Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

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Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 27 Apr 2013 19:19

Hello folks,

As you all probably know there were ten 10.5cm guns from SMS Königsberg used in the East African campaign. Along with a colleague, I'm trying to track them down.

Already, we know there is one in Pretoria-
Image

One in Mombassa-
Image

and one at Jinja, Uganda-
Image

Two were formerly on display in Kinshasa (formerly Leopoldville) and Kisangani (formerly Stanleyville). They were last seen in the 1950s and 1970s respectively. Does anyone have any news on these? They are seen in old photos on this page-
http://www.stanleyville.be/canon_place.html

Then this one cropped up in my hometown of London!!!

Image
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205196688

That's in London 1924. It used to part of the Imperial War Museum Collection. In 1928 they gave it to the RNVR in Hove and it's not been seen since.

Any clues or leads on that or other guns anyone?

Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 29 Apr 2013 14:39

I'm going to lay out all the information myself and Bob Wagner have been able to attain so far in the hopes that one of you might be able to spot a few more clues that we've overlooked. Much of the German side of this research was done by Holger Kotthaus on the Panzer Archiv Forum (http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic.php?t=9020). There's more great discussion at http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forum ... opic=88530

We know that the ten guns were salvaged from the wreck of the SMS Konigsberg in the Rufiji Delta in July 1915 and that they were dragged overland to Dar Es Salaam where the Germans set to work building gun carriages and limbers for some of them. They were then deployed for land use. Five were mounted on their original naval C06 fixed pivot stands to defend Dar Es Salaam, two on their pivot stands went to Tanga. Three were sent Westwards to Mwanza, Kigoma and to serve on the SS Graf von Götzen.

In March 1916 the SS Marie arrived in East Africa with supplies from Germany. Included with the supplies were four gun carriages made by Krupp specifically for the Königsberg's guns. This made more of them mobile and able to carry on the war as the Schutztruppe retreated. One by one the guns were destroyed or were captured as the campaign went on. All of them had fallen into allied hands after being disabled by the Germans before the end of 1917.
It is reported that the ten guns were captured at-

1 Kahe
2 Kondoa Irangi
3 Mwanza
4 Bagamoyo
5 Mkuyuni
6 Korogwe
7 Tabora
8 Kibata
9 Mahiwa
10 Massassi

Further to that we have the researches of Holger Kotthaus from various sources-

1.) – 21. März 1916 – Kahe – Bezirk XVII Moshi – Auf Mittelpivotlafette
Daressalam - Tanga - Korogwe (Usambara) - Kahe
Artillerieführer: Korvetten-Kapitän a.D. Werner Schönfeld
bei Abteilung Stemmermann / Nordtruppen unter Hauptmann Kraut

2.) – 18. Mai 1916 – Kondoa-Irangi – Bezirk XVI Kondoa-Irangi – Auf Krupp Lafette
Daressalam - Dodoma - Kondoa-Irangi
Geschützführer: Leutnant z.S. Reinhold Kohtz
bei Abteilung v. Chappuis / Kommando unter Oberstleutnant von Lettow-Vorbeck

3.) – 14. Juli 1916 – Muansa – Bezirk XIX Muansa – Auf Mittelpivotlafette
Daressalam - Tabora - Muansa
Artillerieführer: Oberleutnant d.R. Dr. Alfred Vogel
bei Abteilung Muansa - / v. Oppen / Westtruppen unter Generalmajor Wahle

4.) – 15. August 1916 – Bagamojo – Bezirk IV Bagamojo – Auf Krupp Lafette
Daressalam - Bagamojo
Geschützführer: Leutnant d.R. d. Matr.Art. Dr. Paul Friedrich
bei Abteilung von Bock / Osttruppen unter Oberstleutnant von Lettow-Vorbeck

