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
9. Dulle Griet – The Dulle Griet is a medieval supergun from Ghent, Belgium. The wrought-iron bombard was constructed in the first half of the 15th century from 32 longitudinal bars enclosed by 61 rings. In 1452, the bombard was employed by the city of Ghent in the siege of Oudenaarde, today, the bombard is set up close to the Friday Market square in the old town. List of the largest cannon by caliber Schmidtchen, Volker, Riesengeschütze des 15, technische Höchstleistungen ihrer Zeit, Technikgeschichte,44, 153–173 Media related to Dulle Griet at Wikimedia Commons
10. Faule Grete – The Faule Grete was a medieval supergun of the Teutonic Order. The bronze bombard was cast in 1409 in the foundry of the Marienburg by the gunfounder Heynrich Dumechen. According to the account books of the order, the costs amounted to 278.5 Mark. Technische Höchstleistungen ihrer Zeit, Technikgeschichte,44, 213–237 List of the largest cannon by caliber Media related to Faule Grete at Wikimedia Commons
11. Faule Mette – The Faule Mette or Faule Metze was a medieval supergun of the city of Brunswick, Germany. Cast by the gunfounder Henning Bussenschutte on the market square Kohlmarkt in 1411. Thus, it could fire stone balls weighing between 322 and 423 kilograms with a gunpowder load ranging from 24 to 33 kilograms, technische Höchstleistungen ihrer Zeit, Technikgeschichte,44, 213–237 List of the largest cannon by caliber Media related to Faule Mette at Wikimedia Commons
12. Jahan Kosha Cannon – Jahan Kosha Cannon literally means the Destroyer of the World. It is placed in the Topekhana a quarter of mile to the south east of the Katra Mosque, in the town of Murshidabad, West Bengal, India. Topekhana was the Nawabs Artillery Park and the gate of the old capital of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. It is protected on the east by the Gobra Nala, locally known as the Katra Jheel, here, the Jahan Kosha Cannon is laid to rest. Earlier, it rested on a carriage with wheels and was surrounded by the roots of a Peepal tree, gradually, this cannon had been lifted four feet from the ground The roots surrounded it so beautifully that it had no possibility of falling down. It used to be astonishing to see the big and heavy cannon hanging at a height of 4 feet, later, it was freed from the trees roots. The wheels have disappeared but the iron-work of the carriage and the trunions are still visible, the cannon is made of ashtadhatu or 8 metals, namely silver, gold, lead, copper, zinc, tin, iron and mercury. The cannon is more than 7 tons in weight and it is 17 feet and 6 inches in length and 3 feet in width. It has a girth of 5 feet at the touch hole end, the circumference of its mouth is more than one foot. The radius of the slit for containing the fire is one, in order to fire this cannon once,17 kilograms of gunpowder was needed. The orifice is of 6 inches and it still shows no sign of rust. This grand cannon was made by Janardan Karmakar, karmakars were blacksmiths, but he was a gunsmith. He made it under the instructions of Daroga Shree Mohammad and under the supervision of Hara Ballav Das in 1637 AD, the cannon was named in Dacca, when Shah Jahan was the Mughal emperor at the instance of Islam Khan, who was the Subedar of Bengal. This is confirmed by an inscription engraved on it, however, the cannon has several other names like the Great Gun, the Destroyer of the world, the Conqueror of the universe, the World Subduer and so on. The cannon is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India
13. Jaivana – The Jaivana cannon is a large 18th-century weapon. It was cast in 1720, by Jai Singh II of Jaipur the administrator of Jaigarh Fort during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah. The formidable strength of its builder, the scientifically inclined warrior Sawai Jai Singh II, lay in the number of artillery. Four elephants were used to swivel it around on its axis, now it is located at the Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur at. The length of the barrel of the cannon is 6.15 m, the circumference near the tip of the barrel is 2.2 m and that of the rear is 2.8 m. The diameter of the bore of the barrel is 28 cm, the thickness gradually increases as one moves towards the rear of the barrel. The two thick rings on the barrel were used for lifting it with the help of a crane which, a 776-millimetre-long elevating screw was used for raising and lowering the barrel. An elephant rests on the tip of the barrel and a pair of peacocks are carved in the center, a pair of ducks also decorates the rear of the barrel. Jaivan rests on a high two-wheeled carriage, the wheels are 1.37 m in diameter. The carriage is equipped with