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 Central Railway

Book 1, Great Central Railway

by User Not Found | 24 Jul, 2014

2363 comments

Leave a comment
  1. Ariana Watson | Dec 14, 2018
    Hello I am Ariana Watson  from London ,Uk  . I working in My Assignment Services Co.UK and I am academics writer and provide dissertation help to students.  A dissertation is a final year project, which is mainly designed to assess the students’ analytical, theoretical and practical skills. Its basic idea is to make the learner take full responsibility for the knowledge gained by them during their stay in the university. It includes choosing a topic of research, producing a literature review and identifying the appropriate methodology in writing. Further, a well-written dissertation help the fellow UK students to get a deep insight into that particular topic as well as advance with the research on the topic for future projects. and also contact us for the law helpdissertation .
  2. jackiedavis351 | Dec 14, 2018
    So luck to come across your excellent blog. Your blog brings me a great deal of fun.. Good luck with the site. 借現金
  3. jackiedavis351 | Dec 14, 2018
    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me.借現金
  4. terrsa | Dec 13, 2018
  5. dfdf | Dec 13, 2018
    Therefore it is preferable that you ought to pertaining learn well before constructing. You possibly can share improved present inside a.joker188.biz
  6. LINH | Dec 13, 2018

    The story of cinderella Games unblocked

    Free Crime city 3d 2 games online

    Top burger Games

    What a blog post!! Very informative and also easy to understand. Looking for more such comments!! Do you have a facebook? I recommended it on digg. The only thing that it’s missing is a bit of new design.

  7. thuy | Dec 12, 2018

    Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences.

    game moto x3m 3  , funny differences free  , wheely 8 best online games  ,

  8. Kingston | Dec 12, 2018

    I was gratefully amazed by your way of thinking. As always you really are great.

    sell your Houston house fast

  9. fdf | Dec 12, 2018
    Remarkable article, it is particularly useful! I quietly began in this, and I'm becoming more acquainted with it better! Delights, keep doing more and extra impressive!sbobet
  10. SHARIQ KHATRI | Dec 12, 2018
    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.Computer repair shop Croydon
  11. fgg | Dec 12, 2018
    Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work. S12888
  12. alia | Dec 11, 2018

    Expertnews - international medical site about usefull popular goods for health and Beauty. We do description of products for health, write review for instructions to medicines, feedback from buyers and experts about medicines and medical supplies. In each article we make a detailed review, which includes the composition of the drug, cream, ointment, tablets and so on.

