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    Default “The Gustav”

    A story from the blogosphere takes us back in time to Nazi Germany to learn about the largest gun ever built: “The Gustav.”



    The story goes that back in 1939, Adolf Hitler needed to figure out how to infiltrate the French Maginot line, a highly fortified 930-plus mile long defensive wall along the French-German and French-Italian borders.

    To achieve his goal, Hitler planned to simply obliterate the wall completely, hence the need for a “big” gun. He recruited one Friedrich Krupp to engineer a weapon capable of deploying enough ordinance to level the wall. By 1941, the Krupp company produced the largest gun of all time, the “Gustav Gun.”

    Ironically, after the gun was produced, Hitler realized he could just circumvent the Maginot via Belgium.

    But why let such a monstrosity go to waste? And it wouldn’t — not with the Nazis in charge anyway.



    Hitler got his sinister wish and Gustav was eventually put to the test, but only twice. Once during the Siege of Sevastopol and once during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Thankfully, however, the gun was then allegedly captured by Allied troops and cannibalized for scrap.

    The Gustav reportedly weighed a whopping 1344 tons and stood 4-stories high. Apparently, it was so heavy it had to be disassembled and attached to rail cars in order to be transported.

    Oh, and did we mention it took a 500 man crew, including a two-star general to operate?

    The Gustav had a bore diameter of 800 mm (just under a yard) and used 3000 pounds, more than a ton, of smokeless powder charge to fire its two primary shell types: a 10,584 lb. high explosive (HE) shell and a 16,540 lb. concrete-piercing shell—roughly the weight of an unladen 71-passenger school bus, travelling at 2700ft/s.

    With a maximum elevation of 48 degrees, the HE shell could hit a target 29 miles away, while the bunker-buster could nail anything within 23 miles—both with reasonable accuracy. The Gustav could basically fire a shell over the widest point of Long Island, NY and hit nothing but water. If it did hit, the HE would leave a 30-foot deep crater while the piercing round could penetrate as much as 264 feet of reinforced concrete (or height of the Seattle Exchange Building).

    Apparently, Gustav even had a 7 million Deutsch Mark sister named Dora that was reportedly destroyed by the Germans themselves lest it fall into the hands of Russians.

    They were capable of dreaming and engineering anything. If only those powers had been used for good.



    History Revisited: Nazi ‘Gustav’ Was Largest Gun of All Time
    Last edited by Ballgame; 07-16-2011 at 04:54 AM.
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    Senior Member Angriff's Avatar
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    That's incredible
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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    I must have had conversations over 101 times about this weapon. Usually at the VFW from a converation about the movie THE GUNS OF NAVARONE. You get stationed in Germany, you can get to see the Maginot Line and them some.
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    Yeh and Germans don't all wear tin helmuts and goose step about the place.......thats just South America these days.

    Chief-did you approach the Maginot line from the east or west or did you go around it??

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    Senior Member Exo1's Avatar
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    the gun was a symbol of Nazi power, but was clumsy and inaccurate.... the boom shell was too long even when zeroed to be effected as its reload time was very slow compared to regular heavy artillery.. waste of metal and engineering.... thankfully on the side of the Nazis... imagine the cost and length and possibility outcome of the war if Nazi Germany didnt have Adolf Hitler to dream up of insane orders and dictums... Blitz on London, that "Dumpkoff" Gun, Last Stand for the Nazi Army in Stalingrad, the turn into the Caucuses instead of into Moscow, I could go on..... I believe the bravery of the Allies with a touch of luck from Lady Liberty won out the day in my view... and thankfully so... they saw off Nazi Jackboots as a result.... and we continue to live in the free world as a result..
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    The Krupps K5 was a more practical alternative. Although its traverse was limited by the track it was sat on



    Weight 218 t
    Length Travel: 30 m (98 ft)
    Combat: 32 m (105 ft)
    Barrel length 21.539 metres (70 ft 8 in) L/76.1
    Shell 255 kg (562 lbs)
    Caliber 283 mm (11.14 in)
    Elevation +50°
    Traverse 1°
    Rate of fire 15 rounds per hour
    Muzzle velocity 1,120 m/s (3,675 ft/s)
    Maximum range 50,000 metres (55,000 yd)


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    Hey does anyone know if this available as a model would make a nice addition, thanks j

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    There have only been a couple of kits made of this - and they are VERY hard to find. You may have to scratch build if you want to model one of these - and either way Google is your friend, here.

    http://www.sas1946.com/main/index.php?topic=13511.0
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