Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company
ENewsletter Edition No 19

March 2016
Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company Newsletter
In This Issue
My Cousin Has A Gun Barrel
Did You Know?
Gunners Around the Nation
Featured Article
Artillery Badge Rotating 

RAAHC Library Update
RAAHC Library update by Peter Hartup...
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Dear Gunners (Readers) -


Come one come all-all ranks, spouses, partners and families welcome.

Friday - 13 May 2016 to Sunday  15 May  

Friday 13 May·   
  •  RAA Association (ACT) Gunner Drinks (Hosted by CC-ER and President RAA Association ACT)
                # Time: 1600 h
               # Location: ADFA Officers Mess 
               # Dress: Smart Casual
               # Cost: Purchase Own Drinks
               # Attendance: All incl Spouses & Guests attending Week-End            
  • FIREPOWER: Lessons from The Great War 
                         # Time: 1730 h to 1930 h                 
                         # Location: ADFA Auditorium
                         # Dress: As Per Gunner Drinks
                         # Cost: N/A (Dinner Under Own Arrangements)
                         # Attendance: As Per Gunner Drinks                                            
Saturday - 14 May 2016
  • Australian War Memorial: Guided Tour (Hosted by Colonel Chris Hunter)
                         # Time: 1000 h to 1130 h
                         # Location: Meet at AWM main entrance at 0945h
                         # Dress: Smart Casual 
                         # Cost: N/A ( Morning Tea / Lunch at AWM Under Own                                     Arrangements)
                         # Attendance: Everyone Welcome                         
  • National Coral Gunner Dinner (Hosted by RCC & HOR) 
                                  # Guest Speaker: TBC
                                  # Incidental Music by RMC Band                                                                            Ensemble
                                   # Time:  1900 h for 1930 h
                                   # Location: Federal Golf Club (Gowrie Drive, RED                                             HILL ACT 2603)
                                   # Dress: Black Tie / Mess Dress (alternate Lounge Suit                                        or Coat & Tie) -   Ladies Equivalent                  
                                   # Attendance: All Gunners  (serving or retired) &                                                  Spouses / Partners/family
                                    # Cost: $115.00 per person

(NOTE - Two course meal and cheese board plus wine & beer  pre-dinner, during dinner and limited period post  dinner - Spirits at individual cost )                                   
Sunday - 15 May 2016
  • National Gunner Commemorative Service (Hosted by RAA Association ACT)
                                  # Time: 0900 h to 0945 h   (Assemble 0845 h)                                                     # Location:  Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery                                          National Memorial   Mt Pleasant (enter via RMC,                                              Duntroon)
                                  # Dress: Coat & Tie (Alternate Smart Casual) - Ladies                                          Equivalient
  •   Post Commemorative Service Brunch (Hosted by CC-ER)
                                  # Time: 1015 h for 1030 h
                                  # Location: Federal Golf Club
                                  # Dress: As Per Commemorative Service
                                  # Cost: $31 per person pay at Club 

You can indicate what events you are planning to attend, and pay, by accessing the on line form . TO REGISTER   CLICK HERE
Let's make this an occasion to remember!

Ian Ahearn
Deputy Chair
mycousinhasagunbarrelMy Cousin Has A Gun Barrel
Recently we were approached to assist identify a gun barrel. Provided with a couple of photos:




As can be seen by the photos she's an early girl.

Bore dia. 1 & 5/8"
O/A length 46"
The photo of the inscription on the barrel was the best clue but it was impossible to make out any real information except a number. However, experience has shown that looking at these things from different angles and under different light levels might reveal some additional information. A request to view the actual item was approved and this visit revealed some additional design features of the breech and a possible word 'PARIS'.
This lead made it possible to identify the barrel as a 1.65 inch Hotchkiss mountain gun, also known as a 2 Pounder. A photo of one of these guns with a similar inscription was also found and confirmed the markings visible on the 'unknown' barrel.


The gun was used by the US Army. Introduced into service from 1876 it remained in service upto 1903 and possibly 1913. It saw service with them against the Indians, including at Wounded Knee, and the Spanish American War in Cuba and the Philippines.
How the gun came to be in Australia is not known. All that is known is the present custodian has had it for 40 years and obtained it from a person who had kept it under his house after finding it in Manly dam. Initially it was believed it may have been a trophy picked up in the Philippines after World War II but quite by chance a photo was viewed that clearly shows two of these guns on the front lawn of Dalley Castle that once stood in Manly.
DidYouKnowDid You Know?
Did You Know:   BIG BERTHA AND THE PARIS GUN .   The German artillery pieces that bombarded Paris in 1918, during The Great War, are commonly and incorrectly referred to as 'Big Bertha'. However, the Big Berthas were, in fact, the two German howitzers that bombarded the fortress at Liège, in August 1914, and they were named after Baroness Bertha Krupp, the daughter of the gun manufacturer Alfried Krupp.
The Big Bertha howitzers weighed, in action, just over 42.6 tonnes and fired a 816 kilogram - 420 millimetre-calibre projectile, with a maximum range of just over 10 kilometres. The Germans withdrew the pieces from service in late 1917 because the Allied forces had, by then, developed counter-battery guns with greater ranges.

The long-barrelled guns that bombarded Paris in 1918 were commonly referred to as either the 'Paris Gun' or the 'Kaiser Wilhelm Geschütz' (King William's Gun); there were three guns and, like the Big Berthas, they were Krupp manufactured. The guns weighed, in action, 750 tonnes, fired a 119.7 kilogram - 210 millimetre-calibre projectile, and had a maximum range of 122 kilometres. The guns were located in the Forest of Crépy, approximately 108 (map) kilometres from Paris and, when fired, the projectiles took nearly three minutes before hitting their targets, after reaching a vertex height (maximum altitude) of 38 kilometres.
The Guns' individual projectiles were progressively numbered, with the calibre size of each shell being larger than the previous; this was because of the extensive internal wear caused to the barrel when each round was fired. After firing a laid-down number of rounds the gun's barrel was removed and the equipment was fitted with a new one; the Guns' worn barrels were returned to the Krupp works for refitting.

The Germans withdrew the Paris Guns in August 1918, because of the Allied advance, but the Allies were never able to locate either the guns or their mountings. However, the Guns' concrete emplacements, be they overgrown, are still in place today in the Forest of Crépy.


Footnote: Special thank to Mr Christopher Jobson who put together all the "Did You Know" articles.


AroundTheNationGunners Around the Nation

View the latest Newsletters from various Artillery associations around the nation:

RAA Association Victoria Newsletter - Cascabel

Locating Surveillance and Target Acquisition Association - Newsletter

12th Field Regiment (Vietnam) Association  - Bulletin No 43

131 Locators Association - Newsletter

A Field Battery Association - Newsletter