Sitting like a tired dinosaur on top of Fort Rinella, limits of Kalkara, is the world’s largest cannon – a a hundred-ton Armstrong gun – initially constructed by the British in Malta to safeguard that part of the coast and to guard naval delivery within the area from the newest era of Italian battleships of the time.
Luckily, it was by no means fired in anger, but an amusing legend about its first take a look at still does the rounds a lot to the chagrin of army specialists and native conservationists who’ve accomplished a wonderful job restoring and up-keeping each the cannon and the fort.
The persistent legend says that when the gun was first fired, the 2000-pound shell fell only a few metres down into the close by sea. If told, Queen Victoria can’t have been amused. As a result of a single shell value, in these days, as a lot because the day by day wage of 2,600 soldiers. The truth is, so pricey was it that the gun was solely fired twice a yr for follow.
The cannon and the fort that has housed it for so many many years are definitely price a visit. When installed, the huge cannon was state-of-the-artwork, geared up with a steam powered hydraulic system that traversed, elevated and depressed the gun. Fort Rinella, generally additionally referred to as Rinella Battery, was constructed between 1878 and 1886, standing above the shore east of the mouth of Grand Harbour, between Fort Ricasoli and Fort St Rocco, in the same area of the island.
The fort, which is sort of modest in measurement, was designed to function and shield the one giant gun, together with its related gun squad, magazines, assist equipment, bunkers and the troops that had been stationed throughout the fort to defend the set up.
The fort was designed to engage enemy warships at ranges as much as 7,000 yards. The low profile of the fort and the deeply buried equipment rooms and magazines have been intended to enable it to survive counter-fire from Italian and Nazi capital warships.
The fort has no secondary armament; its fortifications, simply ditches, caponiers, a counter-scarp gallery and varied firing points had been principally meant for small arms fire and grenade launching.
As we speak you can visit the museum and even attend, on the 5th of May of yearly, the firing of the gun by volunteers. They use black powder only, in fact, so you can’t actually show or disprove the legend.
Each afternoon the same devoted volunteers, dressed as nineteenth Century British troopers, present a tour of the fort that combines lectures, demonstrations and reside re-enactments. A Victorian-period muzzle-loading fieldpiece is fired, again with out shot, however sorry, there is no legend about that……