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November 06, 2003

Guns just laying around the countryside for the picking!

Cute ones, like this ugly little spud of a 9CWT howitzer...

Or famous ones (if you're into the history of artillery, anyway) the Brit 5.5in howitzer of WWII...

Squat ones like this 64-pounder fortress gun...

Skeletal ones like this 12-pounder fortress gun...

Small ones, like this light mountain/airborne gun...

Big ones, like these two monsters...


Famous broken ones, like the Nery' Gun (Render a salute to the Victoria Crosses earned here)

1914: "The Affair at Nery" saw a fierce cavalry action fought between the British 1st Cavalry Brigade and the entire German 4th Cavalry Division. The British cavalry covering the withdrawal of the British Expeditionary Force, were surprised at first light by the German cavalry at the village of Nery. Two machine-guns from the 2nd Dragoon Guards, under Lieutenant Lamb, and three guns from L Battery of the Royal Horse Artillery provided covering fire despite being heavily outgunned by their opponents. Two of L Battery's guns were quickly knocked out, but the sole remaining gun continued to fight a duel with eight German guns until its ammunition had been exhausted, manned by Captain Bradbury, Sergeant Major Dorrell and the wounded Sergeant Nelson - all three were awarded the Victoria Cross, posthumously in the case of Captain Bradbury. Lieutenant Lamb won the Distinguished Service Order. Despite their superiority in numbers, the German cavalry was forced to withdraw, abandoning their eight artillery guns. L Battery is now part of 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards are the modern successors to 2nd Dragoon Guards. The gun in the pictures is the gun discussed here. Obviously, given the muzzle damage, the infantry arrived just in time.

There are also a few impractical guns like this mortar...

And... from tiny little man-handled jobs like this Krupp 75mm mountain gun...

...to self-propelled guns like the HMS Belfast,

there are lots of cannons to warm the heart of the artilleryman and make him feel at home. It's better'n Aberdeen!

I've got more gun pics to go - and I haven't started the tanks yet, either! Sadly, I didn't get to Bovington, where the best tank museum in the world is!