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Author Topic: Martello Tower 49, Bexhill  (Read 1330 times)
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John
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« on: December 24, 2012, 19:01:20 PM »

Hampshire Advertiser - Saturday 24 November 1860

ARTILLERY EXPERIMENTS AT BEXHILL.
The experiments with two 68 and two 32 pounder smooth-bore guns, against the Martello tower at Bexhill, were brought to a close on Thursday last, and the result proves incontestably that at the same range, 1030 yards, these weapons are perfectly harmless as compared to the Armstrong guns. Although a much larger amount of ammunition was used than at Eastbourne, the damage done to the Bexhill tower was unimportant, and it has now been resolved to renew the experiments at a range of 400 yards.

LAUGHABLE EPISODE IN THE BEXHILL ARTILLERY EXPERIMENTS.
When the Duke of Cambridge and his suite dashed down to the Martello Tower, to see the result of the firing, the public, a nice little body of 4000 or 5000 followed, and were soon actively engaged in inspecting every bit of shot or shell that could be found. So busy were they, that when the time for resuming operations arrived, all warning to leave the spot was in vain, and for the first time a Martello tower was so resolutely defended by British volunteers, as to set Colonel Mitchell and the besiegers at defiance. "Try the effect of blank cartridge on their nerves," was the order of His Royal Highness, but the public instantly detected the fact that the guns were unshotted, and steadily maintained their ground. "Nothing for it, your Royal Highness," said the Lieutenant-Colonel, "but a regular volley!" "Well, but be careful," said the Duke, "well over their heads, mind!" The guns were pointed accordingly, but no sooner did "the public" hear the rushing noise of the shot, than a scene ensued which utterly defies description. They scampered off in all directions; on one aide was a ditch, and into it they fell, pele mele, till they lay piled up four deep, amongst the wet and mire. Others were successful in leaping this barrier to their flight, and they finally reached a turnip field with a good-looking crop in prospect upon it. Tbe material, however, of which it was composed proved to be a soft clay, and after the rush of 400 or 500 of the affrighted public had passed over it, all its verdure was gone, it looked more like a brick-field than anything else!  
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2017, 14:33:20 PM »

EXPERIMENTS WITH CANNON.
The old martello tower at Bexhill, from the state of decay into which it has fallen, having being condemned to be removed, advantage was taken of the circumstance to make it serve the purpose, ere its final demolition, of testing the power of smooth-bore cannon compared with that of the Armstrong gun. His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief superintended the experiments on Monday, when a battery of two sixty-eights and two thirty-twos was extemporised and served, one set by Royal Artillerymen, the other by Cinque Port Volunteers. At the close of the day's firing, which proved remarkably good, so little damage had been sustained by the structure, that his Royal Highness declared he would trust himself inside the towers while a smooth-bore battery played upon them. In proof of the superiority of the Armstrong weapon it may be stated that the tower at Eastbourne was laid to ruins by 50 shots from a 100-pounder

Aberystwyth Observer 17/11/1860
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2017, 14:39:43 PM »

EXPERIMENTS WITH THE ARMSTRONG GUN.
Some weeks since we gave an account of the experiments carried on at Eastbourne for the purpose of testing the breaching power of the larger descriptions of the Armstrong gun, and it will be remembered that the trials resulted in the complete demolition of a martello tower, on the side exposed to the fire. Experiments have since been made on a martello tower near Bexhill, in every respect similar to the one at Eastbourne, to ascertain the effect of common artillery, the gun employed being two 68-pounders and two 33-pounders, and the distance from the tower the same as in the trials with the Armstrong guns namely, 1.032 yrds. The firing commenced on Saturday, the 10th inst., and continued up to Wednesday, the 14th. Both shot and shell were used and the entire number of rounds fired exceeded by one-half those delivered by the Armstrong guns at Eastbourne. The effect, however, was very different, for the tower remained tenable to the last, no breach having been effected; and in fact, only four shots penetrated into the interior, and no shells. The result is admitted to be completely decisive in favour of the Armstrong guns; but it is intended to pursue the experiments with the smooth bore cannon at a reduced distance of 400 yards

Pembrokeshire Herald 30/11/1860
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