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German Railway Gun

Discussion in 'Artillery' started by kerrd5, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    Caption reads:

    "This gun was abandoned by the Nazis when a U.S. infantry
    unit moved through the area southeast of Toringi, France."

    Date: 2 August 1944

    III-SC 192421, Credit NARA.


    Dave
     

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  2. aglooka

    aglooka Member

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    It's a 24 cm Theodor Bruno k (E)

    Weight 94 tons
    Range 20200m
    9 built.

    Many greetings

    Aglooka
     
  3. Niles23

    Niles23 Member

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    I did a report on the german railgun in the 4th grade and im in college now. I cant remember anyhing about it though.
     
  4. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    I think the Germans made about 20 of these babies in total; they were originally inended to shoot the maginot line, but they were not used there for obvious reasons (the Germans went AROUND the Maginot line :D ). They were used in Italy at Anzio and on the Eastern Front as well. They actually performed very well for thier size.
     
  5. aglooka

    aglooka Member

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    I think you are confusing this gun with the K5 gun. (two of these bombarded the beachhead at Anzio, known toghether by the troops as the Anzio Annie, but by the Germans as Robert and Leopold (now preserved at aberdeen proving grounds: Leopold )
    indeed about 20 of these were build but this was not a homogenious group of guns as it might seem since there were many variants in barrel (different types and depths of rifling (total 4 types)(altough most were used on the front). 10 of the guns were captured on the western front. One is preserved (but very badly) in the "Atlantic wall museum": File:280-mm-Eisenbahngeschütz K 5 E Audinghen 01.08.93 (2).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

    The K5 was much larger and heavier (240 ton)than the Theodor Bruno. And AFAIK was not intended to be used against the Maginot line since it was optimized for range (45 to 90 km depending on subtype and ammo type) and not for shell weight and concrete piercing.

    The specialised anti Maginot guns were afaik the 35cm howitzer, the 80cm Dora and the 60 cm mortars.

    The Theodor Bruno was a mediocre gun to be mounted on a railway carriage The Barrel dated to 1910 and was only 35 calibers long. Its performance was much worse than the roadable and much more mobile 24 cm Kanone 3

    kanone 3: 151 kg shell to 37km
    Bruno: : 148 kg shell to 20km

    In other words, the Bruno was nothing but an expedient to put some ancient barrels lying around (3) to (some) use. (It was part of the "sofort" programme to build up as quickly as possible the German military capabilities after 1933 while the K4 (and K5) was a modern designed gun)

    greetings

    Aglooka
     
  6. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    Yes, you are right, that was the K5 I was talking about. My apologies.
     
  7. aglooka

    aglooka Member

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    No Problem !

    Aglooka
     
  8. WMHolton

    WMHolton recruit

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    Here are some pictures I found amongst some of my father's pictures taken during the occupation of Germany after WWII; a note along with the pictures said this gun was found in Meterzorf, Germany, had a three foot bore, was used in Russia, and it took four railway cars to transport it. Can anyone positively identify this gun?
     

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  9. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    That is the Gustav/Dora, a massive waste of time and material constructed to attack the Maginot Line, which it never did. The Maginot fell before the giant was completed. It was used to fire on Svestapol, and I believe it only fired about 50 rounds in anger in it's lifetime. I have heard conflicting reports of two of these giants being built, and I have also heard that only one complete system was finished while a second barrel was completed, but not a full second system. They used about 5000 men for transport and construction, a full general, and muliple spotter aircraft in battle.

    Total waste of time, wealth, and material.
     
  10. WMHolton

    WMHolton recruit

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    Thanks, Clint. I can't verify any of the information that accompanied the pictures so you've given me a lot more than I knew about it. It makes some pictures though!
     
  11. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Not a problem, here is a link to a spot that covers those monsters in more detail.

    Goto:

    ORDNANCE Continuation Page 2

    Has some really outstanding shots as well.
     
