Published Resources Details Journal Article

Billett, R. S.
John (Ivan) Armstrong - Russian Cannon Maker
vol. 42, 36951, pp. 21-24

Accession No.2529


'From time to time someone transcribes the Cyrillic script on the trunnions of trophy guns captured during the Crimean War 1854-7, and is surprised when the result reveals the name Armstrong. In connection with the history of the deve3lopment of ordnance, Sir W. G. Armstrong, the 'Cannon King' is thought to be the maker, or designer of the gun. This is not the case; it was another Armstrong whose name is on the Russian trunnions. This Armstrong was of British decent, but no relation to Sir W. G. Armstrong. A recent misinterpretation has occurred in Tasmania where an article appeared in an issue of newsletter, the Artillery Trust News dated November/December 1999. Again someone has transcribed the Cyrillic characters and without further research, has been led down the wrong track attributing the gun to Sir W. G. Armstrong. So who was the Armstrong who constructed cannon for the Russians, and how did this come about? Research to provide an answer to this question reveals an interesting story of the transfer of knowledge, and technology, from eighteenth-century Britain to Russia.'