Infrastructure was a key component of wartime logistics: aiding the movement of personnel, weaponry, post and supplies. This fed in not only to conflict aims and needs but to more personal needs; the postal service boosted morale by giving troops a vital link to their loved ones. Engineers were crucial to infrastructure, by creating the supply lines on which the armed forces depended on.

Gun Wagons
The railways were important during the War for supply line reasons including the redistribution of munitions and heavy arms, as well as of troops, medical staff and general supplies. Both the Great Western (GWR) and Midland Railways (MR) used specific gun wagons for the moving of guns.

The GWR used Pollen B wagon sets 48979-48982, 48999-48900 to carry 12-inch BL guns Marks 8-10 for the moving of heavy guns, 45-58 tons. The MR used wagon set 9696 carrying 12, 13.5, 14, and 15 inch guns, these were even heavier at 67-97 tons. Technical drawings for both companies include side elevations showing basic dimensions, weights, and axle loads. Guns were moved both within Britain and on the Continent to position them for battle or strategic defence. The largest artillery was actually held by the Royal Navy for their dreadnaughts, the 'monster' guns moved by MR were most likely for this purpose.

Of course, dreadnaughts were not an option on the Front, but their guns were deployed against the concrete fortified German positions near the Somme and along the Hindenburg line. At first they put the gun on a wheel mount and attempted to secure it in place; advanced recoil mechanisms allowed for some success but deployment was still slow and cumbersome. The guns were moved by a tractor, this was slow and carried the risk of enemy capture.

Rail presented the perfect transport and firing platform for land-based naval ordnance. The gun could be moved relatively quickly along the rail system and the recoil could be dispersed by allowing the carriage to hurtle down the tracks (sometimes up to 100 feet). In some cases, a piece of curved siding was actually used to aim the gun. These guns could fire up to thirty miles and were capable of reaching far into the enemy’s rear positions. The culmination of the rail gun was the massive French Schneider 520mm howitzer. The shells this gun fired were over 24 inches in diameter and weighed 3,100 pounds. They were fused in such a way as to allow the shell to penetrate its target before detonation. Luckily for all involved, the war ended before they could be brought into service.

As well as rail becoming a platform for the direct deployment of guns, it was also used to transport guns and weapons of all sizes to where they were required. Entrenched lines meant that routes and workflow methods could be honed. As the Engineers Office charts of the South East & Chatham Railway show, they had to plan which lines were suitable for the carrying of which rolling stock and weaponry- the sheer weight of the haul being a prime consideration because of the risk collapse to the lines.



Book 1, Great Western Railway

Book 1, Great Western Railway

by User Not Found | 24 Jul, 2014

474 comments

Leave a comment
  1. jamesjack | May 23, 2017


    Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here.Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here

    Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here..!

    private dental clinic
  2. jamesajck | May 23, 2017

    I read the entire article and i feel your experience in writing..All are good points.Thank you for all of you by giving such and such good article..!..!

    sports injury treatment
  3. Ben | May 23, 2017
    Dreadnaughts were not an option on the Front, but their guns were deployed against the concrete fortified German positions near the Somme and along the Hindenburg line. I like to read such articles. Keep sharing more posts! funky dress socks
  4. this post | May 22, 2017

    Might need to see some unmistakable posts on a comparable subject !Thanks for your post.

    this post

  5. mans | May 22, 2017
  6. http://cheapessaywriters.com | May 21, 2017

    You have an insightful yet astounding rationality for writing.I think this is an advantageous post and it is thrillingly key and fit.

    http://cheapessaywriters.com

  7. hacked snapchat | May 20, 2017

    I am shockingly mind blowing to discover this post, this post has preeminent lighting up for everybody, and it's about Faxing.

    hacked snapchat

  8. jamesjack | May 20, 2017
    If you've got been trying around for a fairly priced  building campaign to skyrocket your rankings within the search engines, then we've the most effective answer for you! With our Blogcomments packages we tend to develop an extremely effective link building campaign! Trust Flow Services
  9. collegepaper world | May 20, 2017

    Excellent and superior to anything standard post. I found this much lighting up, with respect to what I was by and large searching for after down.

