Armstrong supplied a series of RML guns to Norway in the early 1870s. These guns were not standard British service issue and their calibre is unusual. Four are of 26.7cm which equates to British 10.5inches (Norwegian 7-inch Model 1871). Others are 22.6cm which equates to British 9-inch (Norwegian 8.5inch Model 1866)
The guns were mounted in the fortress of Oscarsborg, which lies on the southern tip of the island of South Kaholm in Oslofjord, protecting the approaches to Olso.
East of the Island is the Drøbak Narrows and on a hill above the east bank is Battery Veisving. It was armed with one 26.7cm RML and three 22.6cm RMLs. The battery was built 1894/95. The three 22.6cm RMLs were first mounted in South Battery of Oscarsborg Fortress but were moved to Veisving Battery when the main battery at Oscarsborg was completed and armed with three 28cm and one 30.5cm Krupp guns.
The 26.7cm gun was the first Armstrong trials gun and following testing it was moved to Veisving. It was given the name ‘Norges Kanon’ or ‘The Norwegian Gun’.
Oscarsborg Fortress East Battery was armed with three 26.7cm RML. One of these was a later addition and is slightly different to the other two.
The platforms and carriages are also not standard British service issue. All are centre pivoted barbette platforms with plate recoil compressors. They were constructed to Armstrong’s specifications by Norway’s ‘Akers Mekaniske Verksteder’ (Aker’s Mechanical Workshops).
The Norwegian Ministry of Defense authorized the order for two 26.7cm barrels from Sir W.G. Armstrong, England, November 3, 1870. These barrels were delivered in 1871, and the platforms and carriages by Aker’s Mechanical Workshops were delivered in the winter of 1872/1873.
PA Oscarsborg fortress was completed in 1872. The guns were mounted in the battery in the summer of 1873, and the firing trials began in 1873. In September 1874, a shooting school with Rifled cannons was carried out at Oscarsborg fortress, where these guns were also used.
After 1878 the East Battery was armed with three guns. The third was a 26.7 cm of 1875/76.
The later 26.7cm was delivered from Armstrong in 1876 and went to Oscarsborg fortress on 19 November 1876. Early in the spring of 1877 it was mounted in the left emplacement of the East Battery. It was tested in 1878/1879.
The battery was armed during the Consulate Crisis in the autumn of 1895 and during the Union Crisis in 1905. Although the battery was outdated, it was still armed during the First World War.
On November 30, 1917, the Inspector General and the Commander of the Fortress Artillery decided that the crews of Oscarsborg Fortress ‘firing range’ should be transferred to the fortress’ anti-aircraft guns.
The guns remain in place, barrels, carriages and platforms preserved in their original emplacements. Each gun had a crew of NCOs and 12 artillerymen, 5 of whom served in the ammunition magazine.
It is believed that the guns were last fired in 1912. The Royal Artillery restored the guns and their mountings in 1980s and they are on view today in very good condition.
The Viesving 9-inch (22.6cm) Armstrong guns.