18th Century Cannon technology being used in Syria

    The Rahman Corps is a Syrian Rebel group operating in the Damascus region. It is independent of the Free Syrian Army, but is on friendly terms with the opposition group. Via the group’s Youtube channel, some videos have been released showing what appears to either a century old cannon or an improvised construction of one, fired by a lanyard, mounted on truck with a complex hydraulic assisted system. It is hard to tell at this time if it is muzzle loaded or breech loaded.

    In the first propaganda video, the cannon is being fired at a building with active traffic behind it, leading me to believe it was just that, propaganda. Instead of an actual engagement with an enemy opposition group. If you look very closely, at the radio tower in the picture, you can see the actual projectile a second before it lands on the building. I’m assuming that this is straight cannonball technology, without any High Explosive charge within the projectile, due to the minimal destruction on target.

    This is what Nathan F. had to say about the contraption-

    Yes, it resembles an old pre-breechloader cannon, but I don’t think it actually is. For example, those were typically mounted to trunnions about their center of gravity, while this cannon has trunnions at the very rear. Also, even though they have adopted reinforcements and a “nipple” that appear similar to an old gun (but which actually appears to be some kind of firing or breech mechanism) , the rest of the cannon looks totally improvised. Third, the mount is obviously derived from a hydraulic system from a dump truck or other kind of vehicle, so it’s not historical, either.

    That means that if anything from an original muzzleloading cannon were incorporated, we basically couldn’t see it. So I say improvised.

    In all the footage there isn’t anybody remotely near the actual cannon, leading me to assume that the gunners themselves realize how dangerously it could go wrong with bad construction or a bad charge.

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    These are three videos that filmed the cannon in action, by the Syrian Rebel group.

    Miles

    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]


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