Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Largest Gun Ever Built

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).

The Gustav, luckily, saw only very brief action. It fired 300 shells on Sevastopol (at a rate of about 14 shells a day) and 30 more during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 before being captured by Allied troops and chopped up for scrap. Its 7 million Deutsch Mark sister, the Dora, was destroyed by the Germans themselves to keep it from falling into the hands of the Russians. The rest of the Nazis' evil War Machine would fall by 1945 after Allied forces finished curb stomping them back across the Rheinland.


  1. Hey, Mikeb302000:

    Is Gustav preparing to fire a shell 23 miles, or is he just not happy to see us? I think he needs a ton or so little blue pills.

    We can all be grateful for Adolf Hitler's penchant for bigger guns, tanks, bombers, battleships, etc.,.

    While his generals and other advisers warned him of the dangers of a two front war, reliance on technologically superior (as well as difficult and expensive to manufacture and very hard to maintain in the field) weapons systems, Herr Hitler continued his profligacy. I guess it was excusable though; all he really wanted was a more polite society, free of the mongrels, mud people and juden.

    Ultimately it was logisitics that allowed the allies to defeat the Axis and Imperial Japan. Yep, we made a shittonpantload of guns, tanks, bomber, fighters, etc.; it was the Liberty Ships, trucks and other cargo movers plus their cargoes that allowed U.S. and allied troops to maintain long lines of supply in hostile territory and continue pushing the enemy back. Well that and the fact that the chinese, russians and indians contributed millions of bodies to the cause.

  2. OK read. One question, why is it tagged by as "gun culture" instead of "history"? Not like I am going to go buy one.

  3. I believe one of those middle eastern countries built some piece of artillery into a hillside that could loft a shell several hundred miles. Details are cloudy but i'm sure someone can find it.

  4. I don't have a tag called "gun history" or "history" and I didn't want to create new categories.

    Why, doesn't "gun culture" include interest in stuff like this?

  5. Anonymous:

    Perhaps you're thinking of the HARP Superguns that Gerald Bull was trying to build for Iraq.

    Wiki has some information on it.