Page 26 - Fort Burgoyne
P. 26

Fort Burgoyne                                                                                                  Dover Defences

         Haxo Casemates
         The three Haxo casemates were placed on the centre
         salient angle where the two faces meet and on the
         shoulders to protect their gun crews from enfilade fire
         over the flanks of the fort. This is unusual as in other
         land front forts the Haxo casemates were placed only on
         the flanks where they were subject to enfilade. This
         seems to point to a  vulnerability of the fort to being
         attacked from all sides due to it standing in isolation,
         rather than as a part of a defensive line.  Salient angles
         were considered to be the primary points of attack as
         they were vulnerable to enfilade and ricochet fire. At
         Burgoyne  traverses were used to protect the terrepleins
         of the flanks of the fort. However the Haxos were     A 7-inch R.B.L. gun of 82cwt mounted on a replica traversing
         declared superfluous in 1886 and from then on they    carriage at Fort Nelson. This is exactly the type of gun and
         were used as stores. Each Haxo was designed to hold   mounting that was fitted to the Haxo casemates at Fort
                                                               Burgoyne. It would have required a crew of a gun captain, a
         two guns in brick vaulted casemates firing through an  gun layer and six other gun numbers to fire it. It had a range
         embrasure protected from incoming shell fire by earth  of 4,000 yards using a 14lb charge (later reduced) for distant
         merlons. The backs of the Haxos were open but were    shot and 12lb for full shell. It fired a common shell against
         later enclosed when they became stores. An expense    hard targets and case or segment (shrapnel) shell for use
                                                               against troops.
         magazine in each provided ready use ammunition of the
         guns. Racers were fitted for 7-inch R.B.L. guns mounted  The breech was closed using a vent piece which required two
         on dwarf pattern traversing platforms firing over 4ft  men to lift it out and place it on the saddle above the breech
         sills.                                                during loading. Both the projectile and the charge were
                                                               placed into the bore through the hollow vent screw. Once
                                    Vent piece for a 7-inch    loaded the vent piece was dropped back into place and the
                                    R.B.L. gun                 vent screw tightened to hold the vent piece in place.

                                                               The common shell consisted of a cast iron body with lead
                                                               coat attached. The lead bit into the polygroove rifling of the
                                                               barrel as it was propelled along it, imparting spin and giving
                                                               greater range and accuracy.

                                       Left Haxo at Fort

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