Quadruple gun mounting in 24 Shop, Elswick Works

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Where: Unknown

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When: 30 April 1940

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Removing no.3 gun from a 14 inch quadruple gun mounting in 24 Shop, Elswick Works, Newcastle upon Tyne, 30 April 1940 (TWAM ref. DS.VA/9/PH/5/2).

‘Workshop of the World’ is a phrase often used to describe Britain’s manufacturing dominance during the Nineteenth Century. It’s also a very apt description for the Elswick Works and Scotswood Works of Vickers Armstrong and its predecessor companies. These great factories, situated in Newcastle along the banks of the River Tyne, employed hundreds of thousands of men and women and built a huge variety of products for customers around the globe.

The Elswick Works was established by William George Armstrong (later Lord Armstrong) in 1847 to manufacture hydraulic cranes. From these relatively humble beginnings the company diversified into many fields including shipbuilding, armaments and locomotives. By 1953 the Elswick Works covered 70 acres and extended over a mile along the River Tyne. This set of images, mostly taken from our Vickers Armstrong collection, includes fascinating views of the factories at Elswick and Scotswood, the products they produced and the people that worked there. By preserving these archives we can ensure that their legacy lives on.

(Copyright) We're happy for you to share this digital image within the spirit of The Commons. Please cite 'Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums' when reusing. Certain restrictions on high quality reproductions and commercial use of the original physical version apply though; if you're unsure please email [email protected]


Owner: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 7813
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    • 11/May/2016 11:15:12

    This must be for a King George V-class battleship, the only British battleships in World War II to mount quadruple turrets.

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    Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

    • 11/May/2016 12:32:34

    Thanks [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]]. Strangely enough my colleague, Colin, said exactly the same thing just moments before your comment arrived.

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    Paul Sproat

    • 11/May/2016 16:36:02

    It's massive - look where the barrel fits in and a man is stood there..

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    Billy Embleton

    • 11/May/2016 16:38:05

    Its one of King George V's turrets which was lead ship of the class that was built at Walker Naval yard (below). Mounting 10 of these 14 inch guns. These quadruple mounts were very complex. These very guns contributed to the sinking of the KMS Bismark in May 1941. [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/9582154777/in/photolist-nk1Wjf-fAK3M8-p8N1RS-p8N2As-gZyMBk-p8P1Kz-ecuEQR-pqgi55-dWZwTY-dWZAf5-e8SAcn-dm44EZ-gc1bmQ-obpBWy-drXvCq-iFMnWa-dBcoxp-e5b95z-nhdty9-cnUFGS-aLFre4-dABdZ5-drXPPC-F4BGE8-eXxSNC]

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    • 11/May/2016 16:56:14

    Fantastic historical photo.

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    Paul Sproat

    • 12/May/2016 08:54:36

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Nice one Billy!

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    • 12/May/2016 15:56:40

    Wow!!! This guns are for King George V class. Thank you for the precious photo.

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    • 13/May/2016 01:13:09

    Certainly KG V class but probably for HMS Prince of Wales or even HMS Duke of York. KG V was commissioned in October of 1940 which is only a few months after this photo was taken. It would not allow enough time to mount the turrets and even begin to de-bug them. The 14-inch Mark VII was temperamental at best and often delivered less than 100% fire output. All heavy gun systems were prone to some failures but these 14-inch mounts were worse than most. KGV only achieved 63% of possible 'projies' fire against Bismarck while Duke of York achieved 67% against Scharnhorst. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_George_V-class_battleship_(1939)#Main_armament and note the John Roberts quote imbedded at the bottom of this section. When HMS Prince of Wales sailed to engage the Bismarck she still had about 100 contractor's workmen on board trying to fix the guns. At one point half her guns were out and one barrel failed after the first round. If you watch the film Sink The Bismarck you hear the loader chanting: "Right gun jamming on charge, right gun jamming of charge…" Thank you for adding to Artillery.

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    Billy Embleton

    • 13/May/2016 20:02:04

    King George V was commissioned on 11th December 1940, and Prince of Wales in January 1941. This mount is almost certainly for KGV, especially as Prince of Wales was not built in Newcastle and KGV was just a couple of miles away.