1902 Encyclopedia > Arsenal


ARSENAL (supposed to be derived from arx navalis, whence the Romaunt word arthenal, signifying generally a " citadel," though primarily it meant simply a naval citadel ), is an establishment for the construction, repair, receipt, storage, and issue of warlike stores.
A first class arsenal, which can renew the materiel and equipment of a large army must embrace a gun factory, car-riage factory, laboratory, and small arms ammunition factory, small arms factory, harness, saddlery, and tent factories, and a powder factory; in addition it must possess great store-houses. In a second class arsenal the factories would be replaced by workshops. The situation of an arsenal Situation, should be governed by strategical considerations. If of the first class, it should be situated at the base of operations and supply; it must be secure from attack, not too near a frontier, and placed so as to draw in readily the resources of the country. The defences of a large arsenal would be Defences provided for by a chain of detached forts and an enceinte of sufficient strength.
The great point in arranging stores is their proper preser- Organiza-vation and facility for issue. The branches of an arsenal may tion. be divided into A, Storekeeping; B, Construction; C, Ad-mi uistration. Under A we should have the following de-partments and stores:—Departments of issue and receipt, pattern room, armoury department, ordnance or park, har-ness, saddlery, and accoutrements, camp equipment, tools and instruments, engineer store, magazines, raw material store, timber yard, breaking up store, unserviceable store. Under B,—Gun factory, carriage factory, laboratory, small arms factory, harness and tent factory, powder factory, <fcc. In a second class arsenal there would be workshops instead of these factories. C.—Under the head of administration would be classed the chief director of the arsenal, the superintendents and assistant-superintendents of the factories and branches of the arsenal. Besides these, who would usually be artillery officers, there would be required managers or fore-men (civil and military), non-commissioned officers, arti-' fleers, workmen, and labourers. In addition a staff of clerks and writers are necessary for all the office work of the establishments. In the manufacturing branches we should want skill, and efficient and economical work, both executive and administrative; in the storekeeping part, good arrangement, great care, thorough knowledge of all warlike stores, both in their active and passive state, and scrupulous exactness in the custody, issue, and receipt of stores. For fuller details than can be given here the reader is referred to a paper on the organisation of an arsenal, by Lieut. Collen, R.A, in vol. viii. Proceedings B.A. Inst.
In England the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, manu-Royal factures and stores the requirements of the army and navy. Arsenal. Under the scheme of army localisation now in force, there are district-issuing stores for the troops for camp equipage, field stores, and reserve ammunition. The con-centration of nearly the whole of our military factories and stores at one place, Woolwich, has long been considered an evil, and it has been proposed to establish, at some central spot, a large military dep6t or arsenal, which should be complementary to Woolwich.
The history of the Royal Arsenal is treated in the paper by Lieut. Grover before referred to. As a manufacturing establishment it has existed about 150 years, but as a mili-tary post and store dep6t it possesses a greater antiquity. Before 1805 it was called the "Tower Place" or King's Warren, and the land had been probably acquired in 1667

as sites for batteries to protect Woolwich against the in-vading Dutch fleet, although in 1664 mention is made of storehouses, <fcc., and sheds for repairing ship carriages. In 1668 guns, carriages, and stores were concentrated at Woolwich, and in 1695 the laboratory establishment was moved from Greenwich to the former place. Prior to 1716 ordnance was obtained from private manufacturers, and proved by the Board of Ordnance. In 1716 a dan-gerous explosion took place at the Moorfields Foundry, and it was decided to build a royal brass foundry at the Tower Place, Woolwich. Founders were advertised for, and the records of those times show that Mr Andrew Schalch of Douay was selected. The popular story of Schalch's foreseeing the explosion, and being afterwards commissioned to search for a site and build a foundry is completely dis-proved by Lieut. Grover. The original Tower Place consisted of 42 acres only, while the present Royal Arsenal occupies 333 acres. In 1741 an academy or school for instructing the people of the military branch of the ordnance was established at the Warren. It was not till 1805 that the collection of establishments, consisting of a foundry, laboratory, repository, &c, and stores, became the Royal Arsenal.
