This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.
Pages in category "Superguns"
The following 31 pages are in this category, out of 31 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.
The following 31 pages are in this category, out of 31 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Supergun – A supergun is an extraordinarily large artillery piece. This size may be due to a bore, barrel length. While early examples tended to have a short range, more recent examples have sometimes had an extremely high muzzle velocity. Depending on the design, they may be used to destroy heavy fortifications or bombard an enemy from extremely long range, in the context of late medieval siege warfare the term superguns is sometimes applied to stone-firing bombards with a ball diameter of more than 50 cm. These superguns were either manufactured by forging together longitudinal iron bars, held in place by iron rings, known examples include the Pumhart von Steyr, Dulle Griet and Mons Meg as well as the cast-bronze Faule Mette, Faule Grete and Dardanelles Gun. At the beginning of the development of superguns was the desire to increase the effect of the projectiles, to this end, master gunners first simply used larger powder loads. These, however, exerted pressure on the existing cannon and could make it burst. In addition, it was observed that, due to their higher velocity, thus, the mass of the cannonballs and, consequently, of the ordnance, also, continually increased, culminating in giant cannon like the Pumhart von Steyr which fired a 690 kg ball. Apart from the improvement in penetrating power, other factors such as prestige. For all their manufacturing quality the superguns were only moderately successful and their military effectiveness turned out to be disproportionate to their overwhelming logistical demands and financial costs. Due to their less bulky dimensions and higher rate of fire, furthermore, the transition from stone to smaller, but much more devastating iron balls meant that super-sized bores became unnecessary. The caliber of a 50 pound ball, for example, could be reduced from 28 to 18 cm when using an iron projectile instead. The extant Dardanelles Gun, cast by the Ottoman gunfounder Ali several years later, is assumed to have followed closely the outline of Orbans guns, a similar super-sized bombard was employed by the Ottoman navy aboard a carrack of possibly Venetian design at the Battle of Zonchio in 1499. In India, a large forge-welded iron cannon was built during the reign of Raghunatha Nayak, artillery was used by Indian armies predominantly for defending against besieging armies. With the new methods and precision engineering of the Industrial Revolution. The gun was a rifled muzzle-loader of 22 tons that fired shells of up to 600 pounds, armstrong identified them as shunt guns, but they were soon popularly known as monster guns. By the 1880s he had built guns of over 40 feet in length that could fire 1,800 pound shells, the gun was exhibited at the Royal Mining, Engineering and Industrial Exhibition held at Newcastle in 1887 for Queen Victorias golden jubilee. During the opening phases of the war, the Germans employed a 420 mm Krupp howitzer and two 305 mm Skoda Mörser M.11 mortars to reduce the famous fortresses of Liège and Namur
2. 21 cm K 12 (E) – The 21 cm Kanone 12 in Eisenbahnlafette was a German railroad gun used in the Second World War. Even then barrel life was merely 50 rounds and it is believed that the one Paris Gun destroyed by a premature detonation in the bore was caused by loading one of the serially-numbered shells out of order. Gas sealing would be handled by a band, mounted in the place normally occupied by the driving band, with an asbestos. Several test barrels, known as the 10.5 cm K12 M, the tests proved that Krupps concept was correct. The K12 was mounted on a simple box-girder carriage, which was carried on two subframes which were in turn mounted on double bogies, the barrel was mounted in a ring cradle with a hydropneumatic recoil system. Two more hydropneumatic systems were connected to the subframes, which allowed the carriage to recoil some 98 centimetres. For transport the gun itself was disconnected from its system and drawn back some 1.5 metres to reduce the mountings overall length. The barrels extreme length required external bracing to prevent it from bending under its own weight and its trunnions were placed as far forward as possible to balance the barrel and minimize the force necessary to elevate it. This placed the breech perilously close to the ground and a hydraulic jacking system was built in each subframe to elevate the mount 1 metre, however it was impossible to load the weapon in this position and it had to be lowered between every shot. The K12 could be fired from any curved section of track and this prefabricated T-shaped track was carried on the gun train and deployed by a special crane wagon. Once the front bogies were at the crossover at the top of the T they were then jacked up and turned with the subframe 90°, the gun was then traversed by an electric motor to the bogies and it was clamped to the track once laid onto the target. It fired HE shells weighing 107.5 kilograms, the first weapon was completed in 1938 and delivered to the Army Heer in March 1939. It was successful, although the necessity to jack it up, krupp discovered, on