5.) – 30. August 1916 – Mkuyuni – Bezirk V Morogoro – Auf selbstgebauter Lafette
Daressalam - Lembeni - Korogwe - Handeni - Mlembule - Kanga - Kwedihombo - Morogoro - Mkuyuni
Geschützführer: Leutnant z.S. a.D. Udo v. Eucken-Addenhausen
bei Abteilung Stemmermann / Osttruppen unter Oberstleutnant von Lettow-Vorbeck

6.) – 2. September 1916 – Korogwe – Bezirk XIV Tabora – Auf Krupp Lafette
Daressalam - Kigoma - ,,Götzen´´ - Dodoma - Kondoa-Irangi - Tabora - Korogwe (Kahama)
Geschützführer: Leutnant z.S. Reinhold Kohtz
bei Abteilung v. Linde-Suden / Westtruppen unter Generalmajor Wahle

7.) – 18. September 1916 – Tabora – Bezirk XIV Tabora – Auf selbstgebauter Lafette
Daressalam - Kigoma - ,,Elefantenfuß´´- Gottorp - Ussoke - Lulanguru - Tabora (Itaga / Ngeruka Hügel)
Geschützführer: Leutnant z.S. Reinhold Kohtz
beim Kommando der Westtruppen unter Generalmajor Wahle

8.) – 15. Januar 1917 – Kibata – Bezirk VIII Kilwa – Auf selbstgebauter Lafette
Daressalam - Kissidju - Utete - Rufidji - Mohoro - Kibata (Mbwara)
Geschützführer: Oberleutnant z.S. Hans Apel
bei Abteilung Schulz / Osttruppen unter Oberstleutnant von Lettow-Vorbeck

9.) – 27. Oktober 1917– Mahiwa – Bezirk IX Lindi – Auf selbstgebauter Lafette
Daressalam - Utete - Liwale - Lukuledi - Newala - Mpotora - Lindi - Narunju - Mahiwa
Artillerie- und Geschützführer: Oberleutnant z.S. Richard Wenig
bei Abteilung Wahle / Osttruppen unter Oberstleutnant von Lettow-Vorbeck

10.) – 28. Oktober 1917 – Massassi – Bezirk IX Lindi – Auf Krupp Lafette
Daressalam - Tanga - Pangani - Mlembule - Kwedihombo - Kilossa - Kidodi - Ifakara - Saidi - Liwale - Massassi
Geschützführer: Leutnant z.S. d.R. Wilhelm Frankenberg
bei Abteilung Kraut / Osttruppen unter Oberstleutnant von Lettow-Vorbeck

For those of you who speak no German the list gives the date and place of capture, which district it was in, the type of gun carriage (Mittelpivotlafette- naval fixed pivot stand, selbstgebauter Lafette- Gun Carriage made in Dar Es Salaam, Krupp Lafette- Krupp Gun Carriage from the SS Marie), the places the gun served in and its commander and unit.
I believe most of this to be correct, though perhaps not on all the carriages. Holger admits it is not all 100% certain.

Now to try to work out which gun is which from the surviving examples.

We know that gun 3 Mwanza is now in Jinja, Uganda and that gun 4 Bagamoyo is now in Mombassa, Kenya.
The two guns which ended up in the Belgian Congo in Leopoldville and Stanleyville would surely be the ones that were captured by Belgian troops, namely 6 Korogwe and 7 Tabora, though I am not sure which way around they are.

1 Kahe
2 Kondoa Irangi
3 Mwanza (now in Jinja Uganda)
4 Bagamoyo (now in Mombassa)
5 Mkuyuni
6 Korogwe (Belgian Congo)
7 Tabora (Belgian Congo)
8 Kibata
9 Mahiwa
10 Massassi

The gun on display at Pretoria has a plaque saying it was captured at Kahe. This cannot be correct as the Kahe gun is reported by witnesses as having blown its barrel. Photographs also confirm this. The Pretoria gun is therefore unaccounted for.

The Kevin Patience book Konigsberg notes about gun 2 Kondoa Irangi that "The second Dar es Salaam gun under Lt Kohtz, exploded while being used at Kondoa Irangi. The barrel was returned to Dar es Salaam but was unrepairable and buried."

