|67 foot barrel for a 16 inch shell with a 26 mile range....outstanding!|
|Coastal Defense Gun Emplacement - Credit: US Forting Blog|
The M1919-16" packed an amazing punch that had never been witnessed before, and according to Wikipedia, it was actually designed for a giant class of battleships (Lexington) that were prohibited by a 1920s treaty. But the US Army - who had already installed one on land in a disappearing gun battery along the Panama Canal, already had plans for the new surplus of guns. The ominous range of the gun lent itself to a new system (the Endicott generation) of coastal defense forts perched up and down the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
The emplacements of these guns are always interesting to me because the guns are almost always gone. It takes a lot of imagination to figure how they looked, how they were even put in place on those concrete swivels, and how they looked to passing U-boats and spy ships from offshore. Because my travel has so often taken me to the coasts of the United States, I've seen a lot of these places. The emplacements of San Diego. And those of Fort Hancock in northern New Jersey - although I've never seen its sister protector of the NY Harbor, Fort Tilden (Rockaway, Queens). Fort Miles in coastal Delaware - one of my favorite places. Fort Story in Virginia Beach - a place around which I've worked and played for most of my life. Hampton, Virginia's Fort Monroe - site of at least one senior prom that I attended. And of course, South Carolina's Fort Moultrie..a gun battery that outlasted nearby Fort Sumter.
Why should you care? What does this have to do with freedom?
|M1919-16" in action in San Fransisco Harbor - courtesy of American Military and Naval History Blog|