The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation; the corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century. Arabs, Persians and Azeris constitute the largest ethnic groups in the region by population. Arabs constitute the largest ethnic group in the region by a clear margin. Indigenous minorities of the Middle East include Jews, Assyrians, Copts, Lurs, Samaritans, Shabaks and Zazas. European ethnic groups that form a diaspora in the region include Albanians, Circassians, Crimean Tatars, Franco-Levantines, Italo-Levantines. Among other migrant populations are Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, Pashtuns and sub-Saharan Africans; the history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, with the importance of the region being recognized for millennia. Several major religions have their origins in the Middle East, including Judaism and Islam.
The Middle East has a hot, arid climate, with several major rivers providing irrigation to support agriculture in limited areas such as the Nile Delta in Egypt, the Tigris and Euphrates watersheds of Mesopotamia, most of what is known as the Fertile Crescent. Most of the countries that border the Persian Gulf have vast reserves of crude oil, with monarchs of the Arabian Peninsula in particular benefiting economically from petroleum exports; the term "Middle East" may have originated in the 1850s in the British India Office. However, it became more known when American naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan used the term in 1902 to "designate the area between Arabia and India". During this time the British and Russian Empires were vying for influence in Central Asia, a rivalry which would become known as The Great Game. Mahan realized not only the strategic importance of the region, but of its center, the Persian Gulf, he labeled the area surrounding the Persian Gulf as the Middle East, said that after Egypt's Suez Canal, it was the most important passage for Britain to control in order to keep the Russians from advancing towards British India.
Mahan first used the term in his article "The Persian Gulf and International Relations", published in September 1902 in the National Review, a British journal. The Middle East, if I may adopt a term which I have not seen, will some day need its Malta, as well as its Gibraltar. Naval force has the quality of mobility; the British Navy should have the facility to concentrate in force if occasion arise, about Aden and the Persian Gulf. Mahan's article was reprinted in The Times and followed in October by a 20-article series entitled "The Middle Eastern Question," written by Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol. During this series, Sir Ignatius expanded the definition of Middle East to include "those regions of Asia which extend to the borders of India or command the approaches to India." After the series ended in 1903, The Times removed quotation marks from subsequent uses of the term. Until World War II, it was customary to refer to areas centered around Turkey and the eastern shore of the Mediterranean as the "Near East", while the "Far East" centered on China, the Middle East meant the area from Mesopotamia to Burma, namely the area between the Near East and the Far East.
In the late 1930s, the British established the Middle East Command, based in Cairo, for its military forces in the region. After that time, the term "Middle East" gained broader usage in Europe and the United States, with the Middle East Institute founded in Washington, D. C. in 1946, among other usage. The description Middle has led to some confusion over changing definitions. Before the First World War, "Near East" was used in English to refer to the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire, while "Middle East" referred to Iran, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Turkestan. In contrast, "Far East" referred to the countries of East Asia With the disappearance of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, "Near East" fell out of common use in English, while "Middle East" came to be applied to the re-emerging countries of the Islamic world. However, the usage "Near East" was retained by a variety of academic disciplines, including archaeology and ancient history, where it describes an area identical to the term Middle East, not used by these disciplines.
The first official use of the term "Middle East" by the United States government was in the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine, which pertained to the Suez Crisis. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles defined the Middle East as "the area lying between and including Libya on the west and Pakistan on the east and Iraq on the North and the Arabian peninsula to the south, plus the Sudan and Ethiopia." In 1958, the State Department explained that the terms "Near East" and "Middle East" were interchangeable, defined the region as including only Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. The Associated Press Styleboo
Her Majesty's Naval Base, Devonport, is the largest naval base in Western Europe and is the sole nuclear repair and refuelling facility for the Royal Navy. It is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the Royal Navy. HMNB Devonport is located in the west of the city of Plymouth, England. Having begun as Royal Navy Dockyard in the late-17th century, Shipbuilding ceased at Devonport in the early 1970s, but ship maintenance work has continued: the now privatised maintenance facilities are operated by Babcock Marine, a division of Babcock International Group, who took over the previous owner Devonport Management Limited in 2007. From 1934 until the early 21st century the naval barracks on the site was named HMS Drake; the name HMS Drake has been extended to cover the entire base. In the early 1970s the newly-styled'Fleet Maintenance Base' was itself commissioned as HMS Defiance. HM Naval Base Devonport is the home port of the Devonport Flotilla which includes the Trafalgar-class submarines.
