18 inch gun shoeburyness p&ee

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by SteveRush, Oct 30, 2012.

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  1. Help me out here,in about 1964-66 about 20 of us had a photo taken on and around an 18 inch Naval Gun at Shoeburyness one gunner had his feet out the breach and another (Frank Ingram)had his head out the barrel I think the gun was going off to the war museum the photo was taken by the Gantry and the gun was already rail mounted,the Master Gunner in charge of this was Dave Ashcroft,has any one got a copy or have any info on this event my photos were all lost in a fire.
  2. That was probably one of the 15inch naval guns mounted outside the IWM. Only three 18inch guns were manufactured and the last one was supposed to have been scrapped just after WW2.
    15inch is big enough for the pic you describe though.
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  3. Hi Yes I know what you mean and sometimes I do think I am going crazy but it was an 18 inch and had been laying around Shoeburyness for donkeys years there were 2 rounds for it,once things like that arrived with those Master Gunners at The PEE
    they may have been scrapped on paper but thet gun was part of gunnery history.
  4. Well it's not at the IWM. Pikeys must have nicked it on the way and weighed it in.
  5. I think it went to the Rotunda at Woolwich..

    Is it not in the Firepower museum back lot?
  6. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    I think HMS Furious (battlecruiser) mounted one forward and one aft before her conversion to aircraft carrier along with her sisters Glorious and Courageous (both monuted twin 15" instead). The battle cruiser idea was rather flawed by 1919 and the three wre also known as HMSs Curious, Spurious and Outrageous.
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  7. I was in Horseshoe Bks 70-72, we often heard these monsters fire from P&EE.
    I recall going in there on occasion and seeing TSR2 and what we were told was the
    main armament from HMS Vanguard.
    I also seem to recall these weapons were used to frighten Screaming Lord Sutch out
    of one of the Thames Forts when Pirate Radio was the big thing........could be wrong
  8. There was a "rail gun" at the rotunda, that has moved to Firepower - don't know if it's the one.
  9. Seaweed is right about Furious and her sisters. To be fair, not so much battlecruisers in general being discredited in 1918-19 as those three ships being so detached from reality in terms of operational concept, even compared to other battlecruisers, that it would have been insane to retain them as designed. They were the class where Jackie Fisher lost the plot totally. Not so much battlecruisers, as massive light cruisers, with relatively shallow draft for their size, designed for Baltic ops. Fisher of course believed in speed being the best defence, but their armour protection was still dire, especially when held up to the realities of the post-Jutland world. And the man who had had the wisdom to push through the all-big-gun battleship could not then see that four guns (Courageous and Glorious), let alone two guns (Furious) meant exceedingly low probabilities of scoring a hit at battle ranges. Frankly, all they would have been fit for would have been naval gunfire support, and a couple of monitors could do the same job a lot more cheaply and with a lot fewer chaps at risk.
  10. Thanks for all the info you chaps,at least I know where it is not,I will let you all know when I find her,
  11. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

  12. Steve. Do you realise that the barrel of these monsters were 60 foot long? To take a picture showing feet at one end and a head at the other it would have to be taken at some distance.
    I would love it if your right and one still exist but it would be a pretty famous exhibit by now.
    As an aside I have wondered why the remaining barrel was not used on the channel coast during ww2. indeed I think one of the carriages made for it was used for a 14" gun used to shell Axis shipping off the french coast from near Dover.
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    In that pictue link I posted are a few labelled as 18" railway guns at Catterick and in Kent!
  14. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Boche Buster - 18" Howitzer
    "Boche Buster was fitted with the 18-inch Howitzer barrel No.1 Mk 4 which had been constructed in 1918 and completed in 1919. The barrel and mounting were united at Darlington North British Locomotive Works October 1940. The gun then travelled to Catterick Camp where a name plate was added. It left in February 1941 with two trains- an extra diesel engine, a shell wagon, various living wagons and brake vans. The Diesel was for use in action to avoid giving away the position. Cleeve drew up a War Establishment for the 18-inch Howitzer battery. It was suggested that the 11th Super Heavy Battery be given some special title to associate it with 471 Siege Battery which had manned the Boche-Buster in The Great War. Boche-Buster was parked near Canterbury in an anti-invasion role. It was designed as a partner piece to the 14inch guns and was interchangeable with them on the same mountings. Four of these barrels were built, mounted in turn on one of the carriages for test firing and then put into store. In the 1920s the 14inch barrels were declared obsolete and two 18-inch barrels were mounted. Periodically one of these was brought out to be deployed on Salisbury Plain either on a siding near Bulford or on the terminus of the Larkhill military railway at Druid's Lodge. In 1938 one was taken to Shoeburyness Proof Establishment and mounted on a proof mounting for testing amour plate. This meant that in 1939 there were four railway mountings, one with the 18-inch Howitzer (Boche-Buster) and three empty."
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