This Sums it up


Title: Herd of sheep crossing Grand Coulee Dam, 1930.

or…democrats, following a walking corpse and a whore, 2021. It looks a lot like the same thing to me.


Advice – or a Dare?


Portrait of a group of Palace Grenadiers, 1870s-1880s, Russia. I like the attitude.


Mons Meg

Mons Meg

I lived about three blocks west of the Edinburgh Castle, some decades ago, for a period of about four months while working in-country. I loved the vibe of the castle, exercising by running through the gardens between  Princess St. and the castle. There’s a lot that can be recommended about a visit to the castle (including the Edinburgh Tattoo). One of the most interesting is Mons Meg.

Mons Meg is a Bombard style of Cannon that was forged at Mons, Belgium in 1449 by the appointment of Philip Duke of Burgundy and gifted to James II of Scotland in 1454.

Used to great effect at many sieges Meg’s colossal 6 ton weight would have been mounted in an angled depression on the ground rather than on a trestle as seen here and was capable of firing a great stone ball weighing well over 300 lbs a distance of nearly 2 miles. Meg was finally used only for ceremonial occasions until her barrel burst in 1680.

At 520mm, Mons Meg is one of the worlds largest cannons by caliber.


  1. I’ve always wondered at the efficacy of a cannon like Meg, there.
    Granted, it might pummel a wall or support structure, but one large rock hurled every how many minutes at a moving target seems inefficient.

    • I don’t know how many rounds it actually fired. I think that sort of statistic may be lost in the sands of time. A lot of siege guns fired once or twice a day. Loading and firing them took time and care that the cannon didn’t blow up. The iron that they were made from wasn’t necessarily consistent, and neither was the powder. I have a photo of me standing next to the Mons Meg but I can’t find it. It must be in my garage, in a box…you know how that is.

      Some of the old siege guns fired stones, some fired spears (large spears) in sort of a sabot arrangement, some fired iron balls, and some evolved into mortars that fired iron balls packed with explosives. It was those mortars that truly changed siege warfare because the besiegers had the sappers dig saps/trenches close enough for the mortars to go to work, and they would pound the inside of a castle to rubble. Or if you cut the fuse short, the bombs would burst in air (as the song goes).

    • Think of it as a primitive sniper weapon. If you can take out one of the enemy siege pieces, or a leadership tent, then it’s worth it.

      On the offense, if you outrange the defender’s guns, also a good thing. Sieges often took forever, time was not as big a deal.

      Pretty useless as a field piece, though.

      • Yes, in defense, these would usually be counter-battery pieces since the enemy guns worth firing at (the most dangerous to the defense) were similarly immobile bombards. In fact, many of the largest bombards used by besiegers were cast on the spot (in deep pits dug for the purpose) over a period of weeks. A train of wagons carrying bronze or iron ingots along with the gunners and skilled metalworkers was much more mobile than a huge bombard on the roads of the time.

  2. My wife considers it a complement when I tell her she sounds like her mother. Her mom was a marvelous , intelligent, sweet lady. I miss her every day.

  3. The boat is only as good as the captain steering it. IF the 6th goes as the Dems planned, then 2021 will be a rough ride in open seas. So for us, no more getting on planes regardless the pilot, the Covid crap has ruined going anywhere warm for a winter break…we can stay at the homestead and not be subject to the mind-numbed idiocy and whacko rules by “officials”.

    I say LL needs one of those Megs parked at the driveway entry, next to the tanks…just in case.

    • I have a sloping driveway.

      It slopes enough that you’d need to use a seriously strong windlass to ease the meg down and it would take all the horses and all the king’s men to get it back up.

      • Even better, leave it the house lashed to a post, when they start coming up the drive blow the release and let er rip.

