Coastal artillery

A 38 cm gun

A 38 cm gun

As coastal batteries or – in the coastal artillery mounting to combat enemy ships established artillery is called.

Development up to the mid-19th Century

Until the mid-19th Century came in coastal fortifications of various caliber muzzleloader secured apply. They fired in the direct aiming. Structurally, these guns did not differ from the ship gun found at that time, also used the gun carriage corresponded to the then common on ships. The limited range of these guns required especially with larger natural harbors a coordinated system of fortifications. As an example of such a system, the attachment of theGrandHarbourorApplyMarsamxettHarbouron theislandofMalta. Only under favorable geographical conditions as inFortRammekens(Netherlands) to build a single fort was sufficient. Situated were these guns, as well as in other strongholds, in an open position on the so-called bastions and batteries. (In this case, the term battery of guns, the group’s formation, but not the tactical unit of artillery.)

Development 1858-1864

Martin of Wahrendorff developed in1848 inSweden, a breech-loading rifled barrel with protected. They were from 1858 with the 1st of William George Armstrong, Baron Armstrong Armstrong cannon developed the first breech-loading guns with rifled barrel as RBL (Rifled Breech Loading – drawn tube, breech-loading) in the British Army, a short time later in the Royal Navy, in service. The solid run these guns gave a greater range and accuracy. Nevertheless, it was assumed that the fight against ships at distances of a few hundred would be conducted up to2000 m. The advantage of the greater range therefore not led to a loose construction of the fortifications, existing fortifications were further used in principle. However, the same effect in the target could now be achieved with fewer guns. The protection of the coast could therefore only on fixing the driveway strategically important ports and coastal areas limit. Examples of such attachments are Castle Williams (from 1807) andFortSumter(from 1829) in theUnited Statesor the Lascaris Battery inMalta. Partial list of the guns was now in n casemate This was possible because the walls or The walls of these fortifications. Only against artillery fire, had not protect against infantry attacks, they could therefore be broken up by several floors arranged in casemates

Through the rifled barrel, but also the firing of projectiles long been possible, which replaced the previous full floors. Through appropriate design as armor-piercing or Explosive grenade was the effect on the target increased. On the other hand, the ships were protected by an ever better armor. After the first monitors can only be used on inland waterways and in coastal waters were, in 1861 with HMS Warrior, the first ocean-going armored ship in the Royal Navy put into service.

At the same time the importance of port facilities and coal stations grew for the maritime nations. In the era of sailing warships, the range of the ship was limited only by entrained food and drinking water. With the introduction of the steam engine as a drive but had reserves of coal and boiler feed water are added quite frequently. William Francis Drummond Jervois pointed to the loss of mobility by entering the Royal Navy, and proposed the creation of protected by fortifications coaling stations at strategic points. This subsequently led to the construction of fortifications along the British major pathways of the British Isles viaGibraltar,Malta,Suez,AdentoIndia, the Straits Settlements andAustralia.

Other countries took the step to breech later with rifled barrel. In the United States were developed by Dahlgren cast iron cannons, the mighty Columbiad and their further development, the Rodman gun n, as well as those constructed by Parrot Parrott guns still in the Civil War (1861-1865) in use, the designed by Parrot guns nevertheless already had trains. The tubular structure was similar to the Armstrong cannon from a core tube shrunk onto the tubular casing.