    collegepaper world

  10. paris | May 19, 2017
    I strongly suggest you go to someone who is experienced with sleep problems. He must have had a lot of history to handle the same patient.   paris
  11. paris | May 19, 2017
    I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.     paris
  12. Harrison | May 17, 2017
    No repeating questions till you have completed a category. downlodable freeware User adding/deleting of auricular, diagnosis, herbs, formulas, and points.
  13. jamesjack | May 16, 2017
    Wow!! this is a nice article ,as a staff Fantastic work. I read the entire article and i feel your experience in writing..All are good points.Thank you for all of you by giving such and such good article..!..!
    plumbing contractors
  14. james jack | May 16, 2017
    Three are usually cheap Ralph Lauren available for sale each and every time you wish to buy.  plumbing contractors
  15. pioneer seo | May 15, 2017
    That is so great to hear, Dave! We put great effort into making our service prompt and satisfactory. We appreciate you taking the time to not only write us a superb review but for rating us five stars. vitamin b17 supplements
  16. Joel | May 15, 2017

    Wow. This is some thing very amazing. I was in search of such a beautiful writing. Awesome plot and ends very in very simple way. Thank you. www.zahnstein-entfernen.eu

  17. robinjack | May 14, 2017
    The Ideal Dream Laser Clinic is a cosmetic-medical center offering only certified, result-oriented hair removal, Skin rejuvenating, body countering and weight loss services for both men and women. Our team includes certified technicians, Registered Dietitian and specialized skin and laser consultants. We offer the highest level of safety and service in an environment where the main priority is your safety, health and privacy. Our clinic located in heart of north York , Yonge and Steeles area close to public transit. 5 min walk to center of Yonge and Steeles, 88 Steeles Ave. East Toronto. laser clinic toronto
  18. jamesajck | May 14, 2017
    Wow!! this is a nice article ,as a staff Fantastic work. I read the entire article and i feel your experience in writing..All are good points.Thank you for all of you by giving such and such good article..!..!
    tickets community shield
  19. digtiicn | May 14, 2017
    Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. طراحی جلد کتاب
  20. jamesajck | May 14, 2017

    we need to pay our mortgage with bank of madrid we have been trying to contact you but no one replies

    Mobile Fleet Services

  21. voyante | May 13, 2017
    Here at this site really the fastidious material collection so that everybody can enjoy a lot.voyante
  22. digtiicn | May 13, 2017

    This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post thesis writing help

  23. Edward | May 13, 2017
    Deutsche bersetzung und Beispielstze, die den Einsatz der Wrter im Kontext verdeutlichen. downloadthingshere.cricket This is a companion app for the computer game EVE Online.
  24. digtiicn | May 12, 2017
    I have bookmarked your blog. the articles are way better than other similar blogs.. thanks for a great blog! Banglarbhumi Khatian
  25. digtiicn | May 12, 2017
    Thank you for your article. It’s helpfully information and entertaining descriptions. Your point of view is the best among many. gta 3 game android
  26. rajan | May 10, 2017
    I really like it very much. Keep this quality of your work on articles going on and please do not let the quality of your articles fall to bad. Cheers. look into  MovieBox App on apple tv   moviebox apk dowload iOS and install MovieBox App on pc.
  27. slam SLAM | May 10, 2017
    That being stated, this assessment would like to introduce you to a product that can be capable of offer you with the relaxation that you need for premier health. NutraPure Fungus Clear
  28. jamesajck | May 10, 2017
    Wow!! this is a nice article ,as a staff Fantastic work. I read the entire article and i feel your experience in writing..All are good points.Thank you for all of you by giving such and such good article..!..
    cosmetic dentistry
  29. slam sko | May 10, 2017
    by using nutrapure is made with similar ingredients in probiotics. One of the most effective and immune boosting elements on this components is bacillus subtillis.  fungus clear 
  30. slam sko | May 10, 2017
    by using nutrapure is made with similar ingredients in probiotics. One of the most effective and immune boosting elements on this components is bacillus subtillis. fungus clear 
  31. jamesjack | May 10, 2017
    I read the entire article and i feel your experience in writing..All are good points.Thank you for all of you by giving such and such good article..!
    cosmetic dentistry
  32. camp child overnight camps | May 09, 2017
     Thank you a lot for providing individuals with a very spectacular possibility to read critical reviews from this site.  camp child overnight camps
  33. kid summer activities summer | May 09, 2017
    wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.    kid summer activities summer
  34. Gateways | May 09, 2017
    This is the one of the best and informatic blogspot i ever seen.thanks for such a decent and interesting substance with numerous tips , thoughts and manual for different traveler.thanks again.    Gateways
  35. Gateways | May 09, 2017
    Thanks so much for sharing your wealth of information, I certainly appreciate the effort! This panel would be worth going for!   Gateways 
  36. digtiicn | May 09, 2017

