These photos and description were sent in by reader Robert, from NSW, Australia
Emden Gun by Robert.
The cruiser HMAS Sydney forced surrender of the SMS light cruiser Emden in
November 1914, after a sea battle that reduced Emden to a non firing hulk;
a scene of carnage.
Sydney’s 6 inch guns outranged Emden’s 10.5cm Krupp’s. The surviving crew on
board Emden dutifully tossed overboard all the breech blocks, so the ten
captured guns brought to Australia are sans breech mechanism and none are
without significant shell damage. Two of the best preserved examples are
main deck guns, one in the Australian War Memorial and one at the Navy
Museum in Sydney Harbour. Both of these have gun shields, the third example
located at the corner of Hyde Park and Oxford St. Sydney, is a mid-deck gun
that fired from an armoured sponson and this was not fitted with a
The shore party sent to destroy the islands radio station escaped in a leaky
schooner and their story is real boys own stuff.
The sleek lines and proportions of the Hyde Park example attracted me to
make a model of it. In research on the history of Emden and its crew
(captured survivors spent the war in Berrima, another interesting tale) I
came across the story of SMS Konigsberg, sister ship of Emden, scuttled in
the Rufiji river delta, East Africa, harassed by a British battle fleet.
These guns were salvaged by the crew and using huge numbers of native
conscripts, were dragged through the bush to the German railway workshops to
be fitted with carriages and wheels, others kept as fortress guns. The range
of these pieces dominated fighting in East Africa until the Brits. could
ship out long range artillery. One gun was fitted to the German steamer SS
von Goetzen based on Lake Tanganyika and was the inspiration for the great
(fictional) movie African Queen. The defeat of the Konigsberg used aircraft
for spotting fall of shot and was the inspiration for another forgettable
movie starring Roger Moore.
Model details are: Length 356mm, height 140mm. Materials: Stainless Steel
base, the rest mild steel or brass. Traverse gear cut, elevation gear
segments purchased . Scratch built from photographs about 600 hours. Breech
chambers but does not eject round, recoil spring based, traverse and
elevation work as original.
Close ups of the model
Thanks to Robert for sending these great photographs and commentary. I have seen photos of some other of Robert’s superb model engineering, and look forward to publishing them on this blog.