Development 1864-1880

Meanwhile, Royal Navy and British Army were due to technical problems, but mainly for cost reasons, ran off the use of the Armstrong breech-loaders. Beginning in 1864, whose production has been discontinued. The pipe conventional muzzleloader could not be provided with trains, since the introduction of the bullet from the front of the hard drive, with large-caliber guns was not possible at all. Armstrong, however, developed special grenades that could be loaded with a rifled barrel from the front. In Royal Navy and British Army such as RML guns were (Muzzle Loading Rifle – drawn tube, muzzleloader) introduced. Between 1865 and 1874, in quick succession came mounted guns from 178 to318 mm(7 to 12.5 inches). While the maximum range was in the range 4000 to4500 mand in the course of development remains relatively constant, due to the greater weight of the projectile penetrating power could be increased more and more. Since these guns were installed on newly built increasingly ironclads, the coastal artillery guns also had to be modernized. Climax and conclusion of this line of development was the constructed in 1874, but gun only after 1883 with the Royal Navy in service Asked and made only 15 copies RML 17.72 inch. With a caliber of450 mmshells she missed with a weight of910 kg. The propellant consisted of gunpowder. A charge had a diameter of399 mm, was368 mmlong and weighed51 kg. Usually four or five charges were filed. The cadence was 1 shot every 5 minutes. The maximum engagement range was at the highest charge and barrel elevation5990 m, there could still be penetrated394 mmsteel. These benefits were not sufficient to penetrate at this distance belt armor and turret armor of the Italian battleship Duilio, to combat it was the gun, however, was originally designed. After commissioning of the Duilio had been feared, the ship could break through in the event of war in the two great natural harbors ofMaltaand off with the superior range of his guns the coastal defenses in succession without getting near it. Size and complexity of weapon systems necessitated the building of a new type of fortifications necessary. The fortifications were now taking on only a few guns. The extended range enabled a loose construction of forts and shore batteries. The positions were placed in isolation from other fortifications in the area. The protective effect against infantry attacks was only mild and was realized by ramparts, moats and caponier. The guns fired from an open position. The tremendous recoil forces of large-caliber guns now required special mount designs because powerful recoil devices were not available. The recoil of the guns was with weights of several tens to hundred tons too dangerous for other required loading aids and lining drives a fixed position of the guns in position. The guns were, therefore, to pivot – mounted or hub mount with Vavasseur n-slide, with smaller calibers also articulated carriages were used, which allowed a reloading of the weapon under protection. Ammunition bunkers, mechanical or hydraulic directional drives and loading aids were integrated into the positions. Examples of this development are Fort St Leonardo (1875) and the Zonqor Battery (1882, actually outdated by that time) inMalta. For RML 17.7 were built inMalta(Cambridge Battery, Rinella Battery) andGibraltarfortifications who recorded only a single gun.

InRussia, structurally very similar adverts came as the 229-мм орудие обр. 1867 г. (Caliber229 mm, built in 1867) is used.

Development 1880-1900

From the early 1880s, it came back to transition to breech-loading guns. In the Royal Navy as they were BL (Breech Loading – breech) out. Constructively found again the same types as on warships use. Although initially the existing propellants were used black powder, the structural changes led to a sudden doubling of the range. Newly built coastal fortifications could therefore continue to be located in the hinterland, characterized above the basic principles of construction of coastal fortifications remained. The use of slow abbrennenden propellants like cordite and which enabled the construction of guns with longer pipe enlarged the range again sustainably. Still you but considered that the fight would be conducted on relatively short distances. Just like 10 years ago, also began a race between the armor of the vessels and the caliber of the guns. The caliber grew by 6 inch (152 mm, BL 6 inch 80 pounder gun, 1880) up to 10 inches (254 mm, BL 10-inch gun Mk I – IV, 1885) at. Range and penetration power grew, however, took the cadence with increasing caliber. The fight against the emerging e torpedo boat, however, required guns with high fire and recommended speeds, the penetrating power was irrelevant since torpedo boats were not armored. In the Royal Navy to put the caliber by 6 inches to fight fast-moving, small targets and 9.2 inch in the fight against bigger, armored units. In Russia In 1887, a structurally similar to the weapons of the British BL series gun with a caliber of152 mmand a tube length of 35 calibres developed, the weapon was initially but used on Russian battleships and only returned in 1917 after it was replaced by more modern types in coastal fortifications used. The German28 cmSK L/40 (1893) was also first used in 1916 as a coastal artillery.

While larger caliber were still placed preferably open, built the smaller caliber favorable natural conditions and in the presence back in casemates. Advantage of the open-up was the big side swivel range, which allowed for the cover of a large sea area. Similar trends as in the British sphere of influence taken place. In other countries, for example in Norway (Oscarsborg Fortress) or the Netherlands (Line of Amsterdam) The Oscarsborg fortress was equipped with three 1893 built by Krupp 28-inch guns, it was still a number of small caliber guns.

A special form of coastal artillery received represented the so-called Brennan torpedoes These were to wire-guided torpedoes from fixed run trains on land put into the water and launched into the target. Of limited range and speed, they served to defend narrow harbor entrance. Their advantage was that they met on hit the ship below the water line, which at battleships inevitably to the King Edward VII class led to the loss of the ship. Both in the Russo-Japanese War and in World War I, the British pre-dreadnoughts and their Russian counterparts fell after only a torpedo or mine hit. A Brennan Torpedo battery for example, was set up inFortTigneandFortRicasoliinMalta. The torpedoes were shot down in a southerly direction, so in the protected harbors inside. In the late 19th Century also unguided torpedoes used (Oscar Borg, 1890).

