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Some of these, together with others at ports around the wider British Empire, played an important defence role in World War II and remained in service until the 1950s.top of page These were breech loading guns on hydropneumatic carriages.
They were deployed as coast defence and garrison artillery around the British Empire and remained in service until eventually declared obsolete in 1921.
The gun could be loaded in safety in the pit and emerged only for a moment before it fired and retracted.
Thus the advantage of the disappearing gun was that it was difficult for a ship to see.
It also made reloading easier, since it lowered the breech to a level just above the loading platform, and shells could be rolled right up to the open breech for loading and ramming.
Although it had these advantages, the disappearing carriage was also a complicated mechanism.