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dman

Type of gun used to arm merchant ships

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dman

Was wondering what type of guns were mounted on merchant ships as defense against U Boats 

 

Remember hearing that  early in war used surplus 6 pdr (57 mm) 

 

Did merchant ships carry small arms (rifles/pistols) .  Know that many trawlers had one or two rifles to destroy mines 

 

What able Maxim Pom-poms ?  

 

Thanx 

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4thGordons

Defensively Armed Merchant Ships (DAMS) were issued with second and third line rifles much like those issued to trawlers.

One rifle type that was certainly supplied to both trawlers and DAMS was single-shot Remington Rolling Block rifles in 7mm Mauser calibre.

Chris

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MerchantOldSalt

dman

In Volume 3 of Archibald Hurd's history of the Merchant Navy Chapter 4 is completely dedicated to the fitting of the many different guns to DAMS.  Volume 2 also describes the small arms issued to Merchant Ships but can't find which Chapter just at present.

Suffice to say that owing to the shortage of guns at the beginning of the war and up to 1917, over twenty different makes, types and sizes of guns were fitted including Japanese and Russian guns, the logistics of ammunition supply must have been a nightmare.

 

TH

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dman

Royal Navy purchased 20,000 Winchester Model 1892 (44-40) and 5,000 of the later 1894 (30-30)

to arm boarding and shore parties 

 

Most of the modern Lee - Enfields going to the army

 

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4thGordons

TonyE's book British Secondary Small Arms 1914-19 (Vol 4 Royal Navy Small Arms) details contracts for and use of:

 

Arisaka Rifles and Carbines

Ross Rifles

Chiliean Mausers

Brazilian Mausers

Remington Rolling Block (7mm)

Winchester 1892

Winchester 1894

and "Misc Rifles" (Martini Enflield Rifles and Carbines and Sporting Enfields)

 

Chris

Edited by 4thGordons

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MikB

I would expect that the 6-pounder armament soon proved incapable, and that most would be fitted with 4" BL guns Mks. II - VI, where these were available and their decks could be modified to mount them satisfactorily.

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stirrer

Six inch gun aboard Atlantic Transport Line's "Michigan" - from my grandfather's albums.

Michigan.jpg

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wightspirit

How deeply do you want to research this?  Considerable detail is contained in booklets at the UK National Archives - references ADM116/1463 and ADM116/1536, and ADM137/2903.

 

Dave W 

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James A Pratt III

I have read where some merchant ships mounted 12 pdr guns

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MikB

It appears from this:-

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_4.7_inch_Mk_V_naval_gun

 

...that 4.7" Mk.V* (a Japanese-made variant of the Mk.V) was extensively used to arm merchant ships in both World Wars.

Edited by MikB
Typo.

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horatio2

No expert on guns and their mountings I have, however, noted the following as being commonly fitted to WW1 DAMS:

12 pdr 12 cwt; 2 1/2  pdr; 3 pdr and 3 pdr (H); 6 pdr (H); 15 pdr; 13 pdr; 4.7";  6" and 10" (BT) (to name but a few).

The following mountings are also listed:

G2; P3; P4.

An expert will have to interpret.

Edited by horatio2

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ARABIS

If it helps, the attached is from NOTES ON GUNNERY FOR DEFENSIVELY ARMED MERCHANT VESSELS, TRAWLERS AND DRIFTERS 1918. R.N. GUNNERY SCHOOL, CHATHAM Jan. 1918.

 

ARABIS.

 

dams1023.jpg.ba5826111183048c284b8594e4821a54.jpg

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Felix C

I think one of the Technical Histories details with the arming of merchant ships.

here it is vol 2, part 13 Defensive Armament of Merchant Ships

see here http://www.dreadnoughtproject.org/tfs/index.php/The_Technical_History_and_Index

 

and I found this: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4114573

Trade Division Records: Defensively Armed Merchant Ships. Instructions for use of rifles

Reference: ADM 137/2905
Description:

Trade Division Records: Defensively Armed Merchant Ships.

Instructions for use of rifles and machine guns. Instructions for guidance in use, care and maintenance of armament, general instructions to Defensively Armed vessels, use of armament in action, and copy of a lecture by D. T. D. at Whale Island, 1 January 1917.

The protection of British Sea Borne Trade, memorandum, February 1916.

Edited by Felix C

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dman

Stirrer 

 

Problem found with 6inch guns was that the ammunition was very heavy - at 100 lbs for the shell was at the edge where could be handled by muscle alone 

 

power driven machinery required for larger calibers 

 

Needed a large crew to pass powder and shells up from magazines, load, train and fire the piece 

 

Merchant crews did not have sufficient manpower to handle a weapon this size 

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David Filsell

Just a thought. Not sure if this is helpful, Certainly 4.7" guns were used in WW2 on some anti submarine vessels. Designed as a naval gun, it was, at the time of the Boer War, employed as an army artillery piece on cobbled together mounts. Later it was was mounted on purpose built mounts and used by TA units. Effectively it was a large filed gun. Because of the shortage of artillery it was issued to 7th Inf Div. and although pretty useless used by the BEF until the Somme. I understand there was a plentiful supply of gun tubes (and probably naval mountings) available 

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