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Re: Gatling gun on an ironclad?

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  • Carl Williams
    Agree, I think we can assume not, as the Gatlin was invented during the war but came close to not being used at all. Those with a mild interest in the Civil
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
      Agree, I think we can assume not, as the Gatlin was invented during
      the war but came close to not being used at all. Those with a mild
      interest in the Civil War assume it was widely used, but this is
      incorrect. I think they get the idea from movies.

      The history of weapons development in the ACW was a case of the war
      department being overwhelmed with new ideas. There was a certain
      crisis climate at times, and an element of concern about getting it
      right. For example the Confederates were nearly being able to put east
      coast ironclads to use before the Union was ready and nearly set that
      theater on its ear; likewise Confederate torpedo development became a
      great concern. On the western rivers, superior Union ironclad
      development became a war winner.

      In spite of this element of concern, most weapons ideas were rejected.
      In the case of the Gatlin, I think the main concern might have been
      whether the army would be able to sustain a flow of ammunition to a
      weapon in the field that used it so rapidly. This problem killed some
      other weapons or at least limited production. There was some logic to
      the concern, but I think we know now it was shortsighted.

      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Sweetsstar@... wrote:
      >
      > Highly unlikely. The only use of the Gatling gun during the Civil
      War was I
      > believe Butler at Petersburg. We have a Gatling gun at the Drum
      Barracks
      > Civil War museum in Wilmington California. It is out for
      refurbishing right
      > now. When it returns it will be a featured item of the museum.
      > Susan
      > **************New year...new news. Be the first to know what is making
      > headlines. (http://news.aol.com?ncid=emlcntusnews00000002)
      >
    • Carl Williams
      Then again, a Wikipedia writer says Admiral Porter bought a Gatling and provides a reference. Presumably both Butler and Porter used private funds. Wikipedia
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
        Then again, a Wikipedia writer says Admiral Porter bought a Gatling
        and provides a reference. Presumably both Butler and Porter used
        private funds. Wikipedia doesn't say what happened to Porter's gun.

        see:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Jordan_Gatling

        apologies for misspelling Gatling in prior post

        Carl
      • Carl Williams
        I seem to be in a mood for this sort of thing this morning. In some ways, evidently, the Gatling merely improved on some existing ideas. Get a load of this:
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
          I seem to be in a mood for this sort of thing this morning.

          In some ways, evidently, the Gatling merely improved on some existing
          ideas. Get a load of this:

          The Puckle Gun:

          "In 1718, Puckle demonstrated ... a tripod-mounted, single-barreled
          flintlock weapon fitted with a multishot revolving cylinder, designed
          for shipboard use to prevent boarding. The barrel [had] a pre-loaded
          "cylinder" which held 11 charges and could fire 63 shots in 7 minutes
          at a time when the standard soldier's musket could at best be loaded
          and fired three times per minute..."

          Flintlock? wow

          For the ACW, in particular the idea of revolving charged chambers and
          multiple barrels for controlled cooling was not new. Gatling's gun
          though had a "gravity feed reloading mechanism, which allowed
          unskilled operators to achieve a relatively high rate of fire."
          Presumably the invention of the percussion cap and concurrent new
          design ideas for cartridges played a big role. [Gatling used a paper
          cartridge]

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puckle_Gun#The_Puckle_gun
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatling_gun
        • keeno2@aol.com
          In a message dated 1/10/2009 5:26:24 A.M. Central Standard Time, carlw4514@yahoo.com writes: I seem to be in a mood for this sort of thing this morning. When
          Message 4 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
            In a message dated 1/10/2009 5:26:24 A.M. Central Standard Time, carlw4514@... writes:
            I seem to be in a mood for this sort of thing this morning.
            When the subject was first raised, my first thought was the snipers who fired on all Union ships from the banks of the Mississippi. A little strafing from a Gatlin could have been used to depress that sort of activity. But then, what's the use of the equivalent of an entire regiment loosing a volley against a puff of smoke? You keep his head down until you're out of range. Not exactly cost effective. Not a real deterrent so long as the sniper has a rock or a large tree to duck behind after his damage has been done.
             
            But it remains that very few were built (a dozen or so?), so their actual use was very limited.
             