In 2009 the Ministry of Defence announced the conclusion of a long-running review of the long-term role of three naval bases. Devonport will no longer be used as a base for attack submarines after these move to Faslane by 2017, the Type 45 destroyers are based at Portsmouth. However, Devonport retains a long-term role as the dedicated home of the amphibious fleet, survey vessels and half the frigate fleet. In 1588, the ships of the English Navy set sail for the Spanish Armada through the mouth of the River Plym, thereby establishing the military presence in Plymouth. Sir Francis Drake is now an enduring legacy in Devonport, as the naval base has been named HMS Drake. In 1689 Prince William of Orange became William III and immediately he required the building of a new Royal Dockyard west of Portsmouth. Edmund Dummer, Surveyor of the Navy, travelled the West Country searching for an area where a dockyard could be built. Having dismissed the Plymouth site as inadequate, he settled on the Hamoaze area which soon became known as Plymouth Dock renamed Devonport.
On 30 December 1690, a contract was let for a dockyard to be built: the start of Plymouth Royal Dockyard. Having selected the location, Dummer was given responsibility for designing and building the new yard. At the heart of his new dockyard, Dummer placed a stone-lined basin, giving access to what proved to be the first successful stepped stone dry dock in Europe; the Navy Board had relied upon timber as the major building material for dry docks, which resulted in high maintenance costs and was a fire risk. The docks Dummer designed were stronger with more secure foundations and stepped sides that made it easier for men to work beneath the hull of a docked vessel; these innovations allowed rapid erection of staging and greater workforce mobility. He discarded the earlier three-sectioned hinged gate, labour-intensive in operation, replaced it with the simpler and more mobile two-sectioned gate. Dummer wished to ensure that naval dockyards were efficient working units that maximised available space, as evidenced by the simplicity of his design layout at Plymouth Dock.
He introduced a centralised storage area alongside the basin, a logical positioning of other buildings around the yard. His double rope-house combined the separate tasks of spinning and laying while allowing the upper floor to be used for the repair of sails. On high ground overlooking the rest of the yard he built a grand terrace of houses for the senior dockyard officers. Most of Dummer's buildings and structures were rebuilt over ensuing years, including the basin and dry dock; the terrace survived into the 20th century, but was destroyed in the Blitz along with several others of Devonport's historic buildings. Just one end section of the terrace survives; the dockyard was established on the southern tip of the present-day site. The town that grew around the dockyard was called Plymouth Dock up to 1823, when the townspeople petitioned for it to be renamed Devonport; the dockyard followed suit twenty years becoming Devonport Royal Dockyard. In just under three centuries over 300 vessels were built at Devonport, the last being HMS Scylla in 1971.
The dockyard began in. It was here. In the 1760s a period of expansion began, leading to a configuration which can still be seen today: five slipways, four dry docks and a wet basin. One slipway survives unaltered from this period: a rare survival, it is covered with a timber superstructure of 1814, a rare and early survival of its type.
A deck is a permanent covering over a compartment or a hull of a ship. On a boat or ship, the primary or upper deck is the horizontal structure that forms the "roof" of the hull, strengthening it and serving as the primary working surface. Vessels have more than one level both within the hull and in the superstructure above the primary deck, similar to the floors of a multi-storey building, that are referred to as decks, as are certain compartments and decks built over specific areas of the superstructure. Decks for some purposes have specific names; the main purpose of the upper or primary deck is structural, only secondarily to provide weather-tightness and support people and equipment. The deck serves as the lid to the complex box girder, it resists tension and racking forces. The deck's scantling is the same as the topsides, or might be heavier if the deck is expected to carry heavier loads; the deck will be reinforced around deck fittings such as cleats, or bollards. On ships with more than one level, deck refers to the level itself.