The Panzer Forum quotes several witnesses saying gun 5 Mkuyuni was also destroyed with blown barrel and wheels.

Kaiser's Cross website notes of the gun 8 Kibata "The second position captured had been the firing location for the Konigsberg gun, which now could not be dragged swiftly enough away from the advancing British troops.  Two days later scouts found the gun, abandoned and destroyed. 
http://www.kaiserscross.com/188001/447622.html

1 Kahe (blown barrel)
2 Kondoa Irangi (blown barrel buried)
3 Mwanza (now in Jinja Uganda)
4 Bagamoyo (now in Mombassa)
5 Mkuyuni (blown barrel)
6 Korogwe (Belgian Congo)
7 Tabora (Belgian Congo)
8 Kibata (destroyed)
9 Mahiwa
10 Massassi

So the 9 Mahiwa and 10 Massassi guns as the only unaccounted intact guns must be the Pretoria and Imperial War Museum Guns. I would suggest that gun 9 Mahiwa probably went to Pretoria as the Battle of Mahiwa was the only one of these actions in which South African troops took part and similarly to the Belgian guns (6 Korogwe and 7 Tabora) it would make sense if that was the gun they took home as a war trophy. Gun 10 Massassi was captured by a British column (including KAR, Baluchis and the Gold Coast Regiment) and would therefore more likely have ended up in British hands.

1 Kahe (blown barrel)
2 Kondoa Irangi (blown barrel buried)
3 Mwanza (now in Jinja Uganda)
4 Bagamoyo (now in Mombassa)
5 Mkuyuni (blown barrel)
6 Korogwe (Belgian Congo)
7 Tabora (Belgian Congo)
8 Kibata (destroyed)
9 Mahiwa (Unknown possibly Pretoria)
10 Massassi (Unknown possibly IWM)

All comments are very welcome!
Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 29 Apr 2013 17:30

Barrel Flanges

Now to try to work out which gun is which from period photographs. There are a few identifying features on the guns. The most notable of which are the barrel flanges and the gun carriages. First barrel flanges-

Image

The diagram above shows how the 10.5cm (here noted as 4.1' Inch) guns on the SMS Königsberg were mounted-
Two in armoured turrets on the ship's forward deck.
Two in unarmoured side blisters with shutters towards the front (fore) of the ship.
Two in armoured turrets on the side of the ship in the centre.
Two in unarmoured side blisters with shutters towards the rear (aft) of the ship.
Two mounted in armoured turrets on the ship's rear (aft) deck.

See the photo below with the fore turrets on deck, the open gun blister on the fore side and the rounded turret in the centre.

Image

The six SMS Königsberg guns that were mounted in armoured turrets had a steel flange with bolt holes fixed onto the barrel. Onto the flange was bolted a heavy steel shield which fitted into the firing slot in the gun's turret, protecting the gunners in the turret. When used without a turret on land the bolted on shield was often removed leaving only the flange visible.

Image
Gun 4 Bagamoyo in Mombassa, note the flange on the Barrel.

Image
A turret mounted 10.5cm gun from the SMS Emden, note the small shield bolted to the flange which fills the firing slot in the turret.

The four guns that were originally mounted in the ship's unarmoured side blisters did not have shields and therefore did not have the shield flange on the barrel either.

Image
This Emden 10.5cm gun has no flange and was therefore not turret mounted.

From modern and period photographs we can see some of the guns which had turret flanges-

4 Bagamoyo (now in Mombassa) Flange
6 Korogwe (Belgian Congo) Flange and Shield
7 Tabora (Belgian Congo) Flange and Shield
9 Mahiwa (Unknown possibly Pretoria) Flange
10 Massassi (Unknown possibly IWM) Flange

On the Panzer Archiv Forum Holger Kotthaus says that gun 5 Mkuyuni was used with its turret when positioned in Dar Es Salaam. It would therefore also surely have a turret flange and shield. That gives us the six guns with flanges.
So the other four must not have had flanges. Gun 3 Mwanza can be seen in Jinja with no flange and 1 Kahe is seen in photographs after it was blown up without a flange.