trying to rectify this problem, that hydro-pneumatic balancing-presses could work at much greater weights and pressures than previously believed. They redesigned the mounting with the trunnions as far forward as possible, the new design was delivered during the summer of 1940 and called the K12 N. The first gun was called the K12 V. They spent the war assigned to Artillerie-Batterie 701 along the Channel coast, the British recovered shell fragments near Chatham, Kent, some 88 kilometres from the nearest point on the French coast. Carrollton, Texas, Squadron/Signal,1976 ISBN 0-89747-048-6 Engelmann, Joachim and Scheibert, deutsche Artillerie 1934–1945, Eine Dokumentation in Text, Skizzen und Bildern, Ausrüstung, Gliederung, Ausbildung, Führung, Einsatz. Limburg/Lahn, Germany, C. A. Starke,1974 François, eisenbahnartillerie, Histoire de lartillerie lourd sur voie ferrée allemande des origines à1945
3. 40.6 cm SK C/34 gun – The 40.6 cm SK C/34, sometimes known as the Adolfkanone, was a German naval gun, designed in 1934 by Krupp and originally intended for the early H-class battleships. Intended to be mounted in turrets, the guns were produced in left. These pairs were split for individual mounting in the defence role. The guns barrel was approximately 20 metres long, in a coastal defence emplacement the gun could be elevated to 52 degrees, giving it a range of 56 kilometres with the special 600 kilograms long range shell called the Adolf-shell. It used the standard German naval system of ammunition where the charge was held in a metallic cartridge case. In terms of construction the 406 millimetres guns were identical to the 38 cm SK C/34 - only the calibre of the barrel was different, the rate of fire for the weapon was around 2 minutes per round as coastal artillery. At least eleven of the guns were produced, eight were sited in Norway, the first three guns were situated at the Hel Fortified Area, Poland as Battery Schleswig-Holstein during 1940 to protect the Bay of Danzig. All three guns were fired during May and June 1941 and shortly after the guns were dismounted and transported to France for use as Battery Lindemann. From this new location near Sangatte in France, they were used to fire at Dover, in the county of Kent in England, there is a Museum of Coastal Defence located in the remains of the battery in Hel. The seven guns that reached their destinations in Norway were split into two batteries, Battery Dietl with three guns on the island of Engeløya, Steigen, German unit MKB4 / MAA516 Battery Theo with four guns mounted at Trondenes Fort near Harstad. German unit MKB5 / MAA511 After the end of the war the Trondenes guns were taken over by the Norwegian Army, the battery was last fired in 1957 and formally decommissioned in 1964. The three Engeløya guns were sold for scrap in 1956 but the four guns at Trondenes were spared, in the summer there are normally three or four guided tours per day. The Schleswig Holstein Battery from Hel, in France, renamed Battery Lindemann, the three guns were emplaced singly in turrets, protected by massive concrete encasements in places four metres thick. The battery fired 2,226 shells at Dover between 1940 and 1944, the guns were not put out of action by bombing despite being hit many times, thanks to the thick concrete. Only the Bruno turret was damaged, on 3 September 1944, when a shell from a British railway gun hit its elevating gear, L/4.4 m Bd Z Hb -1,030 kg. Armour-piercing shell, rear fuse L/4.8 m KZ m Hb -1,030 kg, high-explosive shell, front fuse L/4.6 m Bd Z Hb -1,030 kg. High-explosive shell, rear fuse L/4.2 m KZ m Hb -600 kg.50 kg. bursting charge, both front and rear fuse L/4.1 m KZ m Hb -610 kg.50 kg. bursting charge. German Artillery of World War Two, fortress Europe, The Atlantic Wall Guns
4. Al-Fao – Al-Fao is a self-propelled artillery system designed for the former Iraqi Army by the late Canadian weapons engineer, Gerald Bull. It is one of the worlds most powerful pieces, with a caliber of 210 mm. The Al-Fao weighs 48 tons and is claimed to be able to fire four 109 kg rounds a minute and its projectiles could be filled with chemical weapons such as sarin, mustard or phosgene gases as well as conventional high explosives. The weapon is named after the Al-Faw peninsula in southern Iraq, the gun was designed and built in Europe and was first displayed publicly in Baghdad in 1989. It does not appear to have entered into Iraqi service, however and none were captured during the 1991 Gulf War, the programme was probably cancelled thereafter. It was similar in design to the South African G6 howitzer, with which Bull was also involved as a designer, the Al-Fao, sometimes referred to as G7, was a wheeled mount. While G6 is already a big and heavy SP, Al-Fao is even bigger, the wheeled platform was not robust enough to handle the howitzers recoil, so a very large muzzle brake had to be fitted. The Al-Fao was one of two similar self-propelled howitzers developed by Bull for the Iraqis, the other being the Al-Majnoon 155 mm howitzer, list of artillery Saddams Supergun and Vernes Columbiad, Science Fiction in the News
