Schwerer Gustav 800mm Gun

The Schwerer Gustav was a German 800mm gun used by the Wehrmacht during World War II on the Eastern Front. It was designed and developed by the German firm Krupp, which produced only two 800mm-caliber siege guns, the second one being called Dora. Mounted on railways rails, the Schwerer Gustav weighed 1,350 metric tons, had a 32.5-m-(106ft8in)-long barrel, and had a maximum range of 47 km (30mi). It took more than two weeks and a work force of 1,200 men to assemble any these two 800mm guns.

In February 1942, the Schwerer Gustav gun entered service with the Wehrmacht 672th Heavy Artillery Unit, having its baptism of fire in June 1942 during the Siege of Sevastopol, a port on Crimea on the Black Sea, firing a total of thirty nine 7,500-kg shells. By July 4, 1942, Gustav and other German heavy artillery pieces, such as the 600mm mortars (Thor and Odin), had destroyed all the Soviet concrete forts, leaving the city of Sevastopol in ruins. After this German victory on the Crimea, the Schwerer Gustav was stripped down to its constituent parts and transported by railways to the north, to a place 30 km away from Leningrad, where it was assembled to begin the siege of that Soviet city. By mid September 1942, Gustav was ready to fire again, but the attack was called off. After the winter of 1942-1943, the gun was disassembled and transported back to Germany.

Specifications

Type: heavy siege gun
Country of origin: Germany
Manufacturer: Krupp
Caliber: 800mm (80cm)
Barrel length: 32.5m
Weight: 1,350 tonnes
Shell: 7,500-kg anti-bunker, armor-piercing shell
Rate of fire: two rounds per hour
Maximum range: 47 km

Thor 600mm Mortar and Gustav Gun in Action (Video)

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