Military Review

British auxiliary gun that destroyed the Spanish battleship

34
British auxiliary gun that destroyed the Spanish battleship

The 102-mm guns of the cruiser "New Zealand", installed in front of the Naval Museum in Auckland.


A charger quickly rose from the hole, huge, like a piano placed on its edge, caught up with the cannon and clung to its mouth that had already opened, releasing an instantly rattlesnake steel snake, straightening on the go into an elastic stick. The snake pushed the shell into the canal of the gun and quickly ran back. On the way, she hit the ledge of a copper box above the tray, and from there, slamming the door, a half-silk silk cylinder fell out. The snake rushed forward, drove him into the barrel and on the way back dropped a second half-charge into the tray; with a short, already angry blow, she threw it into the canal and, loud and clanging, disappeared into its hole, and the charger began to fall down into failure, as quickly as it appeared. The castle pressed into the cannon with a covert twist of a worm crawling into the ground, and again silence fell in the tower, underlined by the buzz of motors.
L. Sobolev. Overhaul


Weapon from museums. The second half of the XNUMXth century for the British Navy was marked by a truly revolutionary event: guns loaded from the muzzle were replaced by guns loaded from the breech (BLR or BL - this is exactly what this abbreviation meant). A special type of ship’s guns was also distinguished, characterized by a high rate of fire and capable of firing two or more rounds per minute. Them in british navy They began to designate as QF. Since by the end of the 4th century all the guns began to be charged from the breech, the meaning of the designation changed. Now the letters BL denoted implements with a cap or separate-shell loading, and QF - equipment that had a unitary shot. So, the designation BL 4 inch naval gun Mk VII should be understood as follows: "a naval gun with a 7-inch caliber loading cartridge, model XNUMX".


Auckland War Memorial. Gun BL 4 inch naval gun Mk VII

We specifically mentioned this very weapon of the British Navy, since it was discussed in an article "How battleships explode", recently published on the "VO" and caused quite a heated debate among its readers.

The article referred to the ship’s gun 102-mm Mk VII, which was armed with the Spanish dreadnought "Spain" and, in particular, the battleship "Jaime I" mentioned in it. Readers' interest was aroused in the text and taking place on these guns cartose loading. Like, it’s “not up-to-date”. That there were ammunition, with unitary ammunition. And yes, they were and were used, but an interesting thing happened to this weapon. история, which just today in this material will be discussed.


The QF 4 inch naval gun Mk I gun, 1890s photo

So, let's start with the fact that this weapon was developed as a rapid-fire, anti-mine and anti-torpedo weapon for arming new Bellerophon battleships and as the main weapon for light cruisers. Destroyers became larger, their survivability increased, and the old 75-mm guns could no longer hit them with the same efficiency. Work on the new gun began in 1904, and already in 1908 it was put into service. Moreover, the 102-mm guns in the British fleet by that time were already: QF 4 inch naval gun Mk I - Mk VI. But since in military affairs all types of weapons are aging very quickly, it was decided to replace the old guns with new ones!


Interestingly, these guns were created from the very beginning so that they could be used on a wheeled chassis as land

Since the main efforts of gunsmiths in those years were aimed at creating heavy guns of caliber 305, 381 and 406 mm, much less attention was paid to small-caliber guns and not the best designers worked on them. Technical solutions were chosen simpler and cheaper. Innovations were not approved. That is why, for example, in the Vickers piston lock the Bunge shutter was used, and the trunks themselves had the simplest “wire” design.


Vickers shutter with Bunge shutter for QF 4 inch naval gun Mk V - Mk VI

The Vickers piston lock had a traditional design and, when opened, tilted to the right. The obturation was carried out using a canvas-covered pillow stuffed with asbestos (the last model was reinforced with a woven brass wire) with a mushroom-shaped copper front protective disk (“Bunge obturator”), which is held in front of the shutter by a special screw with an axial ventilation hole.


Silk shell QF 4 inch naval gun Mk I cartridges

The throwing charge to the gun was of a cap-type type (the fabric shell was usually made of silk or cotton, impregnated with a solution of berthollet salt and coated with nitro-varnish) and had a weight of 2,7 to 4,4 kg. Explosive - cordite (nitroglycerin smokeless powder, well and easily inflammable). So to set fire to such a cap as it was described in the passage from the novel given in the epigraph would not be difficult. High-explosive shells were equipped with liddite (the English version of picric acid) - an extremely powerful but dangerous explosive, and less dangerous TNT. Shrapnel and semi-armor-piercing shells were also used. The usual proportion of projectile loading was as follows: 60% HE shells, 15% tracer HE shells and 25% semi-armor-piercing shells with a ballistic tip.


