Please Bow before the real "Tsar Putshka"
With a obliterating Caliber of...
In 1937 Hitler wanted a huge cannon that could destroy enemy targets such as fortresses at long range. The criteria that was required was that the
shell had to penetrate 7 meters of steel reinforced concrete or at least 1 meter of hardened armour plate. The range required was to be over 25
The Maginot line was also considered to be a worthy target.
Hitler initially ordered three such guns to be built.
Krupp steel industries was given the job of creating these huge guns and Professor Erich Muller worked out the mathematics of producing them. He
arrived at a calibre of 80cm with a shell of 7 tons and a barrel length of over 30 meters.
They would have to be on a railway carriage split into to separate parallel tracks to disperse the weight estimated at over 1000 tons.
The barrel would only be able to have vertical movement so the tracks had to be curved for the carriage to move on for sideways elevation.
Specifications Of Dora And Gustav.
Range 51,000 yards ( 29 miles ) crew 250 for firing, 2000 for full operation including train drivers, assembly workers, canteen workers, armed
guards, mechanics, electricians, track maintenance the list is endless.
7 to 8 ton shell
Rate of fire, 2 rounds per hour
Calibre 80cm ( 800 mm or 2ft 8in approx )
The shells for Dora and Gustav, including the 1 ton charge was 17 feet long. It needed a ton of charge to send the 7 ton shell over 25 miles from the
100 foot long barrel. The shell on test firing proved to be able to penetrate 30 feet deep into earth making a crater over 90 feet feet across.
The velocity of the shell was 2,700 feet per second, the barrel had a life of about 150 rounds.
The barrel weighed 400 tons and the breach block where the shell was inserted weighed over 100 tons Dora stood 4 stories high, over 20 feet wide 141
feet long and weighed 1323 tons.
At the beginning of January 1942 the gun was ready. Two railway engines were attached to the front of the gun carriage one on either side to slowly
pull the carriage forwards on its curved track. This movement gave the gun the side elevation. The engines had a special low gear to be able to move
the carriage an inch forward at a time.
Dora was loaded slowly with huge winches and electrically powered rams by a crew of 250.
The initial target was for Dora was Sevastopol on the Eastern front and in June 1942 the big gun opened fire. The gun was only fired over a five day
A small spotter plane like a Storsch was used to fly over the target area and report back with information on where the shells were landing.
The trajectory with the relevant distance, gun elevation with projectile weight, velocity and other ballistics properties were mathematically and
geographically worked out with slide rules, pencil and paper to accurately hit the target. The only calculators they used was the old grey matter !
Gustav attacked coastal gun batteries at a range of sixteen miles. It took eight shots to completely destroy these targets. Fort Stalin was
destroyed later that day with six shots.
Fort Molotov was destroyed with seven shots on June 6th 1944.
Nine rounds were fired at The White Cliff Of Severnaya Bay and a lucky shot hit an underground ammunition store and the whole fort was destroyed. One
of the shots missed the target and sunk a ship in the harbour.
Seven shots were fired the next day in the same vicinity at nothing in particular !
The gun was again used to more worth some days later when Fort Siberia was hit with five shots and destroyed as was Fort Maxim Gorki.
The barrel of the gun was worn out and Gustav had to be dis-mantled and shipped back to Germany to be re-fitted with a new barrel, this took weeks and
weeks to do costing effort time and money and Germanys resources at this time was extremely pushed as it was.
Dora was only fired several times more and had to be taken apart, transported and re-assembled for every new target in different parts of enemy
territory and the railway tracks had to be made for it each time.
What a waste of time, money, manpower and over all resources just for a few shots at the enemy.
The total accomplishment of these guns was in respect quite small.
taken from www.vlewis.net...
but whatever what they say!
I WANT ONE!
[edit on 1-8-2004 by John bull 1]