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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I was a teenager in the mid-seventies, I read an article in Guns & Ammo, I believe, about a heavy gun built in place during the Boer War at a steel foundry and used from there to fire on enemy field gun emplacements. I have not been able to find any references to it on the net, unless I am mistaken about it in some way.

The enemy field guns and the front of the nearby battle had closed to within twenty miles of the foundry, and the field guns they were using were not effective at quieting the enemy guns. Thus the men at the foundry decided to build an eight-inch gun to fire on the enemy emplacements.

They built it in fairly short order, and the only things they could not make were the explosives for the shells, and the gun powder and powder sacks; those they ordered in.

When it was done, they began hitting enemy emplacements as far as 27,000 yards. if I remember correctly, they nicknamed it "Baby."

If anyone knows where I can find information on that event, I would appreciate you for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
long Cecil certainly is a marvelous gun but the one I'm thinking about was as large as an 8 inch cruiser main battery gun
 

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I have read that the Boers ordered in lots of Krupp guns as well as 7mm Mauser rifles with which they were deadly. Mention of special guns was not made in the volume of books I have had access to.
Tomorrow- I will search as this subject is intriguing.
 

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I've studied the Boer Wars pretty extensively and cannot recall anything but Long Cecil that fits the story you mention. Be sure to let us know if you find a reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
it's been so long ago that maybe you are right. I just seem to recall clearly a picture of the men who built it standing with it and it was taller than the men were and it wasn't on wheels. maybe should look at the guns and ammo archives if I can
 

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I do recall a British unit that used some naval guns, sent in from Malta. But they were, I believe, 12.5 and 15-pounders mounted on makeshift carriages -- long-barrelled and unwieldy, but with impressive range. Perhaps your mind has combined the two stories, as mine sometimes does?;) Still, you may be right, and if you find something I'd love to read it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
the one I'm thinking of was not imported from somewhere else. It was actually built on site and I remember some details about it.

I remember that it had a long high-caliber barrel; perhaps not as long as the main battery gun on a ship but it certainly was at least 36 feet long. It was also built with gain-twist rifling. It had two layers of steel near the breach that were heat-shrunk onto the barrel.

It was not mobile. it was mounted on a pedestal much like a large shore battery gun.

there was a picture taken of it with the men who built it. I would say there must have been at least 40 to 50 men.
 

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Have you tried Various Photo Archives under "Boer War"?
Possibly the Library of Congress or Smithsonian might have some reference for the Weapon you remember?
Best Regards,
Chev. William
 

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Some Boer blacksmith last name 'Ras' made some guns..but not huge guns. These called 'Ras guns' and made of iron so dubious if they had very long range or high capacity...
 

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"Long Tom"

Interesting thread. I have never heard about the "home-built". The only formal military unit during that war was the "Staats-Artillerie" (State Artillery) as the infantery were not soldiers but farmers and their sons that were called up and assembled themselves into "kommandos" which were the equivalent of District Groups. Here a district is the larger or smaller area around a town, the boundaries of which limits the judicial jurisdictional area of each town. They engaged the enemy with their hunting rifles in a planned fashion but with no formal military training. Later in the war formal orders were placed at Mauserwerke in Germany for more rifles and to Krupp for a number of cannon.

The two South African Republics had only two friends in the world at the time - Russia and Germany. The Tsar of Russia financed most of the later weapons acquisitions from Germany, a gesture of respect for the small nation having taken on the might of England. In later years when we were at war against Russian and Cuban communism for 20 + years the only friend we had was Israel.

The only large calibre cannon was the 155 mm Krupp shown on the photo, the last one kept intact, as all the others were demolished by the Boers to not fall into British hands when the war ended.

It was in fact called the "Long Tom" and not "Long Cecil" as mentioned elsewhere. The accurate range was 12 miles (+- 21,000 yards) and maybe the "effective range" was a little more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
perhaps I am mistaken in which War it was.

memory is a strange and fickle thing. maybe my best bet is to try and find the magazine it was in. I believe it was guns and ammo annual edition in the late seventies.
 

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Don't know

Don't know about the heavy gun.

But I had a distant relative killed in the Boer war, know'd thereabouts at the time as "the breaker". ;)

As a result this Harry Reid print "Sons of the Empire" from the Boer War, always hung in our family's house, until just a few years ago when I donated it to the Australian War Museum in Canberra.



It was hand signed by Wolseley (Later to become Admiral Wolseley) but he was just a Field Marshall in 1899 when this was signed, apparently.

Be interesting to hear what you come up with on the gun.
That print has one soldier from every regiment of the British Empire at the time.
They were sold at the time to raise funds for relief of widows of those lost in the Boer War.

It was a limited print run of 1000 or something, the Canberra War Museum seemed quite chuffed to get it. :)
 

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Accross

Talking about different guns..:)
 

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My kind of gunsmithing!!

FWIW- my 2 1/2" gun shoots tennis balls full of epoxy and bird shot 500 yards with minute of dump truck accuracy.
 
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