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Posted on Jun 15, 2004 in Stuff We Like

Explosion! The Museum of Naval Firepower

Armchair General


This is a genuine piece of armour plating from the German World War 2 Battleship Tirpitz. It’s 14 inches thick and weighs 1.5 tons all by itself.

This is a piece of mine-damaged hull plating from HMS Volage, a Royal Navy Destroyer. On the 22 nd of October 1946 HMS Volage and another Destroyer struck mines that had been placed by Albania . 44 Sailors lost their lives and another 40 were injured. Britain took Albania to the International Court for their illegal mining of an international seaway and was awarded a substantial sum of money by way of compensation. The fine still remains to be paid.


Here are a couple of small gun turrets that can be seen outside the museum.


For a site that served the Royal Navy from before the Battle of Trafalgar, there are not that many cannon or equivalent weapons to be seen, however here are a couple of very find smaller examples that I found.

Here is one of four display cases which contain a mixture of small arms, some of them dating back to before the Napoleonic wars.


Moving on from cannon and small arms, there are also various displays of more recent Naval weaponry, such as this 3 inch Mk22 Submarine Gun.

And this, an Oerlikon 20mm Heavy Machine gun.

This is a Mk 5 Depth Charge thrower which came into service in 1944. The actual (cutaway) Depth Charge fitted however is a Mk 7.

Another anti-submarine weapon on display this the A/S Mortar Mk4 ? aka "The Squid". "The Squid" was a forward firing anti-submarine mortar which would fire a pattern of 12 inch mortar shells from its three barrels. Range and bearing were plotted by sonar and firing was automatic at a range of 400 yards. Each projectile contained 20lb of high explosive and could be fused for a depth of up to 900 feet.

This is an old 4-inch Vavasseur Mk 1 gun mounting, designed in 1888.

Here’s a Bofors deck gun, useful for surface attack and anti-air defence.

This is an early 0.65 inch Gatling Gun.

This is a fantastic array of Naval weapons, including some large calibre cannon.

And finally for this section, a Twin 20mm Oerlikon Machine Gun from about 1944, as would have been used on Motor Gun Boats and Motor Torpedo Boats. It was used for air defence or for attacking light surface vessels.

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