A gun turret is a location from which weapons can be fired that affords protection and some cone of fire. A modern gun turret is a weapon mount that houses the crew or mechanism of a projectile-firing weapon and at the same time lets the weapon be aimed and fired in some degree of azimuth and elevation. Rotating gun turrets protect its crew as they rotate; when this meaning of the word "turret" started being used at the beginning of the 1860s, turrets were cylindrical. Barbettes were an alternative to turrets. In the 1890s, armoured hoods were added to barbettes. By the early 20th Century, these hoods were known as turrets. Modern warships have gun-mountings described as turrets, though the "protection" on them is limited to protection from the weather. Rotating turrets can be mounted on a fortified building or structure such as a coastal blockhouse, be part of a land battery, be mounted on a combat vehicle, a naval ship, or a military aircraft, they may be armed with one or more machine guns, automatic cannons, large-calibre guns, or missile launchers.
They may be manned or remotely controlled and are most protected to some degree, if not armoured. The protection provided by the turret may be against battle damage, the weather conditions, general environment in which the weapon or its crew will be operating; the name derives from the pre-existing noun turret, from the French "touret", diminutive of the word "tower", meaning a self-contained protective position, situated on top of a fortification or defensive wall as opposed to rising directly from the ground, in which case it constitutes a tower. A small turret, or sub-turret set on top of a larger one, is called a cupola; the term cupola is used for a rotating turret that carries a sighting device rather than weaponry, such as that used by a tank commander. Before the development of large-calibre, long-range guns in the mid-19th century, the classic battleship design used rows of gunport-mounted guns on each side of the ship mounted in casemates. Firepower was provided by a large number of guns, each of which could traverse only in a limited arc.
Due to stability issues, fewer large guns can be carried high on a ship, but as this set casemates low and thus near the waterline they were vulnerable to flooding restricted their use to calm seas. Additionally casemate mounts had to be recessed into the side of a vessel to afford a wide arc of fire, such recesses presented shot traps, compromising the integrity of armour plating. Rotating turrets were weapon mounts designed to protect the crew and mechanism of the artillery piece and with the capability of being aimed and fired over a broad arc between a three-quarter circle up to and including a full 360 degrees; these presented the opportunity to concentrate firepower in fewer, better-sited positions by eliminating redundancy, in other words combining the firepower of those guns unable to engage an enemy because they sited on the wrong beam into a more powerful, more versatile unified battery. Designs for a rotating gun turret date back to the late 18th century. In the mid 19th century, during the Crimean War, Captain Cowper Phipps Coles constructed a raft with guns protected by a'cupola' and used the raft, named the Lady Nancy, to shell the Russian town of Taganrog in the Black Sea.
The Lady Nancy "proved a great success" and Coles patenting his rotating turret design after the war. The British Admiralty ordered a prototype of Coles's patented design in 1859, installed in the ironclad floating battery, HMS Trusty, for trials in 1861, becoming the first warship to be fitted with a revolving gun turret. Coles's aim was to create a ship with the greatest possible all round arc of fire, as low in the water as possible to minimise the target; the Admiralty accepted the principle of the turret gun as a useful innovation, incorporated it into other new designs. Coles submitted a design for a ship having ten domed turrets each housing two large guns; the design was rejected as impractical, although the Admiralty remained interested in turret ships and instructed its own designers to create better designs. Coles enlisted the support of Prince Albert, who wrote to the first Lord of the Admiralty, the Duke of Somerset, supporting the construction of a turret ship. In January 1862, the Admiralty agreed to construct a ship, HMS Prince Albert which had four turrets and a low freeboard, intended only for coastal defence.
