May 3rd, 2004

marcus 2013

Last of the automata (for now)

As usual all comments etc. gratefully received.

Krupp Precision Siege Gun (Prussia 1900)

BODY [50], MIND [8], SOUL [-], Military Arms [10], Morse Code [9], Spelling [9]

Cost: Circa £150,000

Weight: 250 tons

Carrying Capacity: -

Endurance: -

Reaction Time: 5-10 minutes (mostly time required to aim the gun, return to the firing point after recoil, reload, etc.)

Reliability: 10

Built-In Equipment: Naval gun, five parallel fast superior quality calculating engines with precision arithmetic, four telegraphs, two colour eyes fitted to telescopic periscopes, typewriter, anti-phonograph.

Also Carried: See below.

Quote: "Ready to fire."

Description: An "intelligent" railway-carried field gun (based on a naval design) capable of precision fire at a range of up to fifty kilometres. Its shell weighs more than a ton, and can be fired with an accuracy of +/-100 metres at maximum range. The gun is part of a specialised military train which also carries several hundred rounds of ammunition, track laying and other engineering crew, defensive weapons, a team of gunners, soldiers, etc., observation balloons, and several hundred workmen who set up the gun once it is in position. The gun can be directed visually, using a ten metre periscope and range-finder system, but it is more usefully aimed by integrating telegraphic signals from forward observers or observation balloons. It can take instructions by voice, but to avoid accidents the target coordinates are usually typed in. If for any reason the calculating engines are disabled the gun can be fired and directed manually.

Notes: Traversing the gun horizontally requires a section of curved track or a railway turntable for coarse adjustment, with the fine adjustment made at the gun mount. In use an advance party of engineers and surveyors finds a suitable area of hard ground on or near a railway line, and sets up an appropriate position, usually a curved section of track with extra rails parallel to the main track for stabilising outrigger bogies. Once this position is prepared the artillery train is brought forward and the gun is set up, a procedure that usually takes several hours. Meanwhile defensive positions are prepared and manned, observers go forward with telegraph lines and direction-finding equipment, etc. Once the gun is in position and assembled the first ranging shots can be fired, the aim is automatically adjusted to compensate for the observations reported to it, and a steady bombardment can begin.

(suggested by Sir Ernest)

marcus 2013


katemonkey seems to have accidentally convinced me to upgrade to 500k broadband. One of her recent entries has a link to a page that was over a megabyte without images, and she downloaded it so fast she didn't notice the size. At 150k I noticed all right! So I've been brooding about it and eventually decided that I've been cutting off my nose to spite my face by keeping the speed so low, bit the bullet, and signed up for another 8 quid a month for triple the speed.

Now to find sites that make the speed worthwhile...