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Site first uploaded 24th September 2002

The Arms on Board the Aud
April 1916

A selection of the rifles and other artifacts, recovered from the Aud are on display in various museums in Britain and Ireland, -among these are the Cork Public Museum in Fitzgeralds Park,Cork, The National Museum in Dublin,The Irish Defence Forces Museum, Collins Barracks, Cork, the Imperial War Museum, in London, and Cobh Museum, Cobh, Co.Cork

Top, a complete Mosin Nagant rifle
Bottom, a rifle stock recovered from the wreck in the 1980s.
{on display in the Irish Defence Forces Museum, Collins Barracks, Cork)

It is agreed that the majority of these rifles are the model known as the Mosin Nagant 1891,captured in the German rout of Russian forces in the battle of Tannenburg. These rifles have been referred in various publications as being 'outmoded and out of date' - when in fact they were comparable with many of the leading makes of the era.

They were a rifle with a magazine, which enabled the owner to pre-load 5 rounds from a clip, and then fire in reasonably rapid succession.

The Rifles on the Aud were of the type 'Russkaya 3-lineinaya vintovka o1891g'. - (Russian 3-line rifle, model of the year 1891).

This was the basic model, fully stocked except for a few inches of muzzle to which a socket bayonet could be fitted. Although obsolete elsewhere, the Russian army placed great reliance on the socket bayonet, which was intended to be carried in a permanently fixed attitude.

There were four distinct types of ammunition carried on board the Aud. There was some confusion about them, and identification proved difficult

In 1997, after a wreck survey, scale illustrations were sent to Martin Pegler of the Royal Armoury, in England, who kindly identified them:

A:  British .303.  - Ammunition captured by Germany on the Western Front and intended for use in stolen British rifles such as the Lee-Enflield.

B:  German 11.5 x 60R - for use in the ‘Howth Gun Running ‘ rifles.

C:  Russian 7.62 x 54R - for use in Mosin Nagant 1891 rifles

D:  German 7.62 x  57R - for use in Maxim machine guns and Mauser rifles.t

Rifle Rounds recovered from the AUD

Bayonets for these guns were carried on board the Aud. The examples of bayonets and scabbards on the right can be seen in the Imperial War Museum, London. These were recovered from the wreck soon after the sinking, along with some rifles. They were used in the trial of Roger Casement.

The sea took it’s toll on these artifacts. The bayonets rusted and the zinc part of the scabbards reacted with seawater.  Eventually all that remained was the 'frog' or leather top of the bayonet scabbard (below)

Some of the AUD artifacts at the Imperial War Museum London

Part of the AUD display in Cobh Public Museum, Cobh, Co,Cork.