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German Heavy/Massive Arty Question

Article about: I'm sure most of us all know of the beasts the Germans made artillery wise. As i have been digging around on the history of the units that manned these guns, I wonder if they had a "spe

  1. #1

    Default German Heavy/Massive Arty Question

    I'm sure most of us all know of the beasts the Germans made artillery wise. As i have been digging around on the history of the units that manned these guns, I wonder if they had a "special' badge or tinnie that indicated they were part of this group? Does anyone have any relics from these crews or any pieces like a shell casing? I find alot of history on the guns themselves, but not the crews or its logistical feats to make them work. Perhaps someone knows of a good book that i need to read on this particular subject. I found this bad assed pic that has started my hunt for relics pertaining to these huge beasts.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: German Heavy/Massive Arty Question

    All I have in my collection is this photo of an American armored unit that happened across one of these big guns... Perhaps the Dora?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3

    Default Re: German Heavy/Massive Arty Question

    Could that be the infamous Leopold? I recall that Leopold was part of a duo that comprised "Anzio Annie". I will dig around on that lead. Thanks for the pic.

  4. #4

    Default Re: German Heavy/Massive Arty Question

    I'd love to have a shell from one of the Gustav or Dora guns myself, but, seeing as how the projectiles were something like 12 feet long and weighed 8 tons each, it could be kinda cumbersome to display in the living room....I suspect this may well explain the dearth of many artifacts from these cannons. It's hard enough to find a decent 88mm shell much less an 800.... Click image for larger version. 

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    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  5. #5

    Default Re: German Heavy/Massive Arty Question

    'Dora' and 'Gustav' are the same gun-the official name being Gustav and the gunners' nickname being 'Dora'-the photo of US troops shows a barrel captured by them at the end of the war.

  6. #6

    Default Re: German Heavy/Massive Arty Question

    There was, however, 2 identical cannons built-and the plans for a 3rd to come. One was destroyed near Chemnitz by the Germans themselves to avoid it's capture and the other was found dismantled in the West by American troops . The common parlance was that each had their own name-one was Dora and the other was "Heavy or Schwerer Gustav"...Gustav, being the elder of the 2.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  7. #7

    Default Re: German Heavy/Massive Arty Question

    Was glad Octavian started this thread. These huge rail guns were impressive indeed. I have read that Dora was used in the siege of Sevastopol and that one of its shells landed near a Russian ship in the harbor and just the concussion knocked it over. Another shell ignited an underground ammo bunker that was buried almost a mile deep. Guns used several trains to haul them and had a large compliment of soldiers commanded by a general I believe. All I know is I wish one was still intact as I would give my right arm to see one in person. I believe Dragon makes a replica in diecast and plastic of this awesome gun. If anyone knows of books in circulation dealing with the history of these weapons please pass it on. Best wishes.

  8. #8

    Default Re: German Heavy/Massive Arty Question

    Quote by octavian View Post
    Could that be the infamous Leopold? I recall that Leopold was part of a duo that comprised "Anzio Annie". I will dig around on that lead. Thanks for the pic.

    No that is not Leopold. The bore is way to large, Leopold was 28 cm, which is just a smidge over 11 inches. Dora was 80 cm which is around 31.5 inches. The men in the picture posted above could crawl inside that barrel.

  9. #9

    Default Re: German Heavy/Massive Arty Question

    Haven't heard of any ammo bunker a mile deep, but Gustav Did destroy an ammunition bunker in Sevastopol that was 30 meters under the sea with at least 10 meters of concrete protection, but even then, it took 9 rounds to do it.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  10. #10

    Default Re: German Heavy/Massive Arty Question

    Interesting thread, looks like the guy in the middle could be AH himself. John

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