two removable additional wheels for transport, the removable wheels are 2.74 m in diameter. About 100 kg of gunpowder fired a shot ball weighing 50 kg, the uses and range of the cannon and cannonballs vary over different sources. Most sources, including local tourist guides agree that it was fired in the direction of Chaksu, the impact is said by many locals and tourist guides to be powerful enough to have caused a depression where a pond can be seen today. Legend also says that when it was about to be shot and this was kept there for the gunner to dive in and escape the shock waves. But during the shot, he and eight other soldiers along with one elephant were reportedly killed due to the shockwaves, many small houses in Jaipur collapsed as well. Tsar Cannon List of the largest cannon by caliber 1957 movie The Pride, a large fictional cannon in that movie has a nearly identical carriage and similar size. The fictional cannon may have inspired by this gun
14. Little David – Little David was the nickname of an American 36-inch caliber mortar used for test firing aerial bombs during World War II. It is one of the largest calibre guns ever built, having a larger calibre than both of Germanys Dora and Gustav which were 31. 5-inch railway guns, the mortar was originally used as the launching mechanism for test-firing aerial bombs at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Little David was therefore not intended as a combat weapon, the mortars base was a large steel box that was placed below ground, with its top flush with the surrounding surface, allowing the mortars muzzle to be lowered horizontal for loading at ground level. By 1944, it was expected that American forces would encounter extremely strong fortifications during the invasion of Japan. Studies began on using Little David as a siege mortar, the mortar was converted into a two piece mobile unit, consisting of the 80, 000-pound barrel and the 93, 000-pound base transported by two artillery tractors. In addition to the two loads, the Little David unit would also include a bulldozer and crane with bucket to dig the emplacement for the mortars base. The huge mortar could be ready to fire in 12 hours, the largest known German artillery weapons were hauled on 25 railway cars and required three weeks to put in firing position. Little David was one of the largest artillery pieces ever produced by calibre, Little Davids overall effectiveness would have been questionable because of its limited range and accuracy. When Japan surrendered, the invasion became unnecessary, and Little David never saw combat, Little David currently resides in the outdoor collection of armor and artillery pieces at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland
15. Mons Meg – Mons Meg is a medieval bombard located at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. It was built in 1449 on the orders of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy and sent by him as a gift to James II, the bombard was employed in sieges until the middle of the 16th century, after which it was only fired on ceremonial occasions. It was on one occasion in 1680 that the barrel burst. The gun remained in Edinburgh Castle until 1754 when, along with other unused weapons in Scotland, Sir Walter Scott and others campaigned for its return, which was effected in 1829. Mons Meg has since restored, and is now on display within the castle. Mons Meg has a calibre of 20 inches, making it one of the largest cannons in the world by calibre, the gun forms part of the collection of the Royal Armouries, on loan to Historic Scotland who manage Edinburgh Castle. The bombard was manufactured from longitudinal bars of iron, hooped with rings fused into one mass. The barrel is attached to the chamber by means of a groove on the powder chamber into which lugs on the end of the barrel staves fit. The powder chamber itself is made from pieces of iron hammer welded together to make a solid wrought-iron forging. Mons Meg weighs 15,366 pounds, is 15 feet in length, the final cost of the gun was £1,536. Desiring to interfere in English affairs, the Duke decided to help the Scots against the English and it was given to James II in 1454. Additionally, a legend about its manufacture is that it was built by a local blacksmith for the siege of Threave Castle in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. According to this tale, which was lent credence by Sir Walter Scott, when King James arrived at Threave to besiege the Earl of Douglas, the Clan MacLellan presented him with this bombard. The first shot fired is said to have passed clean through the castle, severing the hand of Margaret, the gun was subsequently named after Mollance, the lands gifted to the blacksmith for his