'Big Bertha' captured. Paris, France.

Discussions on all aspects of Imperial Germany not covered in the other sections.
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dead-cat
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Post by dead-cat » 15 Mar 2004 23:07

Then came the rail gun. Rail presented the perfect transport and firing platform for land based naval ordnance. The gun could be moved relatively quickly along the rail system and the recoil could be dispersed by allowing the carriage to hurtle down the tracks (sometimes up to 100 feet). In some cases, a piece of curved siding was actually used to aim the gun. These guns could fire up to thirty miles and were capable of reaching far into the enemy’s rear positions. The culmination of the rail gun was the massive French Schneider 520mm howitzer. The shells this gun fired were over 24 inches in diameter and weighed 3,100 pounds. They were fused in such a way as to allow the shell to penetrate its target before detonation. Luckily for all involved, the war ended before they could be brought into service.


taken from http://www.worldwar1.com/pharc005.htm
Franz Kosar, in his book, only suggests that the gun was not ready until the end of WW1, he does explicitly state this when talking about other guns (british 18" for example)


Kaan please do post the list.

another thing: you sure this is a 355mm gun? AFAIK only one was ever build by enlarging a 350mm barell from the Mackensen class battlecruiser, which was placed inside a 38cm barell. the one build is the Chuignes Gun mentioned by Moulded earlier in this thread.

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Post by Kaan Caglar » 16 Mar 2004 17:28

Hello dead-cat,
I'm pretty sure this is a 355 mm as I took it from the current Turkish Army's book. But I will search for any corrections in my other sources. Strange to hear that only one was build...

Note: For the first photo; A unique photograph of Anadolu Mecidiye Fort, taken in 1918. The fort was located to far north, so it did not take part in the 18th March battle. Now it is a military zone. Notice that only two cannons are on positions (the original armament of the fort consisted of: two 280/22, three 260/22, six 240/22 and one 210/22). It is not clear if the cannons were removed during the war or after.

Best Regards!
Kaan
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dead-cat
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Post by dead-cat » 16 Mar 2004 19:18

i checked again, according to Franz Kosar, there was only 1 version of the 355mm but it was a S.K. L52.5 so it's definetly something else.

there was a pre-war offer by krupp to build a 35cm gun but the army rejected the design since they demanded a shell weight of at least 1200kg.

from the image you scanned i can see that the gun was a L35 respectivley L22. must be something diffrent then but i haven't found any 355mm caliber made by krupp prior to the L52.5. weird.

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Post by Kaan Caglar » 16 Mar 2004 20:56

8O Thats wierd.
This is from "Lone Pine Diary", about the Fortifications in and around Istanbul:
Battery Rumeli-Kavak – two 355mm Krupp guns made in the 1880s and one 240mm Krupp gun made in the beginning of 1880s. The guns were emplaced behind earthen wall. In 1915 six modern 150mm guns were installed on the battery (the source is not clear whether they replaced the old guns or complemented them).

There must be something wrong..
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Kaan

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Post by dead-cat » 16 Mar 2004 22:06

i could belive that krupp bulid the 355/L22 pre ww1 (since a lot of short howitzers/mortars) had barell lenghts in that range, but i really don't belive krupp was able to build a 355 gun in the 1880ies. and definetly not L22.
around 1900 germany had 3 heavy mortar types:

21cm/L9.7 (!) bronze
21cm/L10
30.5cm/L8.7 (heavy coastal mortar)

about guns on warships:
24cm/L40 (1890ies)
21cm/L40 (1890ies)

28cm/L40(around 1900)

i thought maybe they were heavy mortars but actually the barell lenght speaks against it. and there were definetly no 28cm+ guns, execpt the 30.5/L8.7 mortar.

