Worlds largest gun?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Adam5, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/extreme_machines/1280861.html?page=1

    For sheer firepower, it's hard to imagine anything outgunning the planet-killing Death Star from the "Star Wars" movies. Not for lack of trying, though. Since the first catapults and cannons took aim, the search has been on for guns that can shoot farther, faster, and deliver more deadly results. Yet there are also those who've foreseen the opportunity to put these weapons to peaceful purposes.

    It's difficult to imagine the shock waves that reverberated through Paris on the morning of March 21, 1918, when shells began raining down on the city. They had been fired from the railway-mounted Paris Gun tucked away in the forest of Coucy-Auffrique, 70 miles away. The 264-pound projectiles soared 25 miles into the stratosphere, reaching their target in 170 seconds.

    Formally known as the Kaiser Wilhelm Geschutz Long-Range Guns, the weapons were produced by the dreaded Friedrich Krupp A.G. munitions firm. The guns used bored-out, 380mm naval cannons, each fitted with barrels that were 131 ft. long. Seven were produced, though never more than three operated at any time.

    Firing a Paris Gun was a logistical nightmare. Each shell required a 400-pound powder charge. The shock was so intense, each succeeding shell needed to be slightly wider. The gun's lining had to be rebored every 20 shots.

    Only 367 shells were fired by August of that year, and the gun's aim was often wild. Barely half the shells hit the city. Even so, the Paris Gun caused 256 deaths, a third of those when a shell struck the church of St. Sepulchre during Good Friday services.

    Though the Paris Gun had little impact on the outcome of World War I, it was a high-priority target for Allied troops. Yet none of the guns were ever found, even after the armistice.

    For sheer firepower, it's hard to imagine anything outgunning the planet-killing Death Star from the "Star Wars" movies. Not for lack of trying, though. Since the first catapults and cannons took aim, the search has been on for guns that can shoot farther, faster, and deliver more deadly results. Yet there are also those who've foreseen the opportunity to put these weapons to peaceful purposes.

    It's difficult to imagine the shock waves that reverberated through Paris on the morning of March 21, 1918, when shells began raining down on the city. They had been fired from the railway-mounted Paris Gun tucked away in the forest of Coucy-Auffrique, 70 miles away. The 264-pound projectiles soared 25 miles into the stratosphere, reaching their target in 170 seconds.

    Formally known as the Kaiser Wilhelm Geschutz Long-Range Guns, the weapons were produced by the dreaded Friedrich Krupp A.G. munitions firm. The guns used bored-out, 380mm naval cannons, each fitted with barrels that were 131 ft. long. Seven were produced, though never more than three operated at any time.

    Firing a Paris Gun was a logistical nightmare. Each shell required a 400-pound powder charge. The shock was so intense, each succeeding shell needed to be slightly wider. The gun's lining had to be rebored every 20 shots.

    Only 367 shells were fired by August of that year, and the gun's aim was often wild. Barely half the shells hit the city. Even so, the Paris Gun caused 256 deaths, a third of those when a shell struck the church of St. Sepulchre during Good Friday services.

    Though the Paris Gun had little impact on the outcome of World War I, it was a high-priority target for Allied troops. Yet none of the guns were ever found, even after the armistice.

    For sheer firepower, it's hard to imagine anything outgunning the planet-killing Death Star from the "Star Wars" movies. Not for lack of trying, though. Since the first catapults and cannons took aim, the search has been on for guns that can shoot farther, faster, and deliver more deadly results. Yet there are also those who've foreseen the opportunity to put these weapons to peaceful purposes.

    It's difficult to imagine the shock waves that reverberated through Paris on the morning of March 21, 1918, when shells began raining down on the city. They had been fired from the railway-mounted Paris Gun tucked away in the forest of Coucy-Auffrique, 70 miles away. The 264-pound projectiles soared 25 miles into the stratosphere, reaching their target in 170 seconds.

    Formally known as the Kaiser Wilhelm Geschutz Long-Range Guns, the weapons were produced by the dreaded Friedrich Krupp A.G. munitions firm. The guns used bored-out, 380mm naval cannons, each fitted with barrels that were 131 ft. long. Seven were produced, though never more than three operated at any time.

    Firing a Paris Gun was a logistical nightmare. Each shell required a 400-pound powder charge. The shock was so intense, each succeeding shell needed to be slightly wider. The gun's lining had to be rebored every 20 shots.

    Only 367 shells were fired by August of that year, and the gun's aim was often wild. Barely half the shells hit the city. Even so, the Paris Gun caused 256 deaths, a third of those when a shell struck the church of St. Sepulchre during Good Friday services.

    Though the Paris Gun had little impact on the outcome of World War I, it was a high-priority target for Allied troops. Yet none of the guns were ever found, even after the armistice.

    For sheer firepower, it's hard to imagine anything outgunning the planet-killing Death Star from the "Star Wars" movies. Not for lack of trying, though. Since the first catapults and cannons took aim, the search has been on for guns that can shoot farther, faster, and deliver more deadly results. Yet there are also those who've foreseen the opportunity to put these weapons to peaceful purposes.

    It's difficult to imagine the shock waves that reverberated through Paris on the morning of March 21, 1918, when shells began raining down on the city. They had been fired from the railway-mounted Paris Gun tucked away in the forest of Coucy-Auffrique, 70 miles away. The 264-pound projectiles soared 25 miles into the stratosphere, reaching their target in 170 seconds.