service, and Meg, the name of his wife. Later historians have not taken this legend particularly seriously, not least because of the improbability that such a weapon could be forged by a village smith, the 20-inch calibre cannon accepted balls that weighed about 400 pounds. In early years the gun, like the royal cannon, was painted with red lead to keep it from rusting. This cost 30 shillings in June 1539, from the 1540s Meg was retired from active service and was fired only on ceremonial occasions from Edinburgh Castle. When it was fired on 3 July 1558, soldiers were paid to find and retrieve the shot from Wardie Muir, near the Firth of Forth, the salute marked the solemnization of the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, to the French Dauphin
16. Nuclear artillery – Nuclear artillery is a subset of limited-yield tactical nuclear weapons, in particular those weapons that are launched from the ground at battlefield targets. Nuclear artillery is associated with shells delivered by a cannon. The development of artillery was part of a broad push by nuclear weapons countries to develop nuclear weapons which could be used tactically against enemy armies in the field. Nuclear artillery was developed and deployed by a small group of states, including the United States, the Soviet Union. The United Kingdom planned and partially developed such weapon systems but did not put these systems into production, a second group of states has derivative association with nuclear artillery. These nations fielded artillery units trained and equipped to use nuclear weapons, instead, the devices were held by embedded custodial units of developing countries. These custodial units retained control of the weapons until they were released for use in a crisis. This second group has included such North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries as Belgium, West Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, today, nuclear artillery has been almost entirely replaced with mobile tactical ballistic missile launchers, carrying missiles with nuclear warheads. United States developments resulted in weapons for various artillery systems. Delivery systems include, in order of development, MGR-1 Honest John free flight rocket delivering W7 nuclear weapon,1953. M65 Atomic Cannon delivering 280mm W9 and W19 nuclear shells,1953, mGM-5 Corporal missile delivering W7 nuclear weapon,1955. 16 inches battleship guns delivering 410 mm W23 nuclear shells,1956, m110 howitzer and M115 howitzer delivering 203mm W33 nuclear shell, deployed in 1957. M-28/M-29 Davy Crockett M-388 warhead derived from W54, 1961–71, mGM-18 Lacrosse missile with nuclear warhead. It was deployed in West Germany from 1959 to 1963, M109 self-propelled, M114 towed howitzers and M198 towed howitzers delivering 155mm W48 nuclear weapon starting in 1963. MGM-29 Sergeant missile delivering W52 nuclear weapon,1963, mGM-31 Pershing missile delivering W50 nuclear weapon,1969. MGM-52 Lance missile delivering W70 nuclear weapon,1972, m110 howitzer and M115 howitzer delivering 203mm W79 nuclear shell,1976. Pershing II missile delivering W85 nuclear weapon,1983, 155mm W82 nuclear artillery shell, cancelled. Likely would have delivered by M109 self-propelled, M114 towed howitzers
17. Paris Gun – The Paris Gun was the name given to a type of German long-range siege gun, several of which were used to bombard Paris during World War I. They were in service from March to August 1918, when the guns were first employed, Parisians believed they had been bombed by a high-altitude Zeppelin, as the sound of neither an aeroplane nor a gun could be heard. They were the largest pieces of artillery used during the war by barrel length, the Paris Guns hold an important place in the history of astronautics, as their shells were the first human-made objects to reach the stratosphere. Also called the Kaiser Wilhelm Geschütz, they were confused with Big Bertha, the German howitzer used against the Liège forts in 1914, indeed. They were also confused with the smaller Langer Max cannon, from which they were derived, although the famous Krupp-family artillery makers produced all these guns, the resemblance ended there. As military weapons, the Paris Guns were not a success, the payload was small, the barrel required frequent replacement. The German objective was to build a weapon to attack the morale of the Parisians. The Paris Gun was a weapon like no other, but its capabilities are not known with full certainty and this is due to the weapons apparent total destruction by the Germans in the face of the Allied offensive. Figures stated for the size, range, and performance varied widely depending on the source—not even the number of shells fired is certain. At the