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Commodore Armiger
14-05-2008, 14:41
Here are a couple of pictures of a super-sized recoilless gun mounted on the stern of a destroyer, presumably for trials.

It would be interesting to know which navy had the bright (?) idea of installing such a monster on the stern of such an inadequate hull. (OK recoilless = no recoil = theoretically no stress on the hull, but imagine trying to load it in any sort of sea.)

It would also be interesting to know who manufactured the giant gun. Virtually all production RGs were 105mm or less. This one could be 600mm plus.

Odin
14-05-2008, 14:54
Never seen anything like that before. I wouldn't give much chance for any fish that happened to be swimming near the stern of the ship when it fired, if pointed at that angle. Although it has no recoil, the blast out of the funnel end near the water would be tremendous.

I know the army had the Battalion Anti Tank gun which worked on a similar principle, but you couldn't stand without about a 90 degree arc behind the gun when it fired. Presumably this would be similar, so the actual arc of fire would be also quite restricted. Having said that the Goalkeeper Mounting midships on the Batch 3 Type 22s seems to work ok.

Commodore Armiger
14-05-2008, 15:00
Yes it certainly couldn't have been fired anywhere much astern as the orifice would have to be well clear of the deck and superstructure. It must surely have been intended for shore bombardment and so (like the monitor HMS General Wolfe) could have dispensed with trainability for the benefit of hitting power. Imagine the size of projectile, though the range would not have been exceptional.

Commodore Armiger
16-05-2008, 06:36
Any guesses as to the nationality of the destroyer? Could it be Soviet? The USSR apparently tested RGs up to 305mm during the '30s. Some of the smaller ones were even trialled in aircraft, so a shipboard trial doesn't seem too far-fetched.

bob shayler
16-05-2008, 22:10
Commodore,
This could be a Russian ship. It looks similar to the General Kondratyenko Class, one of which, Konstructor (ex Sibirskiy Strielok), was said to have been used in experiments from 1925 but no detail on what these entailed,
regards,
Bob

Commodore Armiger
17-05-2008, 06:07
Possibly. Konstruktor had a very long life: 1905-1957. During that time it was probably rebuilt at least once. The time frame for the experiments is right.

MMM
09-07-2008, 16:45
Commodore,
This could be a Russian ship. It looks similar to the General Kondratyenko Class, one of which, Konstructor (ex Sibirskiy Strielok), was said to have been used in experiments from 1925 but no detail on what these entailed,
regards,
Bob

Hello,

The ship is Soviet Destroyer Engels (ex Tsarist Desna of improved Novik class).
The gun is Eng. Kurchevskiy's 305mm recoilless. There were calibres from 76mm up to 305mm tested.
305mm gun tested on Engels in September 1934 fired 250-300kg rounds reaching distance 13 730m.
Due to complicated loading (by hand from the muzzle side) rate of fire was
1 shot per hour.Production version was to reach 2 shots per minute (how?)
11 projectiles were shot from four different places on ships deck.
It was planned fitting 5(sic!) such guns with 20 rounds per gun(!) on Destroyer Karl Marks (ex Izaslav). Gun weight was about 10 tons.
Finally, the project was dropped and Kurchevskiy became victim of Great Purge.

Regards Miro

John Brown
09-07-2008, 17:47
Well done Miro

Here are some more pics of the ship and gun...

bob shayler
09-07-2008, 19:16
Thanks for identifying this ship Miro. I searched all of my reference books and failed to find anything like her. Very interest about the different types of gun that were involved in the trials,
regards,
Bob

Commodore Armiger
10-07-2008, 07:43
It's threads like this that make this Forum truly valuable. Some subjects just don't make it into works of reference, or if they do they leave more questions than answers.

Perhaps one day a Russian naval historian will tell the full story of Kurchevskiy's experiments.

MMM
10-07-2008, 08:03
Thanks for identifying this ship Miro. I searched all of my reference books and failed to find anything like her. Very interest about the different types of gun that were involved in the trials,
regards,
Bob

Bob,

All informations I found in book "Noviks, the best Destroyers of Russian Imperial Navy", by Alexandr Chernishev, ISBN 978-5-699-23164-5.
Book is in Russian but full of photos unpublicated on the West, drawings and
data. Only drawback is lack of orginal builders plans copies. But I hope they will publish it soon as a supplement to the book.

Regards Miro

culverin
18-09-2012, 20:45
So, this 12" or 305mm monster got loaded at the muzzle end.
Surely it cannot then be a gun. Would it be a mortar.

If we go back to #8, i think we have a problem here.

The image 2nd from left clearly shows this contraption at the arse end, however, i am pretty sure the 3dr image is at the sharp end, anchor chains, capstan and the bridge, everything visible seems to confirm this.

Also, as it is taken on the ship from a greater distance, if it was the q'deck gun you'd have run out of deck. Are these images taken on the same ship at the same time.

Rate of fire. Was it planned to fire this whilst steaming or stopped. 1 round per hour must make this the most leisurely draft of all time. But then, if there is one of these at each end, that will explain the time to fire as the crew stroll from one end to other with loads of time for a stand easy, one all round, vodka ration and a run ashore.
To check your next target.

Brian Wentzell
19-09-2012, 00:59
Recoilless rifles or guns are well known army weapons. They were, prior to anti-tank rockets and missiles, very popular. The biggest drawback was the back blast which could and would do considerable damage to what was behind the gun. Some anti-tank guns were of 100mm size. Others were in the 75mm size range. On a ship they would be less useful as the pictures would suggest.

Brian

BlackBat242
19-09-2012, 04:39
If we go back to #8, i think we have a problem here.

The image 2nd from left clearly shows this contraption at the arse end, however, i am pretty sure the 3dr image is at the sharp end, anchor chains, capstan and the bridge, everything visible seems to confirm this.

Also, as it is taken on the ship from a greater distance, if it was the q'deck gun you'd have run out of deck. Are these images taken on the same ship at the same time.

Note this line from MMM's post: 11 projectiles were shot from four different places on ships deck.

Therefore, that photo is simply from when the gun was tested forward.



Rate of fire. Was it planned to fire this whilst steaming or stopped. 1 round per hour must make this the most leisurely draft of all time. But then, if there is one of these at each end, that will explain the time to fire as the crew stroll from one end to other with loads of time for a stand easy, one all round, vodka ration and a run ashore.
To check your next target.

And again, from MMM's post: 1 shot per hour.Production version was to reach 2 shots per minute (how?)

The 1 shot per hour was because it was a prototype, with no provisions for breech-loading.

I would expect that the production version would be breech-loading, which would (of course) be far faster, and could be done underway.