Friday Fact: Britain`s heaviest gun weighs 120 tons

history-1991

Some might say that the storage industry is not as interesting as the Floating Theatre on the shores of Lake Constance, but we are here to assure you, there are all kinds of glorious nonsense going on in the business.

Back in the days when Vanguard was a heavy lifting company, it was tasked with relocating a BL 18 inch railway howitzer. That is a proper gun. A really big gun.
First Lord of the Admiralty, Admiral Fisher had a pretty straightforward idea in mind; build the heaviest gun possible and strap it on the fastest ship. That is how the BL 18 Mark I Naval Gun, the heaviest gun in the world was born; then strapped on board the Furious (almost capsizing it during the first test shots), taken apart and put back together. It has a smaller brother; the Breach Loading 18-inch Railway Howitzer L1. Only five of them have ever been created, and number one is the last piece in existence. A single shell for this gun is weighing more than one ton, the barrel itself measures fifty-two feet, and its effective firing range is between fifteen and twenty miles. Weighing a hundred and twenty tons, this monster is the biggest surviving artillery equipment in Britain. Fortunately it was never needed to fire it in a live combat situation. The sheer power of this robust toy is enough to scare away those with a lack of true determination.
It took some serious head-scratching, expert evaluation, hard work, and a 600 ton capacity Hydraulic Gantry to lift it. Nowadays Britain`s heaviest gun can be found in the Royal Armouries museum at Fort Nelson, Hampshire, a sleeping giant in its eternal slumbering.

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