Re: [railwayguns, armoured trains and Military Railways] Re: Hitler’s Doomed Schwerer Gustav: Largest Gun Mankind Has Ever Built


fred oliver
 


From: "dsrc512@... [railwaygun]"
To: railwaygun@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:36 AM
Subject: [railwayguns, armoured trains and Military Railways] Re: Hitler’s Doomed Schwerer Gustav: Largest Gun Mankind Has Ever Built

 
Strange article, author can't seem to make up his mind whether Dora and Gustav were two different guns or just one.

Most readers of this forum are aware only Dora ever fired at enemy targets.  This occurred at Sevastopol on five days between June 5, 1942 and June 17, 1942 which used up all the available ammunition, 48 shots.  A test of five experimental high explosive shells occurred on June 25, 1942, some of which were purposely aimed at the Black Sea before the gun was dismantled for transport.

A site for targeting Leningrad was prepared, Dora was moved there and set up in August, 1942 but then dismantled without ever firing a shot due to Soviet advances and returned to the test site at Rugenwald in Pomerania.

In March 1943, Dora was displayed at Rugenwald to Hitler and the senior military command.  Two shots were fired after which the gun was again broken down in part due to it being a highly visible target from the air.     

Heavy Gustav, the second gun, was fully assembled and test shots were fired between Feb. 24 and Feb. 27, 1943 at Rugenwald. Tests included improved munitions.  Like Dora, Gustav was then broken down and parts distributed by rail both within the test site and in the nearby countryside.

A third gun, Long Gustav, with a smaller caliber but longer barrel, was destroyed by an Allied air raid on the Krupp plant at Essen.  Hitler had ordered the third gun constructed in mid-May, 1943.

This information comes from Gerhard Taube's book Deutsche Eisenbahn Geschutz published by Motor buch Verlag in 2001.  I bought my used copy on eBay and translated portions of it using Google translate.  I recommend the book as it also covers the "Paris gun(s)" of WW I  and German rail guns developed during the interwar period.  The book has quite a few close-up photos of the assembly of Dora and Gustav.

Alex Huff  
 


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