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The largest gun ever built was the "Gustav Gun" built in Essen, Germany in 1941 by the firm of Friedrich Krupp A.G. Upholding a tradition of naming heavy cannon after family members, the Gustav Gun was named after the invalid head of the Krupp family - Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach. The strategic weapon of its day, the Gustav Gun was built at the direct order of Adolf Hitler for the express purpose of crushing Maginot Line forts protecting the French frontier. To accomplish this, Krupp designed a giant railway gun weighing 1344 tons with a bore diameter of 800 mm (31.5") and served by a 500 man crew commanded by a major-general.
Two types of projectiles were fired using a 3000lb. charge of smokeless powder: a 10,584 lb. high explosive (HE) shell and a 16,540 lb. concrete-piercing projectile. Craters from the HE shells measured 30-ft. wide and 30-ft. deep while the concrete piercing projectile proved capable of penetrating 264-ft. of reinforced concrete before exploding! Maximum range was 23 miles with HE shells and 29 miles with concrete piercing projectiles. Muzzle velocity was approximately 2700 f.p.s.
"Germans" had in progress that was underground....non-mobile...much much bigger than Gustav...but I read this 15 years ago and have never been able to find the source again...
To all intents their target appeared to be a railway tunnel. In fact, inside the hill itself was an emplacement that would have fired the V3 if the chance had been there for it to do so - part of the firing mechanism is in the photo above.#
However, the Lancasters attacked the hill with 35 tons of high explosive bombs. Their target were the concrete and steel-lined covers of the massive gun barrels that were meant to attack London with the intention of reducing the inner city to rubble. The V3 was not a rocket like to V2 nor a pilot-less plane like the V1. It was a dart-shaped shell nine feet long and the 416 feet gun barrels targeted by the Lancasters were, on paper, capable of firing 600 of these shells every hour. However, one of the 'Tallboy' bombs (12,000 lbs of explosives) developed by Dr Barnes Wallis penetrated one of the five gun barrel shafts and did so much damage to the 'guts' of the project that it was eventually abandoned.
Originally posted by Aggie Man
Did the track have the ability to rotate? If not,then this thing could only shoot in 2 directions 0° and 180°. Not very effective IMO...unless it was built to target a specific line of long. or lat. Cool nonetheless!
Originally posted by obixman
I believe if you look at the second-to-last picture you will see the gun emplaced on an arc of track so the gun could be aimed. I believe I read somewhere that the gun was used in the Crimea at the siege of Sevastapol (but that could be wrong).
I think the gun the GI's are standing is another - smaller - railroad gun.