This leaves us with-
1 Kahe (blown barrel) - No Flange
2 Kondoa Irangi (blown barrel buried) No Flange
3 Mwanza (now in Jinja Uganda) No Flange
4 Bagamoyo (now in Mombassa) Flange
5 Mkuyuni (blown barrel) Flange
6 Korogwe (Belgian Congo) Flange and Shield
7 Tabora (Belgian Congo) Flange and Shield
8 Kibata (destroyed) No Flange
9 Mahiwa (Unknown possibly Pretoria) Flange
10 Massassi (Unknown possibly IWM) Flange

All comments welcome as usual!
Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 29 Apr 2013 19:38

Gun Mountings and Carriages

Now onto the Gun mountings and carriages. There were four distinctly different mounts for these guns-

1. The guns were originally mounted on the SMS Königsberg with C06 pivot stands. These stands were also used for the guns in their original fixed positions at Dar Es Salaam (Guns numbers 2,4,5,8 and 9), Tanga (Gun numbers 1 and 10), Kigoma (Gun numbers 6 and 7- 6 was later mounted on its stand on the SS Goetzen) and Mwanza (Gun 3).
Image

2. In Dar Es Salaam gun carriages were improvised from parts of Traction Engines. They had a rounded blunt front nose and sat mostly below the wheel axle. The carriage had a folding platform on either side for the gunners to stand on. The wheels had 12 or 14 tangentially laced spokes. Limbers were also made for these guns with similar smaller wheels.
Image


3. In March 1916 the blockade busting ship SS Marie brought four Krupp gun carriages packed in kit format. They notably stood above the wheel axle and came with an ammunition hoist on the left hand side and a detachable shield at the front. The carriage had a fixed platform on either side for the gunners to stand on. The wheels had 8 steel struts.
Image

4. The Pretoria Gun Carriage. The gun carriage on the Pretoria gun is unique. This carriage was made following the basic design on the Krupp carriage, though its rough machine work shows it was made in Dar Es Salaam rather than in Germany. It is noticeably rougher and it has two curves on the top edge of the carriage next to the breech whereas the original Krupp carriages were straight. There is no gunner platform or ammunition hoist on this carriage. A pair of original Krupp wheels were used.
Image

Holger's list has the gun with the following mounts-
1 Kahe -Fixed Pivot
2 Kondoa Irangi -Krupp Carriage
3 Mwanza -Fixed Pivot
4 Bagamoyo -Krupp Carriage
5 Mkuyuni -Dar Es Salaam Carriage
6 Korogwe - Krupp Carriage
7 Tabora -Dar Es Salaam Carriage
8 Kibata -Dar Es Salaam Carriage
9 Mahiwa -Dar Es Salaam Carriage
10 Massassi - Krupp Carriage

I believe this list is mostly correct.

The guns were all re-fitted at Dar in July 1915. Those sent away needed carriages immediately, so carriages had to be made (the Dar Carriages). Those that remained nearby in Dar and Tanga in fixed emplacements did not need carriages right away.

So the three guns sent West (6 Korogwe and 7 Tabora the Belgians guns, and 3 Mwanza gun) got Dar Carriages. Although these three guns are usually noted as fixed emplacement guns they would have needed some kind of transport to get them across the colony from Dar to the coast of the great Lakes. It is a reasonable theory that even the fixed emplacement guns had some kind of carriage if away from Dar and Tanga.

The next gun to need to need a carriage would be 5 Mkuyuni leaving Dar in March 1916. It would have to use a Dar Carriage.

The next to need a carriage was March 1916, the 1 Kahe Gun, leaves Tanga. This is again before the Krupp carriages are available so it uses a Dar one. Again the Kahe gun is usually referred to as being a fixed emplacement gun but photos of its split remains show it with a limber and wheels.

The SS Marie lands in March 1916 with four Krupp carriages. These carriages are given to the next guns from Tanga and Dar to be moved.