            Ole



          • Dave Gorski
            The Gatling gun prior to 1865 had many problems. Among them, often the bores of the six barrels failed to align with the chambers. The U.S. Army purchased
            Message 5 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
              The Gatling gun prior to 1865 had many problems. Among
              them, often the bores of the six barrels failed to align with the
              chambers. The U.S. Army purchased NONE of Gatling's guns.
              This may have also been due to the falling out of favor of another
              rapid fire weapon, the " Coffee Mill Gun." This weapon was
              prone to breakdown, and was even dangerous to operate.
              A major problem with all rapid fire weapons was that the quality
              of powder used caused fouling after only a few minutes. This
              problem was not corrected until after the war.

              A purchase of 12 Gatling guns was made by Maj. General Ben
              Butler out of his own pocket, and it was these guns that were used
              at Petersburg, the only action Gatling guns saw during the Civil War.

              In January of 1865, after many improvements including going
              to a rim fire copper case cartridge, it was officially adopted by
              the U. S. in 1866.
              The Army misunderstood the potential of the Gatling Gun however,
              assigning it to artillery use, rather than as an infantry infantry weapon.

              Regards, Dave Gorski
            • bango1375
              ... War. ... weapon. ... Is it known of how many casualties the gatling gun inflicted at Petersburg?
              Message 6 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Dave Gorski <amhistoryguy@...>
                wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > The Gatling gun prior to 1865 had many problems. Among
                > them, often the bores of the six barrels failed to align with the
                > chambers. The U.S. Army purchased NONE of Gatling's guns.
                > This may have also been due to the falling out of favor of another
                > rapid fire weapon, the " Coffee Mill Gun." This weapon was
                > prone to breakdown, and was even dangerous to operate.
                > A major problem with all rapid fire weapons was that the quality
                > of powder used caused fouling after only a few minutes. This
                > problem was not corrected until after the war.
                >
                > A purchase of 12 Gatling guns was made by Maj. General Ben
                > Butler out of his own pocket, and it was these guns that were used
                > at Petersburg, the only action Gatling guns saw during the Civil
                War.
                >
                > In January of 1865, after many improvements including going
                > to a rim fire copper case cartridge, it was officially adopted by
                > the U. S. in 1866.
                > The Army misunderstood the potential of the Gatling Gun however,
                > assigning it to artillery use, rather than as an infantry infantry
                weapon.
                >
                > Regards, Dave Gorski
                >




                Is it known of how many casualties the gatling gun inflicted at
                Petersburg?
              • Sweetsstar@aol.com
                From what I have read none. **************New year...new news. Be the first to know what is making headlines. (http://news.aol.com?ncid=emlcntusnews00000002)
                Message 7 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
                  From what I have read none. 



                • hank9174
                  ... who ... little strafing ... activity. But then, ... volley against ... Not ... has a rock or a ... similar to my thoughts, ole... Ironclads are not
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jan 12, 2009
                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, keeno2@... wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > In a message dated 1/10/2009 5:26:24 A.M. Central Standard Time,
                    > carlw4514@... writes:
                    >
                    > I seem to be in a mood for this sort of thing this morning.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > When the subject was first raised, my first thought was the snipers
                    who
                    > fired on all Union ships from the banks of the Mississippi. A
                    little strafing
                    > from a Gatlin could have been used to depress that sort of
                    activity. But then,
                    > what's the use of the equivalent of an entire regiment loosing a
                    volley against
                    > a puff of smoke? You keep his head down until you're out of range.
                    Not
                    > exactly cost effective. Not a real deterrent so long as the sniper
                    has a rock or a
                    > large tree to duck behind after his damage has been done.
                    >

                    similar to my thoughts, ole...

                    Ironclads are not anti-personnel weapons. They are built to seek out
                    and destroy enemy ships, hence they throw 60, 120 even 350 pound
                    rounds. An enemy ship is a target; a lone enemy gunman is a waste of
                    ammunition.

                    That said, every ship carries rifle-toting Marines, or other men,
                    providing close support for boarding and, perhaps, snipers...


                    HankC
                  • Carl Williams
                    I wonder what Porter was going to do with one, if it s true he purchased one
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jan 12, 2009
                      I wonder what Porter was going to do with one, if it's true he
                      purchased one

                      > That said, every ship carries rifle-toting Marines, or other men,
                      > providing close support for boarding and, perhaps, snipers...
                      >
                      >
                      > HankC
                      >
                    • hank9174
                      ... I often wonder that of many purchases of the latest and greatest ;) HankC
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jan 13, 2009
                        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > I wonder what Porter was going to do with one, if it's true he
                        > purchased one
                        >

                        I often wonder that of many purchases of the 'latest and greatest' ;)


                        HankC
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