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The Cannons on the Gustav Adolf

According to literal sources, the Kronprins Gustav Adolf carried 62-64 cannons. Twenty-six of these were 36-pounders, twenty-eight were 24-pounders and eight cannons were 6-pounders. However, in the summer of 1997, all in all 71 iron cannons were found on the wreck. The extra cannons may be booty or spare cannons. Sometimes old cannons were used as ballast.

At least in some of the cannons there can be seen trunnions under the crust. Trunnions are knobs located on the sides of a cannon to stabilize the sideways movement of the cannon. Trunnions were first introduced in cannons in 1705. Another feature that can be used when dating the cannons is the location of the trunnions. In some of the cannons on the Gustav Adolf, trunnions are located at the same level as the inner axis. This indicates that the cannons were casted after the year 1725, when the so-called Cronstedt system was established. Before the Cronstedt system, trunnions were placed at a lower level. Based on the location of the trunnions it can be concluded that the Gustav Adolf carried cannons casted both before and after the year 1725. When it comes to the building material of the cannons, the Cronstedt system aimed at using iron only, and investigations suggest that all the cannons on the Gustav Adolf are of iron.

The next major reform in the Swedish artillery was made in 1750 when Carl August Ehrensvärd updated the artillery system. The Maritime Museum of Finland raised two cannons from the wreck of Gustav Adolf in May 1998. In the picture the cannon number T5 is being lifted on the oil recovery vessel Hylje of the Finnish Navy.
A cannon from the Kronprins Gustav Adolf is being raised. (Photo: Saila Sorsa)


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Last updated 30.10.2015
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