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Remembered Today:

Boche buster model train pack


Moonraker

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4thGordons

Great thank you - I hadn't watched this video I had just noticed it in the photo. Much appreciated.

Chris

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Very long thread about the model. I haven't ploughed through it, but one post suggested that it included some suggestions about ancillary vehicles.

 

Moonraker

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Talesofaseadog

I am not exactly sure where these images originated from however I think they are of the 2 guns on the Train Ferry.

Has anybody seen these before?

Tony

No4 14.2 inch railway guns.jpg

No8 14.2 inch railway guns.jpg

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At least the photos will give 4thGordons some ideas about wagons that might feature with the Boche Buster model he hopes to get!

 

Moonraker

Edited by Moonraker
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Ron Clifton

The breeches of the two guns open on opposite sides. This was indeed the case, as they had been made for a double turret in a foreign (?Japanese) battleship being built in the UK.

 

Ron

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Talesofaseadog
14 hours ago, Talesofaseadog said:

I am not exactly sure where these images originated from however I think they are of the 2 guns on the Train Ferry.

Has anybody seen these before?

Tony

No4 14.2 inch railway guns.jpg

No8 14.2 inch railway guns.jpg

Looking through my records, the photos definitely came from TNA, probably RAIL 227/436.

That was the only rail document I looked at that day and in those days I was not really in full research mode.

There is one more picture that I have added.

No3 14.2 inch railway guns.jpg

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MerchantOldSalt

The three photos were taken by Major, later Colonel Halstead Best Inland Waterways & Docks, Royal Engineers.  I believe in civilian life he was an architect, but was certainly in charge of the building work at Richborough Military Port from 1916 onwards.

He took hundreds of photographs, or instigated the taking of hundreds of photos, of the construction of Richborough port and the Southampton Train Ferry Terminals, I have one of these photos an original from one of his albums 1287.

The ship is Train Ferry No.1 on departure from Chatham on passage to Calais where the guns were unloaded on 26 May 1918. Apparently the carriages were loaded at Richborough Train Ferry Terminal but were too heavy to be loaded complete so the ship went to Chatham where the barrels were reunited with the carriages using a heavy lift sheerleg in that port.  

If you put Boche Buster into the search box you will find a long discussion on these guns started by Lancashire Fusilier 27 Oct 1916 in the Military Motors part of this forum. Whilst there has been some discussion on the subject I think it is now accepted that they were originally destined for the Japanese warship YAMASHIRO built in Japan in 1913.

 

Tony

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Talesofaseadog
24 minutes ago, MerchantOldSalt said:

The three photos were taken by Major, later Colonel Halstead Best Inland Waterways & Docks, Royal Engineers.  I believe in civilian life he was an architect, but was certainly in charge of the building work at Richborough Military Port from 1916 onwards.

He took hundreds of photographs, or instigated the taking of hundreds of photos, of the construction of Richborough port and the Southampton Train Ferry Terminals, I have one of these photos an original from one of his albums 1287.

The ship is Train Ferry No.1 on departure from Chatham on passage to Calais where the guns were unloaded on 26 May 1918. Apparently the carriages were loaded at Richborough Train Ferry Terminal but were too heavy to be loaded complete so the ship went to Chatham where the barrels were reunited with the carriages using a heavy lift sheerleg in that port.  

If you put Boche Buster into the search box you will find a long discussion on these guns started by Lancashire Fusilier 27 Oct 1916 in the Military Motors part of this forum. Whilst there has been some discussion on the subject I think it is now accepted that they were originally destined for the Japanese warship YAMASHIRO built in Japan in 1913.

 

Tony

Thank you, very interesting.

Tony

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4thGordons
On 09/01/2020 at 15:13, Moonraker said:

At least the photos will give 4thGordons some ideas about wagons that might feature with the Boche Buster model he hopes to get!

 

Moonraler

Indeed these are interesting! There have been murmurings about "blooming toy trains"...so I will see...

most of the trucks shown there seem to be 7plank wagons which should not be hard to assemble (the amount of stenciling might be a challenge!)

 

Regarding the Ammunition Wagon shown in the first picture posted - are there any other images of this? I'm not totally convinced by the converted refrigerator wagon in the video. It looks to me as though the one in the picture is covered with a camouflaged tarp (perhaps that is what is on the roofs of the covered vans on the pic. here?) But these look like standard short enclosed vans rather than the longer bogied van that appears to be shown in the original pic.

 

Whilst I am idly speculating - does anyone have a map of the siding /area where the "King's shot" was fired from? I am contemplating a small diorama  of the siding etc to display the gun should it turn up.

As I was looking around for material I ran across a Bachmann "Ambulance Train" - which seems to sell for 3x the price of the gun/loco combo. Has this been discussed? (I will search!)

 

Chris

 

AHAHHH... thanks Talseofaseadog for reminding me of THIS THREAD which would seem to show the ammunition wagon which would appear to have 6 wheels per bogie....

Edited by 4thGordons
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ianjonesncl

Chris

 

The map from the article 'King's Shot' places the siding to the north of MAROEIL. The siding would need to align eastward as per the map in order for the shell to target Douai. The trench map of the area is for May 1918, however I can not seen any siding to the north, or any tracks that would align with Douai.

