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Guns have proved to be one of the most successful war machines. Throughout war history, bigger usually meant better.
During World War I Germany built and used one of the biggest guns in military history, Big Bertha. It fired 2,100 lb (820 kg) shells at a range of 15 km (9.3 miles) and was used in the assault of Verdun. Big Bertha was named after this member of the designer's family.
Even though Bertha was a formidable gun, this one was even bigger. Paris Gun was used to bombard Paris during World War I. What was its main purpose?
To kill as many civilians as possible
To bombard important bunkers
To attack the morale of enemy soldiers
To demolish large buildings
Lange Max (long Max) was a World War I German cannon officially called 38cm SKL/45. Long Max was derived from the Paris Gun.
One of the most accomplished ballistics engineers, Gerald Bull, was head of project HARP. The Pentagon and the Canadian Department of National Defence joined efforts in this project, trying to study ballistics of re-entry vehicles at low cost. They used 16 inch (406 mm) 50 caliber gun, which was later extended to 100 calibers (40 m), to fire shells toward the Atlantic at 3600 m/s. Do you know what HARP stood for?
Highly Autonomous Roving Projectile
Hazard Assessment of Rocket Propellants
High Altitude Research Project
Helping to Attract and Recruit Project
During World War I and II, this German family created some of the biggest guns in the world. In the years of WW I they sold cannons to the the Entente as well as the Central Powers. Their work became the center for German rearmament after 1933 (when Hitler came to power).
Two of the German K5(E) guns were called "Anzio Annes", because they shelled the coast of Anzio during WW II.
Six gigantic guns were created during World War II, with the help of general Karl Baker. They were called Karl Monsers and were used in the Brest-Litovsk and Warsaw uprisings. What was their other deployment during the War?
The siege of Sevastopol
The defence of Berlin
The siege of Moscow
The siege of Stalingrad
This is the biggest gun ever to be completed. It was 43 m (141 feet) long, weighed 1350 tons and fired 7 ton shells at range of 40 km (25 miles). It was capable of piercing a meter (3.3 feet) of steel or 7 meters (23 feet) of concrete. One of the two ever built guns of this type was called Schwerer Gustav. What was the name of the other one?
Tsar Pushka, the biggest cannon of its time, was created in Russia in 1586 and was later used to defend the Kremlin.
Gerald Bull took part in another supergun program - project Babylon. He supplied the plans for a series of gigantic guns, but fortunately only one of them (the smallest one) was completed. This person commissioned the project.
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