2 Kondoa Irangi is at Dar until April 1916 when the first Krupp's become available. Gets a Krupp Carriage. May 1916 blows barrel sent back to Dar barrel not repairable (possibly damaged carriage) leaving spare wheels.

June 1916, Gun 10 Massassi leaves Tanga gets a Krupp.

August 1916, Gun 4 Bagamoyo leaves Dar gets a Krupp.

August 1916 Gun 8 Kibata, surely that gets the fourth Krupp? I'm not sure on this one as there are photos of what could be the Kibata gun with a Dar carriage.

August 1916 Gun 9 Mahiwa, leaves Dar, they've run out of Krupps and build a Krupp type one (the Pretoria gun) with the spare wheels from gun 2 Kondoa Irangi. Another theory that might work is that Gun 9 used a Krupp carriage from Aug 1916 and that the carriage was damaged and replaced in Dar, hence the Pretoria carriage. Admittedly this is part is still a mystery.

This would leave us with a list similar to Holger's-
1 Kahe - Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage
2 Kondoa Irangi - Krupp Carriage
3 Mwanza - Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage
4 Bagamoyo - Krupp Carriage
5 Mkuyuni - Dar Es Salaam Carriage
6 Korogwe - Dar Es Salaam Carriage
7 Tabora - Dar Es Salaam Carriage
8 Kibata - Dar Es Salaam or Krupp Carriage?
9 Mahiwa - Dar Es Salaam-Pretoria Carriage?
10 Massassi - Krupp Carriage

This list is not without problems but it's a start... as always comments welcome!
Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 29 Apr 2013 19:54

So a quick summing up of our theories-

1 Kahe (blown barrel) - No Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage
2 Kondoa Irangi (blown barrel buried) No Flange/Fixed Pivot/Krupp Carriage
3 Mwanza (now in Jinja Uganda) No Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage?
4 Bagamoyo (now in Mombassa) Flange/Fixed Pivot/Krupp Carriage
5 Mkuyuni (blown barrel) Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage
6 Korogwe (Belgian Congo) Flange and Shield/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage
7 Tabora (Belgian Congo) Flange and Shield/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage
8 Kibata (destroyed) No Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage or Krupp Carriage?
9 Mahiwa (Unknown possibly Pretoria) Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar-Pretoria Carriage?
10 Massassi (Unknown possibly IWM) Flange/Fixed Pivot/Krupp Carriage

We're not all there yet... does anyone have any more helpful ideas?

Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 29 Apr 2013 22:27

1 Kahe Gun

Now, let's look at some photos of the guns...

Image
Firstly here's a photo of gun 1 Kahe after its capture. At least its labelled as the Kahe gun. We can't always trust period labelling but in this case I believe it is correct as the German descriptions of it bursting its barrel while firing seem to match the damage visible here.

Image
Here is another photo showing a damaged Königsberg gun after its capture. The split in the barrel of the gun seems identical in shape to the previous photo leading us to believe that this is the same gun 1 Kahe. Note that it has no barrel flange. Note also the recoil piston in the right foreground, the Dar Es Salaam made limber on the left and what could be the box like remains of a Dar Es Salaam made gun carriage in the background. This would imply that although the 1 Kahe gun is usually described as being a fixed pivot gun it also had a limber and therefore a carriage. As the gun was destroyed and captured only days after the arrival of the SS Marie this must have been on a Dar Es Salaam made gun carriage.

So far this would seem to fit with our summary of-

1 Kahe (blown barrel) - No Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage

These photos would also seem to disprove the claim on the Pretoria gun's plaque that it was captured at Kahe as this barrel appears to be beyond repair while the example in Pretoria is intact.