While Coles designed the turrets, the ship was the responsibility of Chief Constructor Isaac Watts. Another ship using Coles' turret designs, HMS Royal Sovereign, was completed in August 1864, its existing broadside guns were replaced with four turrets on a flat deck and the ship was fitted with 5.5 inches of armour in a belt around the waterline. Early ships like the Royal Sovereign had little sea-keeping qualities being limited to coastal waters. Sir Edward James Reed, went on to design and build HMS Monarch, the first seagoing warship to carry her guns in turrets. Laid down in 1866 and completed in June 1869, it carried two turrets, although the inclusion of a forecastle and poop prevented the turret guns firing fore and aft; the gun turret was independently invented by the Swedish inventor John Ericsson in America, while technologically inferior to Coles's version. Ericsson designed USS Monitor in 1861, its most prominent feature being a large cylindrical gun turret mounted amidships above the low-freeboard upper hull called the "raft".
This extended well past the sides of the lower
Naval artillery is artillery mounted on a warship used only for naval warfare also for shore bombardment and for anti-aircraft use. The term refers to tube-launched projectile-firing weapons and excludes self-propelled projectiles like torpedoes and missiles and those dropped overboard like depth charges and naval mines; the idea of ship-borne artillery dates back to the classical era. Julius Caesar indicates the use of ship-borne catapults against Britons ashore in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico; the dromons of the Byzantine Empire carried fire-throwers. From the late Middle Ages onwards, warships began to carry cannon of various calibres; the Battle of Arnemuiden, fought between England and France in 1338 at the start of the Hundred Years' War, was the first recorded European naval battle using artillery. The English ship Christopher was armed with one hand gun. By the 15th century most Mediterranean powers were utilising heavy cannon mounted on the bow or stern of a vessel and designed to bombard fortresses on shore.
By mid-century some vessels carried smaller broadside cannons for bombarding other vessels prior to an attempted boarding. These small guns were anti-personnel weapons and were fired at point blank range to accompany engagement with muskets or bows. From the 1470s both the Portuguese and Venetian navies were experimenting with cannons as anti-ship weapons. King John II of Portugal, while still a prince in 1474, is credited with pioneering the introduction of a reinforced deck on the old Henry-era caravel to allow the mounting of heavy guns for this purpose; these were wrought iron breech-loading weapons known as basilisks, but by the early fifteenth century the navies of the Mediterranean had universally adopted lighter and more accurate muzzleloaders, cast in bronze and capable of firing balls or stones weighing up to 60 lb. In 1489 John of Portugal further contributed to the development of naval artillery by establishing the first standardized teams of trained naval gunners; the 16th century was an era of transition in naval warfare.
Since ancient times, war at sea had been fought much like that on land: with melee weapons and bows and arrows, but on floating wooden platforms rather than battlefields. Though the introduction of guns was a significant change, it only changed the dynamics of ship-to-ship combat; as guns became heavier and able to take more powerful gunpowder charges, they needed to be placed lower in the ship, closer to the water line. Although some 16th-century galleys mounted broadside cannon, they did so at the expense of rowing positions which sacrificed speed and mobility. Most early cannon were still placed in the forecastle and aftercastle of a ship where they might be conveniently pointed in any direction. Early naval artillery was an antipersonnel weapon to deter boarders, because cannon powerful enough to damage ships were heavy enough to destabilize any ship mounting them in an elevated castle. Throughout the century, naval artillery was the single greatest advantage the Portuguese held over their rivals in the Indian Ocean, the Portuguese crown spared no expense in procuring and producing the best naval guns European technology permitted.
Being a crown industry, cost considerations did not curb the pursuit of the best quality, best innovations and best training. The crown paid wage premiums and bonuses to lure the best European artisans and gunners to advance the industry in Portugal; every cutting-edge innovation introduced elsewhere was appropriated into Portuguese naval artillery – that includes bronze cannon, breech-loading swivel-guns, truck carriages, the idea of cutting square gunports in the hull to allow heavy cannon to be mounted below deck. In this respect, the Portuguese spearheaded the evolution of modern naval warfare, moving away from the medieval warship, a carrier of armed men, aiming for the grapple, towards the modern idea of a floating artillery piece dedicated to resolving battles by gunnery alone. Gun ports cut in the hull of ships were introduced as early as 1501 in France, as early as before 1496 in some Mediterranean navies, in 1490 in Portugal, about a decade before the famous Tudor era ship, the Mary Rose, was built.
