Fort Rinella in Kalkara and Fort Cambridge in Sliema were built by the British in 1886 to guard the naval base and dockyard in Malta. This was done in reponse to the arming of two Italian warships Duilio and Dandalo which were equipped with 100-ton cannons built by Sir George William Armstrong. The Armstrong cannon weighs 102 tons, has a calibre of 17.72 inches and is rifled.
Loading was done from the front with a one-ton explosive shell and a 450-pound cartridge every 6 minutes using a steam-powered hydraulic system. It could penetrate 21 inches of cast iron from a distance of 3 miles. In 1882 the first gun arrived at the dockyard from whence it was landed at Rinella Bay and transported by 100 soldiers using a combination of rollers, block and tackle and capstan. The fortress was completed in 1886 and remained in use until 1906.