    Your article is truly informative.I would desire to see even more of these types of great writing. This is something I actually have to try and do a lot of analysis into, thanks for the post. Ramadan Mubarak Wallpapers

  37. voyance en ligne | May 08, 2017
    wow this good but ,I like your post and good pics may be any peoples not like because defrent mind all poeple ,  voyance en ligne
  38. youtube video downloader | May 08, 2017
    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks…   youtube video downloader
  39. SHAWN | May 08, 2017
    ​The railroads were critical amid the War for supply line reasons including the redistribution of weapons and substantial arms, and in addition of troops, restorative staff and general supplies. Write My Essay for Me Both the Great Western (GWR) and Midland Railways (MR) utilized particular firearm wagons for the moving of weapons.

  40. JAMES | May 08, 2017
    Railroad has an imperative part in conveying the weapons and nourishment things to better places amid the world war. Assignment Help UK think a few people groups utilized prepare for sparing their life from substantial assaults what not. Continue sharing more comparative substance.

  41. font converter | May 07, 2017
    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog, I will keep visiting this blog very often.   font converter
  42. jamesjack | May 06, 2017

    Wow!! this is a nice article ,as a staff Fantastic work. I read the entire article and i feel your experience in writing..All are good points.Thank you for all of you by giving such and such good article..!

    concrete crack repair
  43. Dissertation Service |Dissertationshouse.co.uk | May 05, 2017
    ​The railroads were essential amid the War for supply line reasons including the redistribution of weapons and substantial arms, and additionally of troops, Dissertation Service |Dissertationshouse.co.uk restorative staff and general supplies. Both the Great Western (GWR) and Midland Railways (MR) utilized particular weapon wagons for the moving of firearms.
  44. Matthew | May 05, 2017
    The ability to play against the clock or until no moves remain. downlodable games If you're ready to tame Apple's new cat, this is the guide you want.
  45. fashion in italian | May 05, 2017
    best post. [url=https://www.thenora.co.uk/]fashion in italian [/url]
  46. fashion in italian | May 05, 2017
    This is very informative post. Very well written. <a title="fashion in italian " href="https://www.thenora.co.uk/">fashion in italian </a>
  47. Santa Barbara real estate | May 04, 2017

    Excellent and superior to anything standard post.Very standard blog and articles. I am truly greatly sumptuous to visit your web diary.

    Santa Barbara real estate

  48. coupon hostgator | May 03, 2017

    In the competitive field of web hosting, best web hosting for wordpress has singled out 5 major companies at their top 5 list of web hosts. These are -ranking from 5 to 1 -Bluehost, AN Hosting, HostMonster, IX Webhosting, and Hostgator.

  49. robinjack | May 03, 2017
    I know your aptitude on this. I must say we ought to have an online talk on this. Composing just remarks will close the examination straight away! What's more, will confine the advantages from this data.  construction loan terms
  50. Maj gunadr singh World War II | May 03, 2017
      Getting in NDA is a dream come true opportunity for youngsters to join Indian army NDA exam 2018  filling NDA application form is a key step in  getting on the path of army career

    Leave a comment

    Drawings and charts for the movement of guns on British railways.


    British Pathe film, Giant Gun on the Railway 1914-1918.

    Admiralty

    Electrical Engineering Departments were first created by the Admiralty in 1903; Charles Henry Wordingham was made Superintending Electrical Engineer with two Assistants of whom William McClelland was one, the quotes are his. Electrical Engineers were appointed at each Dockyard. The war brought with it challenges for the fitting and maintenance of the fleet:

    “Early in the 1914-18 War, Admiral Sir Percy Scott, a well-known gunnery expert, walked into my room one morning, and, with his pencil drew on my blotting pad, an outline of a ship saying, “that’s the hull, that’s the tower; that’s the control room below; we want to control all turret guns from the top; if that is shot away, we then control from the room below; if that becomes flooded or damaged, we then control from a certain turret; any damaged parts must be capable of being isolated quickly with switch-over arrangements. Now McClelland, how long will it take to wire 30 first line ships at sea, the ships to remain at an hour’s notice for action?"

    McClelland's response was ignored, he was given 6 months and told to make arrangements to get the dockyard workmen to the Fleet. When the Fleet went to sea, the workmen often went with them; some were in action and were specially commended by the Commander in Chief.