start of its 182-second trajectory, each shell from the Paris Gun reached a speed of 1,640 meters per second. They used worn-out 38 cm SK L/45 Max gun barrels that were fitted with a tube that reduced the caliber from 380 millimeters to 210 millimeters. The tube was 21 meters long and projected 3.9 meters out of the end of the gun, so an extension was bolted to the old gun-muzzle to cover and reinforce the lining tube. A further, 12-meter–long smooth-bore extension was attached to the end of this, the original breech of the old 38 cm gun did not require modification or reinforcement. Since it was based on a weapon, the gun was manned by a crew of 80 Imperial Navy sailors under the command of Vice-Admiral Rogge. It was surrounded by batteries of standard army artillery to create a noise-screen chorus around the big gun so that it could not be located by French. The projectile was the first human-made object to reach the stratosphere and this was by far the highest point ever reached by a man-made object, so high that gunners, in calculating where the shells would land, had to take into account the rotation of the Earth. For the first time in warfare, deadly projectiles rained down on civilians from the stratosphere and this reduced drag from air resistance, allowing the shell to achieve a range of over 130 kilometres. The unfinished V-3 cannon would have been able to somewhat larger projectiles to a longer range
18. Parrott rifle – The Parrott rifle was a type of muzzle-loading rifled artillery weapon used extensively in the American Civil War. The gun was invented by Captain Robert Parker Parrott, a West Point graduate and he resigned from the service in 1836 and became the superintendent of the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York. He created the first Parrott Rifle in 1860 and patented it in 1861, Parrotts were manufactured with a combination of cast and wrought iron. The cast iron made for a gun, but was brittle enough to suffer fractures. Hence, a wrought iron reinforcing band was overlaid on the breech to give it additional strength. There were prior cannons designed this way, but the method of securing this band was the innovation that allowed the Parrott to overcome the deficiencies of these earlier models. It was applied to the gun red-hot and then the gun was turned while pouring water down the muzzle, by the end of the Civil War, both sides were using this type of gun extensively. Parrott rifles were manufactured in different sizes, from 10-pounders up to the rare 300-pounder, in the field, the 10- and 20-pounders were used by both armies. The 20-pounder was the largest field gun used during the war, the smaller size was much more prevalent, it came in two bore sizes,2.9 inch and 3. 0-in. Confederate forces used both bore sizes during the war, which added to the complication of supplying the appropriate ammunition to its batteries, until 1864, Union batteries used only the 2. 9-in. The M1863, with a 3-in bore, had firing characteristics similar to the model, it can be recognized by its straight barrel. Its range was up to 2,000 yards with a trained crew, naval versions of the 20-, 30-, 60-, and 100-pound Parrotts were also used by the Union navy. The 100-pound naval Parrott could achieve a range of 6900 yards at an elevation of 25 degrees, although accurate, as well as being cheaper and easier to make than most rifled artillery guns, the Parrott had a poor reputation for safety and they were shunned by many artillerists. At the end of 1862, Henry J. Hunt attempted to get the Parrott eliminated from the Army of the Potomacs inventory, during battles when the Parrott gun would burst, artillerists would chip out the jagged parts and continue firing. In 1889, The New York Times called on the Ordnance Bureau of the War Department to discontinue use of the Parrott gun altogether, several hundred Parrott gun tubes remain today, many adorning battlefield parks, county courthouses, museums, etc. The gun tubes made by Parrotts foundry are identifiable by the letters WPF, a list of many of the surviving tubes can be found at the National Register of Surviving Civil War Artillery. By summer 1863, Union forces became frustrated by the heavily fortified Confederate position at Fort Sumter, in all, two 80-pounder Whitworths, nine 100-pounder Parrotts, six 200-pounder Parrotts, and a 300-pounder Parrott were deployed. It was manned by the 11th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, on August 21,1863 Gillmore sent Confederate general P. G. T
