Post news RSS Weapon of the Week: Dora and Gustav Rail Guns

Our new weapons of the week features some mighty rail guns to behold! These things are just huge. Too bad there were such a waste of money and man power.

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Schwerer Gustav (English: Heavy Gustaf, or Great Gustaf) and Dora were the names of two massive World War 2 German 80 cm K (E) railway siege guns. They were developed in the late 1930s by Krupp for the express purpose of destroying heavy fortifications, specifically those in the French Maginot Line. They weighed nearly 1,350 tonnes, and could fire shells weighing seven tonnes to a range of 37 kilometers (23 miles). Designed in preparation for World War II, and intended for use against the deep forts of the Maginot Line, they were not ready for action when the Wehrmacht outflanked the line during the Battle of France. Gustav was used in the Soviet Union at the siege of Sevastopol during Operation Barbarossa. They were moved to Leningrad, and may have been intended for Warsaw. Gustav was captured by US troops and cut up, whilst Dora was destroyed near the end of the war to avoid capture by the Red Army.

It was the largest calibre rifled weapon in the history of artillery to see actual combat, and fired the heaviest shells of any artillery piece.[1] It is only surpassed in calibre by the American 36-inch Little David mortar and a handful of earlier siege mortars that all fired smaller shells.

Schwerer Gustav

DoraVSScarab.svg

Schwerer Gustav compared to an SS-21 SRBM launcher

Type
Siege gun

Place of origin
Germany Germany

Service history

In service
1941-1945

Used by
Wehrmacht

Wars
World War II

Production history

Designer
Krupp

Designed
1934

Manufacturer
Krupp

Unit cost
7 million Reichsmark

Produced
1941

Number built
2

Specifications

Weight
1,350 tonnes

Length
47.3 m

Barrel length
32.48 m (L/40.6)

Width
7.1 m

Height
11.6 m

Crew
250 to assemble the gun in 3 days (54 hours), 2,500 to lay track and dig embankments. 2 Flak battalions to protect the gun from air attack.

Caliber
800 mm (31.5in)

Elevation
Max of 48°

Rate of fire
1 round every 30 to 45 minutes or typically 14 rounds a day

Muzzle velocity
820 m/s (HE); 720 m/s (AP)

Effective range
about 39 km

Maximum range
48 km (HE); 38 km (AP)

And as always, thanks to www.wikipedia.org for the article!

Comments
illicitSoul
illicitSoul

800 mm caliber.....

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