Having thus glanced at the history of the arsenal, we shall now endeavour to describe the various manufacturing establishments concentrated at Woolwich, and those at Enfield and Waltham.
The "Woolwich establishments consist of the Royal Gun Factories, the Royal Laboratory, the Royal Carriage Department, a Chemical and Photographic establishment, a Gas Factory, and the Control Department Stores. The others are the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield, and the Royal Gunpowder Factory at Waltham Abbey.
The Royal Gun Factories consist of forges, smith's shop, rolling mills, pattern shop, brass and iron foundry, gun-boring mill, tool rooms, turneries, lighting room, field-gun section, engine repairing shop, examining branch, pattern room. The factories employ the fol-lowing machinery :—291 lathes, 42 boring machines, 57 drilling machines; 12 rifling, 13 planing, 37 slotting, 64 shaping, 42milling,
7 screwing, 3 lapping, 3 wheel cutting, and 20 weighing machines; 2 saws, 240 vices, 54 furnaces, 6 blowing fans. The total horse-power employed is—engines, 653, and boilers, 1620. Besides the elaborate machinery detailed there are no less than 86 cranes of all kinds, giving a collective power of 1172 tons, and 17 steam hammers, from
8 cwt. up to 30 tons. The average value of the work turned out is about £253,700 annually, and the department is capable of producing 6000 tons of guns of various calibres per year, or 7500 tons of forgings. The personnel consists of a superintendent and assistant-superintendent (artillery officers), deputy-assistant superintendent, 24 clerks and writers, draftsmen, proof-master and proof-sergeants, and time-keepers ; 22 masters and foremen, 386 artificers, and 571 labourers and boys.
The Royal Laboratory comprises an extensive series of factories and workshops. Under the head of small arm ammunition alone we find a paper factory, lead or bullet factory, small arms factory, containing 456 machines, and the "magazines," which include capping machines, and all those required for filling and finishing cartridges. The whole plant of 894 machines is capable of produc-ing, in a week of fifty-four hours, 1,500,000 ball cartridges, and 500,000 blank cartridges. For the manufacture of rockets there is the smith's shop in the main factory, and the rockej; factory in the marshes. In these, a plant of 73 machines is capable of producing, per week of fifty-four hours, 4450 rockets of all kinds. The manufacture of fuzes is divided into two parts, for wood and metal fuzes. In the workshops of the former 93 machines are used, and 7000 wood fuzes can be turned out in a week. For metal fuzes are required metal turners' shops, brass foundry, paper factory, composition buildings, containing the machines for filling, pressing, and finishing fuzes. The whole plant of 142 machines and apparatus can turn out 8000 fuzes in a week. For the manufacture of projectiles there are a shell foundry, brass foundry, smiths' shops, metal and turners' shops, tinman's shop, rifle shell factory, repairing and tool shop. The whole of the plant consists of 971 machines, capable of turning out weekly 6516 projectiles, field and heavy, taking the 16 pounder and the 9-inch gun as an average, and the weight of such out-turn would be 2814 tons. The wood machinery depart-ment of the Laboratory for making powder barrels and general work consists of carpenter's shop, saw-mills, and cooperage. The plant of 116 machines can turn out 1000 small arms ammunition boxes, and 2700 barrels weekly. The torpedo factory adjoins the main factory, and contains 65 machines. For the manufacture of corrugated brass cases and zinc cylinders (to contain common cartridges), there is a metal-turner's shop capable of producing weekly 160 brass cases, and 500 zinc cases. The brass foundry can turn out 12 tons of castings weekly. Besides the above there are many miscellaneous shops and machine-rooms. In the Royal Laboratory there are 66 engines and boilers of 5155 horse-power (indicated), and a total of 2847 machines, the fuel consumed weekly by this immense establishment amounting to 93 tons. The average value of the out-turn is £472,000. The personnel consists of a superintendent and assistant-superintendent (artillery officers), 40 clerks and writers, manager and assistant-manager, 30 masters and foremen, 569 artificers, and 1772 labourers.