19. Project Babylon – Project Babylon was a project with unknown objectives commissioned by the then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein to build a series of superguns. The design was based on research from the 1960s Project HARP led by the Canadian artillery expert Gerald Bull, there were most likely four different devices in the program. The project began in 1988, it was halted in 1990 after Bull was assassinated, the components that remained in Iraq were destroyed by the United Nations, after the 1991 Gulf War. The first of these superguns, Baby Babylon, was a horizontally mounted device which was simply a prototype for test purposes and it had a bore of 350 mm, and a barrel length of 46 metres, and weighed some 102 tonnes. After conducting tests with lead projectiles, this gun was set up on a hillside at a 45 degree angle and it was expected to achieve a range of 750 km. Although its mass was similar to some World War II German superguns, it was not designed to be a mobile weapon, the second supergun, Big Babylon, of which a pair were planned, was much larger. The barrel was to be 156 metres long, with a bore of 1 metre, originally intended to be suspended by cables from a steel framework, it would have been over 100 metres high at the tip. The complete device weighed about 2,100 tonnes and it was a space gun intended to shoot projectiles into orbit, a theme of Bulls work since Project HARP. Since it was immobile, it suffered from the vulnerability as Germanys V-3 cannon. Also, Iraq already had Scud missiles which would have far more effective than the outdated supergun technology. However, the gun would have offered greater ranges than the Scud variants then used by the Iraqis, very large cannon, which would be capable of being elevated and trained, were also planned. The metal tubes for the barrels and gun cradles were purchased from firms in the United Kingdom, including Sheffield Forgemasters of South Yorkshire, other components, such as breeches and recoil mechanisms, were ordered from firms in Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, and Italy. Baby Babylon was completed, and test shots were fired from it, however, as those were being worked on, Bull was assassinated in March 1990, possibly by Mossad, halting the project. In early April 1990, United Kingdom customs officers confiscated several pieces of the second Big Babylon barrel, the parts were confiscated at Teesport Docks. More pieces were seized in Greece and Turkey in transit by truck to Iraq, other components, such as slide bearings for Big Babylon, were seized at their manufacturers sites in Spain and Switzerland. Finally, after the Gulf War in 1991, the Iraqis admitted the existence of Project Babylon, several barrel sections seized by UK customs officers are displayed at the Royal Armouries, Fort Nelson, Portsmouth. Another section was on display at The Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich, London, the events of Project Babylon are dramatized in the 1994 HBO movie Doomsday Gun starring Frank Langella as Bull, with Kevin Spacey, Alan Arkin, and Clive Owen in supporting roles. The supergun of Project Babylon was mocked by the Australian comedy radio show Martin/Molloy as Saddams Super Pipes, al-Fao Iran–Iraq War United States support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq war Space Research Corporation From the Earth to the Moon William Lowther, Arms and the Man, Dr
20. Pumhart von Steyr – The Pumhart von Steyr is a medieval supergun from Styria, Austria, and the largest known wrought-iron bombard by caliber. It weighs around 8 tons and has a length of more than 2.5 meters, the bombard is today on display in one of the artillery halls of the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum at Vienna. List of the largest cannon by caliber Schmidtchen, Volker, Riesengeschütze des 15, technische Höchstleistungen ihrer Zeit, Technikgeschichte,44, 153–173 Schmidtchen, Volker. Bombarden, Befestigungen, Büchsenmeister, Von den ersten Mauerbrechern des Spätmittelalters zur Belagerungsartillerie der Renaissance, media related to Pumhart von Steyr at Wikimedia Commons
21. Queen Elizabeth's Pocket Pistol – Queen Elizabeths Pocket Pistol is a cannon built in 1544 in Utrecht by Jan Tolhuys, before Elizabeth I came to the throne. The gun was presented to Henry VIII by Maximiliaan van Egmond, Count of Buren, the cannon measures 24 ft in length and fired 4.75 inch calibre cannonballs. The cannon is decorated with engravings of fruit, flowers, grotesques, between 1613 and 1622 the gun was used and was found to be capable of firing a 10 lb ball a distance of 2000 yards. Before the English Civil War it guarded the cliffs of Dover, in 1644 King Charles Is forces in Cornwall reported capturing from the Earl of Essex 49 Peeces of faire Brasse Ordnance among which was the great Basilisco of Dover …. This cannon has since identified as Queen Elizabeths Pocket Pistol. Later that year the gun saw action at the siege of Hull where it was recaptured by the Roundheads, the cannon can be seen at Dover Castle on a replacement carriage made in the 18th century from captured French guns. A copy of the cannon is displayed in Buren, Netherlands next to the museum of the Dutch Royal Family. Https, //web. archive. org/web/20070810092050/http, //riv. co. nz/rnza/shrapnel/qepp/qepp1. htm https, //web. archive. org/web/20080513141024/http, //doversoul. tripod. com/id38. html Museum Buren en Oranje
