Heavy Artillery in WWII

Between 1939 and 1942, with the rapid advance of the Wehrmacht both on the Western and Eastern Fronts, heavy artillery had been replaced by the ground-attack aircraft in the mobile warfare of the Blitzkrieg. However, when hurdles for the German offensive in the Soviet Union cropped up, such as the concrete fortresses and bunkers of Sevastopol or the Russian autumn mud that slowed down their advance, the heavy artillery pieces reemerged on the battlefield. The ferocious military engagements that were to decide the war, from North Africa to Berlin, were dominated by these monsters. As a result, during World War II, heavy artillery was as important a weapon as it had been in WWI. Even the armored units needed fire support from heavy-caliber artillery of all types, and for all its many advantages the tank was of limited use against heavily protected strong points and heavily defended cities and towns. It was only artillery that could be used to any effect against such targets and, while the same might be said of the bomber aircraft, the fact remains that only artillery could carry out its fire missions around the clock and under all weather conditions and with more accuracy than bombers.

List of heavy artillery pieces of WW2

– Schwerer Gustav 800mm Gun (Germany)

– Thor and Karl Gerät, 600mm Siege Mortars (Germany)

– 42 cm Gamma Mörser, 420mm Gun (Germany)

– M1 Haubitzer, 355mm  Howitzer (Germany)

– K5 Leopold, 280mm Railway Gun (Germany)

– 24 cm Kanone, 238mm Gun (Germany)

– Skoda, 220mm Howitzer (Czechoslovakia)

– Obice da 210/22, 210mm Howitzer (Italy)

– 21-cm Mörser 18,  210mm Howitzer (Germany)

– M18-in, 203mm Howitzer (USA)

– M1931 203mm Howitzer (Soviet Union)

– 7.2-in Mark 1-VII 183mm Howitzer (UK)

– 17 cm Kanone 18, 172.5mm Gun (Germany)

– M1 155mm Gun (USA)

– M1910/30 152mm Howitzer (Soviet Union)

– 15 cm Kanone 18 150mm Gun (Germany)

Below 600mm “Thor” siege mortar


Below 210mm Italian howitzer


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Thor is Carlos Benito Camacho, the manager and writer of this blog.