    weight loss

  13. James Smith | Dec 11, 2018
    I have heard a lot about your contents and the great stories it shared. Please keep on posting. assignment help
  14. dsd | Dec 10, 2018
    Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!M88
  15. Seth | Dec 09, 2018
    This is a good article and I like the way you drew wisdom from a creative and unlikely source.  best weight loss supplements for women
  16. SDS | Dec 09, 2018
    I have read all the comments and suggestions posted by the visitors for this article are very fine,We will wait for your next article so only.Thanks!sofaiswork
  17. sddf | Dec 09, 2018
    We have sell some products of different custom boxes.it is very useful and very low price please visits this site thanks and please share this post with your friends.Damien Bromfield
  18. huong | Dec 09, 2018
    I want to read your articles.They are my cup of tea. I hope you will add more posts.  I wait for new articles. Thank you very much. GOLD MINER VEGAS Crazy Birds Gravity Driver
  19. Online Assignment Help | Dec 08, 2018
    Online Assignment Help provided by the experts in the information management in Australia. For students of various Australian universities, we make available the expert assignment writing help in IT management, ICT management and mass communication.   Marketing Assignment Help gained recognition as a business process in the early 20th century. Since then, it has remained vital and central to organizational processes. Being central to both managerial as well as social process of an organization.
  20. Kevin Möller | Dec 08, 2018
    I found your website by botch when I was searching hurray down this skin break out an issue, I should state your website is exceptionally valuable I furthermore like the plan, it's stunning!. I do not have sufficient power right now to completely read your website, nonetheless, I have actually bookmarked it as well as furthermore include your RSS networks.  Visit us
  21. SHARIQ KHATRI | Dec 08, 2018
    I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. Judi Online
  22. SHARIQ KHATRI | Dec 08, 2018
    Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work. XRP
  23. HP Printer Support Number | Dec 07, 2018
    Thank you for sharing this blog with us. I would like to introduce our services for technical support of issues that come up in HP devices such as printer, scanner, computer and others. Call on (+1-855-461-5433 ) to get in touch with our experts for issue resolution at any time of the day. Visit: http://www.hptechnicalsupport247.com/hp-printer-support/
  24. Ken | Dec 07, 2018
    You’ve put some great information together here. It’s so comprehensive! I love that you included everything here. Will bookmark this for sure! Testofuel review
  25. Receive SMS | Dec 06, 2018
    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me.Receive SMS Online
  26. Custom Packaging Boxes - Packaging PAPA | Dec 06, 2018
    Thank you for sharing superb information. Your website is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across.Custom Packaging Boxes
  27. sdsd | Dec 06, 2018
    Sahibinden Satılık Müzik Seti, Müzik SistemiAmfi, Hoparlör, Müzik Tesisatı Müzik Seti
  28. Morganallen45 | Dec 06, 2018
    Looking for the best monthly weed subscription box ? With legalization well underway, now you can subscribe to various weed and cannabis monthly boxes. Weed box subscriptions are above all else, convenient. A handy method of topping up all your cannabis supplies, without actually visiting a store.
  29. Morganallen45 | Dec 06, 2018
    halfbakedbus  Cannabis Tours offers a quintessential sightseeing opportunity with its original  Weed Bus cannabis tour. Halfbakedbus Cannabis Project offers smoking and non-smoking versions of this tour, so even if you don’t want to consume cannabis, you can still learn about the industry and its history in US.
  30. Morganallen45 | Dec 06, 2018
    Endodontics Courses is perfect on the off chance that you are a dental practitioner hoping to work in avoidance of pathology and treatment of the dental mash and encompassing tissues. You will build up an information and comprehension of contemporary parts of Endodontics and figure out how to utilize an interdisciplinary way to deal with far reaching quiet consideration, including progressed analytic and clinical abilities. Those who are searching for restorative courses for Dentist can contact us for more information regarding course details.
  31. Morganallen45 | Dec 06, 2018
    Join our restorative dentistry courses to add value in your dental career. Our aesthetic dentistry courses are designed in a way that you can improve your clinical skills essential for the delivery of high-quality dental care. Those dental students who are searching for Dental Courses London can contact us for more information regarding course details.
  32. Jennifer Brown | Dec 06, 2018
    I would like to thanks for sharing the high-value article with us and I hope you'll publish more article like this. annotated bibliography examples
  33. SHARIQ KHATRI | Dec 06, 2018
    Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. maquina de vendas
  34. asds | Dec 06, 2018
    When you use a genuine service, you will be able to provide instructions, share materials and choose the formatting style.FIFA55
  35. susank | Dec 06, 2018
    Your ideas in this post are highly wonderful and magnificent alcohol and drug addiction auckland
  36. Godwin | Dec 05, 2018
  37. devid miller | Dec 05, 2018
  38. ANUS KHATRI | Dec 05, 2018
    When you use a genuine service, you will be able to provide instructions, share materials and choose the formatting style. teak furniture
  39. asas | Dec 05, 2018
    New web site is looking good. Thanks for the great effort.http://www.funeralflowersuk.org/
  40. xxasa | Dec 04, 2018
    I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. parquet flooring London
  41. ANUS KHATRI | Dec 04, 2018
    Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. bestflowerdelivery.co.uk
  42. mai | Dec 04, 2018
    What a fantabulous observe this has been. in no way seen this understandable of beneficial claim. i'm grateful to you and assume more quantity of posts at the side of those. thank you intensely a lot.gai goi tan binh, gai goi quan 8, gai goi tan phu, gai goi quan 10, gaigoicaocap
  43. THUY | Dec 03, 2018

    I guess you are a smart cookie because of your knowledge and insight. Thanks a million. I am waiting new posts. I get good feelings everytime I read your posts 

    madalin stunt cars 2 club 2 player   , juegos the world cup soccer 2018 club  , geometry jump club free online  ,

  44. SHARIQ KHATRI | Dec 03, 2018
    Furthermore this is aside from that an awesome put up that we all unquestionably preferred perusing. It is far from normal i enjoy the odds to work out a product.bayilik sosyal medya crovu
  45. asas | Dec 03, 2018
    This process is definitely confidently seriously the best choice. Every one with incredibly small streaks will be expected via a variety of tradition capabilities. I like to recommend software program such a large amount.papystreaming sur smartphone
  46. sdxs | Dec 03, 2018
    You have a real ability for writing unique content. I like how you think and the way you represent your views in this article. I agree with your way of thinking. Thank you for sharing.pregnancy diet chart
  47. dsd | Dec 02, 2018
    Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing?123movies
  48. SHARIQ KHATRI | Dec 02, 2018
    Thank you for the update, very nice site.. pokerpelangi188.xyz
  49. sdfsf | Dec 02, 2018
    This is a great post. I like this topic.This site has lots of advantage.I found many interesting things from this site. It helps me in many ways.Thanks for posting this again.english tenses table
  50. SUMMAY SANGA | Dec 01, 2018
    Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Really Cool. <a href="https://www.deliciousslots.com/">All Slots Casino 500 Free Spins

    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.