Waterbodies & Maritime => Sheerness Dockyard => Topic started by: conan on January 06, 2012, 13:59:28

Title: Unknown photograph
Post by: conan on January 06, 2012, 13:59:28
This photo is part of my dads archive and is in the section on Sheerness dockyard.Any clues as to what is happening would be appreciated.The woven willow gabions are interesting, usually dirt filled they were an effective and cheap defence against incoming artillery fire.Although the cannon are obviously firing ball there appears to be a pile of spent shell cases in the foreground.

(http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/7361/copyofdockyard009ed.jpg) (http://img141.imageshack.us/i/copyofdockyard009ed.jpg/)
Title: Re: Unknown photograph
Post by: Paul on January 06, 2012, 14:12:17
Are they shell cases or logs?
Could it be the aftermarth of somekind of explosion?

Looks like my study room  :(
Title: Re: Unknown photograph
Post by: seafordpete on January 06, 2012, 14:17:30
I,m thinking Crimea, too untidy to be an excerise or training set up As to logs etc how about canister shot?
Title: Re: Unknown photograph
Post by: conan on January 06, 2012, 14:29:05
 Paul they seem of too even a size to be logs, there's another very neat stack in the centre of the picture, and I guess an explosion would have blown the cannon off their carriages.I would say the cannon were naval as they have a short carriage compared to static defence cannon I have seen and I guess a short carriage was needed in the confined space below deck.Seafordpete I reckon you could be right regarding canister shot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canister_shot

but I'm not sure about the Crimean aspect

Title: Re: Unknown photograph
Post by: Paul on January 06, 2012, 14:31:14
There a bit close together to load and operate?
Title: Re: Unknown photograph
Post by: Islesy on January 06, 2012, 15:28:02
They're definitely canister - basically tins filled with musket balls that shredded on exit from the barrel. A terrifyingly effective weapon, the first salvo would invariably be 'double shotted', either with another canister or with shot.
Title: Re: Unknown photograph
Post by: Sentinel S4 on January 06, 2012, 15:39:37
I have seen similar pics, if not this one, of the American Civil War.
Title: Re: Unknown photograph
Post by: grandarog on January 06, 2012, 19:14:03
Is it my eyesight playing tricks, or has the right hand cannon burst its  barrel.If it had thats probably why the photo was taken.
Title: Re: Unknown photograph
Post by: seafordpete on January 06, 2012, 19:34:51
Possibly, but I thought it was photo damage as there are a few similar marks on the gabion by it
Title: Re: Unknown photograph
Post by: Sentinel S4 on January 06, 2012, 20:01:03
I'm with Grandarog on that. It really does look like it has failed half way along the bore.
Title: Re: Unknown photograph
Post by: Sylvaticus on January 07, 2012, 01:00:14
My guess was also Crimea, and there were naval batteries ashore.

I'm sure the patch on the foreground gun is damage or staining to the photo, like a series of spots scattered over a wider area that's wider than the gun. The gun looks intact between the spots.

Crimea doesn't exactly explain why the picture was archived as dockyard. My very first guess was that this might have been a mock-up for a display or exhibition.

Roger Fenton was commissioned by the British Government in 1855 to produce a positive impression of the welfare and conditions of the troops in the Crimean war to soften negative criticism at home. His pictures are online at the Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/). He stayed four months and published 350 photos.

James Robertson had a studio in Constantinople and went to the Crimea on his own account.

Maxwell Mackenzie painted watercolours of the Crimean war. This is a naval battery before Sebastopol, for comparison with the photo:

(http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l282/sidw/SebastopolRNtrenchNMM500.jpg)

This is a lithograph he published, now at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

The main reinforcement seems to be timber, but isn't that wickerwork in the bottom right corner?


Title: Re: Unknown photograph
Post by: Leofwine on February 09, 2012, 23:15:17
Just for comparison here is a similar photo that was definitely taken in the Crimea.

Redan Crimea 1856
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7020/6848585697_d22d368cf7_z.jpg)
Photograph reproduced by permission of the Royal Engineers Museum www.re-museum.co.uk