German coastal and rail mounted guns

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paul.mercer
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German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby paul.mercer » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:28 pm

Gentlemen,
In documentaries on WW2 we often see the heavy guns deployed for coastal defence on the 'Atlantic Wall' and occasionally see pictures of massive rail mounted guns, what calibre would they have been?

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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby steffen19k » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:07 am

anything from 8 inch all the way up to 14 inches in caliber. or 203mm - 350mm
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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby frontkampfer » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:51 am

There is a 28cm railway gun at the US Army Ordnance museum in Aberdeen, Maryland. It was a consolidation of two guns that were partially destroyed and recovered in Italy. There is another in Audinghen, France.
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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby tommy303 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:11 am

German railroad guns included but were not limited to:

15cm K (E), a rail mobile battery based on the 15cm naval gun.
17cm K (E), based on I believe the army 17cm and also as a rail mobile battery.
20.3cm K (E), a former naval gun used on the Hipper Class.
21cm K12 (E), new design long range gun (maximum range 115,000m)
24cm Th.Br. K (E), new rail carriage using the ancient 24cm L/35 C/88 of the Odin class coast defence ships.
24cm Th. K (E), as above but using the 24cm guns of the old Kaiser Friedrich III class pre-dreadnoughts
28cm Kz.Br. K(E), as above using the 28cm guns of the Deutschland class pre-dreadnoughts
28cm L.Br. K(E), again using a new rail carriage, but employing old naval guns, this time of the Nassau class dreadnoughts
28cm s.Br K(E), as above but based on the obsolete 28cm Kusten Kanone L/42 (only two made)
28cm Br N K(E), a completely new design by Krupp the first of which was delivered in 1940.
28cm K5(E), new long range gun using pre-rifled shells--Anzio Annie (Leopold) was one of this series.
38cm Siegfried K(E), new carriage utilizing spare 38cm barrels for the Bismarck Class.
40,6cm Adolf K(E). as above but using barrels intended for the H-class (only one made for rail use).

There were, additionally, a number of captured French rail road guns
The use of old, obsolete guns in many of the 1930s carriage designs was to speed up delivery of railroad guns to the Army while newer guns were being developed.

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Jack B.
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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby Jack B. » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:21 pm

You forgot the biggest of them all the 80cm Dora and Schwerer Gustav.

Just google "dora railway gun" and you will find a whole bunch of information on this truely engineering marvel.

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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby ede144 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:36 pm

However Dora was never intended for coastal defence. IT WAS designed for fortress operations. So it was used to shell Sewastopol. Unfortunately the results were not as expected.
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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:39 pm

Some years ago I built an 1:35 Trumpeter model of the Leopold, the 11" which is now in Aberdeen, Maryland. Great stuff. Now, that's nothing: there is the Dora which model needs a garage to fit in.
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RF
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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby RF » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:10 pm

As an aside, I'm not too sure of the logic of having large guns mounted on railway infrastructure unless you have command of the air. The enemy only has to bomb the tracks to render the weapon stationary....
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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:18 pm

RF,

You are correct. The Germans had that control in the early stages of war so they came with this artillery solution. Also they have the experience of WWI where these devices were usefull. Also in WWII, against the soviets they used them in Sevastopol sucessfully.
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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby ede144 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:06 pm

RF wrote:As an aside, I'm not too sure of the logic of having large guns mounted on railway infrastructure unless you have command of the air. The enemy only has to bomb the tracks to render the weapon stationary....


The reason to use railway guns is easy explained. Railways have a much higher payload, so you can transport larger guns on the same tracks than on roads with trucks. Today it would not be a suitable possibility, because the railways are not important as in WW II and secondly heavy artillery got replaced by rockets and smart bombs.

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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:51 pm

The railway use for superweapons was tried also during the Cold War. In the eighties the MX missiles system was suggested to be mounted in a railway system to be moved from bunker to bunker to decieve soviet targeting.
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RF
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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby RF » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:48 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:You are correct. The Germans had that control in the early stages of war so they came with this artillery solution. Also they have the experience of WWI where these devices were usefull. Also in WWII, against the soviets they used them in Sevastopol sucessfully.


In WW1 T E Lawrence demonstrated the vulnerability of rail mounted guns when he ''smashed up'' the Turkish railway system in Arabia, particulary the Hejaz railway....
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RF
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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby RF » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:52 am

ede144 wrote:The reason to use railway guns is easy explained. Railways have a much higher payload, so you can transport larger guns on the same tracks than on roads with trucks. Today it would not be a suitable possibility, because the railways are not important as in WW II and secondly heavy artillery got replaced by rockets and smart bombs.


This would presumably require fairly open country, which with the lack of ground cover, implies need for command of the air. Mountainous terrain I would expect might pose problems for transport of railway big guns in the shape of the confines of single track tunnels....
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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby ede144 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:01 pm

Rf,

I believe you missed my point. The schwerer Gustuv or Dora weighted 1350 to. It would be impossible to transport such a large and heavy gun on roads. The largest gun I know which could be transported on roads was the Karl Gerät which weighted 124 to only.
For reference the wikipedia links:[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl-Gerät[/url] and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwerer_Gustav

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ede

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Re: German coastal and rail mounted guns

Postby lwd » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:03 pm

In support of that http://freightagents.net/resources/Road ... nsUSA.html lists the weight limits for various US states. The largest allowed that I see is 100,000lbs or 50 tons. It's not unreasonable to speculate that the military might be able to go a bit heavier although bridges would become a real problem.
According to this http://www.highwaysafetyroundtable.ca/m ... k%2003.pdf Canada allows up to almsot 70 tons.
This one http://www.unifeeder.com/C1257026006095 ... 4C00324950 makes it look like most of Europe is currently limted to under 30 metric tons.


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