The Carriage Department manufactures all carriages, platforms, artillery machines, for the artillery, royal navy, and transport ser-vices. Its shops are as follows :—main forge, scrap forge, 6 smithies, containing in all 173 fires; 10 furnaces, with steam hammers, forging machines, &c.; 11 fitters' shops, 6 being for general work, and the remainder for work classed according to the divisions of the artillery service ; general foundry, painters' shops, wheelers' shops, carpen-ters' shops, pattern makers' shops, saw-mills, collar makers' shops. In these different workshops there are 17 steam hammers; 16 forging machines, bolt and nut making machines, rivetting machines, &c.; 22 shearing, punching, and cutting machines ; 9 planing machines ; 19 shaping, 17 slotting, 10 boring and facing, 49 boring and drilling machines; 85 lathes, 17 bolt-screwing and nut-facing, 8 milling, 4 band sawing, 2 bending machines. For tin work there are 7 machines, and numerous machines for cleaning castings and turnings, grindstones, &c. For woodwork there are 43 saws of various kinds; 5 planing circular, 14

14 boring, 8 mortising and tenoning, 19 shaping machines; 17 lathes, and machines for sharpening saws and spoke dressing, hydraulic presses, &c. Besides these there are various miscellaneous machines. The total nominal horse-power is 250. The value of the annual out-turn is about £210,000. This depart-ment is able to turn out in one year 65 field batteries, 180 naval or garrison carriages with slides or platforms, 24 turret carriages, 360 transport carriages. In addition to this work a large quantity of repairs, conversions, and experimental work could be carried out. By working at night the out-turn could be increased 30 per cent. The personnel of the establishment consists of 1 superintendent,
1 assistant-superintendent, manager, assistant-manager, 38 clerks and writers, 38 masters and foremen, 792 artificers, 430 labourers and boys.
In the storekeeping branch of the Arsenal, which is Tinder the Control Department, we find 1 controller, 1 deputy-controller, 4 assistant-controllers, 2 commissaries, 7 deputy-commissaries, 8 assistant-commissaries, 5 sub-assistant-commissaries, 11 clerks and writers, 114 masters and foremen, 58 artificers, 668 labourers and boys, 60 women and girls employed.
The Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield, and the Powder Fac-tory at Waltham Abbey, scarcely fall under the heading Arsenal, but as in other countries similar factories are sometimes found within the precincts of an arsenal, and they belong theoretically to the subject, we shall speak of them here.
The factory at Enfield Lock consists of the following shops :— barrel mill, machine room, polishing room, grinding room, temper-ing room, tool room, smithery, millwright's room, foundry and annealing shop, joiner's shop, containing an enormous quantity of beautiful machinery worked by steam and water power. The average annual value of the work turned out is £214,482. The capability of the factory, if worked to its highest pressure, would be about 3000 arms per week with two gangs of workmen.
The personnel consists of 1 superintendent and 1 assistant-superintendent (artillery officers), a chief inspector of small arms, 27 clerks, writers, and time-keepers, 1 manager, 78 masters and foremen, 715 artificers, 806 labourers and boys.
The Powder Factory consists of 1 saltpetre refinery, 1 house for extracting saltpetre from damaged powder, 1 sulphur refinery, 1 cylinder house with retorts for burning charcoal, 2 steam stores,
2 heading-up houses, 1 barrel house, 1 proof house, 1 mechanic's shop, houses for charcoal and composition mills, incorporating mills, breaking-down machines, press boxes with pumps, granulating machines, pellet press, glazing barrels, horizontal reels, slope reels, fire engines, and houses for all the machines required in the manufacture of gun-cotton. Both steam and water power are used. The annual value of the out-turn is £41,000. The capacity of the factory working at highest pressure would be about 30,000 barrels pebble powder per annum, or 20,000 pebble and 4000 R.F.G. powder (each barrel containing 100 lb), and 150 tons gun-cotton.