Trunk with a liner

The barrel had two main pipes: an internal thread (length 2,065 m and an external diameter of 343 mm) threaded and external. The outer one was tightly wrapped with steel wire, which increased the tensile strength of the barrel. At the rear of the pipe, a thread was cut to secure the shutter. Then another pipe was put on the wire-coated pipe with tension, which turned the barrel into a very strong and rigid structure, but at the same time the inner pipe could be removed and replaced with a new one, which, of course, had to be done periodically, since the threaded part was frayed from firing . Such a replacement for worn-out inner pipes in gun trunks was called and is called lining, and the replaceable “pipe” itself was called a liner.

However, such barrels did not stand on all guns of this type, but only on the Mk VII cannons. The Mk VIII guns had no interchangeable liner. When the barrel was worn, it was repaired by boring the inner pipe with the subsequent installation of the liner. Apparently, the designers of the guns wanted to see which type of barrel would be cheaper to operate with all other things being equal. It should also be noted that the designation of the caliber of this gun (102 mm) is also somewhat arbitrary. Actually, it is equal to 101,6 mm, but it is clear that for the sake of convenience it was rounded.


Mechanical and electric firing mechanism diagram

The shot was fired both by means of a shock mechanism and by means of electricity, both of which were interchangeable. Recoil devices were very effective, so the rollback did not exceed 680 mm.


Two projections BL Mark VII

In total, the British Navy operated several models of such an instrument, designated as follows: 4 "/ 50 (102 mm) BL Mark VII, VII ** and VIII ***.

TTX guns were as follows (and not much different on all three models):



Pedestal installation


Casemate on the cruiser "Australia" 1918


102-mm naval guns Mk VII, as a rule, were used in single-barrel installations. They were installed on the pedestals openly on the deck, without shields - like, for example, in this photo taken on the Sydney cruiser or with armor shields, as well as in half towers and casemates

Fire control was carried out using the complex electromechanical device Vickers FTP Fire Control Instruments Mark II, which, when corrective amendments were introduced, made it possible to capture the target and track it in semi-automatic mode. Range data was obtained from the rangefinder.


Wheel mounted gun used during the First World War


BL 4 inch Mk VII guns in East Africa

Interestingly, these guns had a chance to shoot on land. During the First World War, they were mounted on wheeled carriages and used in East Africa. But during the Second World War, it was these guns that were placed on impromptu English 4 ”Mobile Naval Gun. The threat of a German invasion of the British Isles was taken very seriously by the British.


A very interesting publication that talks about this little-known page in the history of these guns

Therefore, among other activities, they also attended to the creation of powerful self-propelled guns based on the Foden DG / 6/10 three-axle artillery tractors with a 6x4 wheel arrangement, in the back of which BL Mark VII guns were mounted. No reservation of weapons was provided. The calculation consisted of 6 people and was transported directly in the back. A total of 49 self-propelled guns were built in this way, which were transferred to the coastal defense unit, where they were to be used for anti-airborne defense. And I must say, they could have performed this function, given the range of their fire and the power of the projectile.


Externally, this self-propelled guns looks very impressive


During sea trials in Lincolnshire, June 30, 1940

A total of 600 units of this gun were produced, of which 482 remained in service in 1939.
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  1. Comrade
    Comrade 13 June 2020 05: 26 New
    +8
    Since the main efforts of gunsmiths in those years were aimed at creating heavy guns of caliber 305, 381 and 406 mm

    Judging by the context, we are talking about the very beginning of the "dreadnought era", so it is not clear where the 343 mm guns went and where did the 406 mm caliber guns come from in the development at that time?
    much smaller attention was paid to small-caliber guns ...... Technical solutions were chosen simpler and cheaper. Innovations were not approved. That is why ...... the trunks had the simplest "wire" design.

    The first English naval gun of caliber 381 mm (BL 15-inch Mark I) had wire design, and was in service until 1960 (battleship "Vanguard").
  2. Catfish
    Catfish 13 June 2020 05: 36 New
    +8
    Vyacheslav, good morning! smile
    Readers' interest was aroused in the text and taking place on these guns cartose loading. Like, it’s “not up-to-date”. That there were ammunition, with unitary ammunition.

