Oönskade kanoner

Diskussioner kring händelser under första världskriget & mellankrigstiden. Tillägnad vår saknade medlem Stellan Bojerud
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Mackan L
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Oönskade kanoner

Inlägg av Mackan L » 18 aug 2022 14:28

I september 2018 besökte jag ön Great Cumbreae i Skottland. Ön ligget vid inloppet till Glasgow, som i sin tur ligger några (svenska) mil österut.

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I centralorten Millport kan man finna ett något udda föremål, eller i alla fall är dess placering något konstig: en tysk haubits från första världskriget är inmurad i botten av en stenmur.
Den var en av två identiska pjäser som gavs till befolkningen på Great Cumbreae. Gåvan (krigsbyte) var dock inte alltför välkommen när den kom i och med förlusterna som drabbat samhället under kriget.

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The unwanted spoils of war: mystery of the Millport cannons explained
https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/181 ... explained/

Military archaeologist Professor Tony Pollard explains that the townsfolk of Millport were not alone in their reluctance to welcome weapons which had until recently been targeting their loved ones. A scheme to hand out weapons captured from the Germans had began in 1915 after the Battle of Hooge and was initially popular as it showed the war was going well, evidenced by the large collection of war trophies taken from the enemy. By the end of the war, the War Trophies Committee had collected 100,000 items, ranging from tanks down to machine guns.
But opinions had altered by 1920. “By the time we get to the end of the war, when Millport gets two of these items, the mood has changed,” said Pollard. “The war is over and people are sick of it

“Losses had mounted up with whole communities destroyed and the last thing people want is a huge chunk of metal on the village green which reminds them of the brutality of the industrial slaughter made real on their front doorstep.”
[...]
In 1929, at a council meeting, war veteran Thomas Freebairn asked that children playing in the park shouldn’t have to see them. He demanded that “the gun reminders of the Great War be removed from the West Bay Park and put out of sight of rising generations”. Perhaps Freebairn, who had a six-year-old son, didn’t want his only child to be confronted with the weapons of war each time he played on the swings.

På grund av sin placering överlevde kanonen det andra världskriget (den blev inte tagen som skrot så som många andra uppställda pjäser):
[...]
Freebairn’s motion was passed and the guns were removed, but he couldn’t protect his son from the forthcoming war. Charles Freebairn enlisted in 1939, although thankfully he survived the conflict.
It was not recorded where the guns went, but there was a local dump at the bottom of the park and one of the cannons must have been dragged there before the sea wall was built.
Pollard is not sure where the other gun ended up: “The stories are they were buried under a sea wall where you can only see one of them,” he said. “I’ve also heard the other one has been dumped at sea, but I don’t know what the truth of that is.”
Ironically, the attempt to get rid of the gun by burying it under a wall has made it one of the few surviving weapons of this type, due to their unpopularity and then the need for metal before the Second World War.
Pollard explained: “They are rare across the world. Over time, due to changes in attitudes and then their value as scrap metal, they slowly disappeared. There are now very few examples in the UK.”

[...]
Det pratas om att göra något med pjäsen (eller pjäserna om nu den andra är begravd under den första) men inget har realiserats.
He has been involved in a number of initiatives over the years to excavate the gun and possibly find the other underneath the wall although nothing has come of this yet. He said: “The logistics are complicated as you would have to remove a part of the sea wall. It’s degraded in the time I have seen it over the last 10 years so it would be a real job of work to actually stabilise it so that people would want to have it on display. All of these issues would need to be considered.”


Här är en intressant skrift som berör Australien och krigsbyten från det stora kriget:

TO THE VICTOR BELONGS THE SPOILS
A HISTORY OF THE AUSTRALIAN WAR TROPHY COLLECTION

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... s(v.1).pdf
Australian servicemen during World War One captured more than
1,300 enemy guns and mortars, most of which were subsequently
distributed throughout Australia as war trophies.This was in relative
terms the largest collection of its kind ever assembled by an allied
army, an astonishing testimony to both the AIF 's military prowess,
and the digger's determination to make that success known in every
part of Australia. Many of these trophies were later enshrined as war
memorials and as such became the foci of the newly instituted ANZAC
ritual. These were in fact our first Great War memorials and
significantly, these were almost as numerous then as the more
traditional masonry memorials vvhich followed.
To The Victor Belongs The Spoils documents the Collectfon , and
subsequent nationwide distribution of these war trophies. It seeks to
understand why Australia - more than any other nation - should have
attached so much importance to these bellicose symbols and why they
still survive (in significant numbers) as potent, and often anachronistic
elements of our public landscape.
To The Victor is also a study of military commemoration, a subject
that has recently begun to attract considerable popular and academic
interest - both locally and internationally. These studies have tended
however to focus exclusively on the more traditional commemorative
forms (e.g. stone obelisks, cenotaphs and statues, rotundas, avenues
and halls etc.) without reference to the "var trophy memorial. To The
Victor seeks to redress this situation.
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sveahk
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Re: Oönskade kanoner

Inlägg av sveahk » 18 aug 2022 19:39

Intressant och obekant, tack för det Mackan L!
Såg du PM:et jag skickade?

Mvh Hans K

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Sarvi
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Re: Oönskade kanoner

Inlägg av Sarvi » 18 aug 2022 20:32

Ja, instämmer med Sveakh, intressant. Att det i avlägsna hörn av världen kan lämnas ett och annat skrot åt sitt öde är ju inte helt ovanligt, men det här var ju speciellt i så måtto att det var faktiska minnesmärken (eller vad man nu ska kalla det) som aktivt avlägsnades.

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Markus Holst
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Re: Oönskade kanoner

Inlägg av Markus Holst » 18 aug 2022 22:22

Det blir ju rätt enkelt att åldersbestämma muren ovanpå kanonen.