This made broadsides, coordinated volleys from all the guns on one side of a ship, possible for the first time in history, at least in theory. Ships, such as Mary Rose, carried a mixture of cannon of different types and sizes, many designed for land use, using incompatible ammunition at different ranges and rates of fire; the Mary Rose, like other ships of the time, was built during a period of rapid development of heavy artillery, her armament was a mix of old designs and innovations. The heavy armament was a mix of older-type wrought iron and cast bronze guns, which differed in size and design; the large iron guns were made up of staves or bars welded into cylinders and reinforced by shrinking iron hoops and breech loaded, from the back, equipped with simpler gun-carriages made from hollowed-out elm logs with only one pair of wheels, or without wheels entirely. The bronze guns were cast in one piece and rested on four-wheel carriages which were the same as those used until the 19th century.
The breech-loaders were cheaper to produce and both easier and faster to reload, but could take less powerful charges than cast bronze guns. The bronze guns used cast iron shot and were more suited to penetrate hull sides while the iron guns used stone shot that would shatter on impact and leave large, jagged holes, but both coul
Welin breech block
The Welin breech block was a revolutionary stepped, interrupted thread design for locking artillery breeches, invented by Axel Welin in 1889 or 1890. Shortly after, Vickers acquired the British patents. Welin breech blocks provide obturation for artillery pieces which use separate loading bagged charges and projectiles. In this system the projectile is loaded first and followed by cloth bags of propellant; the breech block incorporated a screw design with multiple "steps" of threads of progressively increasing radius, each step occupying the same circular sector. Each step engaged with its matching thread cut in the gun breech when rotated. A gap in the thread steps was still necessary for the insertion of the largest step before rotation, so the area of the breech secured by threads in the block is: number of steps 1 + number of steps × length of the screw This was a major improvement on previous non-stepped designs such as the de Bange system, which had only a single thread step and hence only half of the block's circumference had a thread which engaged with the breech, necessitating a long screw to achieve a secure lock.
The much greater threaded area of the Welin block allowed it to be shorter, allowing faster opening as it could be swung down or to the side after being withdrawn a much shorter distance than previous designs. It was simpler and more secure; the Welin breech was a single motion screw, allowing it to be operated much faster than previous interrupted-thread breeches, it became common on British and American large calibre naval artillery and field artillery above about 4.5 inches. Though the US Navy was offered the design a year or two after its invention, they declined and the American Bethlehem Steel spent the next five years in trying to circumvent Welin's patent, before having to buy it through Vickers. Rifled breech loader YouTube video showing Welin breech mechanism Royal New Zealand Artillery Association, Breech Mechanisms
Vladivostok is a city and the administrative center of Far Eastern Federal District and Primorsky Krai, located around the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia's borders with China and North Korea. The population of the city as of 2017 was 606,589, up from 592,034 recorded in the 2010 Russian census. Harbin in China is about 515 kilometres away, whilst Sapporo in Japan is about 775 kilometres east across the Sea of Japan; the city is the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet and the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean. Vladivostok was first named in 1859 along with other features in the Peter the Great Gulf area by Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky; the name first applied to the bay but, following an expedition by Alexey Shefner in 1860, was applied to the new settlement. In Chinese, the place where the city is situated nowadays has been known since the Qing Dynasty as Haishenwai, from the Manchu Haišenwai or "small seaside village"; as the Manchu Qing Dynasty banned Han Chinese from most of Manchuria, it was only visited by shēnzéi who illegally entered the area seeking ginseng or sea cucumbers.
From this comes the Chinese name for the city, Hǎishēnwǎi. In modern-day China, Vladivostok is known by the transliteration 符拉迪沃斯托克, although the historical Chinese name 海參崴 is still used in common parlance and outside mainland China to refer to the city. According to the provisions of the Chinese government, all maps published in China have to bracket the city's Chinese name; the modern-day Japanese name of the city is transliterated as Urajiosutoku. The city was written in Kanji as 浦塩斯徳 and shortened to Urajio ウラジオ. In Korean, the name is transliterated as Beulladiboseutokeu in South Korea, Ullajibosŭttokhŭ in North Korea and China; the aboriginals of the territory on which modern Vladivostok is located are the Udege minority, a sub-minority called the Taz which emerged through members of the indigenous Udege mixing with the nearby Chinese and Hezhe. The region had been part of many states, such as the Mohe, Balhae Kingdom, Liao Dynasty, Jīn Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty, Qing Dynasty and various other Chinese dynasties, before Russia acquired the entire Maritime Province and the island of Sakhalin by the Treaty of Beijing.
