This section will include unique trophy guns I believe to have been destroyed (and wish had not). If you see one of these, stop whatever you are doing and report in to me!
8 cm Anti-Aircarft (45 calibres) with a kreuzlafette cruciform carriage. Here is a photo of an 8.8 captured in the Amiens offensive of Aug. 8th, 1918:
This Anti-aircraft gun was one of very few brought back to Canada. Forced to adapt to an evolving threat from observation, fighter, and bomber aircraft, German AA weapons evolved from a field-gun on a precarious scaffold, through the strange “flaming onion” 37mm revolving gun. Later designs such as this one paved the way for the fearsome 8.8 cm Flak guns of the Second World War. This appears to have been taken in Ottawa or Toronto, an identical gun languished behind the Public Archives on Sussex drive in Ottawa until it was melted down in WW2.
Austrian gun, the only time you may ever see the name of the head of the Public Archives (Now Library and Archives Canada) painted on a howitzer barrel!
Actually Colonel Doughty (later Sir Arthur Doughty) is identified as the “Director of War Trophies.” What a job! This appears to be an Austrian M14/16 149mm howitzer tube that is on its transport carriage. This would have been singled out as a valuable trophy because Austrian pieces would normally be found on the Eastern and Italian fronts.
Morsers gone wild! Yes, there were about two dozen of these 8-ton monsters shipped back to Canada. Now there are 3. The gun in the Plains of Abraham battlefield Park in Quebec City could be the center gun, locked in full recoil. All these appear to be Morser pattern 1916s, with slightly longer barrels than the War Museum 1910 pattern gun.
Vimy Ridge-who ever heard of that? Guns from this iconic battle that were not deemed important enough to keep.
The 27th Battalion’s War Diary, recounting the historic events of April 9th-10th, 1917, notes the capture of several enemy canon near the village of Farbus, Vimy. Of these, two massive 21cm Siege Howitzers, (described by the imperial measurement of 8.2″ howitzers) stand out. One was photographed by official photographers; its barrel and shield conspicuously marked with the unit’s claim. Two days later, the war diarist thought them important enough to record serial numbers and the fact that they had been chalked with the Unit name (the exact locations these pieces were captured also appears by map reference). The massively reinforced German firing positions (to hamper counter-battery fire by the Allies) can be seen. This Morser pattern 1910 howitzer has gunner’s shield fitted and shoes on the wheels. The two Morser’s captured by the 27th were serial numbers 418 and 590. Unfortunately for the City of Winnipeg, these pieces did not wind up back in Canada. Their fate remains a mystery. The 27th lost 57 men killed and 143 wounded in the Vimy advance. The capture of massive artillery after so much stalemate would suggest that these two wound up in the large Allied displays of war trophies in Paris or London.