Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

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Kallag
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Kallag » 23 May 2013 19:58

Excellent post Chris.
Must have have taken you a while to prepare that map and accompanying notes. Thanks for this....it really helps to follow the movements of the guns and is great to refer to.

Kallag

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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 23 May 2013 21:17

Thank you Kallag. It took a little while but it was labour of love!

Now I look at it, something isn't making sense. The Mkuyuni that I've got marked isn't near the River Ruaha. Our sources say it was blown up because it could cross that river.... I've searched and found another spot for it... I'll update the map asap!

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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 » 23 May 2013 21:41

Image

I think that's making a bit more sense. The "new Mkuyuni" is this one- http://sw.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mkuyuni_%2 ... ijijini%29

Anyone else notice any anomalies or clues from it all?

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Chris

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danebrog
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by danebrog » 27 May 2013 14:08

Just a thought who may ease (or complicate) our search: I always read of eight carriages but have a logical problem with this

We have 10 barrels:
2 barrels get lost on fixed pivots (KAHE, MUANSA)

Kevin wrote he recognized a limber at KAHE pics, but Hermann J. Müller/Kriegerinnerungen aus DOA and Werner Schoenfeld/Geraubtes Land were gunners at KAHE and both clearly described the fixed mount!

so we have 8 barrels left, from these 4 barrels went on Krupp carriages

Then we have 4 barrels left:
But the KONDOA carriage shared two barrels as Boell stated only a replacement barrel from GOETZEN was sent to KONDOA (see attachment), then we have only 3 carriages left and these are the Dar ones

As Hans Apel stated one Krupp carriage was sent to KIGOMA - then this one was attached to the KIGOMA fixed gun from the "Elefantenfuss"

This means we have
1) gun KONDOA_1 (barrel burst) became KONDOA_2 with repl. barrel GOETZEN on Dar carriage, lost at KOROGWE
2) gun KIGOMA became gun TABORA on Krupp carriage, lost at TABORA
both fell into Belgian hands and went to Belgian Congo

compare this with gun list from unpublished manuscript L. Boell thanks to Holger:
Image

Summary: 2 guns lost on 2 pivots, 4 guns lost on 4 Krupp carriages, 4 guns lost on 3 Dar carriages

Maybe these thoughts contains an error, but your outstanding research here is too inspiring to withhold this consideration....

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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 28 May 2013 12:45

Great work Danebrog. This is what we need more discussion and debate and together we will crack this mystery.
danebrog wrote:Kevin wrote he recognized a limber at KAHE pics, but Hermann J. Müller/Kriegerinnerungen aus DOA and Werner Schoenfeld/Geraubtes Land were gunners at KAHE and both clearly described the fixed mount!
I think these pivot stand guns also had Dar carriages. See the remains of a limber in the Kahe photos? The limber is of no use if it didn't have a carriage surely?

I think they were hoisted out of their pivot stands and lowered into a Dar carriage for transport, then put back on the fixed pivot stand for action. (I say, "I think", this was Bob's theory at first but the photos seem to back it up to some extent). How else would the gun have got to Mwanza without railway or wheels?
danebrog wrote:This means we have
1) gun KONDOA_1 (barrel burst) became KONDOA_2 with repl. barrel GOETZEN on Dar carriage, lost at KOROGWE
2) gun KIGOMA became gun TABORA on Krupp carriage, lost at TABORA
both fell into Belgian hands and went to Belgian Congo
Here I have a problem. Both guns seen in the Congo clearly have Dar carriages...

I don't have the solution for this mystery yet.

Cheers
Chris

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danebrog
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by danebrog » 28 May 2013 14:29

Hi Chris

as mentioned - just some thoughts.
How else would the gun have got to Mwanza without railway or wheels?
similar as the KONDOA gun made it´s way: pulled by 24(!) oxen, but disassembled on a boer cart (Burenwagen):
Image
artistic impression by Walter Rehfeldt, Schutztruppe member until 1917, written accounts exists, too
The dismounted guns were brought from Rufiji to DAR on land WITHOUT any carriage available, thus the Schutztruppe knew the logistics neccessary for land transport

regarding to the KAHE-gun:
I have several accounts (thanks to Holger again!) from former Schutztruppe gunners serviced at Kahe or Arty Officers who constructed the platform!
If interested I´ll send a copy of them to you via mail as all the extracts are far too long to post here (11 pages)....
In short terms: The gun at KAHE was without the slightest doubt mounted on a 360 degree traversable fixed mount.
The limber seen in one photo is most probably some transport vehicle.


