriedly and blindly turn everything into machines."

Sir Percy Hambro said that European wars brought increased complexity in the handling of armies, but the aim of great commanders to secure for their troops the power of mobility in order to inflict surprise remained constant. While arguing in favour of the machine for transport of supply, the demand for the tank and the armoured car, the mechanicalising of heavy, medium and light artillery and of first line transport, he did not favour the elimination of the horse.

"It is quite possible in the cavalry action of the future," he observed, "that the fire power of the machine will prepare the opportunity, and the horse will reap the harvest. The horse, in co-operation with the machine, remains supreme as the swift weapon of opportunity."

By the latest development of modern science a new type of machine, which appeared capable of taking its place in the first line transport, had been developed. By the ability of this machine to eliminate distance and its imperviousness to fatigue it might be possible to increase the marching power of the soldier and the radius of action of the cavalry.

The movement of infantry in 'bus columns was a subject of great interest to the army. With the new transport vehicle they were able to relieve the infantry soldier of at least eight pounds, and the cavalry soldier of two stone.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 14 November 2016 12:09 AM EST
Tuesday, 8 November 2016

30 Tons of World War Trophies
Topic: Militaria

30 Tons of World War Trophies Turned Into Arms for Dominion

The Montreal Gazette, 31 January 1941

Ottawa, January 30.—German rifles, shell cases, trench mortars and other pieces of equipment of the Great War are being thrown in the melting pot whence come Canadian arms and ammunition to fight new German aggression.

Dr. Gustave Lanctot, Dominion archivist and chairman of the Military Museum Board told The Canadian press tonight that 30 tons of German equipment taken in the last war had been sold for scrap at Ottawa and—he hoped—would soon be on its way to Germany in the form of shells, bombs or bullets.

Dr. Lanctot explained the equipment was surplus stock not required by the Canadian war museum. It has some value as metal.

The museum's idea of thus disposing of German war equipment it does not need, has its counterpart in several cities and villages in Canada which have written asking how they can turn in the German guns loaned them to exhibit as trophies of the last war.

Before these trophies could be sold or given away permission of the Dominion had to be obtained, because the arms were only loaned to cities and municipalities for display.

"If some municipality writes us and says that they have been offered a good local price for a trophy, the chances are that we will permit them to sell it and turn the money over to the Government," said Dr. Lanctot.

"But the cost of transporting a two or three-ton gun is high and the need of scrap metal is not so pressing that it is economical to ship trophies for great distances for melting down."

No action has been taken to encourage municipalities to turn in the German trophies loaned the, although the Military Museum Board has made inquiries to see what demand there is for such scrap metal. Munitions manufacturing forms have informed the board they need to know the composition of the metal in the gun, whether it is suitable for their furnaces and whether the laid-down price at their factories will compare with the market price for metal.

Because the trophies have been loaned, an annual report on their condition is required by the Dominion. Latest reports showed some of the guns were in good repair, having been cleaned and painted. Others had deteriorated badly. Some reports bore the notation, "wheels missing."

The trophies were distributed after the war on the basis of enlistments by provinces. Guns placed on display numbered 592, and machine gins 2,111. They are scattered across Canada, most of them at the points where they were first placed. A few have been exchanged by municipalities which no longer wanted them and presented to other communities where a trophy had been requested.

If ever an urgent need for scrap metal arises, the Dominion has the power to call back all trophies on loan.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Equipment of Infantry (1943)
Topic: Militaria

Equipment of Infantry (1943)

… to equip an infantry division with war-like stores takes 179,101 packing cases, 4,165 road vehicles, and seven 10,000 ships. The equipment weighs 12,500 tons deadweight.

London Exhibition

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, 5 January 1943
Our Staff Correspondent

London, Jan. 7.—For the first time in the history of the British Army, the complete equipment of an infantry division has been assembled under one roof.

This exhibition has been arranged by Ordnance to demonstrate the complexity of modern equipment. It is being visited by British, Allied, and Dominion officers.

In a great hall is ranged every type of the equipment required to put a British infantry division in the field.

There are many new weapons on the secret list and others which already have been tested on the field of battle.

Some new developments can be mentioned. There are the new rifle and bayonet which are being issued to the British and Canadian armies. The rifle is not substantially different from the older model, but its simplified design makes mass production easier, and it weighs a few ounces less.

The bayonet, in comparison with last war's model, seems absurdly short, light, and toy-like.