        • There would be a lot of line, capstans and winches involved. (Winches, not wenches – to clarify for WSF)

    • Modern method is diamond steel cutting corners off a cube, till very dodecahedron-ish.
      Then using multiple diamond cups of proper size. Look up Sphere Machine!
      Natives world over? Pecking…Ya start with basically spherical glacial cobble of proper uniform composition (no veins or cracks) and then peen it all over, with a hammer stone (round rock hand grippable, preferably of chert).
      Look up: Making stone axe Larry Kinsella.
      I spose cannon spheres. Would be using an iron…ball peen hammer… and finish with fine grain stone abrasives.
      And now that I said all that… I have MORE questions! What type of stone was favored for cannon… Igneous or sedimentary? When did iron come into regular use for cannon balls?
      How did iron age metal work change stone masonry and what WERE those techniques!?
      Back to the Rabbit Hole Library!
      Happy New Year y’all!
      PS: LL… Pls email me again~ Midwest Derecho trashed my computer … I have removeable outrigger pics for you to peruse.

    • Round stones were used for catapults, trebuchets, etc. long before metal came along. They did it in the same way as Aztecs and Egyptians and Babylonians built temples thousands of feet high. — craftsmanship. They knew a lot about stone, marble, and different sands (for glass). Ootzie, the Iceman found in the Alps, 7500 BC carried a copper axe. Based on everything I’ve read, and I’ve read a lot, the difference between ancients circa 7,500 BC and us is tech and better nutrition. The brain is about the same, and think of what we can figure out. We sent men to the Moon on sliderule calculations with a computer less powerful than a cell phone.

      I’ll e-mail you, JohnO for back channel talk.

  4. Can you imagine the damage to the infantry if they filled Mons Meg at close range with rocks, bolts, scrap iron, any metal pieces or any object they could find? Like the canister shot of the Civil War era.

    • You’d need to space them, knowing that you only got one shot. The Mons Meg was a breechloader, not a muzzleloader. But most of them required that you expose yourself to enemy fire (even if you fired from an embrasure) to reload them, and it would take hours.

  5. If you have not read it,you may enjoy C.S.Foresters story, “The Gun.”
    About the transport and use of a siege cannon. Very enjoyable read, like all his works.

    My uneducated guess is any number of muzzleloading field pieces would be devastating against the MZC’s. ( Modern Zombie Crowds. ) 5 pounds of 1/2″ nuts would really re-orient a mobs priorities. Or take a bunch of 16 penny nails, toss them through a press to turn the heads, and make fleshettes. Be interesting to see what a solid iron round shot would do to a light armored vehicle. Come to think of it, there is no reason a sabot would not work- hardened steel, 1 ” diameter, a foot long, fin stabilized, with a UHMW sabot?

    • Or directional mines – like Claymores. Pack the 1/2″ nuts in actual clay and use C-4 to propel them to 25,000 ft per second.

      With solid round shot, you’re dealing with raw kinetic force. So the math involves velocity (a function of muzzle velocity and range), weight of the projectile, slope of the armor at the point of impact, weight of the overall vehicle (tracks vs wheels), etc.

      I think that we can ride the way-back machine to the battle of Ironclads at Hampton Roads, VA to see what it did. The CSS Virginia had sloped iron over oak and the USS Monitor had a round turret (which while not sloped, deflected) that turned the gun away from the target while it reloaded).

      In any event the force was considerable and something in place to defeat a 9 mm pistol round or .223 ball, would crumple like a pie tin. You wouldn’t have to worry about spalling.

      The Monitor had two XI-inch Dahlgren, smooth-bore cannons that weighed nearly nine tons each. The turret had eight inches of armor.

      Virginia had four inches of sloped armor, and
      2 × 7-inch (178 mm) Brooke rifles
      2 × 6.4-inch (160 mm) Brooke rifles
      6 × 9-inch (229 mm) Dahlgren smoothbores
      2 × 12-pounder (5 kg) howitzers

      So mixed firepower but more cannon, firing more rapidly, with the 6 x 9″ smoothbores offering more throw-weight.

  6. I like Edinburgh a lot, but haven’t been there in decades. I feel, and I may be wrong, that I’d like even more now.

    Smart looking Grenadiers.

    • I was there two years ago. I had planned to return to the UK this past summer for a month or so (Le Ho Fock, etc. for beef chowmein) but the plague interferred.

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