Development 1900 to approximately 1950

In the late 19th Century effective recoil brake s were available. With the transition to weigh carriage guns n could be built lighter and more space-saving. Simultaneously it was recognized that the emplacements had protection at least against splinters, partially preserved as well as direct hits. Previously, it was assumed that a seawall was a ship tactically superior. Still in the design of the Cambridge Battery was one end of the 1870s assumed that a direct hit by a warship was unlikely directly to the battery. The improved fire control, but also the greater cadence, a warship could now get more accurate bullets in less time to finish. Some guns were therefore equipped with the upper carriage mounted and thus mitsch wenke of protection shields that protected at least against fragmentation. In other cases, cupolas were installed. From the 1920s, won the protection against air attack more important. This led to a further loosened, the site customized list of guns.

It does so by developing coastal fortifications graduate. In the first half of the 20th Century built fortifications such asFortCampbellinMaltawere built according to these principles. Partly in the batteries as the coastal battery Maxim Gorky I came complete turrets disused battleships used.

With the breech to weighing drawn carriage and the development of coastal artillery itself has found its provisional conclusion. In the construction of coastal fortifications that the current models have been assembled, mostly they are here to ship guns. The German Empire was already in the late 19th Century Krupps 35 -Italypassed to the 40-cm gun, in theUnited Stateswere used guns M1919. In theUKwas the largest caliber 15 inch (381 mm). The growth of the caliber and thus the weight of the guns required the construction of special beddings. In older plants, the existing end of the 1880s guns until after the end of World War II remained in service. Although had to turn of the century the distance, were held at the naval battles, increased. During the Sino-Japanese War in 1894 five naval battles were fought at a distance of2,000 m, but at theBattleof theYellow Seain 1904 the battle began at6,500 m.

Most built guns could easily cover this distance range, however, in some cases, such as in Oscar Borg, due to the geographical conditions of the battle was anyway to run only at shorter distances. The longer range of the guns turned however – as well as on the warships that time – increased demands on the fire line. Typical of this period was the construction of observation and Feuerleitständen. These were partially offset directly in the firing position or in its immediate vicinity, partially built but also far away. Structurally there are usually constructed of reinforced concrete bunker.

Typical for this time is the use of older naval guns. As the Russian152 mmgun from 1887 or the German28 cmSK L/40 they were replaced by more modern types of ships, or the older ships were retired completely. The existing guns did someone put in coastal fortifications. In theUnited StatesandGermanywere also steep fire weapons such as the12 inmortar or used the28 cmKüstenhaubitze as coastal artillery. Their advantage is that their shells smashed through not by the belt highly protected armored sides, but the much weaker armored decks. However sufficiently used naval guns were available, the number of new developments and facilities was limited, the steep firearms could not prevail on a large scale.

The importance of coastal artillery was emphasized than in 1940 while the company Weserübung the German heavy cruiser Blücher was sunk by the guns and torpedoes of Oscarsborg fortress. Conceptual conclusion and climax of the coastal fortifications and the traditional coastal artillery was built between 1942 to 1944 Atlantic Wall. Ultimately, however, were shown by the Allied landings inNormandyin 1944, the limited suitability of the coastal fortifications and the sexton conventional artillery.

Development from 1950

With the increased tactical mobility, the development of Seezielrakete n and the possibilities of electronic reconnaissance maritime targets the traditional coastal artillery lost in the 1950s more and more important. In some states, mobile, land-based missile systems Seezielbekämpfung as the P-15 Termit (Soviet Union) and the RBS15 (Sweden) have been developed, but most of them took over the mobile field artillery, the task of coastal defense in case of need. OnlySwedenandNorwayfrom 1962 to 1975 presented by the7.5 cmtornpjäs m/57 (75 mmcaliber), starting in 1962 with the10.5 cmtornautomatpjäs m/50 (onlySweden, retired in 2000) and from 1976 (Sweden) or 1989 (Norway). Tornautomatpjäs with the12 cmm/70 andFinlandwith the TK 100 56 (tower of the battle tank T-55, 1961) and the TK 130 53 (from 1971) again stationary coastal guns in service Currently, only a few countries with an independent, usually mobile, coastal artillery. The existing guns in the existing fortifications were largely dismantled and scrapped, the plants abandoned or converted.

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