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Bill Cainan1


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 107
Location: Lampeter
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All

A considerable number of these 7pdrs still exist.

Most warships in the 1870s and 1880s carried one for use as a shore gun. When these were eventually replaced by more modern breechloaders the 7pdr RMLs were returned to store where they stayed for many years. They were eventually issued to Sea Cadet units, and many still retain them to this day. For example I know that the detachments at Swansea and Cardiff each have one (plus a limber). They are of course on the small mountain/naval carriage.

I have seen other examples at:

The SA Museum of Military History (as mentioned above) - on a "Kaffrarian" carriage.
Fort Durnford (Estcourt)
Ascension Island (Georgetown)
The RA Museum at Woolwich (though I believe this is an earlier prototype)

So there should be enough around to form John's four gun battery - now all we need are the shells and permission from St Pauls !!!

Bill

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Bill Cainan
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Galloglas
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As an aside, later 19thC RA practice was for the British Army personnel of Mountain Btys to be manned by RA personnel effectively seconded from the Royal Garrison Artillery.

N Bty/5th Bde was not a Mountain Bty as such, but do we know if this manning mechanism had already begun to occur?

G
rich


Joined: 01 May 2008
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Location: Long Island NY USA
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Paul:

hmmm...I'm sure he had either an ear trumpet the size of a Victrola or he had extremely huge aural appendages or do you think he might've been listening to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture ...... Wink

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Paul Bryant-Quinn


Joined: 14 Oct 2007
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Rich:

Could be ...

Confused
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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
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It's a wonder that any soldier of the time, British or otherwise, could hear anything at all! Anyone firing a heavy caliber rifle like a Martini (or a 7 lb cannon) without reasonable hearing protection or anyone even standing close to someone else firing the same without wearing "bunny ears" is begging for tinnitus, trauma and possibly irreparable and permanent hearing loss. Trust me on that one--I know whereof I speak. I'm guessing that the men stationed in the "hospital" at RD probably couldn't hear anything for days afterward!

I'd be curious to know what Bromhead's problem was-- medical or job related? Not that he was around the "sound of the guns" much (either in anger or practice), but it only takes one extreme concussion to the eardrum to do damage.

I was told by the Exec of our own frigate Constitution that the gunners would stick the ends of their tarred queues in their ears for just that reason. An interesting bit of wooden ship naval trivia.
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rich


Joined: 01 May 2008
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Location: Long Island NY USA
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Saw

After your post I'm thinking that problems with hearing has to be probably the top or at least one of the top complaints of soldiers who have been in steady combat. Now you remind me of that film "The Guns of Navarone".
Just wondering what the decibel level was in that mountain after a shell got released!

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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
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It isn't just the amplitude of a sound that's the problem, but also the fact that the eardrum doesn't have time to tighten enough to absorb the shock of a sudden impact like a gunshot. The decibel scale runs from 0 db, which is the quietest noise a human can hear to beyond 120 db, that point at which sounds actually become painful to hear. However, being a logarithmic scale, sound volume doubles for every three decibel increase. We can hear an extremely faint sound like the rustling of leaves and yet comfortably listen to sounds that are over one BILLION times as loud at that without suffering any permanent damage. I read once that the energy available from the quietest sound we can hear is equal to that of a 100 watt lightbulb in London viewed from New York. And up to a billion times that energy for the top end? Amazing!

The inside surface of the eardrum also has a straight shot to the throat by way of the eustachian tube, so a savvy gunner will both cover his ears AND open his mouth to allow the shock wave to travel inside the head and push the eardrum out as well as in-- obviously lessening the trauma. Too much information perhaps, but it is a pretty cool system-- just not designed for rifle and cannon fire.

The shock wave would be at the muzzles of the big guns, not the breeches. That's why you don't want to be standing on the deck of a battle wagon when it unleashes a broadside. The shock wave alone could actually kill you at that point. After all, each volley moves a 30,000 ton ship several yards sideways. It's also why automatic pistols are much harder on the ears than revolvers, what with so much of the sound coming out the side of the gun as well as out of the front.
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Galloglas
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In his writings on the subject, Baron Burkard von Mullenheim-Rechburg, Junior Gunnery Officer on the Bismarck, refers to the noise of the engagement between Bismarck (in company with Prinz Eugen) that led to the sinking of HMS Hood (in company with HMS Prince of Wales, which wothdrew under smoke) being heard clearly as far away as the streets of Reykjavik in Iceland.

So, some 'technical' effect clearly enables these very long distance projections of sound.

G
Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
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Location: U.K.
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This is a very interesting subject, that I first knew about when watching a documentary on Gettysburg, including demonstrating how much a man can hear a cannon firing whilst he was in a standing position, then at the same distance, lying down on the ground.

There is only one detailed book I know of this covering it's effects on battlefields (which I am presently reading) -

Civil War Acoustic Shadows.
by Charles D. Ross

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Civil-Acoustic-Shadows-Charles-Ross/dp/1572492546/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&i.e.=UTF8&qid=1521903820&sr=1-6&keywords=Acoustic+shadows

It is recommended if seeking answers to this mystery, including the concept of such a term as creating 'silent battles'. Could be of some help trying to understand its effects in the Anglo-Zulu War 1879
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THE NOISE OF THE GUNS?
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