 

Ian

eng_jernb_art_3208.jpg

NLS MaroeuilBrayArea.JPG

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MerchantOldSalt
11 hours ago, 4thGordons said:

...most of the trucks shown there seem to be 7plank wagons which should not be hard to assemble (the amount of stenciling might be a challenge!)

 

Regarding the Ammunition Wagon shown in the first picture posted - are there any other images of this? I'm not totally convinced by the converted refrigerator wagon in the video. It looks to me as though the one in the picture is covered with a camouflaged tarp (perhaps that is what is on the roofs of the covered vans on the pic. here?) But these look like standard short enclosed vans rather than the longer bogied van that appears to be shown in the original pic.

Whilst I am idly speculating - does anyone have a map of the siding /area where the "King's shot" was fired from? I am contemplating a small diorama  of the siding etc to display the gun should it turn up.

 

The Imperial War Museum Collections online has a Film of the King's inspection of the gun on Maroeuil Spur 8.8.1918 IWM 218 With Britain's Monster Guns in Action it starts at minutes 12:10.  The gun Commander Stewart Montagu Cleeve made 16 oral history tapes which can be listened to online from IWM  7310 Cleeve, Stewart Montagu(e) (Oral history)  tapes 6 and 7 then 15 and 16 are relevant to the railway guns, he mentions the specific make-up of the "Fighting Train"  loco, gun, ammunition wagon, 4 equipment wagons and a guards van, and also the "Domestic Train" made up of converted French Railway wagons.  He admits that sometimes his memory is at fault! but it's good stuff

 

I think the seven plank and other wagons on the train ferry were just part of its normal load rather than being part of the gun train mentioned by Cleeve

Tony

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4thGordons

Thank you very much for this additional information - I shall track down the recordings you mention.

Spent a while yesterday (whilst is snowed a lot!) searching through listings of 00/HO wagons that might provide a basis for the ammunition wagon. Quite hard to find anything similar...it has been a LONG time since I have attempted scratch building anything!

Chris

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keithfazzani

Following this topic has made me wish I had a model railway

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ianjonesncl

I was curious about what the King actually fired at. From the account the Kings Shot;

"His Majesty then requested to see the gun fire and the target was to be Douai railway junction nearly 19 miles away and never before under artillery fire"

 

The McMaster University holds on line railway amps including this one for Situation Map 4: Railways and Ammunition Dumps 15-7-18;

http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A4147

 

Slide1.JPG

 

Two possible targets ?

 

Slide2.JPG

 

 

The account from  the Kings Shot also recalls;

"he King and his party retired and he asked for a map; one was produced showing all the enemy rail systems,"

one wonders if it was the map held by McMaster.

 

The University also has a map showing the Maroeuil area railways dated 15th May 1918.

http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A73680

 

I can not see an obvious spur on the standard gauge track that would provide the required bearing.

 

MaroeuilRailways15May1918.JPG

Edited by ianjonesncl
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MerchantOldSalt

Ian

In SM Cleeve's recorded tapes he talks about using the Bray loop quite a lot, and several photos in the IWM collection mention the gun's location as being at Bray.  There being a rail triangle at Bray most bearings could be achieved there I would imagine.

Correction: Tape 15 describes the complete shoot from a specially built curved spur built off a siding next to Maroeuil Station the target being Douai Railway Station

Tony 

Edited by MerchantOldSalt
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Talesofaseadog
On 11/01/2020 at 00:58, 4thGordons said:

Indeed these are interesting! There have been murmurings about "blooming toy trains"...so I will see...

most of the trucks shown there seem to be 7plank wagons which should not be hard to assemble (the amount of stenciling might be a challenge!)

 

Regarding the Ammunition Wagon shown in the first picture posted - are there any other images of this? I'm not totally convinced by the converted refrigerator wagon in the video. It looks to me as though the one in the picture is covered with a camouflaged tarp (perhaps that is what is on the roofs of the covered vans on the pic. here?) But these look like standard short enclosed vans rather than the longer bogied van that appears to be shown in the original pic.

 

Whilst I am idly speculating - does anyone have a map of the siding /area where the "King's shot" was fired from? I am contemplating a small diorama  of the siding etc to display the gun should it turn up.

As I was looking around for material I ran across a Bachmann "Ambulance Train" - which seems to sell for 3x the price of the gun/loco combo. Has this been discussed? (I will search!)

 

Chris

 

AHAHHH... thanks Talseofaseadog for reminding me of THIS THREAD which would seem to show the ammunition wagon which would appear to have 6 wheels per bogie....

I have no more pictures of the ammunition wagon however these thoughts may help.

It is likely that the wagon would be open topped so that shells could be lifted out directly using the 2 small cranes. The top would likely have a canvas top.

The shells would also lie on liftable wooden rails to allow access to the lower ones.

The wagon sides again would probably be wood but may have an outer metal sheet to provide protection from lightning which would be one of the dangers of working in the open.

Hope this helps.

