Monday, 20 May 2013

The Gardner Gun



Vitaï Lampada
"The sand of the desert is sodden red,
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,And England's far, and Honour a name,"
Henry Newbolt


Actually it was a Gardner, not a Gatling although it would be easy to confuse them. Both were American designs for a manual powered automatic rifle using a rotary crank action. Both used black powder and both jammed and were difficult to aim. The chap holding the wheel is the gunlayer. The Gardner had fixed barrels in a line, five in this case.

The crew are Royal Navy and the extra guys towed the gun with ropes.

Both were replaced in British service by the more efficient Nordenfelt, which used a crank lever but otherwise looked like a Gardner.

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