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Post by Kaan Caglar » 16 Mar 2004 22:54

Hmmm, then we should wait till weekend for me to access the books about these guns in Turkish.
Your numbers seem logical and there maybe something lost in translation in the books I have.
Does anyone have a picture of 355mm Krupp Gun? Maybe we can compare them to the ones I posted a page ago.
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Kaan

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Post by dead-cat » 16 Mar 2004 23:05

yes i have a picture but unfortunatly:

1. it's copyrighted
2. i don't own a scanner

but since it's a L52 it's certainly not the same type. it looks different (longer and the support looks like a section cut from the large beam of a railway gun)

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Post by Kaan Caglar » 21 Mar 2004 20:04

Okay, Lets see what I have in hand:

The mouth forts were the province of the 5th Heavy Artillery Regiment, which was equipped with 4 x 240/35; 13 Heavy Coastal, and 6 Light Coastal, guns. Heavy Coastal refers to guns of calibres 210/20, 210/22, 240/22, 260/22, 280/22, and 355/22. Light Coastal includes guns 150/46, 150/40, 87/24, and 57/40. Measurements are of course in milimeters.

Ammunition available for the Fifth Artillery Regiment consisted of 456 rounds 240/35, 41 being AP, 22 HE, and 59 Capped. Others were apparently a variety of solid shot and timed/delayed fuse, and shrapnel. Heavy coastal had 1223 rounds, no breakdown; Light Coastal 2635 rounds, no breakdown. Shell figures are for August 1914.

The 8th Heavy Artillery Regiment had the mobile howitzers and was assigned to a "howitzer zone"; there were also the 3rd and 4th Heavy Artillery Regiments on the inner defences (at the Narrows).

The 3rd Regiment had 3 x 355/35 (172 shells - 20 AP, 16 HE, 36 Capped), 7 x 240/35 (518 shells - 57 AP, 42 HE, 103 Capped), 6 x 210/6.4 Mortars (193 shells total), 19 Heavy Coastal (1739 total), 25 Light Coastal (3386 total).

The 4th Regiment had 2 x 355/35 (117 shells - 14 AP, 11 HE, 24 Capped), 6 x 240/35 (474 shells - 51 AP, 36 HE, 88 Capped), 8 x 210/6.4 Mortars (308 shells total), 23 Heavy Coastal (2895 total), 22 Light Coastal (4403 total).

The 8th Regiment was sent in to augment the defences, and the 3rd and 4th Regiments also received additional guns as part of this augmentation. Their ammunition figures are for 26 February 1915, as opposed to August 1914:

The 8th Regiment had 32 x 150/10.8 howitzers (7627 shells all HE), 14 120/11.6 howitzers (ammo stats not available), and 10 x 210/6.4 mortars (602 shells, 86 AP, 171 capped).

The additional guns to the 3rd regiment consisted of: 5 x 150/40 (taken from ships and added to the defences) with 462 shells, and 18 "smaller"; which means 37mm and 47mm rapid-fire guns and some 75mm ships' guns. There were 2,076 shells in total for those.

The 4th Regiment was augmented with 12 x 150/45 (147 shells), 6 x 150/26 (969 shells total), and 4 x 210/6.4 mortars (20 shells); along with 18 Smaller Guns, with 6737 shells total for them.

Fortress Command Depot Magazines also had 5616 shells in reserve in August 1914; I'm not sure about the quantity of the reserve afterward. The Germans had approximately 500 coastal defence specialists and a Vice Admiral aiding in the defensive efforts. The source states that the Turks fired off about 4,700 shells in combat operations lasting from 18 February to mid-March, the majority from the 5th Regiment and the 8th Regiment.

References: "TC Genelkurmay Baskanligi (Turkish General Staff), Birinci Dunya Harbinde Turk Harbi, Vnci Cilt, Canakkale Cephesi Harekati, Inci Kitap (Haziran 1914-1925 Nizan 1915) [The Turkish War in the First World War, 5th Edition, Gallipoli Front Operations, Vol.I, June 1914-25 April 1915] (Ankara: Genelkurmay Baskanligi Basimevi 1993), Charts 13 and 14.