The actual floor surface is called the sole, the term deck refers to a structural member tying the ships frames or ribs together over the keel. In modern ships, the interior decks are numbered from the primary deck, #1, downward and upward. So the first deck below the primary deck will be #2, the first above the primary deck will be #A2 or #S2; some merchant ships may alternatively designate decks below the primary deck machinery spaces, by numbers, those above it, in the accommodation block, by letters. Ships may call decks by common names, or may invent fanciful and romantic names for a specific deck or area of that specific ship, such as the Lido deck of the Princess Cruises' Love Boat. Equipment mounted on deck, such as the ship's wheel, fife rails, so forth, may be collectively referred to as deck furniture. Weather decks in western designs evolved from having structures fore and aft of the ship clear. Eastern designs developed earlier, with efficient middle decks and minimalist fore and aft cabin structures across a range of designs.
In vessels having more than one deck there are various naming conventions, alphabetically, etc. However, there are various common historical names and types of decks: 01 level is the term used in naval services to refer to the deck above the main deck; the next higher decks are referred to as the 02 level, the 03 level, so on. Although these are formally called decks, they are referred to as levels, because they are incomplete decks that do not extend all the way from the stem to the stern or across the ship. Afterdeck an open deck area toward the stern-aft. Berth deck: A deck next below the gun deck, where the hammocks of the crew are slung. Boat deck: Especially on ships with sponsons, the deck area where lifeboats or the ship's gig are stored. Boiler deck: The passenger deck above the vessel's boilers. Bridge deck: The deck area including the helm and navigation station, where the Officer of the Deck/Watch will be found known as the conn An athwartships structure at the forward end of the cockpit with a deck somewhat lower than the primary deck, to prevent a pooping wave from entering through the companionway.
May refer to the deck of a bridge. Flight deck: A deck from which aircraft take off or land. Flush deck: Any continuous unbroken deck from stem to stern. Forecastle deck: A partial deck above the main deck under which the sailors have their berths, extending from the foremast to the bow. Freeboard deck: assigned by a classification society to determine the ship's freeboard. Gun deck: on a multi-decked vessel, a deck below the upper deck where the ships' cannon were carried; the term referred to deck for which the primary function was the mounting of cannon to be fired in broadsides. However, on many smaller and unrated vessels the upper deck and quarterdeck bore all of the cannons but were not referred to as the gun deck. Hangar deck: A deck aboard an aircraft carrier used to store and maintain aircraft. Half-deck: That portion of the deck next below the forecastle or quarterdeck, between the mainmast and the cabin. Helicopter deck: Usually located near the stern and always kept clear of obstacles hazardous to a helicopter landing.
Hurricane deck:, the upper deck a light deck, erected above the frame of the hull. Lido deck: Open area at or near the stern of a passenger ship, housing the main outdoor swimming pool and sunbathing area. Lower deck: the deck over the hold, orig. only of a ship with two decks. Synonym for berth deck. Alternative name for a secondary gun deck Main deck: The principal deck of a vessel. Middle or Waist deck the working area of the deck. Orlop deck: The deck or part of a deck where the cables are stowed below the waterline, it is the lowest deck in a ship. Poop deck: The deck forming the roof of a poop or poop cabin, built on the upper deck and extending from the mizzenmast aft. Promenade deck: A "wrap-around porch" found on passenger ships a
Vichy France is the common name of the French State headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain during World War II. Evacuated from Paris to Vichy in the unoccupied "Free Zone" in the southern part of metropolitan France which included French Algeria, it remained responsible for the civil administration of France as well as the French colonial empire. From 1940 to 1942, while the Vichy regime was the nominal government of all of France except for Alsace-Lorraine, the German and Italian militarily occupied northern and south-eastern France. While Paris remained the de jure capital of France, the government chose to relocate to the town of Vichy, 360 km to the south in the zone libre, which thus became the de facto capital of the French State. Following the Allied landings in French North Africa in November 1942, southern France was militarily occupied by Germany and Italy to protect the Mediterranean coastline. Petain's government remained in Vichy as the nominal government of France, albeit one, obliged by circumstances to collaborate with Germany from November 1942 onwards.