  12. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    During the Operation "Störfang" (the conquest of Sewastopol in 1942) the " Dora" - Cannon fired 48 7-Tonnen-Tank-Shells on " Maxim Gorki I" , " Stalin" , " Molotow" , " Sibirien" , " White Klippe" among other things fortress works. Of the 48 projectiles 5 can be rated as direct hits. The heavy armor-piercing shells pierced 1 meter steel, 8 meters concrete or 32 (!) Meter grown ground.
    Although this cannon was probably a masterpiece of engineer art artillery, however the attainable striking power stood in no military relation to the personnel expenditure. For the building of the firing position near Sewastopol totally 1,500 auxiliarywilling workers as well as over 1.000 men of the organization Todt and 60 Krupp specialists assigned, which needed approximately 4 weeks from the first cut of the spade to the completion of the shooting curve. The structure of cannon mastered " Dora" - People at 3 days and nights.
    The cannon should be used again on the Northern front against Leningrad in autumn of 1942 and then later in 1943 the Germans planned to use the weapons against England at the channel coast. But at least the cannons were never been used again.

    The Germans built two of these big Railway Guns. The second wascalled called "Gustav 2". This gun was never been used. Special germans units destroyed the main parts of this cannon in 1945.

    Nordwind511
     
  13. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    For we primitive types that still use feet and pounds, Dora fired an 31.5 " AP round weighing 16,500 pounds at 2363 fps. My question is if one hit the front glacis of a Panther would it penetrate ????? ( This is a joke based on all the hostile armor post of late! LOL)

    More seriously it seems an incredible waste of resources and rather vulnerable to air attack but a fascinating piece of war machinery nevertheless. Was not ready to attack the Maginot Line, it's intended target. Would love to read mpre post on the railroad guns.

    Thanks for posting about "Dora".

    GB
     
  14. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    If you´re interested, i can send you a few copies of such railway cannons out of the Waffen-Revue. Send me a PM.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     
  15. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    GB,

    you are absolutely right, this railway Gun wasted lots of resources! During the operation "Störfang" the Germans had only 48 shells for using "Dora". And Hitler forbade the firing of the last 5 shells, after he heard that Dora was used against a certain fortress work of Sewastopol.

    Denys
     
  16. Sentinel

    Sentinel Member

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  17. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Wow, those are some impressive shots!

    Some others from the same setting:
    Dora:Railgun

    I'm kicking myself, as well; I used to have a link for even more shots of the partially-destroyed gun the US troops found at Meterzorf, including a shot of some soldiers laying inside the barrel! Can't find the damn link though.

    Ian Hogg's "German Artillery of WW2" is a superb book that covers these, including the many variations used.

    :cheers:
     
  18. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    If it´s "Dora" (or "Schwerer Gustav II"- that´s the name the soldiers gave these gun) or "Schwerer Gustav I" it depends where the pictures have been taken. There were 2 of these railway-guns. The 676. Engineer bataillon for example destroyed the cannon cradle and the cannon catch on 13. of April - one day before the american units reached the area near Auerswalde (Saxony near Chemnitz). "Schwerer Gustav I" the second railwaygun was stationed near Grafenwöhr. I guess the pictures doesn´t show Dora (Schwerer Gustav II) - it´s probably Gustav (because there´s a smaller city called "Metzenhof" near Grafenwöhr. And Dora was stationed in a kind of building - "Schwerer Gustav I" was "parked" outside in a forest region.

    Michael
     
  19. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Was poking around a bit more on this one. Hopefully between these two threads on railway artillery, things haven't gotten too confusing!

    Nordwind and I noted that, between the two threads, there were two possible identifications noted:
    24cm Bruno K
    or
    28cm Neue Bruno.

    The tarp hanging over the left side railing which obscures the breech makes it tough. I was checking some more in the Hogg book on German Artillery- and I don't think it's possible that the gun noted above is a 28cm Neue Bruno. According to one of the pics of the Neue Bruno in the Hogg book, said gun had 5 wheels on the rear of the carriage- the above gun clearly has only 4.

    Pretty sure Aglooka got it right- 24cm Bruno K.

    Hey, what can I say... I like checking out photos of big 'ole guns!

    :cheers:
     

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