Product images of Russian infernal machine
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Russian infernal machine
Russian Infernal Machine which is a type of early sea mine. It consists of an iron cone filled with gunpowder that was designed to explode when struck by a ship. This example is painted with the Russian Imperial Eagle and INFERNAL MACHINE BALTIC 1855. Infernal machines were used by the Russians during the Crimean War 1854-1856 and were sometimes treated in a somewhat cavalier fashion by British naval officers. The 'Illustrated London News' in 1855 reported that one was examined by Admiral Seymour on HMS 'Exmouth' who 'incautiously tapping a little bit of iron projecting from its side said "This must be the way they are exploded" when bang! the thing went off.' The Admiral was temporarily blinded and several of his officers had their whiskers burnt off.
- Image reference: D9752
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London