Qing China, which had just lost the Opium War with Britain, was unable to defend the region. The Manchu emperors of China, the Qing Dynasty, banned Han Chinese from most of Manchuria including the Vladivostok area —it was only visited by illegal gatherers of ginseng and sea cucumbers. On June 20, 1860, the military supply ship Manchur, under the command of Captain-Lieutenant Alexey K. Shefner, called at the Golden Horn Bay to found an outpost called Vladivostok. Warrant officer Nikolay Komarov with 28 soldiers and two non-commissioned officers under his command were brought from Nikolayevsk-on-Amur by ship to construct the first buildings of the future city; the Manza War in 1868 was the first attempt by Russia to expel Chinese from territory. Hostilities broke out around Vladivostok when the Russians tried to shut off gold mining operations and expel Chinese workers there; the Chinese resisted a Russian attempt to take Ashold Island and in response, two Russian military stations and three Russian towns were attacked by the Chinese whom the Russians failed to oust.
An elaborate system of fortifications was erected between the late 1890s. A telegraph line from Vladivostok to Shanghai and Nagasaki was opened in 1871; that same year a commercial port was relocated to Vladivostok from Nikolayevsk-on-Amur. Town status was granted on April 22, 1880. A coat of arms, representing the Siberian tiger, was adopted in March 1883; the first high school was opened in 1899. The city's economy was given a boost in 1916, with the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which connected Vladivostok to Moscow and Europe. After the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks took control of Vladivostok and all the Trans-Siberian Railway. During the Russian Civil War they were overthrown by the White-allied Czechoslovak Legion, who declared the city to be an Allied protectorate. Vladivostok became the staging point for the Allies' Siberian intervention, a multi-national force including Japan, the United States, China; the intervention ended in the wake of the collapse of the White Army and regime in 1919.
In April 1920, the city came under the formal governance of the Far Eastern Republic, a Soviet-backed buffer state between the Soviets and Japan. Vladivostok became the capital of the Japanese-backed Provisional Priamurye Government, created after a White Army coup in the city in May 1921; the withdrawal of Japanese forces in October 1922 spelled the end of the enclave, with Ieronim Uborevich's Red Army taking the city on October 25, 1922. As the main naval base of the Soviet Pacific Fleet, Vladivostok was closed to foreigners during the Soviet years; the city hosted the summit at which Leonid Brezhnev and Gerald Ford conducted the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in 1974. At the time, the two countries decided quantitative limits on nuclear weapons systems and banned the construction of new land-based ICBM launchers. In 2012, Vladivostok hosted the 24th APEC s
Black Sea Fleet
The Black Sea Fleet is the fleet of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Mediterranean Sea. The fleet is considered to have been founded by Prince Potemkin on May 13, 1783. In 1918, the fleet was inherited by the Russian SFSR the Soviet Union in 1922, where it became part of the Soviet Navy. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Black Sea Fleet and most of its vessels were inherited by the Russian Federation; the Black Sea Fleet's official primary headquarters and facilities are located in the city of Sevastopol. The remainder of the fleet's facilities are based in various locations on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, including Krasnodar Krai, Rostov Oblast and Crimea; the current commander is Vice Admiral Aleksandr Moiseev, who has held the position since June 2018. The Black Sea Fleet is considered to have been founded by Prince Potemkin on May 13, 1783, together with its principal base, the city of Sevastopol. Commanded by such legendary admirals as Dmitriy Senyavin and Pavel Nakhimov, it is a fleet of enormous historical and political importance for Russia.