5. Big Bertha (howitzer) – Big Bertha is the name of a type of super-heavy howitzer developed by the armaments manufacturer Krupp in Germany on the eve of World War I. Its official designation was the L/12, i. e. the barrel was 12 calibre in length,42 cm Type M-Gerät 14 Kurze Marine-Kanone, the howitzer was mainly designed by Krupps Director of design, Professor Fritz Rausenberger, and his predecessor, Director Max Dreger. Many sources say that Bertha is a reference to Bertha Krupp, heiress, however, not all accept this connection, and the Germans gave numerous other nicknames to the M-Device. The Big Bertha had its genesis in the lessons learned by the Germans from the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905. During the war, the Japanese had dismounted some of their coastal defence 28-cm howitzers and this was a complete novelty as, until that time, it had been assumed by military experts that the largest transportable siege guns were around 20 cm in calibre. Nevertheless, most Europeans completely failed to draw the lessons the Japanese had taught—apart from, as mentioned, during the early 1900s, therefore, Krupp began to develop a series of road-mobile heavy mortars and howitzers, ranging from 28 cm calibre to 30.5 cm. These, in turn, built upon Krupps experience with building coastal defence mortars, such as the 30. 5-cm Beta-Gerät, the first 42-cm design was the massive L/16 Gamma-Gerät howitzer, which was a scaled-up version of the Beta-Gerät. Unusually for Krupp, both the Beta and Gamma weapons eschewed the usual sliding-wedge breech mechanism in favour of a breech, after the practice common in Britain. Gamma fired shells weighing up to 1,160 kg and it had to be transported in sections on ten railway cars—six for the gun and another four for the bedding. When firing, the crew had to move 275 meters away and they were still so close they required cotton wadding in their eyes, nose and ears, and fired it with their mouth open to prevent the gun from blowing out their ear drums, even from that distance. Moving Gamma and preparing it to fire required significant resources, consequently, the APK asked Krupp for a more mobile version, and ordered one gun on 15 July 1912. Even before it was delivered in December 1913, the APK went ahead, the first howitzer was demonstrated to Kaiser Wilhelm II in March 1914, who was greatly taken by the new weapon, and the second was delivered in June 1914. The new howitzer was a road-mobile weapon mounted on a two-wheeled field type carriage of conventional, if massive and it was a completely different weapon from the Gamma-Gerät. The barrel was shorter than Gammas by four calibres length, with thinner walls, the barrel was of generally lighter construction than Gammas and fired lighter shells of around 830 kg. Fully assembled it weighed 43 tons, much less than Gamma, special steel mats were developed, onto which the wheels were driven, with a steel aiming arc at the rear of the carriage that allowed limited traverse. This aiming arc was fitted with a spade that was buried in the ground. To prevent the weapon bogging down in muddy roads the guns were equipped with Radgürteln, Krupp and Daimler developed a tractor for the Bertha, though Podeus motorploughs were also used to tow the guns, which were broken down into five loads when on the road. Only two operational M-Gerät were available at the beginning of World War I, although two additional barrels and cradles had apparently been produced by that time, the two operational M-Geräte formed the Kurze Marine Kanone Batterie No
6. BL 13.5-inch Mk V naval gun – The BL13.5 inch Mk V gun was a British heavy naval gun, introduced in 1912 as the main armament for the new super-dreadnought battleships of the Orion class. The calibre was 13.5 inches and the barrels were 45 calibres long i. e.607.5 inches. The guns were superior and unrelated to the earlier 13. 5-inch Mk I to Mk IV guns used on the Admiral, Trafalgar. The gun was developed in response to the failure of the British high-velocity 12-inch Mk XI. Due to the excellent characteristics of the gun, it was decided to increase the weight of shell to 1,400 lb, the gun firing the lighter shell was designated Mark V by the Royal Navy, and the 1,400 lb version Mark V. Three BL13.5 inch /45 Mark V guns, named Gladiator, Piece Maker, Scene Shifter re-used a railway truck which had carried a BL14 inch Railway Gun in the First World War. In 1940 these guns were issued to the Royal Marine Siege Regiment at Dover in Kent to bombard German batteries and they could be stored in railway tunnels when not in use to protect them from attack. A13. 5/8 inch hypervelocity gun for stratospheric experiments was developed and deployed near St Margarets in Kent, the weapon was a 13.5 inch gun Mark V lined down to 8 inches, the liner projected several feet beyond the 13.5 inch barrel. The concept was suggested by F. A. Lindemann, Winston Churchills scientific advisor, due to its deployment near the heavy cross-Channel guns and manning by the Royal Marine Siege Regiment, it is often erroneously assumed to have been intended as a cross-Channel gun. It was initially named Wilfred, but this was changed to Bruce. The projectiles were custom-made with external rifling to match the guns rifling, with tighter tolerances than normal, the rate of fire was very low as a result, but this was not a major concern in an experimental piece. Both High Explosive and High Velocity shells were made for the gun, observations of the smoke were used to study conditions in the stratosphere. The gun was first test-fired in June 1942 at the Isle of Grain, the gun was deployed near St. Margarets on 21 January 1943 and experimental firing commenced on 30 March 1943. Successful experiments with smoke shells were conducted in February 1944, the intended burst zone for the smoke shells was 30 miles horizontally from the gun and 95,000 feet altitude. These trials resulted in the need for a new barrel or liner, the data from these experiments was important in the development of the Grand Slam bomb. After further experimental firings, the weapon was taken out of service in February 1945, the History of Coast Artillery in the British Army. Uckfield, East Sussex, The Naval & Military Press Ltd, vickers Photographic Archives British 13. 5/45 Mark V13. 5/45 Mark V at navweaps. com