    Right! And there I spoke about this most of all, for which I, quite rightly, were kicked off by the whole team. laughing
    I read this article with interest. which is quite understandable. Especially liked the drawings and schemes of guns. And the installation of marine guns at the time on trucks was generally news to me. In general - thanks.
    Did the Germans also practice this?
    1. Errr
      Errr 14 June 2020 07: 24 New
      +2
      hi
      Thank you, Konstantin, for the photo, but the VOMAG 7 OR 660 anti-aircraft bus depicted on it, equipped with the FlaK 36 anti-aircraft gun, is still not related to the fleet, even indirectly. smile This gun had "very warm relations" with Soviet tanks when used as an anti-tank and, moreover, the famous "tiger" 8,8 cm KwK 36 was constructed on its basis. In general, this "shooter" is this (I’m talking about cannon) is very famous.
      And the miracle of technology depicted in your photo (here I am already talking about the “anti-aircraft bus”) was rare. Only 16 of these were built.
      The miserable remains of VOMAG 7 OR 660 in Budapest 1945.
      https://andrewbek-1974.livejournal.com/912972.html
  3. Theodore
    Theodore 13 June 2020 05: 42 New
    12
    Where’s the battleship? No?
  4. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 13 June 2020 06: 04 New
    0
    Thank you for the article. Deployed and interesting. Judging by the fact that the battleship has not yet been mentioned, will there be a sequel?
    1. Catfish
      Catfish 13 June 2020 06: 41 New
      +6
      Nazarii hi , the battleship was in one of the previous articles, this is a continuation.
      1. The leader of the Redskins
        The leader of the Redskins 13 June 2020 06: 51 New
        0
        Yeah. So I did not understand this bunch. Thanks for clarifying.
  5. 27091965
    27091965 13 June 2020 10: 06 New
    +2
    Shrapnel and semi-armor-piercing shells were also used. The usual proportion of projectile loading was as follows: 60% HE shells, 15% tracer HE shells and 25% semi-armor-piercing shells with a ballistic tip.


    It was then necessary to insert this sheet into the article.

  6. Lopatov
    Lopatov 13 June 2020 11: 53 New
    +7
    The article correctly says “cap”, in the caption to the illustration “cartridge” ...

    And the "Bungee shutter" is used to this day. In "Nona"
  7. bk0010
    bk0010 13 June 2020 13: 05 New
    +3
    What kind of guns without protection (anti-fragmentation) to put? At least some removable shields were made, which are placed on the sides of the gun before the battle, and then removed (if they interfere).
    1. Krasnodar
      Krasnodar 13 June 2020 13: 56 New
      0
      It was believed that the chance of destruction by fragments in a naval battle is small
      1. Hunter 2
        Hunter 2 13 June 2020 14: 13 New
        +4
        Quote: Krasnodar
        It was believed that the chance of destruction by fragments in a naval battle is small

        Hi Albert! hi Here You are - mistaken! Just 102 mm - an auxiliary tool! And for every "little thing" (and for Cruiser with its Main caliber - it's "little thing") you won’t put an armor plate ... overweight ... The ship as a whole!
        1. Krasnodar
          Krasnodar 13 June 2020 14: 14 New
          +3
          Greetings! hi I believe you, as a person related to the Navy, although I always thought differently
          1. Hunter 2
            Hunter 2 13 June 2020 14: 21 New
            +4
            Quote: Krasnodar
            Greetings! hi I believe you, as a person related to the Navy, although I always thought differently

            Thank you for your trust! drinks but ... here the usual logic is, imagine a projectile getting into ordinary soil - fragments are created Only from the projectile itself ... and now imagine getting a well, let's say in an add-on - in addition to shell fragments, pieces of this same Add-in also fly ...
            soldier
            1. Krasnodar
              Krasnodar 13 June 2020 14: 23 New
              +5
              If according to the usual logic, then getting, say, into the superstructure located behind the guys requires protection by the turret, and not by the shield in front of the sailors
              1. Hunter 2
                Hunter 2 13 June 2020 14: 26 New
                +3
                That's exactly why - Main Gauges are protected from all sides! wink But .... and the armored shield - at least some chance!
                1. Krasnodar
                  Krasnodar 13 June 2020 14: 33 New
                  +6
                  Which front? If a splinter flies from a superstructure located at the rear, then in the case of a fly past a sailor, he can ricochet from a shield and hit a military man. If the ship is attacked by some sort of Boats, such as the Ksirov’s, then it will save from machine-gun fire
                  1. Hunter 2
                    Hunter 2 13 June 2020 14: 43 New
                    +5
                    It is more difficult here, if the battle is within the range of the main caliber, the calculation of the "small things" may be in cover (in combat readiness, respectively). When rapprochement occurs, or as you rightly noted against some trifle - of course at a combat post ... but the amount of auxiliary weapons is great! That often everything is solved by one or two volleys, without the opportunity to get an answer.
                    1. Krasnodar
                      Krasnodar 13 June 2020 14: 46 New
                      +1
                      I agree. In the subject of naval battles, I do not have a foot in the tooth. Today, probably, ships shoot rockets at each other?
                      1. Hunter 2
                        Hunter 2 13 June 2020 14: 49 New
                        +2
                        Quote: Krasnodar
                        I agree. In the subject of naval battles, I do not have a foot in the tooth. Today, probably, ships shoot rockets at each other?

