Cascabel (artillery)

An illustration of the breech of a cannon, with components of the cascabel subassembly labeled: A = knob, B = neck, C = filet, D = breech base.
Cascabel on a French naval cannon

A cascabel is a subassembly of a muzzle-loading cannon - a place to attach arresting ropes to deal with the recoil of firing the cannon.

Generally comprising the knob (A) and the neck (B), with particular models also featuring a filet (C). By some definitions, the cascabel additionally includes the base of the breech (D). Cascabels varied in design and appearance, and were a common feature of cannons from the 17th century until the advent of the breech loading cannon in the late 19th century.

It was believed that cascabels from guns captured during the Siege of Sevastopol are used to make Victoria Crosses, however this has since proved to be incorrect & the metal is derived from Chinese cannon.


Ripley, Warren (1984), Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil War, Charleston, S.C.: The Battery Press, p. 353 

Manucy, Albert (1985), Artillery Through the Ages: A Short Illustrated History of Cannon, Emphasizing Types Used in America, Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, retrieved 2007-11-06 .

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