14"/35 (German barrel length, British or US description would be around 33 calibres). Shell wt 1660lbs. With the latest 4 crh shells range was about 19000 yards, with older type shell around 12000 yards

Reference:N. J. M. Campbell's "Battle cruisers : the design and development of British and German battlecruisers of the First World War era".
An article by Piotr NYKIEL,mentions about these guns:
One of the most common arguments used by those historians who claim that the main attempt of the fleet to get through the Dardanelles could have been successful if renewed on the 19th March, was that the forts were extremely short of ammunition. It is of course true if we count only the shells of the new type, of which the reserve on the eve of the 18th March was only 267. This figure however relates only to the long barrel guns with a caliber of 355 mm. and 240 mm. If we count the new type of ammunition for the other heavy guns in the Narrows (including 8 pieces of 150 mm. in the Dardanos and Mesudiye batteries), the amount increases to 1.063 shells.
---
The range of the 355 mm. and 240 mm. guns with barrel length of 35 calibers was between 18.000 and 16.000 meters with the use on the new type ammunition, and between 11.000 and 10.800 m. with the old shells. The range of the other "short barreled" guns with a caliber between 280 mm and 150 mm varied according to the type of ammunition between 16.800 and 6.700 meters.
---
According to the diary of major Selahattin Adil, Chief of the Çanakkale Fortified Region Headquarters on that day, the 355 mm. gun was moved from Çimenlik to Anadolu Hamidiye fort and the rest of Çimenlik's armament had been put out of service to be used as a source of spare parts for the guns of other forts.

My guess is that, these guns were ordered by Ottoman Empire from Krupp between 1883-1885.
Best Regards!
Kaan

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Post by dead-cat » 22 Mar 2004 09:25

Quote:
14"/35 (German barrel length, British or US description would be around 33 calibres). Shell wt 1660lbs. With the latest 4 crh shells range was about 19000 yards, with older type shell around 12000 yards

Reference:N. J. M. Campbell's "Battle cruisers : the design and development of British and German battlecruisers of the First World War era".
An article by Piotr NYKIEL,mentions about these guns:


does this relate to battlecruisers? then it's really odd because the only 355 naval gun designed by the germans was the 350/L45 for the Mackensen class. the gun was designed 1914 and went into service 1917 as field artillery. all earlier battlecruisers had smaller calibers.

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Post by Kaan Caglar » 22 Mar 2004 18:00

dead-cat wrote:
Quote:
14"/35 (German barrel length, British or US description would be around 33 calibres). Shell wt 1660lbs. With the latest 4 crh shells range was about 19000 yards, with older type shell around 12000 yards.

Reference:N. J. M. Campbell's "Battle cruisers : the design and development of British and German battlecruisers of the First World War era".
An article by Piotr NYKIEL,mentions about these guns:


does this relate to battlecruisers? then it's really odd because the only 355 naval gun designed by the germans was the 350/L45 for the Mackensen class. the gun was designed 1914 and went into service 1917 as field artillery. all earlier battlecruisers had smaller calibers.

With "these guns" I meant the guns deployed in the Straits(Gallipoli) by the way. And I did quote from the book about the guns in Gallipoli. He states that they were imported from Krupp. What do you say to the others I quoted?
Regards
Kaan

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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Mar 2004 19:17

Russian army Used 305mm howitzers and 254mm canons.. I don't have any pictures though.

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Post by Kaan Caglar » 22 Mar 2004 19:21

oleg wrote:Russian army Used 305mm howitzers and 254mm canons.. I don't have any pictures though.

Hello oleg,
Were there any larger guns in the era of First World War?? Also where were they developed and built?
Thanks
Kaan

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Post by dead-cat » 22 Mar 2004 20:23

well i find the 280mm and 240mm guns belivable, since they fit into what i saw so far as being build by Krupp (pre-war).

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Post by Kaan Caglar » 22 Mar 2004 20:51

Turkish General Staff book convinced me about the guns. But I have doubts if they were really built by Krupp. I also wonder by any chance that they could be built somewhere else.
Regards
Kaan

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Post by dead-cat » 22 Mar 2004 21:34

the only gun builders in Germany were afaik Krupp and Rheinmetall.
i checked, the first british 14" gun (Mark I) was designed 1910. naval gun i mean. the 15" Mk I howitzer was also build post-1914.

but look what i found:

France build a pre-1914 370mm/L8 mortar by Filloux/Bourges (1913).
however the shell weight was about 1000lbs and the range wasn't stellar either: 7.7km, normal for that barrel length, though. definetly not a L35 weapon.

the largest pre-1890 gun i could find was the 270mm/L10 siege mortar (French) build 1885.

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