The Last Argument of Kings

The only cannon held at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site is a bronze four-pounder (Canon de 4 de Vallière) named “La Perilleuse” (The Perilous) from an engraving on the gun, manufactured by Berenger, Strasbourg, France in 1758.

4 pdr french gun at spar La Perilleuse

Image via Springfield Armory

Some 200 4-pdrs of similar design were purchased from France during the Revolution, with most, if not all. passing through Springfield.

However, there is some debate, going back to the 1830s when it came to the site to stay, that La Perilleuse may have instead been captured by the British, presumably from the French in the Seven Years (French and Indian) War as it was produced during that era, then later captured from General Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga by the Colonials. One argument to support this is that it was rebored to the standard English 6-pdr size.

La Perilleuse gun and its carriage (a substituted Civil War Parrot gun model) sat in front of Armory Administration Building (Bldg.# 19) for many years and had a thick coat of black paint removed in the 1940s.

SA_French_gun_4pdr_1

Among the markings cast or engraved into the 1,265-pound gun is ‘Ultima ratio regum‘ – the last argument of kings.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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