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  • #65641

    I, perhaps sadly, have a good knowledge of how a gun crew functioned in the Napoleonic era & what equipment they used: thanks to Haythornthwaite’s excellent book on the subject not to mention a bunch of Ospreys (should that be a “flock”…..?).

    However, more modern guns are an opaque subject for me.

    Specifically, the 18 pdr QRF gun (with naval mount) I’ve bought from Revirisco to use on my Nile paddle wheeler for the Mahdist Wars.

    http://tin-soldier.com/navalguns.html

    I *do* realise it’s a breech loader as opposed to a muzzle loader but beyond that I’m ignorant. What role did crew members have? Were the rounds in a single shell or did the propellant come separately. Did they still use some form of rammer? A sponge? What tools did thy need?

     

    Any information (or a link) would be helpful.

     

    donald

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Deleted User.
    #65643
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    3 to 5 crew , gunner two to four loaders .  The larger the gun, and shell the bigger the crew would be. No need for a rammer  or sponge.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by kyoteblue.
    #65698
    Etranger
    Participant

    That all depends upon the size of the gun TBH – sponges and rammers were still used, the latter especially on larger calibre weapons. Rammers could be used with bagged charges, but were often unnecessary with shell cases. A small gun such as you are using would probably have an ‘all in one’ shell with propellant charge and shell encased in a (usually brass) case.


    Nordenfelt 6 pounder QF gun. Much the same sort of role as your model. Note the complete shell being held on the right.


    A relatively small gun ,the Ordinance QF 18 pounder gun, usually with a crew of 6 (7 here by the look of it), detachment commander, gunner, gun layer, loader and 2 ammunition numbers. (Not the gun you mean, but with a similar weight of shot)


    Cleaning the Tiger


    US 57mm ATG.


    The Italian “88”.


    Rammer in use on a WWI 6″ howitzer (which used a bagged charge)


    8″ howitzer with separate shell, and rammer (bottom right) for the bagged charge (middle right, partially obscured) that hasn’t yet been added to the breech.


    Tool kit for a Pak 35/36 37mm ATG, including rammer and sponge.

    Plenty more photos here http://silverhawkauthor.com/artillery-of-canada-library-and-archives-canada-photos_329.html?printable_version=true

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Etranger.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Etranger.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Etranger.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Etranger.
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    #65709

    Thank you, gentlemen.

    I used to go to TMP for such a supportive & comprehensive response. Nice to see TWW is becoming a one stop shop for all sorts of queries.

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Deleted User.
    #65749
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    TWW is getting there.

    #65759

    Can I ask another question?

    For the end of the C19th , what method did they have for range-finding?

    A gun-captain with binoculars or something more sophisticated & complex?

     

    donald

    #65760
    Etranger
    Participant

    Can I ask another question?

    For the end of the C19th , what method did they have for range-finding?

    A gun-captain with binoculars or something more sophisticated & complex?

    donald

    For the RN, centralised fire control didn’t occur until c1912 & wasn’t universally adapted even then. Before that it would be the gun captain, probably with a telescope observing fall of shot. Other navies adopted similar techniques around the same time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_gun_fire-control_system

    Excellent summary of RN practice in the mid 20th century here http://www.hmshood.com/ship/fire_control.htm

    #65763
    shelldrake
    Participant

    I will throw my 2 cents worth in, and this is in relation to modern artillery.

     

    Depending on the size of the gun as to how many crew are present:

    Gun commander – he gives the orders and checks correct data is applied as part of his drills

    2IC – can step up and take command of the gun, but his bread and butter is to make sure the ammunition prepared and correct

    No2 & No3 on a gun crew usually (but not always depending on the gun type) set the data on the gun to make sure it is ‘pointing’ at the right place, and physically fires the gun (usually only the No2).

    No4 is the one that loads the gun

    The remainder are ammo monkeys.

    And mentioned, this depends on the type of gun. The example above is a 105mm gun and crew. a 155 has more in a crew, and the ammo monkeys help the loader with the ammunition when loading.

    Guns that have seperate loading ammunition (i.e. the ‘bullet’ is put in first and then the charge bags in after) require a rammer to push the ‘bullet’ in to its correct position.

    Guns that use fixed or semi-fixed ammo usually only need single gunner to load the gun.

     

    All of the images above with ‘sticks’ being used from the front of the gun are either cleaning the gun, or unloading the gun when a ‘bullet’ wont come out when the breech is opened.

    Those with the ‘sticks’ being used from the inside of the gun area are most likely being used to load.

     

    Sorry for dumbing up my explanation, but as I am an actually gunner, I didn’t want to use technical terms/names that would make it hard to explain/understand.

     

    #65764

    Sorry for dumbing up my explanation, .

     

    I’m not sure it’s possible to “dumb it down” too much for me.

    Thankyou for your useful reply.

     

    donald

    #65766
    MartinR
    Participant

    The mysterious seventh crew member for the 18pdr is the horse holder. He became somewhat superfluous when tows were motorised in the 1930s, but the role was kept on strength for some years as no one thought to delete it.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #65774
    Etranger
    Participant

    That would explain it. I was extrapolating from the 6 man 25 pounder gun crew.

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