    Formally known as the Kaiser Wilhelm Geschutz Long-Range Guns, the weapons were produced by the dreaded Friedrich Krupp A.G. munitions firm. The guns used bored-out, 380mm naval cannons, each fitted with barrels that were 131 ft. long. Seven were produced, though never more than three operated at any time.

    Firing a Paris Gun was a logistical nightmare. Each shell required a 400-pound powder charge. The shock was so intense, each succeeding shell needed to be slightly wider. The gun's lining had to be rebored every 20 shots.

    Only 367 shells were fired by August of that year, and the gun's aim was often wild. Barely half the shells hit the city. Even so, the Paris Gun caused 256 deaths, a third of those when a shell struck the church of St. Sepulchre during Good Friday services.

    Though the Paris Gun had little impact on the outcome of World War I, it was a high-priority target for Allied troops. Yet none of the guns were ever found, even after the armistice.

    The Treaty of Versailles created, at best, a tenuous truce. Hoping to ward off another assault, France erected a seemingly impregnable network of forts along the German frontier. Determined to overcome this obstacle, Adolf Hitler issued orders that specified "a gun able to pierce a meter of steel, seven meters of concrete, or thirty meters of dense earth."

    Krupp quickly complied, presenting Hitler the Gustav Gun--named in honor of family patriarch Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach. The biggest gun ever built, it weighed a crushing 1344 tons, including its railway carriage. With its breech block, the entire machine stood 4 stories tall, 20 ft. wide and 140 ft. long. Moving, positioning, loading and maintaining this monster required a 500-man crew commanded by a major general.

    The Gustav's 800mm bore accepted two giant projectiles: a 10,584-pound high-explosive shell and a 16,540-pound concrete-piercing shell. Though it didn't deliver the range of the Paris Gun, the Gustav could strike targets up to 29 miles away.

    As often happens in war, the original mission evaporated when German troops outflanked the Maginot line, quickly forcing France to surrender. Plans to use the Gustav against the British at Gibraltar were also scrapped, but eventually Gustav found a suitable target.

    In April 1942, the Soviet city of Sevastopol fell under assault. One shot inadvertently destroyed a Russian ammo dump hidden 100 ft. below the Sevemaya military base. In quick succession, the gun crumbled the forts that were vainly defending the city.

    In all, the Gustav fired 300 shells on Sevastopol, and another 30 during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. It was never used again. Unlike the mysterious Paris Gun, the gun met a final--if ignoble--end. It was captured by U.S. troops and cut up for scrap. A duplicate gun, named for the chief engineer's wife, Dora, saw action only briefly and was destroyed to prevent its capture by the Russian army.

    Reaching For The Moon
    In his classic From The Earth To The Moon, Jules Verne envisioned a gun powerful enough to launch a hollowed-out shell to the moon, with a team of adventurers inside.

    Though such a gun would produce g-forces no human could survive, the concept resonated with Canadian weapons expert Gerald Bull. In the 1960s, he began work on a supergun, welding together two 16-in. battleship gun barrels. The gun was to have two possible purposes: It could shoot finned arrow shells to record distances, or launch a projectile into space.

    Bull's High Altitude Research Project (HARP) was run by McGill University in Montreal. Also known as the Barbados Gun, for the island where its remains now rust, HARP launched a series of rocket-powered space probes before the U.S. government withdrew funding to Bull.

    Determined to keep his concept alive, Bull made a series of bad business decisions. One landed him in U.S. prison for illegal arms trading. He then accepted an offer to build a supergun for Saddam Hussein, though many feared it might be used to lob weapons of mass destruction onto Israel.

    In 1990, as he was about to enter his Brussels apartment, Bull was murdered. Five shots were fired into the back of his neck by an unknown assassin, who many suspect represented Israel's Mossad. Bull's last gun, Project Babylon, died with him. Allied troops found and destroyed the unfinished gun during Desert Storm.
     
  2. Mobster989

    Mobster989 New Member

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    Think how many tanks that could have been from them instead. A couple hundred more tigers could have tipped the scales.
     

  3. Boy Racer

    Boy Racer New Member

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    Back in HS, I was a real WWII history nut. I once drove up to Aberdeen, MD, to the proving grounds, shortly after getting my driver's license to see the beast in that first photo (after reading about it in a history book). It's way, way bigger and mind-altering in person than in a photograph. It fired 1/4-ton bullets a distance equivalent to launching from Six Flags into Lake Lanier. Only from the minds of men.
     
  4. Foul

    Foul New Member

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    I only have one question...
    Where can I get one?
     
  5. Mobster989

    Mobster989 New Member

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    Now that would be an awesome ride at Six Flags. Hopefully I won't lose my feet though. :lol:
     
  6. Foul

    Foul New Member

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    Anyone else get a mental picture of Mobster989 riding a shell into Lake Lanier like he's riding a bronco, waving his hat in the air yelling "Yeeee-Haaawwww"? :lol:
     
  7. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    :rotfl:

    Can I go after he does?
     
  8. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

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    Someones seen Dr. Strangelove a few too many times...
     
  9. Foul

    Foul New Member

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    I've only seen it one *COUGH* hundred *COUGH* times.
     
  10. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    MEIN FUERHER!

    I CAN VALK!