Town Artillery II
The Gonzales Krupp Cannon
The Gun of August
By Norman Conquest
This is a pretty rare item. A captured German field piece from WWI.
Now parked in front of the National Guard Armory, it's hard
to read any information from its painted surface.
The name KRUPP stands out, but that was to be expected. Still in business,
The Krupp Family took the advice of "beating swords into
plowshares" and switched from guns to their present line of coffee
makers. The cement pad it rests on has the date of August 5, 1917.
Company "L" 141st Infantry is also inscribed.
We were able to find a photo of Co. L, but no information on the gun.
The names of
a Captain and a 1st and 2nd Lieutenant are
there as well, and one presumes they were the Commanders of "L"
Company. We'll see what we can find out when we visit the Gonzales
'L' in the square
Courtesy of Gonzales County Archives
After following several leads, we were told that Mr. John DuBose of
DuBose Insurance Co. is the son of 2nd Lieutenant Whit
DuBose who was instrumental in bringing it here, although there
is no word of its capture. His knowledge of the gun was limited as
well, but at least he knows who owns it, although they are probably
unaware they do. ATTENTION!, American Legion, you own the gun!
We were determined to find out something more, since we figured that
with a cannon featuring so strongly in their history, the soldiers
would be more likely than other units to bring back an impressive
souvenir. We were directed to Doug Kubicek, historian extraordinaire
and who with the late Dr. Pat Wagner, were the ones to determine
(not a small undertaking, to be sure) the authenticity of the "Come
and Take It" Cannon. This led me to Hallettsville
where Mr. Kubicek teaches Texas History.
Like many a mystery in history, sometimes the trail just ends. Doug's
guess is that it was chosen by Lieutenant Dubose from the arsenal
of captured German ordnance. Incidentally, Hallettsville
contributed their prize from WWI
(a mortar which sat on the Courthouse
lawn) to the scrap drives of WWII.
© John Troesser
Correction: After WWI
Germany was to disarm. Gustav Krupp chose to secretly, and illegally
pursue the development of weapons. When Hitler came to power Krupp
was ready to serve with Panzers, '88s, and submarines, to name but
a few. After WWII, Krupp
was to make no more steel, let alone weapons. Krupp continued, illegally,
to make steel. Krupp also made fighter aircraft. So much for beating
swords into plowshares. Also, the firm is no longer owned by the Krupps.
It is a stock company. In fact, the lineage ended with Gustav, and
the name was perpetuated by a decree from Hitler. - Andrew Lincoln,
April 05, 2003
World War I Chronicles