In 1790, Russian naval forces under the command of Admiral Fyodor Ushakov defeated the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Kerch Strait. From 1841 onward, the fleet was confined to the Black Sea by the London Straits Convention; as a result of the Crimean War, one provision of the Treaty of Paris was that the Black Sea was to be a demilitarized zone like the Island of Åland in the Baltic Sea, although Russia subsequently renounced the treaty and reconstituted its naval strength and fortifications in the Black Sea. The crew of the battleship Potemkin revolted in 1905 soon after the Navy's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War. Lenin wrote that the Potemkin uprising had had a huge importance in terms of being the first attempt at creating the nucleus of a revolutionary army. During World War I, there were a number of encounters between the Russian and Ottoman navies in the Black Sea; the Ottomans had the advantage due to their having under their command the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben, but after the two modern Russian dreadnoughts Imperatritsa Mariya and Imperatritsa Ekaterina Velikaya had been built in Mykolaiv, the Russians took command of the sea until the Russian government collapsed in November 1917.
German submarines of the Constantinople Flotilla and Turkish light forces would continue to raid and harass Russian shipping until the war's end. During the Russian Civil War, the vast majority of the Black Sea Fleet was scuttled by Bolsheviks in Novorossiysk. In 1919 out of the remnants of the Russian Imperial Fleet was established the Red Fleet of Ukraine which existed few months before a major advance of the Armed Forces of South Russia which occupied all the South and East Ukraine. Most of the ships became part of the "Russian Squadron" of Wrangl's armed forces and after the evacuation sailed to Tunisia. Out of those ships, some were passed to the French Navy and some were salvaged. Upon the defeat of the Armed Forces of South Russia, the Ukrainian National Army and the Polish Armed Forces in Ukraine the Soviet government signed a military union with the Russian SFSR transferring all the command to the Commander-in-chief of Russia. Few ships that did stay in Black Sea were salvaged in the 1920s, while a large scale new construction programme began in the 1930s.
Over 500 new ships were built during that period as well as massive expansion of coastal infrastructure took place. The Fleet was commanded by Vice Admiral F. S. Oktyabrskiy on the outbreak of war with Germany in June 1941; the Fleet gave a credible account of itself as it fought alongside the Red Army during the Siege of Odessa and the Battle of Sevastopol. In 1952, Turkey decided to join NATO, placing the Bosporus Strait in the Western sphere of influence. Together with the advent of long-range nuclear weapons, this decreased the strategic value of any naval activity in the Black Sea. In the post-war period, along with the Northern Fleet, the Black Sea Fleet provided ships for the 5th Operational Squadron in the Mediterranean, which confronted the United States Navy during the Arab-Israeli wars, notably during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. In 1988 Coastal Troops and Naval Aviation units of the Black Sea Fleet included: Danube Flotilla: 116th River Ship Brigade 112th Reconnaissance Ship Brigade 37th Rescue Ship Brigade Marine and Coastal Defense Forces Department 810th Marine Brigade 362nd independent Coastal Missile Regiment 138th independent Coastal Missile Regiment 417th independent Coastal Missile Regiment 51st independent Coastal Missile Regiment Naval Air Forces Department of the Black Sea Fleet 2nd Guards Maritime Missile Aviation Division (three regiments of maritime attack Tu-22M2s5th Maritime Missile Aviation Regiment - disbanded 15.11.94.
124th Maritime Missile Aviation Regiment - disbanded 1993. 943rd Maritime Missile Aviation Regiment - disbanded 1996. 30th independent Maritime Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment 318th independent Anti-Submarine Aviation Regiment 78th independent Shipborne Anti-Submarine Helicopter Regiment 8
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet invasion of Finland on 30 November 1939, three months after the outbreak of World War II, ended three and a half months with the Moscow Peace Treaty on 13 March 1940; the League of Nations deemed the attack illegal and expelled the Soviet Union from the organisation. The conflict began after the Soviets sought to obtain some Finnish territory, demanding among other concessions that Finland cede substantial border territories in exchange for land elsewhere, claiming security reasons—primarily the protection of Leningrad, 32 km from the Finnish border. Finland refused, the USSR invaded the country. Many sources conclude that the Soviet Union had intended to conquer all of Finland, use the establishment of the puppet Finnish Communist government and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact's secret protocols as evidence of this, while other sources argue against the idea of the full Soviet conquest. Finland repelled Soviet attacks for more than two months and inflicted substantial losses on the invaders while temperatures ranged as low as −43 °C.
