Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Figurehead and Some Guns

This posting is a brief departure from my little world of wargaming.  The other day was nice and sunny here in Mississippi so on my lunch hour I drove over to the grounds of our state capitol and took these pictures.

Battleship Figurehead

The figurehead of the Battleship USS Mississippi (BB-23).
As one of the last of the American pre-deadnoughts, she was laid down in 1904, commissioned in 1908, and decommissioned in 1914.  She was turned over to Greece and, as the Kilkis, was sunk by Luftwaffe Stuka bombers in 1941.

Here is a photograph of her in 1908.  If you look closely, you can see the figurehead on her bow.

German Guns

Also on the grounds of the state capitol are two WW1 German guns.  They are both Krupps and, I believe, 152mm.  I was going to look in our records (I work in the state archives) but forgot.  I'll update this post Monday with their details.  These guns were part of Mississippi's share of German military trophies from WW1.  Some of the trophies are still in existence but many were turned over during the WW2 scrap metal drives and saw new life as parts of American military equipment used to defeat the Axis forces.  Kinda ironic, ain't it!

This shows the right side of one of the two guns.  The wooden wheels were completely refabricated by our state National Guard maintenance shops several years ago.  They also cleaned the guns, repaired any rust damage, and repainted them.  I was involved in the discussions over the paint scheme.

This is the rear of the gun showing some of the various levers and mechanisms.
(Can you tell that I'm not an artilleryman or an ordnance expert!)

The breech of one of the guns.  They are both engraved/stamped with the serial number of the breech and the legend Fried. Krupp  1916.

There  was a third gun, a 105mm if I remember correctly, that was outside of the War Memorial building.  The National Guard retained that gun for the Mississippi Military Museum in Camp Shelby.  One of these days I'll get down there to tour it.

Later I'll post some pictures of the decorations of our War Memorial building.  I hope you enjoyed this brief excursion.


David Morfitt said...

Interesting - thanks.



Bluebear Jeff said...

Thanks for these historical photo/tidbits . . . they give us something besides our wonderful little toys to look at.

-- Jeff

A J said...

Thanks for sharing. That old ship had an interesting career, to say the least.