Gun Team Illustration

Exercising the Guns


Constitution’s 52 heavy guns give her awesome power in battle, but they are useless without expert gun crews to fire them. To hone their skills, the seamen practice regularly, rehearsing a strict routine until they can do it blindfolded. Every man plays his part with furious concentration, for a naval gun can do as much harm to those who fire it as to the enemy. It weighs more than three tons, and rolling free, it will effortlessly crush a man. A stray spark on its powder charge will kill the gun crew and set the ship on fire.

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