After the Soviet military reorganised and adopted different tactics, they renewed their offensive in February and overcame Finnish defences. Hostilities ceased in March 1940 with the signing of the Moscow Peace Treaty. Finland ceded 11 percent of its territory representing 30 percent of its economy to the Soviet Union. Soviet losses were heavy, the country's international reputation suffered. Soviet gains exceeded their pre-war demands and the USSR received substantial territory along Lake Ladoga and in Northern Finland. Finland enhanced its international reputation; the poor performance of the Red Army encouraged Adolf Hitler to think that an attack on the Soviet Union would be successful and confirmed negative Western opinions of the Soviet military. After 15 months of Interim Peace, in June 1941, Nazi Germany commenced Operation Barbarossa and the Continuation War between Finland and the USSR began; until the beginning of the 19th century, Finland constituted the eastern part of the Kingdom of Sweden.
In 1809, to protect its imperial capital, Saint Petersburg, the Russian Empire conquered Finland and converted it into an autonomous buffer state. The resulting Grand Duchy of Finland enjoyed wide autonomy within the Empire until the end of the 19th century, when Russia began attempts to assimilate Finland as part of a general policy to strengthen the central government and unify the Empire through russification; these attempts were aborted because of Russia's internal strife, but they ruined Russia's relations with the Finns and increased support for Finnish self-determination movements. World War I led to the collapse of the Russian Empire during the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Russian Civil War of 1917–1920, giving Finland a window of opportunity; the new Bolshevik Russian Government was fragile, civil war had broken out in Russia in November 1917. Thus, Soviet Russia recognised the new Finnish Government just three weeks after the declaration. Finland achieved full sovereignty in May 1918 after a 4-month civil war, with the conservative Whites winning over the socialist Reds, the expulsion of Bolshevik troops.
Finland joined the League of Nations in 1920, from which it sought security guarantees, but Finland's primary goal was co-operation with the Scandinavian countries. The Finnish and Swedish militaries engaged in wide-ranging co-operation, but focused on the exchange of information and on defence planning for the Åland Islands rather than on military exercises or on stockpiling and deployment of materiel; the Government of Sweden avoided committing itself to Finnish foreign policy. Finland's military policy included clandestine defence co-operation with Estonia; the period after the Finnish Civil War till the early 1930s proved a politically unstable time in Finland due to the continued rivalry between the conservative and socialist parties. The Communist Party of Finland was declared illegal in 1931, the nationalist Lapua Movement organised anti-communist violence, which culminated in a failed coup attempt in 1932; the successor of the Lapua Movement, the Patriotic People's Movement, only had a minor presence in national politics with at most 14 seats out of 200 in the Finnish parliament.
By the late 1930s, the export-oriented Finnish economy was growing and the nation's extreme political movements had diminished. After Soviet involvement in the Finnish Civil War in 1918, no formal peace treaty was signed. In 1918 and 1919, Finnish volunteers conducted two unsuccessful military incursions across the Soviet border, the Viena and Aunus expeditions, to annex Karelian areas according to the Greater Finland ideology of combining all Finnic peoples into a single state. In 1920, Finnish communists based in the USSR attempted to assassinate the former Finnish White Guard Commander-in-Chief, Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim. On 14 October 1920, Finland and Soviet Russia signed the Treaty of Tartu, confirming the old border between the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland and Imperial Russia proper as the new Finnish–Soviet border. Finland received Petsamo, with its ice-free harbour on the Arctic Ocean. Despite the signing of the treaty, relations between the two countries remained strained.
The Finnish Government allowed volunteers to cross the border to support the East Karelian uprising in Russia in 1921, Finnish communists in the Soviet Union continued to prepare for a revanche and staged a cross-border raid into Finland, called the Pork mutiny, in 1922. In 1