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Author Topic: Report of Experimental Officer, Lydd 1889  (Read 1416 times)

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Offline paul francis

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Re: Report of Experimental Officer, Lydd 1889
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 13:05:56 »
Okay, thanks anyway, its not from the journals as I have all of those, and they do not go back that far, I will try TNA.

Online kyn

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Re: Report of Experimental Officer, Lydd 1889
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 09:02:19 »
Hi, unfortunately not.  This was found and typed too long ago for me to be able to specify what file it was from.  It was likely from a RE journal at the National Archives at Kew.

Offline paul francis

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Re: Report of Experimental Officer, Lydd 1889
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 08:37:23 »
Any chance please that you could supply me with the reference for this report, I have digital versions of the Lydd experiment papers for 1884, 85 and 86 from the professional papers of the RE but have not yet found 1897 onward. 

Online kyn

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Report of Experimental Officer, Lydd 1889
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2014, 13:40:09 »


Remarks on Artillery Material.

The Committee have considerably enlarged their experience of the B.L. siege howitzers since their Report (No. 656) on the Lydd Experiments of 1888.

Range tables for the 6-inch, 7-inch, and 8-inch howitzers have been prepared, on the data afforded by practice at Shoeburyness.

R.L.G. powder has been adopted, instead of P., for the reduced charges, and has resulted in greatly increased accuracy of fire.

A direct comparison for accuracy of the 8-inch B.L. with the 8-inch R.M.L. howitzer of 70 cwt. Has shown that the B.L. is superior to the M.L., when both howitzers fire their maximum charges, but that it possesses little, if any, advantage over the M.L. when both howitzers fire reduced charges.  Further experiments with the two howitzers are in progress.

The comparison has not as yet been extended to the lower calibres, but as the shooting of the 6.6-inch and 6.3-inch R.M.L. howitzers is anything but satisfactory, it is probable that the 6-inch B.L. howitzer will show a superiority with all charges.

It has already been decided not to introduce the 7-inch B.L. howitzer into the Service, and to fire 100-lb. shells (i.e., the projectiles of the 6-inch B.L. gun) from the 6-inch B.L. howitzer, and experiments are in progress to determine the maximum charge that can be used with the 6-inch B.L. with the increased weight of projectile.  When these experiments have been completed, a direct comparison between the 6-inch B.L. and 6.6-inch R.M.L. howitzers should be made.

As regards the 8-inch howitzers it would appear that the chief advantages of the B.L. over the M.L. howitzer are its greater accuracy, its greater muzzle velocity, and consequently greater range when firing maximum charges.

Charges.Muzzle Velocity.Range at about 30 degrees.
ft.-secs.yards.
8-inch R.M.L.11 lb. R.L.G.29566,300
8-inch B.L.22 lb. P.11178,300

On the other hand, the equipment of the B.L. howitzer as tried at Lydd has the following disadvantages as compared to the Service M.L. howitzer:-

It is less simple in construction, and more likely to be disabled by rough usage on service.

The heavy holdfast necessitated by the non-recoil carriage, and by the comparatively heavy maximum charges fired, is difficult to lay with the necessary accuracy, and would be likely to cause delay in the throwing up the batteries attack.  The screw portion of the holdfast cannot, except in very favourable ground, be used as originally intended (i.e., screwed at an angle under the parapet), as if it meets with any obstruction, such as a stone, it cannot be screwed in further.

The carriage is fitted with horizontal and vertical stays, which meet under the axletree, where they are shackled to the holdfast.  The connecting of the carriage to the holdfast is a tedious operation, and requires very accurate fitting.  It could only, under exceptionally favourable circumstances, be carried out at night.

The holdfast is liable to draw from the heavy strain thrown upon it.  This causes play between the carriage and holdfast, and a jump on firing which injuriously affects the shooting.  There being no means of adjustment in the carriage stays, the only way of keeping the carriage and holdfast in rigid connection is to raise the carriage vertically by packing iron plates and planks under the wheels.  This causes great delay, and tends to render the howitzer unsteady.  It is in itself sufficient to condemn the system of mounting, unless some simple means of adjustment can be devised.

From the foregoing, it is evident that further comparative experiments are required before any definite recommendation can be made as to the adoption of B.L. howitzers in out siege train.

A travelling trial of 5-inch and 4-inch B.L. guns with siege limbers has been included in the programme for Experiments at Lydd, 1890.

The 10-inch B.L. wire howitzer on travelling carriage was used at Lydd this year to compare the effects of its shells with those of the 8-inch howitzer.  No satisfactory comparison could, however, be made as the carriage gave way under the strain of the maximum charges (28 lb. P).  The shells fired with reduced charges were nearly all noisy in flight.  At high angles of elevation the hydro-pneumatic buffers failed, and the howitzer could not be kept in the firing position.  This was due to the buffers being steel castings, and to some roughnesses in the interior becoming detached and choking the valves when the howitzer was elevated.

No more of these castings are being made.  Complaints having been made of the bad shooting of the 8-inch R.M.L. howitzer at Lydd during the instructional practice of 1888 and 1889, which was attributed to the centre pivot platform, the Committee fired some rounds at Shoeburyness from an 8-inch R.M.L. howitzer, with both full and reduced charges, to obtain a comparison between the shooting of the howitzer when mounted on the centre pivot double-deck platform and the double-deck with front holdfast.  The platforms were laid on clay soil, and the shooting from both was fairly good, that from the centre picot being the better for range and that from the front holdfast for direction.

In the previous practice (for comparison of M.L. and B.L. howitzers) the centre pivot platform was laid on sand and the shooting was also good.

The Committee note that at Lydd experience with about 1,000 rounds is unfavourable to these platforms, while trials at Shoeburyness with 80 rounds give satisfactory results.

Further experiments are required to ascertain the causes of this difference.

It would, therefore, appear that the bad shooting at Lydd is due either to the unsuitable nature of the foundation for the platforms or to some other cause, such as irregularity of powder.

With regard to ammunition the powder filled shells and the direct action fuzes fired from the howitzers were satisfactory, though there were a few blinds due to the shells falling on shingle.

The Lyddite shells were not so satisfactory, owing chiefly to the failure of the fuzes supplied by Elswick.  There was a very large proportion of bling shells, and many of those that burst did not detonate.  The attention of the committee on explosives should be called to this, with the view to the production of a safe and trustworthy fuze and primer for any high-explosive shells that may be used next year.

The experiments made at Lydd with high-explosive shells at an iron structure form the subject of a separate Report (No. 728).

 

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