Regarding to several sources the KOROGWE gun was destroyed by the Schutztruppe, but no mention of such an act for the TABORA gun. Otherwise we know of two intact guns with DAR carriages in Belgian Congo.
Furthermore Boells extracts indicates two barrels for the KONDOA gun at KOROGWE (on DAR carriage?) and regarding to Apel the KIGOMA barrel most probably on a Krupp carriage for the TABORA one....
In any case a mystery worth more investigation - but exactly this is THE essence of our hobby, isn´t it? :wink:

all the best

Olav

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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 28 May 2013 15:53

danebrog wrote: In any case a mystery worth more investigation - but exactly this is THE essence of our hobby, isn´t it? :wink:
all the best
Olav
Exactly :D

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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 » 28 May 2013 16:52

danebrog wrote:The gun at KAHE was without the slightest doubt mounted on a 360 degree traversable fixed mount.
I agree with you 100%. In fact here is the fixed mount seen in the background of one of the photos previously posted here-

Image

But here is the limber for it (yes as you say just used for transportation)-

Image

I believe it was fired from fixed position at Kahe but transported with a carriage. Have a look at this famous photo, which I am sure you have seen before-

Image

It's got no barrel flange and has a Dar carriage and limber. Notice the caption- "Artillerie der Nordtruppen" and the photo credit "Major Kraut".... so which gun is this?

Yes, 1 Kahe was the only gun under Kraut and the only gun in the Nordtruppen...

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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 » 28 May 2013 17:03

danebrog wrote: pulled by 24(!) oxen, but disassembled on a boer cart (Burenwagen):
Image
artistic impression by Walter Rehfeldt, Schutztruppe member until 1917
This illustration however is not a Boer cart. I think it is a Dar carriage. Note the long tails, the spoked wheels and wide treads.

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Chris

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danebrog
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by danebrog » 28 May 2013 17:06

Chris

apologies for being such a troublemaker but:
Am Sonnabend den 17. August (1915) war die Aufstellung des Geschützes beendigt und ich wurde nach Putini an der Nordseite der Tanga-Bucht zur Aufstellung des 2. Geschützes befohlen. Fliege aus Mombo hatte das Untergestell gebaut, es klappte und passte alles gut. . . . Unterstände für Munition und Mannschaften, Wasserversorgung machte viele, aber gern gemachte Arbeit. In der Zwischenzeit habe ich auch die Trasse nach Mtimbwani, 6 km von Putini an der Strasse Tanga – Moa vermessen für den Stand III Mtimbwani. Die Arbeiten in Tanga – Putini Stand I waren Ende Oktober (1915) fertig, sodann begann sofort der Bahnbau nach Mtimbwani, die Erdarbeiten bereiteten viele Mühe. Von Amboni, einer Sisalpflanzung der Westdeutschen Handels – und Plantagen – Ges. war eine Feldbahn bis zum Geschützstand gebaut, welche den Transport der Materialien sehr erleichterte. Ende November (1915) war die Bahn ca 4 km vorgestreckt und nun ging die Arbeit gut weiter. Kapt. Schoenfeld war oft dagewesen und war mit dem Fortgang der Arbeiten zufrieden. Ein ca. 18 m hoher Beobachtungsturm war von Herrn Hermanns in Amboni im September aufgestellt; der Turm sollte erst fahrbar gemacht werden. Es wurde aber nachher infolge der Transportschwierigkeiten Abstand davon genommen. Ferner wurde im November der Posten Mtimbwani mit einem 26 m hohen Beobachtungsturm versehen, hergestellt aus Brettern der Rubens-Sendung [des ersten Blockadebrechers], sowie Telephonleitung und alle Maßnahmen erledigt.
This account describes the build up of gun and platform. For transport they used a narrow gauge railway (Feldbahn)....

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Chris Dale
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 28 May 2013 17:08

Hi Olav,
My last note for today... ooops, I've seen you've just added another post. I'll reply to that later but another thought for now.
danebrog wrote:The dismounted guns were brought from Rufiji to DAR on land WITHOUT any carriage available, thus the Schutztruppe knew the logistics neccessary for land transport.
Agreed, here is a photo of them doing just that-
Image

It certainly was possible but not easy and not preferable. I think when they had the option they would rather transport the guns by rail or with wheels.

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Chris

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 28 May 2013 17:14

danebrog wrote: apologies for being such a troublemaker but:
You are exactly the kind of troublemaker we need Olav!

I read the section. As I understand it, it describes the building of a platform for the gun, ammunition shelter and space for the gun crew. It says a light railway greatly helped.

I am not sure (and I don't think the writing is specific enough to tell- unless I'm misunderstanding it) but the railway could just be a few metres long- from the ammunition shelter to the gun. It doesn't specifically say the railway was used to transport the gun, it might just be the ammunition...

