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From: Railway mounted 6 inch naval guns

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ianjonesncl

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Interesting post by RobL regarding rail mounted Anti-Aircraft guns in the NE. First time I have come across the use of rail for AA Guns

I've been trying to research these interesting anti-aircraft pieces, piecing together information from various sources, so far, i've found the following;

railwayaagun_zpsg065kkke.png

Firstly, here's a write-up i've done based on information from 'Baby Killers - German air raids on Britain in the First World War' by Thomas Fegan and 'Air Defence of Britain 1914-18' by Christopher Cole and EF Cheesman. The bit about them being mounted on wagons by the NER comes from 'Guns of the North East' and also a NER Magazine issue from 1919, I presume they're the same guns that Fegan describes as otherwise they are identical;

"At thirty minutes past midnight on 16th June 1915, Kapitanleutnant Hirsch arrived over Tyneside in Zeppelin L10. The industrial buildings along the Tyne were lit up and an inviting target, there was no searchlights and only ineffective fire from HMS Brilliant, an old cruiser that was guarding the Tyne. The first bombs were dropped over Wallsend on the Eastern Marine Engineering Works causing heavy damage. Palmers Shipyard at Jarrow was then bombed, killing seventeen workers and injuring seventy-two. Pochins Chemical Works was then hit, and housing at Willington, killing a policeman. After thirty destructive minutes, L10 left, dropping bombs over coal mines at South Shields. The glare from fires caused by the raid could be seen from the Zeppelin when it was thirty nautical miles away on the journey home. Five British home defence aircraft took off to intercept the raider including two BE2c aeroplanes from RNAS Whitley Bay, but none sighted the Zeppelin (although one aircraft was spotted by the Zeppelin crew). The lack of effective defence resulted in two 12 pounder anti-aircraft guns on mobile mountings being issued to Newcastle, and provoked the mounting of twelve 6 inch naval guns fitted for anti-aircraft use and mounted on railway wagons by the North Eastern Railway at Darlington"

According to 'The Guns of the North East', one was based at Port Clarence, and another at Saltburn (later sent to the Western Front). 'Railways of Teesside' by Ken Hoole describes a railway mounted anti-aircraft gun being mounted at Skinningrove, and although I don't have it, from a flick through 'Hartlepool Railways' by George Smith does I believe mention one being based at Hartlepool (I know it has a photo of one in it) - so that makes four so far, and presumably at least others were based further north in the Tyneside area. As for the guns and wagons themselves, I presume the guns are from the same stock that were used to make the 6 inch guns and 8 inch howitzers for the Royal Garrison Artillery - the wagons appear to be Great Western Railway 'Crocodile' wagons

I'd be very interested in learning the locations of the other guns, whether any were sent to the Western Front or elsewhere, and which units used them in the hope of sourcing war diaries with details of them firing on the further Zeppelin raids on the North East

Thanks, Rob

Source: Railway mounted 6 inch naval guns

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