"12 pdr Whitworth Rifle with Confederate Crew" Topic


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Action Log

07 Jan 2019 10:17 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Areas of Interest

General
Fantasy
American Civil War
Science Fiction

529 hits since 7 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango0107 Jan 2019 9:34 p.m. PST

"When war broke out in April 1861 following the secession of several states from the USA, neither side was well-prepared militarily. For the Confederacy, there was an urgent need to build and equip a new army, and with a limited industrial base and scarce resources, agents were sent abroad to purchase weapons. One of these was a remarkable artillery piece at the leading edge of gunnery technology the Whitworth 12-pounder Rifled Gun. The gun was breech-loading, and had a hexagonal bore in its long barrel which spun the missile to a remarkable distance. Maximum range was around 10 km, and the weapon was very accurate to at least half that distance, far exceeding the normal artillery of the day. The Confederacy imported a handful of these weapons, which were used at various actions including Gettysburg, but the gun was of limited value as it was unusual for a crew to be able to see, and therefore aim, at a target at the sort of range the gun was capable of hitting. In addition it was more prone to breakages, needed specialised ammunition, and was more complex to operate than regular guns. These limitations and the small numbers employed make this a minor weapon in the Confederate arsenal, but one not previously modelled in this hobby.

The gun in this set follows the familiar pattern for artillery, made up of the barrel, carriage and two wheels, with the elevation screw as an extra fifth part. As with most such models this one is simplified to a degree, particularly in terms of the detail on the carriage, but a pretty good representation nonetheless. The breech on the barrel is well done (even including a friction primer guard), although we found the barrel not quite as straight as it should be, and the screw is nicely done too. Everything fits together tolerably well, but the wheels on the carriage have 12 spokes each, when the usual arrangement was 14 spokes each. Naturally a gun could be mounted on a new carriage, so we cannot say this is incorrect, but a more typical arrangement might have been better…."

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Amicalement
Armand

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