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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Guns on the Gulf

For anyone who has a copy of "A History of Artillery" by Ian V. Hogg in their personal library (and everyone should) the Gulf Coast provides a memorable set of illustrations of the art.  The culmination of this development was probably the naval sixteen inch gun that threw shells like this from battleships like the Alabama.

But the several forts located on the barrier islands here have examples ranging from Spanish smooth-bore canons to "pop-up" artillery pieces that defended the U.S. during World War II.  Fort Pickens, just a few miles to the west of Pensacola Beach on the end of Santa Rosa Island concentrates a lot of this history into a single site.

These are a few of the guns preserved at Fort Pickens.
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Signage explains the artilleryman's workplace.
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And this display shows the geography and range involved at this location.

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