In June 1940, at the instigation of Winston Churchill, Armstrong Vickers were approached about the possibility of mounting a 14 inch gun on a land mounting. Two guns were taken from the reserve stock for the King George V class battleships to be mounted inland of St Margarets Bay near Dover. It was found that with suitable modification, the standard naval barbette mounting could be pivoted on a concrete foundation. By August 1940 the first gun had been emplaced. Mr Churchill visited the gun position to inspect and the Royal Marines manning the gun named it ‘Winnie’. The second gun was installed in February 1941 and christened ‘Pooh’.
The guns were engaged frequently in counter-bombardment tasks against the various German batteries on the French coast. Their final task was to engage Batterie Todt on Cap Gris Nez using a Canadian Air OP and a number of direct hits were made. When the Canadian Army moved through the area at the end of September 1944, ‘Winnie’ and ‘Pooh’ were no longer needed. Each 14 inch Gun was dismantled at the end of the war and no trace of them remains.
Ordnance BL, 14 inch Mark 7
|Weight of Gun & Breech Mechanism||178,276 lbs|
|Total length||650.85 inches|
|Length of Bore||630 inches (45 calibres)|
|Rifling||72 grooves, uniform Right Hand 1/30|
|Breech mechanism||Interrupted screw, hydraulic operation, electric fired|
|Elevation||0º to +55º|
|Traverse||65º right and left|
|Recoil system||Hydropneumatic , constant|
Firing standard 1,586 lbs Shell
|Muzzle velocity||2,450 feet per second|
|Maximum range||47,250 yards|
|Shell, Common||From Naval stock. Base-fuzed with 154 lbs of TNT filling|
|Propelling charge||Full charge 313 lbs Cordite divided into four quarter charges|