The personnel comprises 1 superintendent, 1 assistant-superintendent (artillery officers), 1 superintendent and 1 assistant-superintendent of machinery, 1 master worker, 1 master refiner, 9 clerks, writers, and time-keepers, 12 masters and foremen, 71 artificers, 196 labourers and hoys.
There are no arsenals, properly so called, in the British colonies. The troops are supplied from stores and workshops in charge of the Control Department. In India the India.

army is equipped and supplied by the Ordnance Depart-ments of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay ; and the arsenals come under the head of second class, being establishments for storage, issue, receipt, repair, and partial manufacture. Warlike stores are partly obtained from England, but to a great extent manufactured in the military factories of India. The chief arsenals are those of Fort William (Calcutta), Madras, Bombay, Allahabad (in the N.W. Provinces), and Ferozpore (in the Panjab). These arsenals are administered by commissaries of ordnance (artillery officers), assisted by warrant officers chosen from the army, and non-commissioned officers. Natives are employed as artificers, writers, and labourers. The native establishment is usually divided into " permanent" and " extra," the former class being permanent Government servants, and the latter merely hired according to requirements.
The detail of a chief Indian arsenal may he taken to he some-what as follows:—2 commissaries of ordnance, 10 or 12 warrant officers (conductors, &c); 2 armourer sergeants, 9 or 10 sergeants and laboratory men, 300 to 400 native foremen, artificers, and workmen, and about 300 labourers. Besides these main arsenals, each of which supplies on an average a force of 36,000 troops of all arms, there are many minor arsenals, ordnance magazines, and ordnance depSts. In India an ordnance magazine is a place for the storage, issue, and receipt of warlike stores, and has small workshops. In by-gone days numerous ordnance establishments were necessary, but now, when means of communication by rail and road have in-creased so largely, there is an obvious military disadvantage in scattering military stores broadcast over the country. In India, also, the principle is observed of making regiments and batteries inde-pendent of outside aid. They possess the means of executing all repairs of regimental equipment, and as the greater portion of the army of India are in possession of their camp equipage and reserve ammunition, they are able to move at short notice, while the chief arsenals at the bases of operations would form the bases of the equipment of any large force of all arms entering on a campaign. The military factories comprise—(1.) Foundry and shell factory at Cossipore, near Calcutta; (2.) Gun carriage factories at Fathighur (U.W. Provinces), Madras, and Bombay; (3.) Small arm ammuni-tion factories at Dumdum (near Calcutta), and Kirkee (Bombay). (4.) Powder factories at Ishapore (near Calcutta), Madras, and Kirkee. (5.) Harness and saddlery factory at Cawnpore (N.W. Provinces). These factories are administered by artillery officers as superinten-dents, assisted by warrant officers, civil and military mechanics, native artificers, workmen, and labourers.
States* '^16 ^n*tec^ States depend largely on private industry
for war material, large trade factories existing for the supply of small arms and guns. There were also foundries at Beading, South Boston, and Providence during the war; and arsenals of construction at Boston, New York, Wash-ington, Bridesburg, St Louis, Alleghany, Fort Monro. These, however, have been largely reduced.
France. Like most of the details of the French military organisa-tion, the system of the supply of war material is somewhat unsettled. Previous to the war of 1870-71, France possessed manufactories and arsenals for store and construction. These were not, however, placed in accordance with true strategical principles, or with reference to the quick supply of the army. Thus the camp equipment was mainly stored at Paris and Versailles, and carriages at Vernon and Chateauroux. Artillery officers and men were employed in the military factories. It is understood that in future each territorial district of the army will have its own arsenal or, at least, its own depot of military stores; but while military factories are maintained, war materiel will also be drawn from private industry.