Tony

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ianjonesncl
10 hours ago, MerchantOldSalt said:

Ian

In SM Cleeve's recorded tapes he talks about using the Bray loop quite a lot, and several photos in the IWM collection mention the gun's location as being at Bray.  There being a rail triangle at Bray most bearings could be achieved there I would imagine.

Correction: Tape 15 describes the complete shoot from a specially built curved spur built off a siding next to Maroeuil Station the target being Douai Railway Station

Tony 

 

Tony

 

Many thanks for the information - much appreciated.

 

I had another look at the IWM photos and note that they record "Bray-sur-Somme" and the gun " had been trained on the railway station at Douai, some 19 miles away",  except Bray-sur-Somme is 30 odd miles away. Wrong Bray.

 

WO95-549 Allocation Units records 471st Siege Battery as going out to the Western Front 26th May 1918, after the railway map was produced on 15th May. It would suggest the specially built curved spur was constructed once they entered theatre.

 

Ian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ianjonesncl

Source: Railway Artillery: A Report on the Characteristics, Scope of Utility, Etc., of Railway Artillery Volume 2 published by the United States Ordnance Department.

 

 

AmmunitionSystem.JPG

14inRailwayGun.JPG

Edited by ianjonesncl
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ianjonesncl

THIS THREAD which would seem to show the ammunition wagon

 

If I understand the ammunition supply system correctly, ammunition could be run through directly from the ammunition car via end doors or using the cranes to pick shells up out of other trucks or off the ground. 

SceneShifter2.jpg

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4thGordons

Again very Ian and Tony many thanks for all the additional information.

Is the consensus then that the spur/siding that was constructed would have been curved to allow the gun to be positioned to fire in the correct direction. I assume this would probably be a relatively gentle curve to allow for adjustment.

 

The above picture was the one I was referencing for the ammunition wagon, which looks to be relatively tall and to my eye looks rather "continental" in shape (ie more like a French wagon design) Certainly browsing model rolling stock that might form the basis of any attempt to duplicate it the most promising appear to be models of French, Italian or German vans.

On the original picture posted

image.png.da2cfcc5add863a95ad0aba18152f777.png

 

The ammunition wagon looks different - certainly the camouflage pattern is different - but it looks to me as though the wagon here is covered by a large camouflage painted tarpaulin (which would seem to be a good option as it would hide numerous model building sins!)

 

Are the tall vertical structures on the other picture of the gun and wagon tall chimneys in the background or tall vents(?) on the roof of the van? Initially I had thought the former but now I am tending towards the latter. If they are part of the van then that would be another difference.

 

Again -- thanks much for all the information.

Chris

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ianjonesncl
5 hours ago, 4thGordons said:

I assume this would probably be a relatively gentle curve to allow for adjustment.

Chris

 

This is the mechanism by which bearings were set:

 

RailBearing.png

 

 

Edited by ianjonesncl
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Talesofaseadog

I think the vents are probably tall chimneys.

Also wondering if the 2 guns had different ammunition cars, just a thought.

Tony

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4thGordons
20 hours ago, Moonraker said:

WWI Ambulance train

 

And mostly for the benefit of model-railway enthusiasts:

 

More about Amiens 1918 (see post 17) 

 

Rail-mounted gun from the SMS Königsberg in German East Africa

 

 

 

It looks like the first two links here are the same (to the Amiens layout)

HERE is one on opening the ambulance train -- which is much more expensive than the "boche buster" set.

Chris

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On 08/01/2020 at 21:29, Moonraker said:

Thanks, Bob, for the link. I'd come across the article before and it includes some original material, in addition to that already quite well-known. (And it also gave a link to an article about support for Wiltshire PoWs, information I've been looking for for some time.)

 

I was about to completely rule out the notion that the Boche Buster ever ran on the Larkhill Military Railway. This branched off the Amesbury and Military Camp Light Railway - note the use of the word "Light" - and crossed the River Avon by a viaduct that, in the very few photographs I've seen, does not look very robust. I couldn't see how something as large as the Boche Buster - and a locomotive able to move it - could travel to and over the LMR.

 

However, Jeffrey Grayer in Rails Across the Plain wrote: "One of the more spectacular items of military hardware associated with the line[the LMR] was His Majesty's Gun 'Boche Buster'." Note the word "associated". Grayer mentions its service in France in 1918 and during WWII. An 18in barrel was completed in 1919, with three others of this size then being made, one of which was brought out to be deployed either on a siding near Bulford or at the LMR terminus at Druid's Lodge - the track to which had been removed by 1923.

 

Later history

 

(The gun's movement to Larkhill in the 1990s would have been by road, the Amesbury & Military Camp Light Railway having been taken up in 1965.)

 

WWII history

 

More photos

 

BTW the photo in the "Military Camps ... Wiltshire" article was taken in France, not in Wiltshire, as might be inferred. See here.

 

Moonraker

 

Apologies if everybody has seen this before but this site: http://www.railmaponline.com/UKIEMap.php has the routes of as many railways built in the UK as they know of - including the Larkhill Railway seen here laid out to the on a google satellite image

 

 

image.png.a6b7cbaec1cbb4cc0c3fdf5904cf78cd.png

 

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