Trefningen ved Gjellebekk ble utkjempet under Karl 12s første felttog i Norge i mars 1716. Dette var det lengste svenskekongen nådde under sin framrykning inn i Norge. De norske forsvarerne lagde en forsvarsstilling på veien mellom Christiania og... Read more ...
Kamper ved Gjellebekk
Trefningen ved Gjellebekk ble utkjempet under Karl 12s første felttog i Norge i mars 1716. Dette var det lengste svenskekongen nådde under sin framrykning inn i Norge. De norske forsvarerne lagde en forsvarsstilling på veien mellom Christiania og Drammen, ikke bare for å stoppe svenskene, men også som en siste retrettsstilling der Norges skjebne skulle avgjøres.
Den 23. mars 1716 sendte den svenske krigerkongen en rekognoseringsavdeling på 600 dragoner i tre kompanier under oberst Dietrich Johan Löwenstierna for å få rede på hvor sterke de norske stillingene var og eventuelt finne ut om det fantes svakheter som kunne utsettes for et konsentrert angrep. Löwenstierna bestemte seg for et såkalt «voldelig rekognoseringstokt» for å kunne bedømme forsvarernes styrke og plassering i terrenget. Derfor stormred svenskene gjennom forpostene ved Ravensborg i Asker 20 km sørvest for Christiania. Etter å ha kommet videre fant de en framskutt norsk avdeling på 30 dragoner og sprengte den og drev de gjenværende på flukt inn i bakenforliggende stillinger.
Men Vesterlenkompaniet av 2. søndenfjelske dragonregiment holdt stand og fikk hjelp av tre kompanier som kom forsvarerne til unnsetning. Svenskene hadde fått øye på den sterke skansen, snudde under kampene som var uryddige og preget av stor forvirring. Löwenstierna mått trekke seg tilbake gjennom skogene og over veien i dyp snø. Inne i skogen ble de beskutt av en norsk skiløpertropp på 70 mann. Ute av stand til å forsvare seg var Löwenstierna og hans dragoner under ild i flere timer og mistet 19 mann og flere hester.
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In order to load match-grade black powder cartridges it is important to compress the powder. This allows for more powder in the case, as well as improved combustion and accuracy. This article shows how you can make a sturdy drop tube stand with simple tools.
Published: 24. November 2007 by Øyvind Flatnes.
Edited: 25. November 2007.
Seven Martini-Henry cartridges and a .22 LR cartridge for comparison.
Loading black powder in metallic cartridges seems to be more and more popular here in Norway. The black powder cartridges are for many shooters the gate that leads to a membership in the Norwegian Black powder Union. The following article has its focus on the practical use of the old British infantry rifle, the .577/.450 Martini-Henry.
Find out more!
You can read more about the British Martini-Henry and Snider rifles, as well as other early breech-loading single-shot rifles in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.
My Martini-Henry rifle was bough very cheap at an internet auction not long ago. It is a Mk. IV with the long lever, which means it was probably not used by the British Army, but by some of their native troops in one of the colonies. It was made by the RSAF in Enfield in 1887, which indicates that it was one of the many .402" calibre Enfield-Martini rifles that was later converted to .577/.450 Martini-Henry rifles. The Mk. IV was not being made before 1888, but quite a lot of the Mk. IV's are stamped with both 1886 and 1887 on the right side of the receiver. All of these are converted .402" Enfield-Martinis. I soon discovered markings on my rifle pointing me in the direction of Nepal. On the rear sights I found the markings that revealed were the rifle had been used: N.E.P. and N.S. The latter initials means 'Native Service' and N.E.P. indicates 'Nepal'.
Thousands of Martini-Henry rifles were sold from Britain to Nepal during the last part of the 1800's. Nepal was never a British colony, but came under British influence after 1815. The background for this was that Nepalese Ghurkha soldiers invaded Northern India in 1814 and the British counterattacked with five armies shortly after. Four of the armies were annihilated, but the fifth managed to force themselves into Nepal, marched through the Katmandu Valley which brought them near to the Nepalese capital. The king of Nepal chose to negotiate for peace and shortly after a peace treaty was signed. The British were now allowed to cross Nepal to trade with Tibet. They were also allowed to enlist Ghurkha soldiers for the British Army. After having wiped out four of the five British armies, these soldiers had gained themselves enormous respect. Even today the British Army enlist Ghurkha troops.
Bullets and brass
If you are to shoot your Martini-Henry you have to be ready to do some preparations. You have to get hold of bullets and brass, and that's not the simplest thing in the world. I got brass directly from Bertram Bullets in Australia. They are high quality drawn cases and the cost was 4.40 AUD a piece. You can also get them from the British firm Kynamco.
Home swaged Martini-Henry bullet and bullet for
.45-70 Gvt.To the right: A .577/.450 Martini-Henry
cartridge and a .22 LR cartridge for comparison.
The first shots
Movie Clips (.wmv files)