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WWI: Naval Railway Guns; Personnel and France

Naval Railway Guns

U.S. Naval Railway Guns

The Allies had a problem.  Germany had better long range artillery than the British and the French.  They were using that advantage to bombard Paris, to terrorize French civilians, and to attack the key French port of Dunkirk.  The Navy decided to help readress this imbalance by sending Naval Railway Guns.    U.S. Army General John J. Pershing said of the guns, "...our large caliber guns had advanced and were skillfully brought into position to fire upon the important lanes.  We had cut the enemy's main line of communications and nothing but surrender or an armistice could save him from the batteries."   Following the Armistice, the Naval Railway Guns were returned to the United States where one an be viewed in Willard Park next to the National Museum of the U.S. Navy. 

Image:   NH 42493:   14" Naval Railway Gun, Thierville, France, 1918.   U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.