Great Guns Ashore? Can anyone help?

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1500 – 1830 Great Guns Ashore? Can anyone help?

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    Graham Ashford


      I’ve just stumbled across this forum and it looks to be exactly what I have been looking for, even though my first question is about the Navy ashore; I hope this is OK.

      I’ve frequently come across mentions were the Navy take the guns ashore and use them in support of land operations during the Napoleonic Wars to greater or lesser extent. Are there any sketches or drawing of the sort of make shift defences they might make around the guns during these operations? Presumably they use the gun’s own truck during this sort of work. Do we know if they managed to rope the weapon to makeshift supports to run it in and out or breech the recoil?

      Thankyou for any help you can offer.

      Kindest regards

      Frank Scott

        As a starter I recommend Peter Hore (ed), Seapower Ashore: 200 years of Royal Navy operations on land (London, 2001). The cover picture shows a siege battery set up ashore by the RN in Dalmatia in 1813, the guns being on naval carriages, and the rest of the book is worth a read.

        Robert Gardiner, The Campaign of Trafalgar (London, 1997) reproduces many of Eckstein’s excellent engravings of HM Sloop of War Diamond Rock, & has a good section on that remarkable achievement.

        Sam Willis

          One of the most interesting examples of this is D’Estaing’s attack on Savannah in October 1779 during the war of American Independence. I mention it in my book The Struggle for Seapower chapter 21. Both the French and British land naval parties and build batteries – it is a rare example of a land battle fought exclusively by sailors armed with naval guns. The British were much better at it than the French, who were drunk and incompetent. Or incompetent and drunk.

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