The government at Vichy remained there until late 1944, when it lost its de facto authority due to the Allied invasion of France and the government was compelled to relocate to the Sigmaringen enclave in Germany, where it continued to exist on paper until the end of hostilities in Europe. After being appointed Premier by President Albert Lebrun, Marshal Pétain's cabinet agreed to end the war and signed an Armistice with Germany on 22 June 1940. On 10 July, the French Third Republic was dissolved, Pétain established an authoritarian regime when the National Assembly granted him full powers; the Vichy government reversed many liberal policies and began tight supervision of the economy, calling for "National Regeneration", with central planning a key feature. Labour unions came under tight government control. Conservative Catholics became clerical input in schools resumed. Paris lost its avant-garde status in European culture; the media were controlled and stressed virulent anti-Semitism, after June 1941, anti-Bolshevism.
The French State maintained nominal sovereignty over the whole of French territory, but had effective full sovereignty only in the unoccupied southern zone libre. It had only civil authority in the northern zones under military occupation; the occupation was to be a provisional state of affairs, pending the conclusion of the war, which at the time appeared imminent. The occupation presented certain advantages, such as keeping the French Navy and French colonial empire under French control, avoiding full occupation of the country by Germany, thus maintaining a degree of French independence and neutrality. Despite heavy pressure, the French government at Vichy never joined the Axis alliance, remained formally at war with Germany. Germany kept two million French soldiers prisoner, carrying out forced labour, they were hostages to ensure that Vichy would reduce its military forces and pay a heavy tribute in gold and supplies to Germany. French police were ordered to round up Jews and other "undesirables" such as communists and political refugees.
Much of the French public supported the government, despite its undemocratic nature and its difficult position vis-à-vis the Germans seeing it as necessary to maintain a degree of French autonomy and territorial integrity. In November 1942, the zone libre was occupied by Axis forces, leading to the disbandment of the remaining army and the sinking of France's remaining fleet and ending any semblance of independence, with Germany now supervising all French officials. Most of the overseas French colonies were under Vichy control, but with the Allied invasion of North Africa it lost one colony after another to Charles de Gaulle's Allied-oriented Free France. Public opinion in some quarters turned against the French government and the occupying German forces over time, when it became clear that Germany was losing the war, resistance to them increased. Following the Allied invasion of France in June 1944 and the liberation of France that year, the Free French Provisional government of the French Republic was installed by the Allies as France's government, led by de Gaulle.
Under a "national unanimity" cabinet uniting the many factions of the French Resistance, the GPRF re-established a provisional French Republic, thus restoring continuity with the Third Republic. Most of the legal French government's leaders at Vichy fled or were subject to show trials by the GPRF, a number were executed for "treason" in a series of purges. Thousands of collaborators were summarily executed by local communists and the Resistance in so-called "savage purges"; the last of the French state exiles were captured in the Sigmaringen enclave by de Gaulle's French 1st Armoured Division in April 1945. Pétain, who had voluntarily made his way back to France via Switzerland, was put on trial for treason by the new Provisional government, received a death sentence, but this was commuted to life imprisonment by de Gaulle. Only four senior Vichy officials were tried for crimes against humanity, although many more had participated in the deportation of Jews for internment in Nazi concentration camps, abuses of prisoners, severe acts against members of the Resistance.