I am not sure of the sources of either of these photos, if someone knows them could they please advise me?
Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 29 Apr 2013 22:56

Here is a photo of a Königsberg gun barrel being dragged by teams of African porters on a makeshift sled.
The photo is from- http://edocs.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/vollte ... 1/8010378/

Image
It may show one of the salvaged barrels being taken to Dar Es Salaam in July 1915 or perhaps the burst barrel of gun 2 Kondoa Irangi being taken for repairs in May 1916. In which case its Krupp carriage had certainly been destroyed. Seeing this method of transport makes it appear more unlikely that the guns deployed to the West of German East Africa did so without carriages.

It was following the Battle of Kondoa Irangi that gun 2 suffered a burst barrel while shelling allied positions on 18th May 1916. The barrel was taken back to Dar Es Salaam to the railway works for repair. The barrel was however not repairable and was buried near the railway works to prevent it falling into enemy hands. This was the only gun not fall into allied hands and it most likely remains buried near the Tazara Railway Station in Dar Es Salaam to this day.

Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 29 Apr 2013 23:07

3 Mwanza Gun

Image
Here is gun number 3 Mwanza, as rediscovered in Jinja, Uganda by Bob Wagner in 1998. As you can see it has no flange and is still on its fixed pivot mount. It may have at some point used a Dar Es Salaam gun carriage to get it from Dar to Mwanza?

Image
The plaque on the gun seems to describe its known history accurately.
So far this example seems align with the theory of-
3 Mwanza (now in Jinja Uganda) No Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage?
Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Tanzania » 30 Apr 2013 05:02

Two were formerly on display in Kinshasa (formerly Leopoldville) and Kisangani (formerly Stanleyville). They were last seen in the 1950s and 1970s respectively. Does anyone have any news on these? They are seen in old photos on this page-
http://www.stanleyville.be/canon_place.html


Dear Chris,
Sensational and wonderful, your notice. I am searching since more than 10 years for this `missing link´;
But there were only rumors from the “heart of darkness” about two additional Guns from the KONIGSBERG.

Now it’s worth to start a journey at the ”A Bend in the River” (Stanleyville / Kisangani) and look a little
around. . . . . . but it´s only possible between the next two rainy seasons.

Cheers, Holger Kotthaus
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 30 Apr 2013 09:54

Hello Holger,

Great to see you here on this thread, as you have seen a lot of my information is based on the researches you have already done. A lot of the other work was done by Bob Wagner. Hopefully here we can combine our knowledge and solve the last mysteries of the SMS Königsberg Guns!

More information and photos to follow today...

Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 30 Apr 2013 10:50

4 Bagamoyo Gun

Gun 4 Bagamoyo is very interesting as we have photos of just after its capture and in its modern resting place at Fort Jesus in Mombassa, Kenya. The photos would seem to confirm our previous theory-
4 Bagamoyo (now in Mombassa) Flange/Fixed Pivot/Krupp Carriage

Image
Here is the gun shown shortly after its capture in Bagamoyo. Note the Krupp gun carriage sitting above the axle, its gunners platform, ammunition hoist bar, partial shield and Krupp wheels with eight struts. In the background is an Askari of the British Kings African Rifles standing guard. This photograph was in the collection of Able Seaman William Thomas Clegg RN who served on the HMS Vengeance in East Africa during the First World War, and has kindly been shared with us by his grandson, Bob William Green.

Image
William Thomas Clegg's handwritten notes on the reverse of the photograph. They read-
"German Naval 4.1 (the calibre of the gun in inches) Captured by the ships company of HMS Vengeance who landed at "Bagamoyo" German East Africa after a warm reception on August 15th 1916 4am quite early and no breakfast - Rtg (possibly an abbreviation of "Rating") WT Clegg".

Image
The same gun at Fort Jesus in Mombassa, Kenya. Note again the Krupp carriage and this time a clear view of the barrel flange. The shield has now been entirely removed.

Image
Another view of the same gun in Mombassa. This time the pole of the ammunition hoist can be seen on the left side above the wheel. Close examination shows that the left wheel has now been put on the wrong way around. The struts on the inside of the wheel should flatten out before they reach the rim. The struts on the out side retain a ridge up until the rim. It can been seen here that the struts on this left wheel flatten out on the outside rim, and the inside right rim, while in the previous photo we see them going to the rim on the left outside and right inside. Looking at the black and white photo above we see the left wheel was on the correct way around when it was captured in Bagamoyo. The confusion may have occurred when the gun was restored in the late 20th Century.


