Treating A Big Gun’s “Sore Throat” (Jan, 1942)

Treating A Big Gun’s “Sore Throat”

BIG guns on the battleship bark their songs of death—and soon develop sore throats. Then they must go to the doctor for care. In the Battle of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, British Men O’ War rarely go through more than one engagement without having to return to the shops to have their big guns refitted. A 15-inch gun cannot be fired more than 200 times, at the most, under battle conditions, without its lining being worn out. The picture at the right, below, shows the method by which such a gun is re-lined. A series of gas burners are placed about it, the outer casing is heated until it expands, the lining is slipped out, and a new lining, shown at left, is slipped in.

1 comment
  1. Nomen Nescio says: January 24, 20128:59 am

    tube artillery’s always had this problem, and better materials science over the years has only partially relieved it. going to smaller guns (as missiles and aircraft have taken over what used to be artillery work) has helped much more, and nowadays GPS-guided shells (that hit on the first shot, instead of the tenth or twentieth) help more still.

    rumor has it that the German WW1-era “Paris gun” that shelled guess what (target area, after figuring in likely errors: Paris… it’d hit the city, but nothing more specific was guaranteed) had to have each one of its shells machined to a custom diameter, because barrel erosion meant the thing was never the same caliber two shots in a row.

    — N.N., former conscripted artilleryman

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