Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 01 May 2013 10:45

6 Korogwe Gun

I've had a couple of great emails in from people with more information and photos. Firstly Per Finsted of the Danish Military History website http://www.chakoten.dk/ sent me a few photos.

The first of them shows an SMS Königsberg gun shortly after its capture. I had seen this photo before labelled in the Konigsberg book by Kevin Patience as the 8 Kibata gun. Bob Wagner initially pointed out some doubts about it being the 8 Kibata gun, namely that we believed the Kibata gun had no flange yet this one clearly has a flange and shield. Bob suggested that it may in fact be one of the two Belgian guns (6 Korogwe or 7 Tabora) which are known to have had both the barrel flange and small shield.

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This better quality version of the photo seems to prove Bob right. It is from the Belgian Colonial Ministry and it claims the gun was captured at Korogwe (Kologwé), this is then gun 6 Korogwe and further confirms our theory-
6 Korogwe (Belgian Congo) Flange and Shield/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage

The Dar Es Salaam carriage can clearly be seen low slung below the wheel axle along with spoked wheels. Note the barrel and it's flange shield is mounted the correct way up here (with the flat side of the shield uppermost and yet when it was on display in either Stanleyville or Leopoldville (we're not sure which yet) the barrel was mounted upside down. The soldiers in the photograph are presumably then from the Belgian Force Publique (see http://www.rudi-geudens.be/html/force_publique.htm).

More to follow on guns 5 Mkuyuni and 8 Kibata ....
Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 01 May 2013 11:40

5 Mkuyuni Gun

Per also sent me these two photos taken by British troops next the Ruwe River at Mkuyuni in 1916.

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Image

This would confirm the fate of the 5 Mkuyuni gun as having a blown barrel and certainly eliminates it from being any of the surviving guns. These photos unfortunately do not confirm the gun's flange or carriage however.

Now we know from photos for certain that 1 Kahe and 5 Mkuyuni were completely beyond repair with a blown barrel at the breech. 2 Kondoa Irangi was reportedly so badly damaged that it was buried. 8 Kibata was reported as destroyed but we haven't had confirmation of that yet.

This is important as I'm never quite sure when a gun is described as being "destroyed" if it was completely beyond repair like this or simply put out of action perhaps by having the breech block removed. More on that later...

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Chris

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Tanzania
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Tanzania » 01 May 2013 12:34

9.) Mahiwa Gun
Two photos from the same gun. The Gun leader, Lieutenant Richard Wenig, mentioned in his book,
this gun was used at Mahiwa, before it have been blown up (?), just after the photos.
It seems to be a Krupp mount.

Image

Image


But he showed also this picture in his book, with the same undestroyed gun later in Dar.
(Right gun, with the black arrow = Bagamojo / Left gun = Mahiwa)
Image

Maybe the barrel was later used for the present Pretoria gun, because Kevin Patience
shows a very clear photo in his book with the underline “Destroyed gun at Massasi
“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

Post by Chris Dale » 01 May 2013 13:49

Re- 9 Mahiwa Gun

Thanks very much for those photos Holger!

You're right the first two photos seem to show a Krupp carriage on the Mahiwa gun. I would assume as its Wenig's own book that he has used the correct photos of his gun...

Image
It's a shame we can't clearly see if this gun has a flange or not. If Wenig says in his own book that the gun was gesprengt or burst, I would tend to believe him. So that's disproved the theory of -
9 Mahiwa (Unknown possibly Pretoria) Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar-Pretoria Carriage?

Which should now be written as-
9 Mahiwa (barrel burst) Flange?/Fixed Pivot/Krupp Carriage

That throws a couple of the other theories askew as does the third photo of the two captured K'berg guns. I'll get onto that photo later but one thing is for certain- the gun on the left has a Dar carriage and therefore is not the same as the one in Wenig's photos taken in action.

Thanks very much for this input Holger,
Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 01 May 2013 14:32

8 Kibata and 4 Bagamoyo Guns?

Image
Thank you for this photo too Holger. I had seen it before and it adds to the mystery. It shows captured German guns in British hands in Dar Es Salaam. In the background are two Königsberg guns. The one on the left has no flange and a Dar Es Salaam made gun carriage. The one on the right has a barrel flange and a Krupp carriage.

The caption claims that the one on the left is 9 Mahiwa. But this cannot be correct as the previous photos of gun 9 Mahiwa show it with a Krupp carriage and Wenig says it was destroyed. So which guns are they?

The one on the right with flange and Krupp carriage could be either gun 4 Bagamoyo or 9 Mahiwa. As Wenig claims 9 Mahiwa was blown up this is most likely gun 4 Bagamoyo.

The one on the left with its lack of flange from our list of theories could only be 1 Kahe (which we known was blown up), 2 Kondoa Irangi (which we know was buried), 3 Mwanza (which was captured on a fixed pivot) and 8 Kibata. We previously weren't sure which carriage the Kibata gun had, this would seem to show it was a Dar carriage. We also previously had gun 8 Kibata listed as destroyed based on this quote from Kaiser's Cross website "Two days later scouts found the gun, abandoned and destroyed" (http://www.kaiserscross.com/188001/447622.html). But was it really destroyed or just had the breech block removed?

