12-inch Gun M1895

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
12 inch Coastal Defense Gun M1895
12-inch-M1897-Firing.jpg
12 in M1895 Coastal Defense Gun being fired by lanyard
Type Coastal Artillery
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1895—1945
Used by United States Army
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Watervliet Arsenal
Designed 1895
Manufacturer Watervliet Arsenal
Variants M1895MI, M1895MII
Specifications
Weight 115,000 pounds (52,163 kilograms)
Length 442.56 inches (11.241 meters)
Barrel length 35 calibers (442.56 inches; 11.241 meters)

Caliber 12 in (305 mm)
Carriage M1896, M1897 or M1901 Disappearing Carriage; later customized barbettes
Traverse 170° (varied with emplacement)
Effective firing range 26,800 yards (24,505 meters) for M1895MII

The 12 inch Coastal Defense Gun M1895 was a large artillery piece installed to defend major American seaports between 1895 and 1945.

History[edit]

In 1885, William C. Endicott, President Grover Cleveland's Secretary of War, was tasked with creating the Board of Fortifications to review seacoast defenses. The findings of the board illustrated a grim picture of existing defenses in its 1886 report and recommended a massive $127 million construction program of breech-loading cannons, mortars, floating batteries, and submarine mines for some 29 locations on the US coast-line. Coast Artillery fortifications built between 1885 and 1905 are often referred to as Endicott Period fortifications.

A M1895 Coastal Defense 12-in Gun on an M1896 disappearing carriage.

The Watervliet Arsenal designed the gun and built the barrels. The guns were mounted on either a M1897 or M1901 disappearing carriage designed by Bethlehem Steel; when the gun was fired, it dropped behind a concrete and/or earthen wall for protection from Counter-battery fire. Bethlehem later built barrels as well. After the Spanish-American War, the government wanted to protect American seaports in the event of war, and also protect newly gained territory, such as the Philippines and Cuba, from enemy attack. A new Board of Fortifications, under President Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of War William Taft, was convened in 1905. Taft recommended technical changes, such as more searchlights, electrification, and in some cases less guns in particular fortifications. The seacoast forts were funded under the Spooner Act of 1902 and construction began within a few years and lasted into the 1920s.[1]


M1895 12-inch Coastal Artillery Batteries[edit]

  • Battery Torbert (3 guns on M1896 carriages, Fort Delaware, New Castle County, Delaware, installed 1901, deactivated 1940, guns sent to Puerto Rico.)
  • Battery Pensacola (2 guns on M1897 carriages, Fort Pickens, Florida, installed 1898, deactivated 1934.)
  • Battery Kirby[2] (2 guns on M1897 carriages, Fort Baker, California, installed 1900, deactivated 1941, shipped Battery Cheney, Fort Mills, Corregidor.)
  • Battery Lancaster (2 guns on M1897 carriages, Fort Winfield Scott, California, installed 1901, dismounted 1918.)
  • Battery Chester (2 guns on M1897 carriages, Fort Miley, California, installed 1902; one gun removed in 1918 and the other in 1943.)
  • Battery DeRussy (3 guns on M1901 carriages, Fort Monroe, Virginia, installed 1904 and deactivated in 1944.)
  • Battery Parrott (2 guns replaced M1900 coastal defense guns; Fort Monroe, Virginia, installed 1928 and deactivated in 1943.)
  • Battery Mahan (2 guns on M1897 carriages, Fort Totten, New York, installed 1900 and deactivated and shipped overseas in 1918.)
  • Battery Ayres (2 guns on M1897 carriages, Fort Wadsworth, Richmond County, New York, installed 1902 and deactivated in 1942.)
  • Battery Hudson (1 gun on M1896 carriage, Fort Wadsworth, Richmond County, New York, installed 1909 and deactivated in 1918.)
  • Battery Butterfield (2 guns on M1897 carriages, Fort H.G. Wright, Fishers Island, Suffolk County, New York, installed 1900 and deactivated in 1944.)
  • Battery Crockett (2 guns on M1901 carriages, Fort Mills, Corregidor, Philippine Islands, installed 1911; captured by the Japanese 1942.)
  • Battery Cheney (2 guns on M1901 carriages, Fort Mills, Corregidor, Philippine Islands, installed 1910; captured by the Japanese 1942; Recaptured 1945.)
  • Battery Wheeler (2 guns on M1901 carriages, Fort Mills, Corregidor, Philippine Islands, installed 1909; captured by the Japanese 1942; Recaptured 1945.)
  • Battery Hearn (1 M1895MII gun on M1917 carriage, Fort Mills, Corregidor, Philippine Islands, installed 1921; captured by the Japanese 1942; Recaptured 1945.)
  • Battery Smith (1 M1895MII gun on M1917 carriage, Fort Mills, Corregidor, Philippine Islands, installed 1921; captured by the Japanese 1942; Recaptured 1945.)
Victorious Japanese troops atop Hearn Battery May 6, 1942.
  • Unnamed battery, (2 M1895MII guns, Fort Miles, Delaware, installed 1943; abandoned 1958.)