    HMS Invincible, the fast Battle-Cruiser was urgently needed. She was under refit, her guns removed, and electrically she was nearly stripped. The extent of the electrical work involved was such that the Electrical Engineering Department could not complete the ship concurrently with other departments. Labour was not available in the dockyards. "The First Sea Lord said that, if it were a question of men, we should get them where we liked and how we liked, paying what was necessary, and if anyone say ‘nay’, that person should be referred to him, but without any doubt whatsoever, the ship must leave on the date given"He attached heavy penalties for any individual or Department failing to meet targets. Adverts were placed and over 200 men were found in a few days. Invincible left the dockyard on time; in the Falklands, she arrived just in time to catch and sink the German ships, the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. "Thus the Electrical Engineering Departments got through the 1914-1918 War, by sheer hard work and determination".

    New designs of ships, new construction and maintenance seemed unending; senior staff were engaged with all sorts of new electrical problems almost daily, they were much worried by the constant pressure and over-work. As an indication of the magnitude of the tasks, the number of electrical refits of ships was 48,630; the organisation for that one item, with its enormous supplies of materials, electrical machinery, and equipment from all over the country, had to be created without any previous experience of prolonged war in a comparatively new industry. The smooth and rapid expansion was made possible by the recruitment of suitable junior officers from the dockyards, who worked very efficiently.

    Sir Oswyn Murray Letter P1
    Letter to McClelland from Sir Oswyn Murray, Permanent Secretary of the Admiralty (the head of the Admiralty Civil Service in 1917) regarding his war work.


    Bridges

    Engineers played a vital role in moving troops, supplies and equipment. At the beginning of the War, the British Army did not have specialist material for building heavy bridges, nor the technical intelligence to be able to work out what might be required. The earliest forms of equipment bridging were based on pontoons which continued to be useful carrying guns and light equipment across rivers but the introduction of mechanical transport resulted in a large increase of axle load and the need to develop bridges to take heavier loads.

    The first need for heavy bridges was over the River Aisne on 13 September 1914, when the retreating German army destroyed the Pont Saint Waast leaving the allies unable to follow. The Royal Engineers built several pontoon bridges over the next few weeks followed by a heavy wooden girder bridge, the Pont des Anglais, at Sousson. The bridge was built under enemy fire and using any available materials including floorboards from local houses; it took too long to build resulting in a demand for steel spans to be sent.

      The first British equipment bridge was called the Inglis Portable Military Bridge (Light Type) invented by Sir Charles Inglis. Although the spans were invented in 1909 whilst Inglis was involved with the Cambridge University Officer Training Corps, they were first used as a self-contained portable bridge during WWI. Inglis was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1914; in1916 he was put in charge of bridge design and supply at the War Office. The first Inglis bridge consisted of pyramidal bays 8ft square created by 8ft long steel tubes connected by specially designed fittings, not unlike modern scaffolding.  It was designed to carry infantry in single file over a 120ft span and was easily transported  requiring little specialist training to construct.  At the first demonstration in France, a 108ft span was thrown across a canal in 13 minutes by an untrained party of Army Service Corps. On 28 September 1918 200 sappers from the Royal Engineers built a 108 ft span bridge over the Canal du Nord at Marquion in twelve and a half construction hours over several days whilst under fire.

      Although the Inglis Bridge was the best military bridge of the time, being fast to construct and carrying heavy loads, its tubular steel construction made it expensive and slow to manufacture. The Hopkins Bridge designed by Captain Hopkins, Royal Engineers, was a cheaper alternative. This bridge used conventional steel girders bolted together but the bolts meant construction was much slower than the Inglis. This meant that when speed was an issue, an Inglis bridge was often built which was then later replaced by a Hopkins bridge allowing the Inglis bridge to be re-used. The Hopkins bridge was designed to carry tanks. It consisted of steel Warren trusses and could be made in spans of multiples of 15ft. It was successful and a lorry bridge was designed, it was still at the experimental stage in 1918.

      The main disadvantage of girder bridges such as the Inglis and Hopkins was that they were not very adaptable; resulting in them often being stronger and heavier than required.  This problem led to the design of the Martel box girder bridge in 1925 which was used in the Second World War. These latter developments were as a direct result of engineers work from 1914 onwards.




      WWI Hopkins road bridge213
      Line drawing with technical details, Hopkins.


      Hopkins road bridge
      Hopkins road bridge being placed during the war.


      120ft Hopkins Bridge at Arques
      120ft Hopkins Bridge in use during the war at Arques.
      Credits/footnotes:

      ​'Giant Gun on Railway' film, British Pathe Archive.

      Images:

      Gun wagon charts/drawings, IMechE Archive.

      McClelland letter and portrait, IET Archive.

      Hopkins Bridge images, ICE Archive.