|A 17,000-pound sea-coast mortar in the Washington arsenal This leviathan of the shore dwarfs by its size the big guns visible in the background. Some idea of its huge proportions can be gained by figuring its diameter by the height of the man leaning against it. The bore of this mortar was 35.1 inches in length, and the maximum charge was about 75 pounds of powder. It was employed principally for sea-coast fortifications, where it was expected to operate against the decks of vessels, the great weight of the projectiles being exceedingly destructive. These mortars were sometimes used for siege purposes, as at Yorktown, but their great weight made them difficult to move and emplace in temporary works.|
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