                        Well, we are discussing the history! wink But in general - there are shipborne guns on modern ships, with a whole range of ammunition - including long-range guided! yes
                      2. Krasnodar
                        Krasnodar 13 June 2020 14: 51 New
                        +5
                        A whole, unfamiliar to me, world! )))
    2. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 15 June 2020 10: 59 New
      +3
      EMNIMS, at the end of the XNUMXth century it was believed that shields on SK and PMK guns increase the chance of defeat of calculation, serving as a kind of projectile catchers (supposedly, if there is no shield on the gun, the shell has nothing to burst on, and it flies further).
      1. KVIRTU
        KVIRTU 19 June 2020 10: 57 New
        0
        Plus an additional surface of the ricochet of fragments of calculation, which could just fly overboard.
  • Looking for
    Looking for 13 June 2020 14: 52 New
    +3
    without beginning. without end.
  • ser56
    ser56 13 June 2020 19: 56 New
    +2
    thanks, curious, especially the SPG!
  • Saxahorse
    Saxahorse 13 June 2020 20: 42 New
    +2
    The article is curious, with a bunch of incomprehensible drawings. But alas, to me .. I quickly got confused in shutters and cartridges .. Already in the third photo we see a sailor with the most natural sleeve under his arm. Well, or a half-sleeve .. The clearly solid end of this sleeve-cap makes one wonder why there is some kind of obturator there?

    I'd like to hear the opinion of experts. What ended up shoving the cannon after the shell? Cartouz? Sleeve? Half sleeve ??

    One single photograph brought out all the subsequent text at once. I would like to see a photo clarifying this point.
    1. Saxahorse
      Saxahorse 14 June 2020 20: 26 New
      +1
      As usual, you yourself will not look - no one will tell. laughing

      In general, this standard British cannon - 4 "/ 50 (10.2 cm) - had a cartridge loading on the first MkI-MkIII series, then received a separate-shell loading on the MkIV-MkVII and finally became the owner of a unitary cartridge on all subsequent series, MkVIII and higher .
    2. Undecim
      Undecim 14 June 2020 21: 38 New
      +2
      One single photograph brought out all the subsequent text at once. I would like to see a photo clarifying this point.

      In the photo - BL_4_inch_Mk_VII. The leftmost calculation number on the shoulder holds the charging cap.
      1. Saxahorse
        Saxahorse 15 June 2020 22: 36 New
        +1
        You are right, I hurried. The British have a more complicated system of names, Mk I have 15 and 25 gauge, Mk II-VI - 27 gauge. And there were QF 4-inch naval gun Mk I - III and Mk V and 40 and 45 gauge and also with separate loading.

        And in the photo that surprised me, a sailor holds a cap in a kokor, not yet unpacked. Because it is solid and with a cap.
        1. Saxahorse
          Saxahorse 15 June 2020 22: 49 New
          0
          By the way, in the picture signed "102-mm naval guns of the Mk VII, as a rule, were used in single-barrel installations ..." - the QF 4-inch naval gun Mk V 45 cal is shown. They have a wedge shutter.
  • swzero
    swzero 13 June 2020 22: 50 New
    +3
    and the trunks themselves had the simplest "wire" design.
    in general, the British in this way did all the sea trunks, including 15 "and 16". For they didn’t know how otherwise. That is why they had problems with the manufacture of 12 "barrels with a length of 50 calibres - they had poor accuracy and high wear, as a result of which they were forced to increase the caliber to increase their armor penetration by 343 mm.
  • Dmitriy170
    Dmitriy170 14 June 2020 16: 17 New
    +1
    In East Africa, guns fired from the Pegasus cruiser, sunk at the anchorage in the harbor of Zanzibar on September 20, 1914, by the famous Koenigsberg raider, fought. One of them can now be felt in Mombasa, near Fort Jesus. And standing next to it, on a wheeled carriage, is a gun from the Königsberg itself, sunk by the British in Tanzania the following year.
  • deddem
    deddem 16 June 2020 17: 01 New
    0
    A small correction: the Banje shutter is correct, because its inventor, Colonel Charles Ragon de Banje, is a Frenchman.
  • Evil Booth
    Evil Booth 10 August 2020 13: 37 New
    0
    not the text is good but it is a lot and having run and did not see where does spain. I'm going to google something else, since I'm not immortal.