Sunday History Photo / Au

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 08:46
ThreadID: 79103 Views:3895 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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The capture of the Amiens Gun by Australian and British soldiers was a significant achievement. During the summer of 1918, it had been used by the Germans to fire on the city of Amiens, about 25 kilometres away, from a railway carriage. Attempts had been made by the Allies to destroy this powerful weapon, but to no avail. During the August 8 advance, the train was bombed by a British Sopwith Camel, causing the German soldiers on board to evacuate. Although RAF aircraft and British cavalry were the first to engage the gun, it was then quickly claimed by the advancing Australian infantry.
They had been sent with a quantity of Amanol to blow up the large gun … however Les Strahan one of the sappers in the party had been a driver in the Western Australian railways, and he found there was still a head of steam, he asked for a fair go, instead of blowing the gun up he got the engine going, they were told then to try to get it back if possible into a cutting so it could be camouflaged.
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Built in 1904 by Friedrick Krupp, it was originally a German naval gun, until it was modified to be used as a railway gun during the war. The "Amiens gun" was later exhibited in Paris before it was sent to England for transport to Australia as a war trophy. While the gun's carriage was eventually destroyed, the barrel remains intact, and is on display outdoors at the Australian War Memorial. The Mounting was used during WW2 by the proof and experimental establishment, Port Wakefield, for proofing 8 inch gun barrels and was cut up for scrap.
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Reply By: Member - David C2 (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:30

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:30
Thanks Doug for another interesting read, It would have been a great engineering feat in its time, it is just a pity that we put so much effort into finding ways to kill each other.

Cheers Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:57

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:57
Dave
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Reply By: Member - Ups and Downs - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:51

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:51
Interesting read as my Grandfather was at Gallipoli and then France before serious wounds had him sent home.

Along the way he picked up a Military Medal plus many promotions/demotions for good and bad behaviour. I think he was a typical Aussie soldier.

He eventually lived in Matraville NSW, in Amiens Crescent, part of a War Service suburb.

Paul
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Reply By: landed eagle - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 13:10

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 13:10
I shudder to think what it would have been like to be on the other end of that guns ordinance.
It's surprising how much whip there is in the gun's barrel just after firing.Testament to the engineers who built it that it didn't self destruct first time it went bang.
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Reply By: stevie1947 - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 16:13

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 16:13
Interesting Doug. Would I be right in saying that the U=TUBE flick is 2nd world war vintage?
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 17:32

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 17:32
Yes, I reackon you would be right, The Germans did recommission a few WW1 guns that were in museums ,
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Reply By: dingbat - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 19:56

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 19:56
Thanks Doug -another good read.

Used to play on this barrel and roof thing as a kid as it was for many years in Wentworth Ave Canberra just near the railway station and close to the bus sheds and the Govt Printing Office. Actually I think it was on the corner where the the then new Govt Printing Office was built before it was moved to the War Memorial.
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