Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

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CPT Bob
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by CPT Bob » 29 Dec 2018 14:14

Something "new". I think he needs a bigger hammer.

https://www.sleekburnprints.com/1916-ww ... 1750-p.asp
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CPT Bob
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by CPT Bob » 12 Jan 2019 14:22

More Buried Treasure?

If I recall correctly, c.May 1916, a 10.5cm gun (without a Flange)which was mounted on a Krupp carriage "exploded" at Kondoa. The damaged gun was evacuated to the Railway Shop at Tabora. A replacement carriage was fabricated there using the wheels from the Krupp carriage. The damaged barrel was buried on-site. The "new" carriage was sent to Kigoma, where the barrel from Kigoma Hill was mounted. That gun was eventually abandoned at Itaga and is now displayed in Pretoria.

The buildings of the old Railway Shop have been cleared, but the foundations are still visible.

The buried barrel is likely still there. Somewhere.
Tabora2-300x233.jpg
EAR002.jpg
tabora railway shop.jpg
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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 13 Jan 2019 02:01

Good work, Bob. So glad you have you back on board.
Cheers
Chris

CPT Bob
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by CPT Bob » 13 Jan 2019 13:32

Thank you, my friend. Life has been a bit......difficult.....but, unless you are dead, you must get up and move forward.

So....who has a metal detector in Tanzania? Ha!

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by CPT Bob » 15 Jan 2019 00:32

Does anyone recall who wrote this story? I need a bit of help. I am having trouble finding the references because I cannot find my old notes. Argh!

It was an English translation of a German book containing an account of the march south from Morogoro along the Selous-Kisaki road. It included details of the abandonment of the 10.5cm gun a short distance north of the Ruvu River Bridge.

I think that it was written by a German Army Sergeant, or perhaps a “civilian”. I do not think that it was written by a Navy Officer.

The story describes how “the Commander” was a distance ahead of the gun-crew during the march and, when he reached the Ruvu Bridge, he sent orders back to the gun for it to be disabled & abandoned because “the gallery” would not support the weight of the gun.

I assumed that the English word “gallery” referred to the actual bridge, but could it actually describe the steep, switch-back road leading down to the bridge?

The story also mentions hiding 300 rounds of 10.5cm ammunition in nearby caves.

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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 15 Jan 2019 09:26

In his memoirs, Hermann J Müller recalled- "After two hours march through the jungle we reached Chimbosa. It was a rare sight to see the transportation of the howitzer battery with its many parts on the Ruvuvu Bridge by torchlight. It had been said that it would have been impossible for our 10.5cm gun to cross the bridge but seeing the bridge now it seems it would have been possible in daylight. But what use is talk now? What's done is done!"

That's my translation, I can look up the original German if you like. Müller was a former soldier who lived in DOA when war broke out. He served therefore as a reservist and worked with three of the different guns.

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Chris

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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 15 Jan 2019 09:27

Also from his book- "The brass shell casings (111 of them each weighing 5kg) were hidden in one of the caves... and then we moved out into the night."

CPT Bob
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by CPT Bob » 15 Jan 2019 14:16

It appears as if Hermann Müller was with the howitzers, watching them cross the Ruvu Bridge by torchlight. The story that I recall was written by someone who was with the K-berg gun that same night (some distance north of the bridge) and who witnessed the ammunition being carried away to be hidden and the demolition of the gun.

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by CPT Bob » 15 Jan 2019 14:35

It is interesting that many British photographs exist of the the abandoned k-berg gun and that the British made such an effort was made to recover the gun, but I have not seen one report of the ammunition cache having ever been recovered. I would expect to have found at least one photo of someone posing with the pile of shells. Hmmmmm.....

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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 15 Jan 2019 16:20

I don't have any other eyewitness accounts of that gun, sorry.

Perhaps the ammunition is still in a cave....

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Chris

Kallag
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Kallag » 15 Jan 2019 17:55

Most interesting stuff Chris and Bob, thanks.

Just to digress ever so slightly.....was sent the following extract from a book on the Queens visit to South Africa in 1947.
Smuts house.jpg
The gong picture is from the net.
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by CPT Bob » 16 Jan 2019 20:45

Chris, I found and re-read the notes from 2014 that you sent me regarding Hermann J Müller. I think I have blended his story with that of someone else. I recall more mention of the porters carrying the ammunition away and how quickly they returned. (Inferring that the "caves" were rather close to the gun and the road.) I do also remember the peculiar word "gallery" was used to describe the "bridge".


I like the Gong!

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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 17 Jan 2019 01:07

Gallery may have been an early mistranslation. Sorry if that threw you off the trail...

The gong is indeed great!

CPT Bob
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by CPT Bob » 17 Jan 2019 20:36

Smuts would ask women if they would like to step into his library and see his gong. Ha!

CPT Bob
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by CPT Bob » 20 Jan 2019 15:06

I now clearly see that empty shell casings were cached, not live ammunition.

Hermann Müller reported that on 30 August 1916, the “Mkuyuni Gun” fired all ammunition c.6:PM, was disabled c.7:PM and 111 shell casings were hidden in a nearby “cave”. This event was followed by a 2-hour march to the Ruvu River Bridge, where he watched the howitzer battery cross by torchlight.

Using Google-Earth, I noticed that someone had attached the label “Blechdachdorf” to a large village on the Selous-Kisaki Road that matched the location of “Mkuyuni”.

The site is located approximately 7 miles north of the Ruvu Bridge, or about a 2-hour walk. Large rock outcroppings are located next to the road a short distance south of that village.
mororgo.jpg
cave man.jpg
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