There just something exciting about a really, really big gun — and the Gustav gun is the largest long-range gun in history.
This weapon can shoot further, faster and more accurately than other weapons and produces extremely deadly results. Citizens in Paris were the first to feel the fury of this massive mega-gun. They would be further shocked to find that the weapon was fired from over 70 miles away in a remote village.
The Gustav gun was the brainchild of Friedrich Krupp’s A.G. munition firm, one of Hitler’s go-to weapons manufacturers throughout his reign of terror. Adolf Hitler’s request to his minion: create a weapon that could “pierce a meter of steel, seven meters of concrete, or thirty meters of dense earth” — the final result was a gun that weighed more than 1,344 tons and stood upwards of 4 stories tall. It was also nearly 150 feet long, and required a crew of 500 men to position, load, move and maintain the railway-loaded gun.
As you can imagine, the Gustav gun would have a devastating effect on any structure that attempted to stand against it. It was utilized very effectively in April 1942 as German troops attempted to infiltrate the Soviet city of Sevastopol. Over 300 of the 16,540-pound concrete-piercing shells were delivered against the city, causing the forts that defended the city to crumble and become completely ineffective. The enormous siege gun ultimately had a very limited effect on the outcome of the war, however. It simply entered the arena too late to be able to have the intense impact that Hitler expected when he imagined the gun.
Sure, there’s a great deal of “wow” factor in a gun that massive, but is it truly practical? Turns out, it’s not. It was so difficult to load and move — much less fire — that it was only utilized twice throughout the war. The manufacturing also took longer than expected, reducing the amount of time that it could have added value to German troops. There is no record of the cost involved in the creation of this multi-ton titan, but it was likely to be exorbitantly expensive.
After all the time, effort and energy spent to create the Gustav gun and the limited lifecycle, it is a slight letdown to find that the gun met such an ignoble end. American troops discovered the weapon after the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, and quickly saw the overwhelming power that the gun provided to the German army when it was utilized. Those soldiers took a defensive step and decided to chop up the Gustav gun for scrap.
There have been other large guns in history, but the Gustav gun was by far the largest and most impressive. With an 80cm barrel, this truly was a weapon of mass destruction. Get a look at this mega-weapon in action in the video below.
~ Ready to Fire News