Dummy Guns and Turrets Train England’s Gunners for the Sea
WHEN England trains her gunners for the sea, she sends them to Whale Island in Portsmouth Harbor. Here the entire island is given over to steel sheds which are built like gun turrets on a battleship. The great guns projecting from these sheds are dummies, though they are exact counterparts of those on a battleship. The prospective officers and men are made to go through the exercise of range-finding, loading, aiming and “firing” these guns as rigidly as if they were in a real battle at sea. The heavy steel projectiles are hauled from the magazine by hydraulic and electric cranes just as in an actual ship. A real breech mechanism locks the projectile and its powder charge in the gun while an intricate swivel mounting of steel swings the gun into the firing position.