Armored Train Car

lordroel

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Was looking at the Gatling gun to be used on Armored Trains, but it seems they where not used so much during the Civil War.
 

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pfcjking

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It seems to me that the traverse of the gun would be severely limited.

I'm trying to think of ways this thing could have been more effective.

Think about the anti-personnel potential for this thing if it was armed with 5 swivel guns belching out grape shot instead of that 32 pounder.
1280px-Lynx_swivel_gun.jpg
 

Saphroneth

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Armored trains were pretty rare too. LOL
True, but marrying the one to the other is all the harder because both were rare. It's also a waste of the accuracy of a Whitworth to put it on an armoured train, while a Gatling isn't great when the whole reason you have an armoured train is because the enemy is pointing artillery at you!

It seems to me that the traverse of the gun would be severely limited.

I'm trying to think of ways this thing could have been more effective.

Think about the anti-personnel potential for this thing if it was armed with 5 swivel guns belching out grape shot instead of that 32 pounder.
That's the other thing - if you're working a swivel mounted gun you're exposed. A small casemate mount has poor traverse but good protection, which is the whole point.
 

DaveBrt

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You have to look at the intended target to determine the best armament. Lee' gun was designed to help him in a battle with an enemy in formal lines and with plenty of artillery. The Union trains were designed to keep rail lines open from raids by small groups of cavalry, with perhaps a small cannon or two.

Lee needed a heavy gun and the Union wanted antipersonnel coverage all around.
 

pfcjking

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True, but marrying the one to the other is all the harder because both were rare. It's also a waste of the accuracy of a Whitworth to put it on an armoured train, while a Gatling isn't great when the whole reason you have an armoured train is because the enemy is pointing artillery at you!



That's the other thing - if you're working a swivel mounted gun you're exposed. A small casemate mount has poor traverse but good protection, which is the whole point.
Much less exposed than your opponent, though.
 

Saphroneth

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Much less exposed than your opponent, though.
If your head and upper torso are slewing the weapon around? You might actually be more exposed - and a Gatling gun cranker has to be stood upright to work the crank, so his body level is over the level of the gun barrels. If the enemy has basic field embrasures then they might well be more protected.
Similarly, shell fire might not have a hope of damaging 2x2" iron over oak but it's deadly to that part of a person outside the casemate, and the field guns firing at the armoured train have a heck of a lot faster rate of fire than the 11" of Monitor.
 

USS ALASKA

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You have to look at the intended target to determine the best armament. Lee' gun was designed to help him in a battle with an enemy in formal lines and with plenty of artillery. The Union trains were designed to keep rail lines open from raids by small groups of cavalry, with perhaps a small cannon or two.

Lee needed a heavy gun and the Union wanted antipersonnel coverage all around.
Sir, that is the conclusion I drew reading about this. Union equipment was for patrolling the lines as a security measure as opposed to being 'land monitors' for use in battle. Especially those roads that had trackage in Maryland.

I wonder if Union troops felt like German troops in WWI when the first Allied tanks appeared on the battlefield. Having these monsters headed toward you could have been exciting...

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

Carronade

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Sir, that is the conclusion I drew reading about this. Union equipment was for patrolling the lines as a security measure as opposed to being 'land monitors' for use in battle. Especially those roads that had trackage in Maryland.

I wonder if Union troops felt like German troops in WWI when the first Allied tanks appeared on the battlefield. Having these monsters headed toward you could have been exciting...

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
Civil War security being what it was, the "land Merrimack" probably wasn't too much of a surprise - although still unpleasant for those on the receiving end!

It's been mentioned in some of our naval discussions how the name Merrimack persisted, and persists, even though the ship had been renamed CSS Virginia; the "land Merrimack" is another good example.
 

USS ALASKA

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It's been mentioned in some of our naval discussions how the name Merrimack persisted, and persists, even though the ship had been renamed CSS Virginia; the "land Merrimack" is another good example.
Indeed sir, and in this case it wasn't a Union entity that just obstinately refused to use the proper name but a Richmond newspaper.

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

USS ALASKA

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Looking at some pics of 'cotton clad' railroad cars. How effective was this? Were cotton bales thick enough and pressed tight enough to stop small arms fire?

Thanks,
USS ALASKA
 

Saphroneth

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Looking at some pics of 'cotton clad' railroad cars. How effective was this? Were cotton bales thick enough and pressed tight enough to stop small arms fire?
Per Hodges, American Civil War Railroad Tactics:

Fortified positions protected with 500lb cotton bales were not uncommon during the Civil War; the large bale would absorb bullets and offered some protection against field artillery fragments.

Intuitively this makes sense to me - a minie ball doesn't have a great deal of kinetic energy.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Whoa, we were so fortunate. Death toll from the war was staggering without machines that could kill even more. It's always seemed such a narrow escape the Gatling wasn't around for most of it.

Love the inventors describing their weapons, post #5? Found one whose flying machine would squish entire villages, dropping rocks. All this glee over feeling you could contribute to more dead people always seems so macabre, war or no.
 
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Whoa, we were so fortunate. Death toll from the war was staggering without machines that could kill even more. It's always seemed such a narrow escape the Gatling wasn't around for most of it.

Love the inventors describing their weapons, post #5? Found one whose flying machine would squish entire villages, dropping rocks. All this glee over feeling you could contribute to more dead people always seems so macabre, war or no.
I work at a naval nuclear propulsion laboratory, JPK. I take no "glee" in my work, but I do take satisfaction in striving to give my country the most effective and superior naval weapons platforms possible. That said, if I were a praying man, I would pray every day that they never have to be used.
 

RebelWeber

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USS ALASKA

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1556714305788.png

Another view from...

RAILWAY ARTILLERY
A Report On the Characteristics, Scope Of Utility, Etc. of Railway Artillery
WASHINGTON GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 1921
3526

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 


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