22. Schwerer Gustav – Schwerer Gustav was the name of a German 80 cm railway gun. It was developed in the late 1930s by Krupp as siege artillery for the purpose of destroying the main forts of the French Maginot Line. The fully assembled gun weighed nearly 1,350 tonnes, Gustav was later employed in the Soviet Union at the siege of Sevastopol during Operation Barbarossa, where among other things, it destroyed a munitions depot buried in the bedrock under a bay. The gun was moved to Leningrad, and may have intended to be used in the Warsaw Uprising like other German heavy siege pieces. Gustav was destroyed by the Germans near the end of the war in 1945 to avoid capture by the Red Army. It was the largest-calibre rifled weapon ever used in combat, the heaviest mobile artillery piece ever built in terms of overall weight and it is only surpassed in calibre by the unused British Mallets Mortar and the American Little David bomb-testing mortar. In 1934, the German Army High Command commissioned Krupp of Essen to design a gun to destroy the forts of the French Maginot Line that were nearing completion. The guns shells had to punch through seven metres of reinforced concrete or one full metre of steel armour plate, from beyond the range of French artillery. Krupp engineer Erich Müller calculated that the task would require a weapon with a calibre of around 80 cm, the weapon would have a weight of over 1000 tonnes. The size and weight meant that to be at all movable it would need to be supported on sets of railway tracks. Krupp prepared plans for calibres of 70 cm,80 cm,85 cm, nothing further happened until March 1936 when, during a visit to Essen, Adolf Hitler inquired as to the giant guns feasibility. No definite commitment was given by Hitler, but design work began on an 80 cm model, the resulting plans were completed in early 1937 and approved. Fabrication of the first gun started in mid-1937, technical complications in the forging of such massive pieces of steel made it apparent that the original completion date of early 1940 could not be met. Krupp built a test model in late 1939 and sent it to the Hillersleben firing range for testing, penetration was tested on this occasion. Firing at high elevation, the 7.1 tonne shell was able to penetrate the specified seven metres of concrete, when the tests were completed in mid-1940 the complex carriage was further developed. Alfried Krupp, after whose father the gun was named, personally hosted Hitler at the Rügenwalde Proving Ground during the acceptance trials of the Gustav Gun in early 1941. The first round was test-fired from the gun barrel on 10 September 1941 from a makeshift gun carriage on the Hillersleben firing range. In November 1941, the barrel was taken to Rügenwalde, where eight further firing tests were carried out using the 7,100 kilogram armour-piercing shell out to a range of 37,210 metres
23. Tsar Cannon – The Tsar Cannon is a large medieval artillery piece on display on the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin. It is a monument of Russian artillery casting art, cast in bronze in 1586 in Moscow, mostly of symbolic impact, it was never used in a war. However the cannon bears traces of at least one firing, per the Guinness Book of Records it is the largest bombard by caliber in the world, and it is a major tourist attraction in the ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin. The Tsar Cannon is located just past the Kremlin Armory, facing towards the Kremlin Senate, the very low ratio of the length of its barrel to its caliber makes it technically not a cannon, but a stylized mortar. The Tsar Cannon is made of bronze, it weighs 39.312 tonnes and has a length of 5.34 m and its bronze-cast barrel has an internal diameter of 890 mm, and an external diameter of 1,200 mm. The barrel has eight cast rectangular brackets for use in transporting the gun, the barrel is decorated with relief images, including an equestrian image of Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich, with a crown and a scepter in his hand on horseback. Above the front right bracket the message The grace of God, Tsar and Great Duke Fyodor Ivanovich, the cannon-style gun carriage, added in 1835, is purely decorative. This weapon was never