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Chris

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danebrog
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by danebrog » 29 May 2013 13:13

Chris
Have nevertheless to apologize as I posted a wrong account

1) KAHE
Here are the correct excerpts:
Gerade bei Fertigstellung erhielten wir Befehl, das Geschütz nach Kahe an der Nordbahn, ca. 30 km von Moschi , zu bringen – es war um den 10. März 1916. Vormittags 11 Uhr kam der Befehl an und bis abends 10 Uhr war das gesamte Geschütz auf Feldbahnwagen verladen in Mtimbani, von wo die Feldbahn über Amboni nach Tanga ging, Geschützrohr und die schweren Teile waren in der Nacht weitergebracht. Der Transport kam aber nur bis Amboni, wo infolge einiger schlechter Bahnstellen Entgleisungen u.s.w. die Nachtarbeit unmöglich machten. Vormittags gegen 8 Uhr hatte ich alle Teile auf Bahnhof Tanga und nachm. Gegen 4 Uhr ging die Reise los nach Kahe. Abends spät erreichten wir Mombo – blieben einen Tag liegen infolge ungünstiger Meldungen von Moschi, erhielten aber am Abend Befehl zum Weiterfahrt. Über Ruiko, Lembeni ging die Fahrt weiter und gegen 9 Uhr am 13. od. 14. März waren wir in Kahe. Kapt. Schoenfeld erwartete uns hier und nach wiederholtem Ein- uns Ausladen und recht angestrengter Arbeit stand das Geschütz am Abend des 15. März (1916) ``schussbereit´´;
roughly translated it means the following: They build an emplacement at Tanga as they get order to bring the gun to KAHE.
Transport was by "Feldbahn" to the Railhead at Tanga, then on "Usambara-Bahn" to KAHE (via Ruiko - Lembeni)
Die Stellungen der Linie Raeta – Nordkitovo sollten deshalb zu zähem Widerstand ausgebaut werden. Von Tanga wurde eines der dort montierten Königsberggeschütze mit der Bahn heranbefördert. Mit Recht wird der Leser fragen, warum dies nicht längst geschehen war. Aber das Geschütz war ohne Räder und schoß von feststehendem Pivot aus, war also daher unbeweglich. Es ist daher erklärlich, daß sein Einsatz so lange hinausgezogen werden wurde, bis über die Stelle kein Zweifel mehr bestand.
This account explains the gun wasn´t brought earlier to KAHE, as it had no wheels and they had to find a correct place for the fixed mount before.


2) KONDOA
Auf der vom Feine gesäuberten Bergkuppe ruhten wir und ließen die ,,dicke Berta´´, wie das 10,5-Zentimeter-Geschütz hieß, vorbei. Nicht weniger als 32 Ochsen zogen an dem Burenwagen, auf dem sie schwarz und steif ausgestreckt lag.
Translation means the gun was called big Berta. Obviously the barrel was on a boer cart with 32 oxen, the carriage was probably towed by porters
Regarding to these accounts I´ve to trace back the list with NAMES of the writers/books thanks to no less than three HD crashes in the last 9 months.... 8O

The picture posted was just to illustrate transportation by oxen. I explained the transport by Boer carts were similar, but in a disassembled state…

Some background to transport: Boer carts were relatively widely used for heavy transport duties. Finally you have to keep in mind the carriages – either DAR or KRUPP ones - were extremely precious items. Especially the DAR ones were virtually hand crafted, a very time consuming task for the few skilled experts available. Even the KRUPP carriages had to be modified for African use (removing shields and widening of tracks to lower ground pressure, a.s.o.) As soon as these were finished/modified they received a barrel and were immediately sent to the front.
For the rather ordinary transport duties they had the mentioned boer carts, narrow gauge railways from plantations, the real railways and only for the last kilometers hundreds of porters -for longer routes you inevitable run into severe logistical problems (food, shelter, a.s.o.) Especially the porter logistics were a constant sting in the ass for any officers responsible, as each porter consumed his own weight in food per month. Lettow himself described this logistical problem very often in his memoirs! As a rule of thumb one motor truck was the equivalent of 300 porters. A boer cart was similar but in lower numbers, let´s say 100 – 150 porters.

Last but not least: in case of any questions belonging to the guns - just ask, as I´ve a heap of accounts from former Schutztruppe gunners available

keep up the good work! :thumbsup:

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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Chris Dale » 29 May 2013 21:54

Hi Olav,

OK, I think you've proven it had no wheels " das Geschütz war ohne Räder".

Actually now I look at those photos, the one credited to Kraut-
Image
- seems to have thicker spokes on its limber wheels than these wheels-
Image
-which appear to be thinner. Also the platform on the axle of that last photo appears to be horizontal, implying that unlike a limber, there is another pair of wheels supporting the other end. This may well be a carriage then?

So the Kraut photo, may not be by Kraut and may not show the 1 Kahe gun?

Thanks for the "dicke Bertha" nickname. Very interesting and helps us personalise the guns!

Cheers
Chris

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Tanzania
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Re: Missing Gun from the SMS Königsberg

Post by Tanzania » 30 May 2013 04:08

Last but not least photos from the gun (10. Massassi) with the movable first installation in Tanga.
The Gun (1. Kahe) was like the above mentioned gun positioned at the bay in Tanga.
Both were fixed with the original carriage and shield from the KÖNIGSBERG on a movable rail system.
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