Thoughts and comments welcome!
Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby danebrog » 30 Apr 2013 11:42

WOW - outstanding research work, Chris!!
Thanks a lot for sharing these informations

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 30 Apr 2013 12:45

Guns 6 Korogwe and 7 Tabora

Thank you Danebrog, I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Let's look at some more guns...

I have seen no confirmed photos of gun 5 Mkuyuni as yet. So we are not able yet to prove our theory of-
5 Mkuyuni (blown barrel) Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage

Guns 6 Korogwe and 7 Tabora have been seen. These are two guns that went to the Western Front fighting the Belgians on Lake Tanganyika and were eventually captured by Belgian forces and displayed in the Congo.

Image
Here is gun 6 Korogwe in a turret position mounted on it fixed pivot stand on the board the SS Graf von Götzen. Note the breech block and handle which can be seen clearly here. It was removed on most if not all the guns before they were captured so it is not seen on surviving examples. Being in a turret position we would expect this gun to have a flange and shield. (Photo from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... Kanone.jpg)

Image
Here is the emplacement for gun 7 Tabora at the so called Elefantenfuß - elephant's foot outside Kigoma. It is easy to see why the emplacement got its nickname looking like a large elephant's footprint. Again, being in a turret position we would expect this gun to have had a flange and shield.

Both these guns fell into Belgian hands and were displayed back in the Congo, one at Kinshasa (formerly Leopoldville) and the other at Kisangani (formerly Stanleyville). I have yet to work out which gun went to which site.

The following photos are from the http://www.stanleyville.be/canon_place.html website-

Image
Here is the Leopoldville gun seen in about 1936.

Image
...and Leopoldville again in 1953, with a great view of the front of the Dar carriage.

Image
Here is the Stanleyville gun seen in about 1952

Image
...and Stanleyville again in the late 1950s

Note that although both guns were intended for fixed position roles they both had gun carriages, leading us to suspect again that other fixed position guns outside of Dar Es Salaam and Tanga(such as 1 Kahe and 3 Mwanza) also had gun carriages. The gun carriages are both of the Dar Es Salaam type with tangentially laced spoked wheels and a low slung blunt nosed carriage. Note the collapsed folding gunners platform. The Leopoldville gun still has its limber with similar wheels. As suspected from their previous turret roles both guns have a barrel flange and small shield attached.

Note that again the guns have been put together incorrectly with the barrels upside down, exposing the recoil piston and with the curved side of the flange shield to the top, whereas the flat side should be upwards. I would guess that the same team of engineers reassembled both guns probably without the advice of a German naval engineer.

These photos would seem to confirm our theory-
6 Korogwe (Belgian Congo) Flange and Shield/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage
7 Tabora (Belgian Congo) Flange and Shield/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage

The Leopoldville Gun was last photographed in the 1950s. The Stanleyville gun was last photographed in 1971. The whereabouts of both guns are currently unknown. Later photos of the Place du Canon in Kisangani (formerly Stanleyville) show an empty plinth where the gun once stood made into an advertising hoard-

Image

More to come...
Cheers
Chris

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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 30 Apr 2013 13:28

Pretoria Gun

I have seen no confirmed photos of gun 8 Kibata as yet. So we are not able yet to prove our theory of-
8 Kibata (destroyed) No Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage or Krupp Carriage?

I have not seen confirmed period photos of gun 9 Mahiwa either. We have hypothesised that it may be the gun on display in Pretoria as the Battle of Mahiwa was fought with South African troops who might then have taken the gun home to Pretoria as a trophy.

These photos by MC Heunis (who worked on its restoration) are of the Pretoria Gun.
Image
Image
...with Martin Brookes from the South African Department of Public Works who restored it.
Image
Image

Note the barrel flange without attached shield and the gap left by the removed breech block. This time the barrel is on the correct way up with the recoil pistons on the underside. The wheels are the eight strut Krupp type.

