12in Gun on Railway Mounting. The gun and carriage weighed 221 tons, and fired a shell weighing 850 lbs.
As shown in this image, some of the guns used during the conflict were so big that they could only be moved around on railway lines. The men in the photograph are unfolding the tarpaulin to cover the gun and protect it from any adverse weather conditions. It may also have been used to camouflage the gun from enemy reconnaissance.
Railway artillery was ideal for deployment during ‘the Great War’ because of the static nature of the fighting (spur-lies generally had to be specially laid for firing positions).
The type of mounting in the picture was introduced in January 1918.
Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT. A big gun (just finished firing) being covered up prior to moving.’
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