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> Mircea sail ships armament
Posted: November 16, 2006 11:08 am
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What was the armament, if it was any, on board of the both Mircea sail ships?

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Posted: November 17, 2006 01:55 pm
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The actual Mircea has two salute guns, I have seen them only under canopy, am sorry but I have no further information about the type and maker... hopefully there will be someone on this forum to know more about.

As for the first Mircea, the training brig built in 1881 by Thames Iron Works & Shipbuilding Company (incidentally, the same company which built the famous Warrior, the first iron ship in Royal Navy), there is still a lot of controversy regarding the exact armament and position, and the fact that they changed cannon type and position from time to time did not help very much :).

According to Ciuchi's history of the Romanian Navy (reinforced with the statements of an original handwritten period document I have seen from a particular collection) back in 1882 she was armed with one 5-barrel 37mm Hothkiss cannon, two 57mm Nordenfeld cannons and one 10x11mm Nordenfeld machine gun.

What is certain is the fact that she originally had 4 (four) lateral bulwark gun mounts, two midships, two aft. These mounts can be seen on all photographs, and were placed there from the very beginning as I have found the papers concerning their position in the National Archives in Bucharest.

The 57 Nordenfelds were generally put on the midship mounts, thus leaving the rear mounts for the machine gun and the 5-barrel.

Howewer, in two period photographs from my collection, you can actually see TWO 5-barrel Hothchkiss cannons on the rear mounts. The photographs are not dated, but I presume them being shot around 1895.

In front of the Maritime Museum in Constanţa there are two 5-barrel Hotchkiss cannons almost identical to the ones seen in the photographs; the accompanying plaque says they are from "Mircea". However, the Hotchkisses from the Maritime Museum are on deck mount pedestals; only the "Police boats" had such guns on pedestals, while "Mircea" had her own bulwark mounts, this is why I believe these guns not to be from "Mircea".

According to "Mircea's Historical Diary", (a copy of which can be seen at the Maritime Museum), the Nordenfelds were discarded in 1906 and from then on only the Hotchkisses were used.

Hope this info helps!

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