Page 45 - Spitbank and the Spithead Forts
P. 45

Glossary of Military Terms

          Arc of Fire The lateral range of a gun or gun battery.  Outwork A defensive work outside the main fort.
          Artesian well. A borehole in the ground though which  Parados Rampart protecting the rear of a fortification.
          water rises under hydrostatic pressure.               Position finding cell A small compartment fitted with a
          Battery Observation Post A structure used for keeping  device for locating the lateral portion and range of a target.
          observation on the area commanded by the gun battery  Quick-firing gun A gun designed with a quick-acting
          and for determining the range of potential targets.   breech mechanism and using one piece ammunition or a
          Bombproof A vaulted casemate or building covered with  separate projectile and brass cartridge case.
          earth or concrete to withstand plunging shell fire.   Racer track Curved iron track set in the ground on which a
          Boom Defence. A net place across the mouth of a harbour  gun is traversed.
          or between the forts, to prevent enemy submarines from  Rampart Fortified embankment topped by a parapet.
          entering the protected area.                          Rifled gun A gun whose bore was cut along its axis with
          Bore The inside of a gun barrel.                      spiral grooves so as to &ping an elongated shall and makes
          Bramley Fall Stone. A light brown sandstone quarried  its flight more accurate.
          near Leeds. Breastwork Earth piled up in the form of a  R.M.L. Rifled Muzzle-loading gun.
          rampart.                                              Roach Portland stone. A limestone of particularly
          Breech-loading gun (B.L.) A gun loaded from the rear or  hard-wearing qualities, much favoured for the building of
          breech of a gun barrel.                               breakwaters end harbours. Quarried in the Isle of Purbeck.
          Cartridge A bag containing propellant. For guns with  Runcorn stone A darkish-red sandstone quarried in
          sliding breech mechanism, this is replaced with a brass  Runcorn, Cheshire.
          cartridge case.                                       Saddle mounting or casemate saddle mounting. A
          Casemate A bombproof vault of brick or stone, usually  bracket fitting across the top of an embrasure to take a light
          covered with earth, which provided an emplacement for a  gun.
          gun or living quarters for soldiers.                  Shell A hollow projectile filled with shot and a bursting
          Case shot A cylinder of thin metal filled with cast-iron shot  charge or just high explosive, both of which would
          and fired from a gun as an antipersonnel measure.     discharge metal fragments over a given area.
          Caisson. A box constructed in the sea to keep out the  Shifting lobby A room between the magazine and the
          water, while the foundations are excavated.           outside, to enable magazine workers to change their
          Central pivot Mounting A pivot mounting designed      clothing.
          around a shaft sunk in the ground.                    Terreplein Broad level fighting platform on the rampart
          Cheesewring or Colcerrow A grey granite from Cornwall  behind the parapet. Trace The outline plan of a fort.
          Corbel A projection from the face of a wall supporting  Traverse (1) To swivel a gun and its carriage, usually to
          another structure.                                    point them at a target. (2) An earth bank positioned so as to
          Dolphin Staging built in the sea, alongside which, ships or  protect troops from enfilade fire or to minimize the affect of
          boats are moored.                                     a bursting shell.
          Embrasure Opening in parapet or casemate front through  Traversing platform Wooden or metal platform which
          which cannon could be fired.                          supported a gun and its carriage and which could be
          Enceinte The space enclosed by the fort.              traversed on racer track.
          Enfilade Fire directed from the flank of a fort so that  Yoke mounting A special mounting developed for the forts,
          projectiles will rake the length of a rampart without the  to enable the load of the gun to be spread between the floor
          garrison being able to reply.                         and the roof and to stop the gun from jumping when fired.
          Escarp or Scarp The side of the ditch nearest the fort.
          Expense magazine A small magazine in which            Abbreviations
          ready-to-use ammunition was stored near the guns.     B.L.   Breech Loader
          Fire Control Post The place from which, a gun group or  B.O.P.  Battery Observation Post
          group of gun groups are runt -oiled.                  D.E.L.   Defence Electric Light
          Flanking Fire Fire directed at the side of an attacker.  Q.F.   Quick Firing
          Flanking Gallery A passageway with embrasures to      N.C.O.  Non Commissioned Officer
          provide fire along a length of wall or ditch.         R.B.L.   Rifled Breech Loading
          Glacis A sloping earth bank in front of the walls of a fort.  R.M.L.  Rifled Muzzle Loading
          Gorge The rear face of a fortification.
          Grapeshot Iron pieces fired from a gun.
          Muzzle-loader Any gun loaded from its front (muzzle) end.

         10-inch R.M.L. on a casemate platform as on St. Helen’s Fort
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