Joe & List,
Very interesting indeed. I have seen reports of the Prussians firing up
to 16 rounds per minute from smaller field guns but I was under the
impression that they were not sponging between shots.
The rate of 23 rounds per minute from a heavy 12-pounder and sponging as
well has to be the all time record. I wonder if that was done with the
carriage "scotched" to prevent recoil. That rate of fire would seem to
allow no time for getting the gun back in battery.
To obtain that rate of fire Col. Desaguliers must have had his gunners
choreographed rather than merely drilled. Since this method was not
generally adopted it must have been determined to be too difficult or
risky for all but the very best guns crews and relegated only to Royal
dog and pony shows. I would certainly like to have seen it done.
> For what it's worth, here's an article from the Annual Register
> [23? August 1770]
> "This morning their Majesties honoured the regiment of artillery
> with their presence in the warren at Woolwich. His Majesty came
>purposely to see some experiments tried. ... Their Majesties next saw >a heavy twelve pounder brass gun filled twenty three times with shot in >a minute, spunging between each fire, and loading with the greatest >safety, which surprising every spectator, having far surpassed any >quick firing ever yet practiced.-The method is entirely new, and
> supposed to be the invention of Col. Desaguliers_."
> Be interesting to know what the Colonel's new method was all