Friday, August 12, 2011

At the Imperial War Museum

In my trip to England I visited the Imperial War Museum to see if I could find any Enfield manufactured weapons parts. It was a long shot. The museum is not too big, and I did not know if I would be able to recognize the parts, which might be unmarked. I started looking for an Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun to see if I could see the Enfield gunsight or a Kerrison Predictor. But I couldn't find any.

Then, luck struck. They had a Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft cannon, with the distinctive "oil motors" that Enfield made. I indicate them with arrows in the picture (click to enlarge). At this point you might wonder "how does he really know those were Enfield made?". Well, I was lucky.  They were labeled. Here is a side view where one can clearly read "ARL (Army Research Lab) Enfield, Redditch 1940".

I say "oil motor" because that is how I saw them referred to in the booklet Enfield put out after the war. However, it is unclear to me what these devices were. As you can see they were sitting underneath an electric motor, made by H. M. Woods in Colchester. The motor was connected to the "oil motor" via an enclosed chain. Here we see it clearly in this front view,
In this rear view we see that the "oil motor" had an axle protruding to the back that was connected to the cannon's guiding system. My guess is that the device was some sort of clutch.
Here is a picture from the Enfield booklet,

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I wish I had thought to look for Royal Enfield bits when I visited the Imerial War Museum recently. I walked right past this gun! I don't know much about hydraulics, but I imagine an "oil motor" would be the pump that pressurizes oil for the hydraulics that rotate the mount. The pump itself being powered by the electric motor you saw.



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