Perhaps our theory should now read-
8 Kibata (to Dar Es Salaam) No Flange/Fixed Pivot/Dar Carriage

The plot thickens...
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Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Reichskolonialamt » 01 May 2013 18:25

Great work! Respect!
And the way you choosed, to make it public was right.
If there is anyone in the world who knows additional details, will find his way to this thread.

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Kallag » 02 May 2013 21:13

Chris,

This is fantastic work....Wow what a great effort in building and adding to the work done by Holger and others. You must have spent many hours trying to unravel the mystery of these guns.

Way back in January I made contact with the IWM to check on the gun displayed in an old photograph which appeared on their website. It resembled a Konigsberg gun......but how can it be I thought. Well I got the following reply:


Thank you for your enquiry.
The gun in the photograph is no longer held my the museum, I am afraid. According to our curator who is responsible for ordnance, it was disposed of in the 1920s or 1930s, to where I am uncertain.
Moreover, there is some uncertainty as to what the piece actually was, but it bears some resemblance to a British 4.7inch QF Field Gun.
Unfortunately, I cannot say anymore than that.

Craig Murray


The IWM reply to Bob Wagner has however now confirmed what was initially thought to be highly unlikely......a Konigsberg gun brought to London and sitting 'under our noses' for many years. Will it not be absolutely fantastic if the gun is still sitting in some warehouse unscathed.

I can not wait for the weekend to digest all the data given in your post.
Keep up the good work

Kallag

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 03 May 2013 00:16

Thank you very much Reichskolonialamt and Kallag :welcome: for the encouraging words. To be honest the credit isn't really mine, Bob Wagner has been the main driving force with these ideas while we've throwing them backwards and forwards over email for a couple of months and Holger's initial research provided us with a great starting point. I must say I do love our collective of online historians all over the world sharing information with each other.

That's funny that we've all been emailing the IWM the same question. That's four times they've been asked it now!

Oh, yes Kallag wouldn't it just be amazing if we tracked an SMS Königsberg gun down to the corner of a park in Hove or somewhere. I'm going to have a look around Hove for clues in the Summer, nice day out at the seaside for the rest of the family! Meanwhile does anyone know anybody who lives in Kinshasa or Kisangani who could have a look around there?

In the meantime its back to the drawing board with the theories after the recent photos we've seen!

Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by danebrog » 04 May 2013 10:02

Chris Dale wrote: In the meantime its back to the drawing board with the theories after the recent photos we've seen!
Just a small contribution for the collection

Image
Image
Image
Image

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 04 May 2013 10:29

Thank you Danebrog,

Those are great photos of captured K'berg guns. In fact they might all be the same gun, note that they all have no barrel flange and are all mounted on a Dar Es Salaam carriage. They might be the same one as on the left in the above Dar Es Salaam "Captured G Guns" photo as that shares the same details.

Now just to work out which gun that is...

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Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Kallag » 05 May 2013 11:03

Chris,

I have now had time to slowly work my way through all your information. Great job you have done here and certainly some wonderful new information to chew on.

I think the photos posted of the Kahe blown barrel and the two submitted by Per, all show one and the same gun, ie the Kahe gun. If you look closely at the damage to the barrel , all four photograph show deformation resembling that shown of the Kahe (later Dar Es Salaam) gun on page 159 of the Kevin Patience Konigsberg book.

Let the journey of discovery continue !!!!!

Kallag

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 05 May 2013 12:34

Hi Kallag,

I didn't think so at first but the more I look at them I think you might be right in that they are the same gun. Bob Wagner had the same suspicions. The question is then if they were taken at Kahe or Mkuyuni?

There's plenty still to work out in this mystery.

Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by danebrog » 06 May 2013 07:02

Chris,
at the "great war forum" is at thread about 29 Motor Ambulance Convoy (MAC) in GEA. The starter obtained several photographs. Most interestingly are three with "German 4.1 guns"

here an example - not sure about any copyright issues I´ve altered the image
Image

You have to be a member to see the pics here:
http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forum ... try1876271

Whether you sign in to this excellent forum or you ask kallag who´s already a member its up to you ;-)

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 06 May 2013 10:56

Thank you Danebrog,

I'd not seen those ones before!!! Luckily I'm already a member there too. Strangley the forum let me see the photos but not add a message there. I was hoping to ask the original poster for permission to use the photos here...

There's some interesting features on the gun(s) posted there. One seems to show a Krupp Carriage with a Dar Limber? I think from the list of negatives that the photos might show two different guns.

More study needed!

Cheers
Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by danebrog » 06 May 2013 11:12

I think there are two different guns, too:

One is the blown up shown here. (most probably Massassi)
Then we have one picture with a barrel and another shows the carriage and limber but without recognizable barrel

could be interesting to find out to which Division/Formation the ambulance unit was attached in order to trace the way in GEA

To the other pics showing a blown barrel:
The question is then if they were taken at Kahe or Mkuyuni?
I am pretty sure it´s all the Kahe gun barrel. In one of the pic you can recognize a wooden platform as it was used at Kahe. Most notably is the identical deformation with the long dent.

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