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WW I photo of the installation of a "Sacrifice Gun"


Brian Wolfe
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Hello Everyone,

I have a photo of what I have been informed is the implacement of "Scarifice Gun" on the Western Front. I don't have a date on this photo. These guns were placed on the back slope of the trench so that when the enemy attacked and in the event they reached the trench were met with a blast from this piece. They were easily spotted by enemy artillery and therefore usually knocked out, thus the name "sacrifice" gun. I had a write up for this photo but I've misplaced it. The official label I have on the back of this photo says it is of a machine-gun post, this is obviously not a machine-gun.

I think this is an interesting photo and something I never heard of before, of course there are a lot of things I have yet to hear about. Has anyone else heard about these sacrifice guns?

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

Edited by Brian Wolfe
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Here is a close up of the actual gun.

I remember a scene in a movie, I think was entitled "Glory", about the American Civil War. The Union troups had just broken through the embattlements and rounded a corner within the fort. Suddenly they came face to face with a cannon. I remember the impact it had on me as the viewer. You just knew those poor fellows were about to catch hell. I can imagine the same would have happened if the enemy had reached this point in the photo.

Brian

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Here is a close up of the soldiers handing up the rounds for the gun.

This is where I get a little confused. If these emplacements were easily knocked out by the enemy then who would have been manning them? If they were manned after the enemy barrage had stopped and the enemy was on his way just how many would have been left undamaged. On top of that just how many rounds would they have expected to get off if the trench was about to be over run? I would think once any enemy soldier got in the trench and was below the gun position it would have only taken one grenade to have knocked out this emplacement.

If there is only one thing I know about trench warefare it's that I'm glad I was not there.

I'm looking forward to other member's opinions and comments.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Is the gun actually set in the parados of a trench, or is it set in a break on the skyline & cammed up accordingly - a cloth backdrop behind the crew, ready to be manhandled or drawn by horse straight out of the back of the position?

The amnition being carried in from the front suggests that it has'nt got a cloth backdrop but a solid backing to the position.

Edited by leigh kitchen
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