Additional batteries were located around the United States and its possessions.[3]

Specifications[edit]

Variations[edit]

  • M1888 Rifle 12" 440" 117,127 lb
  • M1888MI Rifle 12" 440" 117,127 lb
  • M1888MII Rifle 12" 440" 117,127 lb
  • M1895 Rifle 12" 442.56" 115,000 lb
  • M1895MI Rifle 12" 442.56" 115,000 lb
  • M1900 Rifle 12" 480" 132,380 lb
Diagram of a M1895 12-inch gun on a M1897 disappearing carriage.

The M1895MI weighed 52 tons and the M1901 carriage weighed 251 tons. The projectile weight for all M1895 guns was 1,046 pounds. Each shell used 318 pounds of powder, but this was varied depending on range. The projectile achieved a muzzle velocity of 2,250 feet per second. The M1901 Disappearing Carriage could elevate 15 degrees maximum elevation; earlier models couldn't elevate that much until the rear mounting bracket was changed from a centerline to an upper position in the M1901. The M1901 could traverse 170 degrees, but some M1895MII emplacements could traverse 210 degrees. The M1895MII had a range of over 29,000 yards (26 kilometers).[4]

Surviving examples[edit]

1. One 12-inch Gun M1895MIA4 (#1 Watervliet) on Barbette Carriage M1917 (#31 Eng. Machine) Battery Smith, Fort Mills, Corregidor Island, Philippines

2. One 12-inch Gun M1895MIA4 (#6 Watervliet) on Barbette Carriage M1917 (#30 Eng. Machine) Battery Hearn, Fort Mills, Corregidor Island, Philippines

3. One 12-inch Gun M1895MIA4 (#8 Watervliet) (spare gun) Battery Hearn, Fort Mills, Corregidor Island, Philippines

4. Two 12-inch Guns M1895 (#13 Bethlehem & #27 Watervliet) on Disappearing Carriages M1901 (#14 & #15 Watertown) Battery Crockett, Fort Mills, Corregidor Island, Philippines

5. One 12-inch Gun M1895 (#8 Bethlehem) (spare gun) Battery Crockett, Fort Mills, Corregidor Island, Philippines

6. Two 12-inch Guns M1895 (#37 & #12 Watervliet) on Disappearing Carriages M1901 (#16 & #17 Watertown) Battery Cheney, Fort Mills, Corregidor Island, Philippines

7. One 12-inch Gun M1895 (#16 Watervliet) (may be spare gun for Battery Cheney) Bottomside Area, Fort Mills, Corregidor Island, Philippines

8. One 12-inch Gun M1895 (#36 Watervliet) (remains of disappearing carriage in front of the parapet) Battery Wheeler, Fort Mills, Corregidor Island, Philippines

9. One 12-inch Gun M1895 (#7 Bethlehem) on Disappearing Carriage M1901 (#2 Watertown) Battery Wheeler, Fort Mills, Corregidor Island, Philippines

10. One 12-inch Gun M1895 (#10 Bethlehem) (spare gun) Battery Wheeler, Fort Mills, Corregidor Island, Philippines

11. One 12-inch Gun M1895MIA1 (#19) on Railway Mount M1918 (#9 Marion Steam Shovel) Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, VA[5]

12. One 12-inch Gun M1895 on a Railway Mount M1918, U.S. Army Ordnance School, Fort Lee, VA.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Berhow, Mark A. and McGovern,Terrance C. American Defenses of Corregidor and Manila Bay 1898-1945Osprey Publishing Ltd.; 1st edition, 2003; pages 7-8.
  2. ^ Kirby Cove Camp
  3. ^ http://fortwiki.com/Special:Search?search=m1895+12-inch&go=Go
  4. ^ Berhow, Mark A. and McGovern,Terrance C. American Defenses of Corregidor and Manila Bay 1898-1945Osprey Publishing Ltd.; 1st edition, 2003; page 59.
  5. ^ pages 229-230.

General references[edit]

External links[edit]