Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Schwerer Gustav?

Discussion in 'Artillery' started by kerrd5, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,383
    Likes Received:
    496
    Two photos from the NARA, College Park.

    I surmise that this is the barrel of the Schwerer Gustav
    and, if so, that the person who wrote the captions was
    not aware of its history.

    "The gun then appears to have been destroyed to prevent its capture sometime before April 22, 1945, when its ruins were discovered in a forest 15 kilometers (9 miles) north of Auerbach about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of Chemnitz."

    Schwerer Gustav - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://html2.free.fr/canons/dora.htm

    Caption of 204171:

    "Breech of giant Nazi 800--mm Gun is measured
    by PFC Robert W. Wetzelberger, of Baltimore, MD.,
    of 76th Division U.S. First Army. Gun was captured
    unused at Auerswalde, Germany, near Chemnitz, by
    76th Division."

    Caption of 204172:

    "Giant Nazi 120-foot, 800-mm Gun monuted
    on Railway cars, never used and destroyed at
    Auerswalde, near Chemnitz, Germany. Gun was
    found by 76th Division of U.S. First Army."

    Date: 21 April 1945.

    Photographer: TEC/SGT Rickard.

    III-SC 204171 and 204172, Credit NARA.


    Dave
     

    Attached Files:

  2. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    You may enjoy this link, as it shows that there were two barrels made, and the barrels were called "Dora", and the whole monstrosity of a cannon system "Gustav". This has produced some confusion as to the name of the thing, but it appears that the weapon system was named Gustav in honor of the patron of the Krupp works, and the barrel was named Dora in honor of the engineer/designer's daughter (or wife).

    Goto:

    Dora:Railgun

    The statement it was 'unfired" might be because the one discovered was a replacement barrel which hadn't been put into service when found. Just a guess on my part.
     
  3. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    54
    And here is one of it's shells, currently residing in the Imperial War Museum London.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    That projectile is pictured in that link I supplied with a fellow standing next to it to give a better "scale". And remember that the dang thing had a huge powder charge case behind that, and the entire shell system was about 5 meters long!
     
  5. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,383
    Likes Received:
    496
    Clint, your link and Wikipedia - if it can be believed - both suggest
    there were two gun systems, Dora and Schwerer Gustav.


    Dave
     
  6. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    Yes, this is true. However the book The Arms of Krupp by William Manchester more properly identifies the names as one for the barrel (Dora) and one for the system (Gustav). That is continued in error on the "web", but not supported by Krupp's own documentation which Manchester used as the basis for his work.

    I think I'll stick with the book, and I only put the link in for others to see the size of these monsters, and show the other pictures of the barrels. Notice the barrel found in the USSR isn't included here.
     
  7. PanzerPiggy

    PanzerPiggy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought you might like this. I made it about a year ago on MS paint.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,380
    "Unused" What a waste for the Germans. Imagine how many small weapons they could have been made with it....... I wonder if it hadn't precisely been taken there to Chemnitz to be recycled but that due to the finals days of the war this could not be done.
     
  9. aglooka

    aglooka Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    6
    It was initially developped for attacking the French Maginot line, and thus lost its purpose in 1940 and should have been cancelled.

    BTW, One Gamma mortar was used on the French forts and if you read the accounts of the mayhem it caused (didn't put directly blockhauses out of fight) (but broken optics etc). one might surmuse that a much lighter gun with shells in the 2 ton range would have been sufficient to put Maginot Blocs out of commission. (they were armoured against a single 1.5 ton shell hit, the intermediate infantery blocs were less armoured)

    BTW the Germans knew exact the thickness of concrete of the blocs since some of them were partially build by German firms.

    Aglooka
     
  10. aglooka

    aglooka Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    6
    BTW, has anyone an idea how far they were finished in may 1940 ?

    Greetings

    Aglooka
     
  11. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    34
    Hello Kerrd,
    your pictures shows "Dora" or "Schwerer Gustav II" (this was the name the german soldiers gave this railwaygun. Dora or to be more exactly the main part of it was stationed in Auerswalds when the american units reached the area. One day before the 676. Engineer-Bataillon of the Wehrmacht destroyed the the cradle and the catch of the gun. The explosion was so enormous that the buildings around were destroyed too.

    Michael
     
  12. wpeck

    wpeck recruit

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Schwerer Gustav was captured by US Army soldiers before it was destroyed. I have pictures of my Grandfather standing next to it and even sitting in the barrel of the gun before it was destroyed. On the back of his picture he wrote that it was taken in Schwartzenfeld, Germany, which is just a few miles south of Auerbach. I will scan the photos and post them soon.
     
  13. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    289
    Is it one of this pics?

    Regards

    Ulrich
     

    Attached Files:

  14. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,370
    Likes Received:
    30
    Ulrich, those are some great pics. Source? Are those from an available book?

    Also, speaking of the Schwere Gustav/Dora... check two threads below.

    http://www.ww2f.com/artillery/34206-german-railway-gun.html

    Surprising, I know- the big, crazy German weapons seem to be a recurring topic with those who study WW2. :)

    :cheers:
     
  15. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    289
    CrazyD,

    the Dora or the Siegfried or Karl are such technical masterpieces that you can´t pass them without having an eye on them. I like this constructions, senseless or not.
    PM´d you.

    Regards

    Ulrich
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    289
    Here are some more for you to see!

    Regards

    Ulrich
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    34
    Hello everyone,

    @crazyD:

    "This gun was abandoned by the Nazis when a U.S. infantry
    unit moved through the area southeast of Toringi, France."

    Date: 2 August 1944

    III-SC 192421, Credit NARA. --> this isn´t a gun like "Schwere Gustav/Dora" - it´s a much smaller railway gun. It´s a 28cm "Neue Bruno".
     
  18. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    34
    Hello

    @wpeck
    I am sorry but like I said the cradle and the catch of Dora was been destroyed when the american reached the area! The Soul- and Jacket pipe" (that´s what you called "barrel of the gun) of Dora were not been destroyed - that´s the reason why your grandfather was able to stand next to it and even was able to sit in the barrel of the gun! Look here - it´s a documentation about what happened to "Schwere Gustav (I)" and "Schwere Gustav II (Dora) ... http://home.freiepresse.de/fp1gluma/index.html
     
  19. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    34
    @wpeck
    I am sorry but the cradle and the catch of Dora was been destroyed by german troops before the US-army reached the area of Dora! The Soul- and Jacketpipe of the gun were not been destroyed-that´s the reason for the pictures showing your grandfather standing next to it and even sitting in the barrel of the gun! The load chamber of the gun seemed to be damaged as well (probably by the destroying of the cradle and the catch).
    Look here: http://home.freiepresse.de/fp1gluma/index.html
     
  20. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,273
    Likes Received:
    1,108
    Does anyone know what the Germans were compensating for, because sometimes a canon is not just a canon?
     

Share This Page