In 1940, Marshal Pétain was known as the victor of the battle of Verdun. As the last premier of the Third Republic, being a reactionary by inclination, he blamed the Third Republic's democracy for France's sudden defeat by Germany, he set up a paternalistic, authoritarian regime that collaborated with Ger
Arctic convoys of World War II
The Arctic convoys of World War II were oceangoing convoys which sailed from the United Kingdom and North America to northern ports in the Soviet Union – Arkhangelsk and Murmansk in Russia. There were 78 convoys between August 1941 and May 1945, sailing via several seas of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, with two gaps with no sailings between July and September 1942, March and November 1943. About 1,400 merchant ships delivered essential supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease program, escorted by ships of the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, the U. S. Navy. Eighty-five merchant vessels and 16 Royal Navy warships were lost. Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine lost a number of vessels including one battleship, three destroyers and at least 30 U-boats, many aircraft; the convoys demonstrated the Allies' commitment to helping the Soviet Union, prior to the opening of a second front, tied up a substantial part of Germany's naval and air forces. The Arctic convoys ran following the first convoy, code-named Operation Dervish.
The first series, PQ and QP, ran from September 1941 to September 1942. These convoys ran twice monthly, but were interrupted in the summer of 1942 when the series was suspended after the disaster of Convoy PQ 17 and again in the autumn after the final convoy of the series, Convoy PQ 18, due to lengthening daylight hours and the preparations for Operation Torch; the second series of convoys, JW and RA ran from December 1942 until the end of the war, though with interruptions in the summer of 1943 and again in the summer of 1944. The convoys ran from Iceland north of Jan Mayen Island to Arkhangelsk when the ice permitted in the summer months, shifting south as the pack ice increased and terminating at Murmansk. From February1942 they sailed from Loch Ewe in Scotland. Outbound and homebound convoys were planned to run simultaneously; these would accompany the outbound convoy to a cross-over point and conducting the homebound convoy back, while the close escort finished the voyage with its charges.
The route was around occupied Norway to the Soviet ports, was dangerous due to the proximity of German air and surface forces, because of the likelihood of severe weather, the frequency of fog, the strong currents and the mixing of cold and warm waters which made ASDIC use difficult, drift ice and the alternation between the difficulties of navigating and maintaining convoy cohesion in constant darkness in winter convoys or being attacked around-the-clock in constant daylight in summer convoys. The "Dervish" convoy assembled at Hvalfjörður and sailed on 21 August 1941, it arrived at its destination, ten days later. The convoy was small and consisted of only six merchant ships: Lancastrian Prince, New Westminster City, Trehata, the elderly Llanstephan Castle, the fleet oiler Aldersdale and the Dutch freighter Alchiba; the Commodore was Captain JCK Dowding RNR. The escorts comprised the ocean minesweepers HMS Halcyon and Harrier, the destroyers HMS Electra and Impulsive and the anti-submarine trawlers HMS Hamlet and Ophelia.
As evidence of Churchill's astute mastery of propaganda, on board Llanstephan Castle were two journalists and the artist, Felix Topolski. On 30 May 1942, the surviving ships of Convoy PQ 16 arrived, most ships to Murmansk and 8 ships to Archangel; the crane ships from PQ 16 including SS Empire Elgar stayed at Archangel and Molotovsk unloading convoys for over 14 months. In July 1942, convoy PQ 17 suffered the worst losses of any convoy in the Second World War. Under attack from German aircraft and U-boats, the convoy was ordered to scatter, following reports that a battle group, which included the battleship Tirpitz, had sailed to intercept the convoy. Only 11 of the 35 merchant ships in the convoy succeeded in running the gauntlet of U-boats and German bombers; the novel HMS Ulysses by Alistair MacLean contains fictional events reminiscent of PQ 17 and other historical events. The Battle of the Barents Sea: In December 1942, German surface forces, including the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and pocket battleship Lützow sailed to intercept Convoy JW 51B.