7. Columbiad – The Columbiad was a large-caliber, smoothbore, muzzle-loading cannon able to fire heavy projectiles at both high and low trajectories. This feature enabled the columbiad to fire solid shot or shell to long ranges, invented by Colonel George Bomford, United States Army, in 1811, columbiads were used by the United States coastal artillery from the War of 1812 until the early years of the 20th Century. The first columbiads produced in 1811 had a 7. 25-inch diameter bore, although some Second System forts were armed with this weapon, the Army did not widely adopt early columbiads due to initial high costs of manufacture. Only after 1844 did a model and a ten-inch model see mass production. The eight-inch columbiad could project a 65-pound shell 4,400 yards or 4,800 yards for solid shot, the ten-inch columbiad weighed 15,400 pounds and hefted a 128-pound shell to 4,800 yards or solid shot to 5,600 yards. These cast iron weapons were mounted on seacoast carriages designed to recoil up a slightly inclined set of rails or wooden beams. The mounted columbiad could pivot left or right on a traversing rail, in most cases the arc of pivot was less than 180 degrees, but some batteries allowed 360-degree traverse. Just prior to the American Civil War, Ordnance Corps officer Thomas Jackson Rodman developed a version of the columbiad. Specifically the Rodman gun was designed to reduce cracking and other found in such large iron castings. The process involved ensured the iron cooled evenly from the inside out, the Rodman process also allowed the manufacture of much larger bore columbiads. Between 1858 and the end of the Civil War, Northern foundries produced eight-inch, ten-inch, fifteen-inch and twenty-inch Rodman style columbiads. The smaller bore columbiads shared similar range factors to the older weapons, the monster twenty-inch model weighed over 60 tons but could range to over 5 miles. Very few of the largest types were built, and none were fired in anger during the war, the Confederate States also used columbiads extensively, mostly stocks captured from Federal arsenals at the time of secession. These acquitted themselves well against early ironclad warships, in addition, the Confederates produced limited quantities of eight-inch and ten-inch columbiads without the Rodman process, these could not withstand sustained use. The Confederates also rifled some columbiads in an effort to improve weapon performance, after the Civil War, many columbiads remained in place at seacoast fortifications around the U. S. In the late 1870s several were rifled and tested for use against modern steel clad ships, strapped for funding, the post-war army continued to carry smooth-bore columbiads on inventory lists until after the Spanish–American War, when modern breech-loading rifled cannon replaced them. In Jules Vernes novel From the Earth to the Moon, a giant columbiad space gun is constructed in Tampa, Florida after the American Civil War, with the purpose of striking the Moon. Although the cannon is originally designed to fire a hollow aluminum ball and it is now known that neither concept is viable using such a cannon
8. Dardanelles Gun – The Dardanelles Gun or Great Turkish Bombard is a 15th-century siege cannon, specifically a super-sized bombard, which saw action in the 1807 Dardanelles Operation. It was designed and built in 1464 by Turkish military engineer Munir Ali. The Dardanelles Gun was cast in bronze in 1464 by Munir Ali with a weight of 16.8 t, the powder chamber and the barrel are connected by the way of a screw mechanism, allowing easier transport of the unwieldy device. Alis piece is assumed to have followed closely the outline of these guns, along with other huge cannons, the Dardanelles Gun was still present for duty more than 340 years later in 1807, when a Royal Navy force appeared and commenced the Dardanelles Operation. Turkish forces loaded the ancient relics with propellant and projectiles, then fired them at the British ships, the British squadron suffered 28 dead through this bombardment. In 1866, on the occasion of a visit, Sultan Abdülâziz gave the Dardanelles Gun to Queen Victoria as a present. It became part of the Royal Armouries collection and was displayed to visitors at the Tower of London and was moved to Fort Nelson, Hampshire. List of the largest cannon by calibre Ffoulkes, Charles, The Dardanelles Gun at the Tower, Antiquarian Journal, Vol.10, pp. 217–227 Schmidtchen, Volker, technische Höchstleistungen ihrer Zeit, Technikgeschichte 44, 153–173 Schmidtchen, Volker, Riesengeschütze des 15. Technische Höchstleistungen ihrer Zeit, Technikgeschichte 44, 213–237 Media related to Dardanelles Gun at Wikimedia Commons