British Tabloid Mistakes Gun Caliber for Length

A comical photo illustration of the five-inch "toothbrush" gun by Twitter user Mike Roberts who can be followed at @CapHoratius. (Photo via Twitter)A comical photo illustration of the five-inch "toothbrush" gun by Twitter user Mike Roberts who can be followed at @CapHoratius. (Photo via Twitter)

Here’s another one from the humor department: A British tabloid has reportedly mistaken the caliber of a gun for its length.

The Daily Star based in London blared in a recent headline, “We just blew 183m pounds on a five-inch gun, but it’s ‘good value for taxpayers.'” What’s more, it followed up with a reference to the ship-based weapon being the size of “a toothbrush.”

The roughly $242 million contract calls for buying three of the new guns, technically known as the Maritime Indirect Fire System, or MIFS, and made by BAE Systems Plc, for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship anti-submarine frigates currently in development also by the British defense giant.

Neither the writer nor the editor initially seemed aware that the description was referring to the caliber — the internal diameter of the barrel.

But alas, after jokes about the mistake exploded on social media (see a sampling of tweets below), they corrected the story in short order.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.