intended to be transported on or fired from this gun carriage, according to one version, the name of this cannon, Tsar, is associated with the image of Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich. However, it is likely that this name owes to the massive size of this cannon. In old times the cannon is also called the Russian Shotgun, because the gun was meant to shoot 800 kg stone grapeshot rather than true. The cannon ought to be classified as only a mortar by its length in modern classification. The cannon was cast in bronze in 1586, during the reign of Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich, in the Cannon yard, by Russian master Andery Chokhov. The carriages and the cannon itself was decorated in 1835 at the St. Petersburg plant of Berd, with designs by architect A. P. Bryullov. The Tsar Cannon was placed at points around Moscow in its history. However, by 1706, it was moved to the Kremlin Arsenal and it was not used during the French invasion of Russia, although Napoleon Bonaparte considered removing it to France as a war trophy. The wooden gun carriage burnt in the fire that consumed Moscow in 1812, in 1860, the Tsar Cannon was moved to its current location on Ivanovskaya Square near the Tsar Bell, which is similarly massive and is the largest bell in the world. For a long time, there was a theory that the Tsar Cannon was created only to impress foreigners of Russias military powers. Thus, according to writer Albert Valentinov. Andrey Chokov knew from the very first moment that this would not be a cannon at all
24. V-3 cannon – The V-3 was a German World War II supergun working on the multi-charge principle whereby secondary propellant charges are fired to add velocity to a projectile. The weapon was planned to be used to bombard London from two large bunkers in the Pas-de-Calais region of northern France, but they were rendered unusable by Allied bombing raids before completion, two similar guns were used to bombard Luxembourg from December 1944 to February 1945. The V-3 was also known as the Hochdruckpumpe, which was a name intended to hide the real purpose of the project. It was also known as Fleißiges Lieschen, the gun used multiple propellant charges placed along the barrels length and timed to fire as soon as the projectile passed them in order to provide an additional boost. Solid-fuel rocket boosters were used instead of explosive charges because of their greater suitability and these were arranged in symmetrical pairs along the length of the barrel, angled to project their thrust against the base of the projectile as it passed. This layout spawned the German codename Tausendfüßler, the barrel and side chambers were designed as identical sections to simplify production and allow damaged sections to be replaced. The entire gun would use multiple such sections bolted together, the smoothbore gun fired a fin-stabilized shell that depended upon aerodynamic forces rather than gyroscopic forces to prevent tumbling, this resulted in a lower drag coefficient. The origin of the multi-chamber gun dates back to the 19th century, in 1857, U. S. arms expert Azel Storrs Lyman was granted a patent on Improvement in accelerating fire-arms, and he built a prototype in 1860 which proved to be unsuccessful. Lyman then modified the design in collaboration with James Richard Haskell, the Lyman-Haskell multi-charge gun was constructed on the instructions of the U. S. Armys Chief of Ordnance, but it did not resemble a conventional artillery piece. The barrel was so long that it had to be placed on an inclined ramp and it was test fired at the Frankford Arsenal at Philadelphia in 1880 and was unsuccessful. The flash from the propellant charge bypassed the projectile due to faulty obturation and prematurely ignited the subsidiary charges before the shell passed them. The best velocity that could be obtained from it was 335 metres per second, new prototypes of multi-charge guns were built and tested, but Lyman and Haskell abandoned the idea. During the same period, French engineer Louis-Guillaume Perreaux, one of the pioneers of the motorcycle, had working on a similar project since before 1860. Perreaux was granted a patent in 1864 for a multi-chamber gun, in 1878, Perreaux presented his invention at the World Exhibition of Paris. In 1918, the French Army made plans for a long range multi-chamber gun in response to the German Paris Gun. The Paris Gun was built by Friedrich Krupp AG and could bombard Paris from German lines over a distance of no less than 125 kilometres. However, the French initiative did not reach the stage, as it was discontinued when the retreat of the German armies. The plans for the gun were archived, as they had been envisioned to counter the German fire