The German force was driven off by a combined force of cruisers. In December 1943, Convoy JW 55B was the target of the German battleship Scharnhorst. Two British warship forces were in the area. In the Battle of the North Cape, Scharnhorst encountered British cruisers and was sunk by HMS Duke of York and her escorts in a night action before it could return to port. German destroyers missed the convoy, diverted north based on intelligence from the Norwegian resistance movement. Cargo included tanks, fighter planes, ammunition, raw materials, food; the early convoys in particular delivered armoured vehicles and Hawker Hurricanes to make up for shortages in the Soviet Union. The Arctic convoys caused major changes to naval dispositions on both sides, which arguably had a major impact on the course of events in other theatres of war; as a result of early raids by destroyers on German coastal shipping and the Commando raid on Vågsøy, Hitler was led to believe that the B
BL 8-inch Mk VIII naval gun
The 50 calibre BL 8 inch gun Mark VIII was the main battery gun used on the Royal Navy's County-class heavy cruisers, in compliance with the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. This treaty allowed ships of not more than 10,000 tons standard displacement and with guns no larger than 8 inches to be excluded from total tonnage limitations on a nation's capital ships; the 10,000 ton limit was a major factor in design decisions such as turrets and gun mountings. A similar gun formed the main battery of Spanish Canarias-class cruisers. In 1930, the Royal Navy adopted the BL 6 inch Mk XXIII naval gun as the standard cruiser main battery in preference to this 8-inch gun; these built-up guns consisted of a wire-wound tube encased within a second tube and jacket with a Welin breech block and hydraulic or hand-operated Asbury mechanism. Two cloth bags each containing 15 kg of cordite were used to fire a 116 kg projectile. Mark I turrets allowed gun elevation to 70 degrees to fire high-explosive shells against aircraft.
Hydraulic pumps proved incapable of providing sufficient train and elevation speed to follow contemporary aircraft. Each gun could fire five rounds per minute. Useful life expectancy was 550 effective full charges per barrel; the following ships mounted Mk VIII guns in 188-tonne twin turrets. The standard main battery was four turrets, but Exeter and York carried only three to reduce weight and formed the separate York class. County-class heavy cruisers: 14 ships York-class heavy cruisers: 2 ships Six single guns capable of elevating to 70 degrees were installed as coastal artillery in the Folkestone-Dover area during the Second World War. 203mm/50 Modèle 1924 gun French equivalent 20.3 cm SK C/34 Naval gun German equivalent 203 mm /53 Italian naval gun Italian equivalent 20 cm/50 3rd Year Type naval gun Japanese equivalent 8"/55 caliber gun US equivalent A gun from HMAS Australia outside the Australian War Memorial, Canberra Campbell, John. Naval Weapons of World War Two. Naval Institute Press.
ISBN 0-87021-459-4. Lenton, H. T. & Colledge, J. J. British and Dominion Warships of World War Two. Doubleday and Company. Whitley, M. J.. Cruisers of World War Two. Brockhampton Press. ISBN 1-86019-8740. Tony DiGiulian, Britain 8"/50 Mark VIII Terry Gander, Twentieth century British coast defence guns
QF 2-pounder naval gun
The 2-pounder gun designated the QF 2-pounder and universally known as the pom-pom, was a 40-millimetre British autocannon, used as an anti-aircraft gun by the Royal Navy. The name came from the sound; this QF 2-pounder was not the same gun as the Ordnance QF 2 pounder, used by the British Army as an anti-tank gun and a tank gun, although they both fired 2 pounds, 40 millimetres projectiles. The first gun to be called a pom-pom was the 37 mm Nordenfelt-Maxim or "QF 1-pounder" introduced during the Second Boer War, the smallest artillery piece of that war, it fired a shell one pound in weight over a distance of 3,000 yd. The barrel was water-cooled, the shells were belt-fed from a 25-round fabric belt; the Boers used them against the British, seeing their utility, had the design copied by Vickers, who were producing Maxim guns. During the First World War, it was used in the trenches of the Western Front against aircraft; the first naval pom-pom was the QF 1.5-pdr Mark I, a piece with a calibre of 37 mm and a barrel 43 calibres long.