Germany. The chief German arsenals are at Spandau, Cologne, Dantzig. There are second class arsenals at Dresden, Lud-wigsburg, Carlsruhe, Augsburg, Munich, in the confede-rated states, but the tendency is to reduce these; and a con-siderable concentration has taken place at Spandau, which now forms the great centre of the military manufactories. In every artillery garrison and fortress there are artillery dep6ta for the storage of materiel. The system of the German army is to make regiments as independent as possible, and with their depot "work detachments" even re-equipment is performed. Spandau embraces a gun and projectile foundry, powder factory, laboratory, small arms factory, and a large arsenal of construction. There are also a powder factory at Neisse, small arm factories at Erfurt and Dantzig, in addition to Krupp's great factory at Essen, in Westphalia. It is said Krapp employs good workmen, and that, so far as guns and carriages are concerned, his factory can turn out three to five field batteries daily. Artillery officers are largely employed in Germany in all the work of the arsenals.
At Vienna are united in one enormous arsenal a gun- Austria, carriage factory, laboratory, foundry, small arms factory, (fee. The arsenal can turn out 300,000 to 400,000 projectiles, 1400 guns, 960 field-carriages, and harness for 1800 car-riages. There is also an artillery dep6t in each military district, besides laboratories, &c. Austria also draws from the trade. She has an organised service, called the Tech-nical Artillery, for the performance of the work connected with her factories and arsenals.
Russia has made considerable strides in the improvement Russia, of her military manufactories within the last few years. She possesses small arms factories at Tonla near St Peters-burgh, Sestroetz near Moscow, and at Ijewsk. There are foundries at St Petersburg and Olonetz. The arsenal at St Petersburg includes the foundry and other military establishments. The arsenals of Briansk and Kiev also contain military factories. Foundry establishments for furnishing projectiles and guns also exist at St Peters-burg, Alexandro-Olonetz (government of Olonetz), Lon-gane (government of Ekaterinoslav), Perm, Ekaterinburg, Kamensk, Nijni-Isetsk, WerkhueVTournisk, Barentschin, Glatonstov, &c. There are imperial powder factories at Ochta (near St Petersburg), Schosta, and Kasan. There are also mobile artillery arsenals, the materiel of which is kept in time of peace at St Petersburg, Warsaw, Kiev.
Italy has small arms factories at Brescia, Torre-Annun- Italy, ziata near Naples, and Turin; powder factories at Fossano and Scafati. Turin is the centre of the military factories.
Spain possesses an arsenal of construction at Seville, a Spain, factory at Toledo, a foundry at Trubia, and a small arms factory at Oviedo. There are also the powder factories of Murcia and Grenada ; the laboratory of Seville ; and the factory of Orbaicete.
The military factories of Belgium consist of a gun foundry Belgium, and small arms foundry at Liege. Powder is supplied from a private factory at Ghent. Guns are also obtained from Krupp. At Antwerp there is an arsenal of construction and a laboratory.
Holland possesses a gun foundry at The Hague, and Holland, workshops, small arms factory, laboratory, and powder factory at Delft.
In Sweden and Norway the materiel of war is mainly Sweden
furnished from the trade. ™d Nor-
Denmark has a state gun foundry and a powder factory peUmarif. at Frederikswoerk. Warlike materiel is also drawn from the trade, but supervised by artillery officers. There are arsenals for store and repair at Copenhagen, Halleboeck, and Frederikswoerk.
Switzerland has a federal foundry at Aarau, and arsenals Switzer-.
of construction at Berne and Thun, at which latter place land,
there is also a small arms factory (E. H. H. C.)


See a very Interesting paper, by Lieut. C. E. Grover, R.E., in voL vi. Proceedings R. A. Inst., on the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich.

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