What 57mm and Rapid Fire WHAT in 1914 Liege, Belgium?

Jochem, how about the argument that opening the breech while a bullet is inside the barrel will put the muzzle flash into the receiver and basically stop bullet movement? And firing 2 more bullets into that same barrel would do what, blow up? Did that guy ever observe this?
And what was his position in that factory? Street sweeper, dishwasher or some other specialty?

No Alex, he was what is called a Meister in German. I cannot go into more detail.

No, they were not used because:

  • A lack of ammo and spare parts
  • No means to produce them
  • Too small number of guns
  • They were obsolete already

Regarding the slow / accelerated / quick(rapid) firing guns, I think it is best explained here:
These terms are only relevant up to around 1910, as rapid fire has become a standard by that point and all further artillery development was expected to be at this level. I’m sure i’ve seen some definitions in some vintage artillery manuals but can`t be bothered right now to search and translate them.

Semi-automatic guns, with automatic breech opening near the end of the recoil travel are a further development of the rapid firing guns. Or in other words, all semi-automatic guns include the qualities of the quick fire guns. And of course, a further development of this are artillery systems with auto-loaders.

Razvan, thanks! I think the small number is the key here.
Obsolete is always relative, as mentioned the Germans used them as tank guns where they did a good job.

Hi, i see one shell in Royal Army Muséum 10/15 years ago in Bruxelles (n°8), bad pic make with bad phone … Bsrg, Dan


I remember cross training with a very large German gentleman/soldier who swore to me that Ballistol was made from bananas, and they put it on their cereal for breakfast- with a straight face no less!

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This pic (from the ammo photo gallery on my website) shows the 6 pdr (57mm) Hotchkiss round used in British WW1 tanks (fifth from the left) with the 57mm used by German tank guns (sixth from the left).


The best misunderstanding I’ve heard was a very recent one - a British “popular” (i.e. proudly fact-free) newspaper poured scorn on the Royal Navy for spending millions of pounds on fitting their latest frigates with an American 5 inch gun, because that was a ridiculous price to pay for a gun which is only five inches long…


Anything for a story!

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Tony, see it this way, at least we had a good laugh!

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Tony, what are the cute little bugger 3rd from the left, and the perforated big boy 2nd from the right?

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The perforated case is a US 57mm recoilless for the M18 rifle.

#3 from left looks like a 47mm Hotchkiss.

Correct, although this particular loading is British and was designated the 2 1/2 pounder.

Tony, thanks, this is an interesting designation as for “pounds”.
I understand this was for the 47mm Hotchkiss revolving cannon?

Yes and no! The following summary is from: 47 mm AMMUNITION FOR BRITISH SERVICE

47 x 131R ammunition:
The third of the 47 mm ammunition types to see RN service during WW1 (another one of French origin) had a much shorter cartridge case and fired a lighter shell, causing it to be designated the 2 1⁄2 PDR Hotchkiss. The guns had a curious history, being made by Elswick for the Japanese navy (they called it the Yamanouchi), with deliveries starting in 1894. Just over 250 were sent to Japan, of which 84 were sent back to Britain early in WW1. They were used to arm auxiliary vessels. Although Hotchkiss did make a five-barrel canon revolver which fired similar ammunition, this one had a single barrel, 30 calibres long, with manual loading.

Ok, so no revolving Hotchkiss in British service!

Not that I know of.

I WANT/NEED ONE OF THOSE!!! The ultimate self defense revolver!

Thanks, I thought it looked a bit like the 90mm Recoilless rifle round I remembered handling, but too large. Never played with the larger versions, except the 120mm [maybe a 106mm?] I saw mounted on a Mule, which was pretty cool!
Would have been nice to have a ‘bearer’ for the 90mm!