This was trialed in the Arethusa-class light cruisers HMS Arethusa and Undaunted, but did not enter full service, being replaced instead by a larger weapon, the QF 2-pdr Mark II. The QF 2-pounder Mark II was a scaled-up version of the QF 1 pounder Maxim gun produced by Vickers, it was a 40 mm calibre gun with a Vickers-Maxim mechanism. It was ordered in 1915 by the Royal Navy as an anti-aircraft weapon for ships of cruiser size and below; the original models fired from hand-loaded fabric belts, although these were replaced by steel-link belts. This "scaling-up" process was not successful, as it left the mechanism rather light and prone to faults such as rounds falling out of the belts. In 1918, one example of this weapon was experimentally mounted on the upper envelope of His Majesty's Airship 23r. Surviving weapons were brought out of storage to see service in World War II on board ships such as naval trawlers, Motor Boats and "armed yachts", it was used exclusively in the single-barrel, unpowered pedestal mountings P Mark II except for a small number of weapons on the mounting Mark XV, a twin-barreled, powered mount.
These were too heavy to be of any use at sea, were therefore mounted ashore. All were scrapped by 1944. Calibre: 40 mm L/39 Total length: 96 inches. Length of bore: 62 inches Rifling: Polygroove, plain section, 54.84 inches, uniform twist 1 in 30 inch, 12 grooves. Weight of gun & breech assembly: 527 lb Shell Weight: 2 lb. HE. Rate of Fire: 200 rpm Effective Range: 1,200 yd Muzzle Velocity: 1920 ft/s Some 7,000 guns were made; the gun was used by the Japanese as the 40 mm/62 "HI" Shiki. The Regia Marina used it from the Great War throughout World War II, although it was superseded in the 1930s as a primary AA weapon on Italian warships by more modern guns such as the Cannone-Mitragliera da 37/54; the Royal Navy had identified the need for a rapid-firing, multi-barrelled close-range anti-aircraft weapon at an early stage. Design work for such a weapon began in 1923 based on the earlier Mark II, undoubtedly to utilise the enormous stocks of 2-pounder ammunition left over from the First World War.
Lack of funding led to a convoluted and drawn-out design and trials history, it was not until 1930 that these weapons began to enter service. Known as the QF 2-pounder Mark VIII, it is referred to as the multiple pom-pom; the initial mounting was the 11.8 to 17.35 ton, eight-barrelled mounting Mark V, suitable for ships of cruiser and aircraft carrier size upward. From 1935, the quadruple mounting Mark VII half a Mark V or VI, entered service for ships of destroyer and cruiser size; these multiple gun mounts required four different guns and were nicknamed the "Chicago Piano". The mount had two rows each of four guns. Guns were produced in both right- and left-hand and "inner" and "outer" so that the feed and ejector mechanisms matched. Single-barrelled mounts, the Mark VIII and Mark XVI, were widely used in small escorts and coastal craft; the Mark XVI mounting was related to the twin mounting Mark V for the Oerlikon 20 mm cannon and the "Boffin" mounting for the Bofors 40 mm gun. An interesting feature was the large magazine, from 140 rounds per gun for the eight-barrelled mount, to 56 rounds for the single mounts.
This large ammunition capacity gave the eight-barrelled mount the ability to fire continuously for 73 seconds without reloading. A high velocity, 1.8 lb. round was developed for the pom-pom, just prior to World War II, which raised the new gun muzzle velocity from 2,040 ft/s to 2400 ft/s. Many older mountings were modified with conversion kits to fire HV ammunition, while most newly manufactured mounts were factory built to fire HV ammunition. A mount modified or designed for HV ammunition was given a'*' designation; the United States Navy considered adopting the pom-pom gun prior to its entry into the Second World War, conducted a series of trials between their own 1.1" gun, the U. S. Army 37 mm Gun, the Vickers 40 mm pom-pom, the Bofors 40 mm: Among the machine guns under consideration were the Army's 37-mm and the British Navy's 2-pounder, more known as the "pompom." The decision soon narrowed to a choice between the British gun. The British were