904


a loose cannon
falls through a hatchway
sinks the ship

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15 thoughts on “904

  1. Needs work. 19th century shipboard cannons were behemoths on wheels. If not properly lashed down they could fall through the decks and do more damage than the enemy.

  2. many were in the 6-8-10 pounder range especially in the newer two-deck frigates made famous in the latter parts of that century. The really monstrous 12-16 pounders required massive – and often very slow (relatively) – big ships around which the swifter and more lightly armed ships could and would sail rings around…Crossing The T came from that century, especially with that Nelson guy at LePlanto? et al. And such since has been the case with the Battleship admirals: getting their rifles broadside to the enemy’s bow or stern. Best wishes in melding the gun to the crime…mayhap a query to Proceedings (Naval Institute Press) for research help in just how many dropped cannon came to be…personally I like the comic-opera cartoon of a massive bombard bouncing its way down the grand staircase to the bilge…make a wonderful cartoon.

  3. If you have not come across him yet, I heartily recommend the author Patrick O’Brian, he wrote the Aubrey-Mauturin series…. Hornblower for adults…. Beautifully written and characterized

  4. When I unthought: I meant to add 18- and 24-pounders…I believe the bigger ones had a range near 2 nautical miles (about 2.2 land miles). I’ve heard of O’Brian, and may have some of his work in the back rooms shelving…to read when I get old…(er). Thanks for the ‘minder, your Juiceship!
    BTW, even back in WW Twosies, the Brits still referred to field guns (and tank guns) as “pounders.”

  5. There is a show on YouTube worth looking at called Historybuffs. Kid reviews movies for historical accuracy. Something us not quite elderly codgers are prune to enjoy.

  6. Oh, punish me now. Plum wondermuss! I unknow the jays of YouTube…still hanging the get of twits going itter. By kids I suspect you mean merely elder goats and not quite gonadishly grown yuuts?

  7. Just remember the 17 pounder on the Brit Sherman tanks, which were then nicknamed Fireflies. Only thing on treads that had a ghost of a chance against the fabled German 88s. Interesting that the US kept their Shermans woefully under gunned …. Reluctance to stop the assembly line and retool? Foreshadows the exploding Pintos of the 70s.

  8. Even worse, the US Harmby landed a buncha JEB Stuart Light Tanks, especially in Africa…37mm main guns, aluminum foil-like armor and a high profile (especially turret). Like the P-39 Bell Aircobra which Great Britain declined and Russia said its main armament (a nose-mounted 37 – or was it a 40mm) would bounce off German battle tanks, so, thank-you but no-thank you. Ended up Army Air Corps at Guadalcanal where they actually did a good job of close air support, but since there was no way to recharge their oxygen system shipped to the island with them, they were pretty much male pigs teats when it came to Japanese aerial attacks. Still do not know how to convert the Brit “pounder” system to inches or millimeters which isn’t so difficult when you figure the Commie 12.7 mm is roughly .51 caliber, and caliber is expressed in fractions or whole-number inch-increments. Never underestimate the power of a greedy arms manufacturer/merchant to influence congressional elections and thereby maintain assembly line production of profits over the bodies of the young, the dumb and the headless.

  9. Even worse, the US Harmby landed a buncha JEB Stuart Light Tanks, especially in Africa…37mm main guns, aluminum foil-like armor and a high profile (especially turret). Like the P-39 Bell Aircobra which Great Britain declined and Russia said its main armament (a nose-mounted 37 – or was it a 40mm) would bounce off German battle tanks, so, thank-you but no-thank you. Ended up Army Air Corps at Guadalcanal where they actually did a good job of close air support, but since there was no way to recharge their oxygen system shipped to the island with them, they were pretty much male pigs teats when it came to Japanese aerial attacks. Still do not know how to convert the Brit “pounder” system to inches or millimeters which isn’t so difficult when you figure the Commie 12.7 mm is roughly .51 caliber, and caliber is expressed in fractions or whole-number inch-increments. Never underestimate the power of a greedy arms manufacturer/merchant to influence congressional elections and thereby maintain assembly line production of profits over the bodies of the young, the dumb and the headless.

  10. We had an ONTOS outfit in 1/27… Even more ancient than us…. A baby stroller carrying six 106mm recoiless rifles. Probably killed more friendlies following it with back blast. Not to mention the poor guy detailed to get out and load. Lot of fire power for a lucky platoon.

  11. Ontos – Greek for The Thing, which VW stole for its mini-German Staff Car attempt in the mid-70s – last were used in combat at Hue in ’68. A great defensive (and anti-tank) weapon but paper-thin armor made even the loader safer than driver or gunner (who may have been one-in-the-same). Anyone caught in the backblast of any 106 or 105 recoilless rifle deserved whatever degree of crookedness they got. Just heard yesterday from a former Army and then later Navy (FMF-mostly) corpsman the army had personal 90mm recoilless shoulder-fired rifles. I think there may have been a platoon (three) of them at An Hoa Combat Base in The Arizona, but I never found out if they fired beehive rounds like the 105s and 155s did. Not exactly buckshot – flechette rounds, some of brass arrows with brass fletchings and barbed heads packed into ‘splode out in a shotgunshell style right after leaving the tube. Cannon cockers routinely wore the small version and M-79 bloop gunners in the grunts wore the smallest version pinned to their bush hats or soft covers. Gads, what arcane fertilizer. Just finished the first pass editing and expanding of the tale of what happened back in Division Rear and later 95th MedEvac hospital in DaNang. Probably a 3,000-word trip down memory lane. That and the leadup (Dec. 5-8) of about the same length…leave me with the meat of the article left to type…that will be a chore. Of course the real task will be stripping the varnish off what came next after The Return of young willie pilgrim (with apologies to Kurt Vonnegut, et al.).Now, gotta go study the sites for my early vote ballot. The local stuff is a real chore: picking which bone upon which to choke for the next two-to-four years. And our current love affair with governance by amendment rather than the much more intrusive and revealing (of how our critters in HallaTassee vote) statute. A statute may be rescinded, reworked or other flummery designed to make it inoperable; a state constitutional amendment is a different kettle of fish entire! And since no one teaches civics or state history or constitution anymore elementary, middle, high school or college (and now no longer required at university) the young and the dumb are joining up with the old and the dumb to worship at the alter of whichever set of lawyers want to enrich themselves at our expense. Later, bud. Go haiku willya? I need a nice smile.

  12. What!? No wine? Or Beer? I save coffee for just-before-bed. Did I read that in some past incarnation some months ago? ‘Tis a swell patch of poetry in any event. Now all I hafta do is hook it to Ontos, huh?

  13. What!? No wine. Or beer? I save the coffee for bedtime, though I will take tea anytime…and now I will begin my ginger and galangal harvests and replantings, saving some hands of each for later use by placing them in kitchen-window-born pots filled with vermiculite sitting in a shallow water dish for use as needed in cookery or tea-ery. Crushed ginger root with a bit of honey and perhaps some tonic like Maker’s Mark or Old Grandad is an excellent palliative for a stressed throat or a sore mind.

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