Illustrating the Effect of Destructive Capacity: August, 1914

JF Ptak Science Books  Quick Press

I found this lovely infographic in the August 29, 1914 issue of The Illustrated London News, coming a little more than three weeks after the beginning of WWI.  It is one of the earliest issues almost fully dedicated to war coverage, and in its many articles covers the fall of Namur, the fight at Mons, the destruction of the HMS Amphion, and images of long lines of Belgian refugees, the fight at Haelen (and the dog-drawn heavy machine guns), and the first drawing of the BEF in action in France. The image below addresses what was seen early on as the war’s premier issue in military strength, which was seen in the power of navies, and hence the depiction of the relative “strengths” (projectile weight (760-1400 lbs), barrel length, “muzzle energy”, steel penetration) of the big shells:

Schematics naval guns 416

I think I’ve never seen a display quite like this one, before.

And just for the fun of it, “caliber/calibre” from the Oxford English Dictionary:


b. Hence, The internal diameter or ‘bore’ of a gun.(As the ‘calibre’ of a piece of ordnance determines the weight of the projectile it can throw, phrases like ‘guns of heavy calibre’ often occur in popular use.)

1588   E. Yorke Order Marshalling in J. Strype Stow’s Survey of London (1720) II. v. xxxii. 454/2   We had our particular Calibre of Harquebuze… The Prynces..caused 7000 Harquebuzes to be made all of one Calibre.
1594   J. Smythe Certen Instr. Militarie 189,   I would that all their bullettes should be of one Caliver.
a1595   J. Smythe Animadv. Capt. Berwick in Grose Mil. Antiq. (1801) 297   A harquebuze and a currier, both..of one caliver heighthe of bullet.
1678   E. Phillips New World of Words (ed. 4)    Caliber, in Gunnery the heighth of the bore in any peice of Ordnance.
1708   J. Kersey Dict. Anglo-Britannicum   Caliver or Caliper, the Bigness, or rather the Diameter of a piece of Ordnance, or any other Fire-arms at the Bore or Mouth.
1728   E. Chambers Cycl.   Calliper, or rather Calibre, the Aperture of a Piece of Artillery, or any other Fire-Arm; or the Diameter of the Mouth of a Cannon, &c. or of the Ball it carries.
1746   Rep. Cond. Sir J. Cope 99   All the Cannon was of the same Caliber, being 1½ Pounders.
1778   Philos. Trans. 1777 (Royal Soc.) 68 65   The bore..was nearly 20½ calibers long.
1803   Duke of Wellington Let. 24 Sept. in Dispatches (1837) II. 327   We..have taken about 60 pieces of cannon..of the largest calibres.
1868   C. B. Norton & W. J. Valentine Rep. Munitions War 47   Mr. Burton’s rifle is adapted for central-fire cartridges; calibre 0·577 inch.
1908   C. E. Mulford Orphan xiii. 169   My breech-loading Sharps, ·50 calibre.
1908   C. E. Mulford Orphan 170   It heaves enough lead at one crack to sink a man-of-war, being a ·60 calibre.
1914   Sunday Herald (Boston) 23 Aug. 3/8   The rifle is ·30 calibre—that is the diameter of the bore is thirty one-hundredths of an inch.

By: JF Ptak Science Books
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