Silent Speech

The general tendency towards simplification is especially notable in wireless equipment. An interesting development is a one-man wireless set, in which the voice is transmitted not from the mouth but by vibrations from the throat, enabling "silent speech."

The display of soldier's rations includes tins of self-heating soup. They are ordinary tins containing a cylinder of heating matter, which can be lighted from a cigarette and heats the tin in four or five minutes.

Coloured graphs on the walls enable staff officers to see at a glance the transport required to move divisional equipment. For example, to equip an infantry division with war-like stores takes 179,101 packing cases, 4,165 road vehicles, and seven 10,000 ships. The equipment weighs 12,500 tons deadweight.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Rifled 9-Pounder Gun (1880s)
Topic: Militaria

ARTILLERY MATERIAL. - SECTION 1.

The Gun.

Manual of Field Artillery Exercises, Canada, 1884

Designation.—Ordnance, wrought Iron rifled, M.L. 9 Pr. 8 cwt.

  • Length
    • nominal - 5 feet 8.5 inches.
    • total - 6 feet.
    • of bore - 5 feet 3.5 inches.
    • of rifling - 4 feet 11.8 inches

       

  • Preponderance - 7 lbs.
  • Calibre - 3 inches.
  • Nominal weight - 8 cwt. 1 qr. 6 lbs.
  • Grooves - 3. French modified.
  • Twist of rifling, uniform - 1 in 30 calibres.
  • Initial Velocity - 1,381 feet.

1884_9-pounder_wrought_iron_rifled_muzzle_loader

Construction.—The 9 Pr. Muzzle-loading rifle gun consists of two pieces — one shrunk over the other; the "A tube" or "barrel," and the "breech coil."

The "A" tube," which extends the whole length of the gun is formed from a cylinder, or ingot, of cast-steel, bored and turned to the proper dimensions, after being toughened in a "bath" of oil.

The "breech coil" is of wrought iron, and is composed of two pieces welded together, the part in rear of the trunnions being manufactured from bar-iron, which is coiled round a mandrill and welded, the fibre of the iron running round in the direction of the length of the bar, whilst the part from close behind the trunnions to the front, is forged solid, this latter piece, after being rough-turned and bored, is welded to the coil.

The "breech coil" takes the form of a jacket to the barrel barrel, the two pieces having been turned and bored to the proper dimensions, the "breech coil" is expanded by heat, and then lowered over the "barrel " which is placed in a vertical position to receive it, the coil, on being allowed to cool, contracts so as to grip the barrel, the two pieces, in a measure, thus becoming one.

Sighting —The gun is sighted centrally with a tangent scale or hind sight, and a dispart or foresight.

The tangent scale consists of a rectangular steel bar, with head also of steel, the bar is graduated in degrees, each cross degree being subdivided into twenty divisions, a division being equal to three minutes of elevation. The cross head is grooved on the top, and is fitted with a gun metal leaf, which can be moved either to the right or to the left, to compensate tor accidental deflection, caused by wind, one wheel being higher than the other, etc., the front of the cross head is bevelled, and graduated right and left of the centre, in divisions reading three minutes each. The leaf is moved or clamped by means of a thumbscrew working in a slot in the back of the crosshead. The tangent scale works in a gun metal socket inserted in the breech of the gun at an angle of 1 deg. 30 mins. to the left, that being the angle which compensates for the derivation of the projectile, caused by the rifling. The cross head is fixed on the bar with a corresponding dip to the right so as to be horizontal when the scale is in use. When the tangent scale is lowered to zero its apex is flush with the upper surface of the gun this protects it from injury when not in use; when raised it is kept in position by a gun metal thumb screw.

The dispart sight is a small steel "leaf," screwed into the gun near the muzzle. The metal of the gun at this part is made the same thickness as at the breech, so as to form a dispart patch," and give a line parallel to the axis of the gun. This sight, also, is protected from injury in mounting, discounting, etc., by being fixed in a recess

Trunnions — The trunnions are 3.5 inches in length and diameter, and their axis coincident with that of the bore.

Vent — A hardened copper cone vent is screwed in so as to strike the curve at the bottom of the bore, both to ensure that the whole of the unconsumed portion of the cartridge may be blown out, and also for the purpose of firing very reduced charges. The highest initial velocity would be given by striking the cartridge at a point four-tenths of its length from the base, but the strain on the gun would be proportionately greater.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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