The carriage is a unique design. It is clearly based on the design of the Krupp carriages that arrived in the SS Marie in 1916 but appears from its rough finish to have been made in Dar Es Salaam. This is especially visible in the third photograph when comparing the finish of the German made barrel and wheels to the welding of the carriage.

Gun 9 Mahiwa was one of the last guns to leave its fixed position in Dar Es Salaam in August 1916 and therefore one of the last to need a carriage. It could be that the last of the four Krupp carriages had already been issued and the Dar Es Salaam works built a Krupp type one with the spare wheels from gun 2 Kondoa Irangi. Another theory that might work is that Gun 9 used a Krupp carriage from Aug 1916 and that the carriage was damaged and replaced by a similar one made in Dar. Admittedly this is part is still a mystery.

During restoration of the gun paint samples were taken and it was found this reddish brown was the colour of the gun as seen during the First World War. The gun was mounted on its chassis at Dar-es-Salaam railway works so possibly this was the colour used on trains in German East Africa at the time and would have been more camouflage than the naval pale grey-blue that the barrel would previously have been while on ship.

Image
The Plaque on the Pretoria gun claiming it was captured at Kahe. This is unlikely to be correct as gun 1 Kahe had a blown barrel as seen in photos above and the Pretoria gun has an intact barrel.

Although I am not 100% sure on all aspects of this gun, so far it holds with the theory of-
9 Mahiwa (Unknown possibly Pretoria) Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar-Pretoria Carriage?

More to come...
Cheers
Chris

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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Postby Chris Dale » 30 Apr 2013 14:30

Imperial War Museum/Hove Gun

OK, gun 10 Massassi as its now the only gun unaccounted for would most likely be the gun in the mysterious Imperial War Museum photo.

Image
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205196688
This photo was taken in 1924 when the museum was moving from Crystal Palace to South Kensington. It clearly shows an SMS Königsberg gun with the specially widened wheels common to all Königsberg guns. It has a barrel flange and a Krupp carriage with complete shield and Krupp wheels. This perfectly fits with our theory of-
10 Massassi (Unknown possibly IWM) Flange/Fixed Pivot/Krupp Carriage

I wrote to the Imperial War Museum to see if they knew where it was today and got a reply saying they had no records of the gun existing and that they thought it was probably a British gun anyway, though they couldn't tell what type it was.

Then Bob Wagner wrote to the museum and got this far more helpful reply-

"Thank you for your enquiry about the fate of the IWM’s Konigsberg gun. The Museum’s accession register states that the 4.1 inch (105mm) gun from the German Light Cruiser Konigsberg was acquired from the Admiralty on the 24th July 1918, catalogue number 140. 
During the years 1917-1924, the Museum had enough storage accommodation for its exhibits, firstly in various stores scattered around London, and then, from 1920 at Crystal Palace.  However, when the Crystal Palace lease expired in 1924, the Museum was offered vastly reduced accommodation in South Kensington and was forced to dispose of  a large number of exhibits that it no longer had the space to store or display.  It seems the Konigsberg gun was one of these. 
According to the file EN1/1/TRO/047 the gun was transferred to RNVR Hove for display on the parade ground there on the 17th April 1928.  That is all the information I can provide, I’m afraid - I hope that this is helpful."

It certainly was helpful and it just goes to show if you don't like the first answer, ask the same people the same question again and hope for a better one!

The RNVR (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) base at the Battery in Hove was replaced in 1939 with a new naval base at King Alfred, Hove. After the Second World War the building was used as a Leisure Centre and still is. The gun is nowhere to be seen.

Since then I have emailed Hove historians and local museums so far with no luck. Of course it is very possible that the gun was scrapped years ago when the naval base moved but there is always a small hope that it is sitting in the shade somewhere rusting quietly...

Please let me know if you have anymore information on this gun!!!!
Cheers
Chris


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