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"Coastal guns at Santiago Bay" Topic

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736 hits since 29 Dec 2012
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Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2012 4:12 p.m. PST

Posting this for a Friend who is going to play the Spanish at Santiago Bay. I believe the rules are home grown. The game is just sort of historical. Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated. I have looked and search but I have not come up with anything relevant.

"Remember seeing photos from 1860s (ACW) and 1870s (FPW) of cannons mounted on rings that could be rotated to change the angle of fire. One side of the entrance into Santiago Harbor has a fort with a wall holding 4 cannons. The other side of the entrance seems to have just open ground with 3 cannons in dug-in earthen works.

Turns in our naval game are at two minute intervals. Can a gun be pivoted and retrained in two minutes? Would you assign a two minute turn to be used to change the barrel direction with no fire? Yes, I know every fort is different, but any opinion you care to share about this would be appreciated. If no gun training is possible, then a straight line of fire is defined by the gun position. Comments? Thoughts? References?"

McKinstry Fezian29 Dec 2012 4:35 p.m. PST

As I recall, those guns were very old and played no part in the battle. I do not believe they had the range to reach beyond the channel entrance to Santiago and given the Spanish were breaking out, there is never a reason for the US ships to enter the channel.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2012 6:53 p.m. PST

That is exactly what I thought. The Spanish were hold up in the harbor under the cover of their shore batteries and Sampson kept out of range until the Spanish Fleet was forced to breakout.

I think this game is not going strictly historical. The Spanish batteries are going to play a more active roll for game balance.

The main issue is the moving, loading, aiming and firing shore guns in one turn that is suppose to represent two minutes of real time.

IMHO they couldn't but that is not exactly my field of expertise. With a well train crew and good equipment could they be fired in that short of time period?

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2012 7:52 p.m. PST

I guess what I am asking is what would the rate of fire be for these big coastal batteries in 1898?

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2012 8:07 p.m. PST

I think you could load and fire or train and aim but not both. Those beasts were a hand full and the older guns were not quick firing.

bsrlee30 Dec 2012 12:33 a.m. PST

Actually for most guns mounted on pivoting, pre-quick firing mounts, it was a case of easy to point, hard to reload. And the bigger the gun, the longer it took to reload.

The guns on 4 wheel 'broadside' type mountings, they were pretty much fixed for line, and the 2 wheeled field and seige carriages were somewhere in the middle – much easier to re-aim when it had recoiled back from the parapet, otherwise you had to skid the mount round with spikes, ropes & man power like a 4 wheel mount.

EJNashIII30 Dec 2012 7:43 a.m. PST

They will be fairly accurate at the short ranges they operate at. The gun crew will have pre-plotted fire tables and channel buoys to mark a grid. Basically, all they need to do is see which bouy the target will be at and move the gun according to the chart. Not much though needed other than guessing the target's speed and bearing.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2012 6:13 p.m. PST

That all pretty much confirms what I thought. The guns are pre-plotted to the entrance or wherever in harbor using markers such as buoys. Moving the guns not too much of a problem but loading is what takes time.

Thanks Guys!

Ivan Travnicek Inactive Member31 Dec 2012 2:24 p.m. PST

The Reina Mercedes was an old protected cruiser in Santiago Harbor during the Spanish breakout on July 3, 1898. The ship had bad engines, so four of her six 6.3" guns were removed prior to the battle. Two of those guns were mounted in holes dug into the sand overlooking the beach of the Upper Socapa Battery. The other two guns were mounted in the Punta Gorda Battery. Two guns were left mounted in casemates at the bow of the Reina Mercedes. The Lower Socapa Battery, the Estrella Battery and the Morro Battery (just east of Morro Castle) had only a few very old (previous centuries) cannons without any of the equipment needed to use them. In summary, only four 6.3" guns were functional among the four batteries, and only the two in the Upper Socapa Battery could fire out to sea.

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