Military Review

What cannon fired at Paris?

38
What cannon fired at Paris?
"Paris gun" in position for loading




Heavy bass thundered explosives,
The fountain of fire hit...

"The Last Inch", M. Sobol

Heavy guns of the First World War. Oh, these connoisseurs and, in addition, hurried ones. A material was published on VO about heavy German guns of the First World War. Big, there is something to read. And then ... "I must mention" Colossal ". Meanwhile, even a "hedgehog" should be clear that such a tool should not be mentioned, but told about it in much more detail! However, all right... impatience is the property of the devil, and it is he, and no god, who commands people here on earth. It is necessary to fight this quality, and everywhere, and in ... the same bed, and in the comments on VO, "hurry up slowly."

Such is the beginning - out of harm. And now also personal notes regarding this weapon. No, I personally didn’t stand next to him, and I didn’t see him live. It just so happened that, like many other Soviet children, I studied in a normal Soviet school (albeit a special one - with English from the second grade). And somehow we began to study the theme of the First World War. And our “teacher”, apparently, somewhere once out of the corner of her ear, decided to “make happy” us with her erudition and said that the Germans, it turns out, had such a gun “Big Bertha” - and so she fired at Paris. They swallowed everything, and I, a cretin uneducated in the sense of social communications, immediately got up and said, they say, “Marvanna”, you are wrong, “Berta” is a 420-mm howitzer that hit only 16 kilometers, and in Paris from a distance of more than a completely different gun fired at 100 km ... Oh, I shouldn’t have stuck a stick in an anthill, I don’t need to ... “How do you know? I read…” – “I read too!” “Where could you read about it?” - "In the Great Soviet Encyclopedia ..." - "So bring it to us, and we'll see what you've read there!". Well, I brought it, and right there in the lesson, and read aloud "with expression." Our poor teacher was almost paralyzed. And she began to babble that it was impossible to remember everything, that she had read about it for a long time - it was a pitiful sight, I must say. But then I had to history teach much better than the rest, well, it is clear why. However, whatever happens is for the best!


The barrel is raised, now a shot will be heard!

And now it's time for the cannon itself, which fired at Paris. Undoubtedly, it was one of the most unusual artillery pieces ever created. Moreover, it has long fascinated both military historians and lovers of everything unusual. And this gun (the guns, since there were several) is as shrouded in mystery as the "superguns" that misguided artillery genius Gerald Bull designed and built for Saddam Hussein. Perhaps it was thanks to the late Dr. Bull that many of the mysteries of the Paris cannons were solved. Although he was partly just lucky to get at his disposal the unpublished documents of the chief designer of the "Paris guns" Professor Fritz Rauzenberger. The Germans called this gun Wilhelmgeschütze ("Wilhelm's Gun", in honor of their Kaiser, but this is by no means "Big Bertha", which will be discussed separately). But although many saw it, and someone even fired from it, the lack of reliable information gave rise to and perpetuated many myths about what happened with this gun and how. Here it should be remembered that the greatest impetus to the development of such large and long-range guns was given by naval technology. Only battleships were large enough to provide mobile platforms for them, and in land warfare mainly light field guns were used, and large guns with a relatively short range were used only in sieges of fortresses. However, for a long time even naval theorists assumed only short firing ranges in combat, and the sheer size of the guns was necessitated by the need to penetrate ever thicker armor plates.


A Sound of Thunder!

Without a doubt, the main producer weapons in Europe, and therefore all over the world, there was the Krupp company from Essen. Already in 1914, they surprised the world with the infamous "Big Berta" - a 42-centimeter howitzer. This monstrous siege weapon was also the brainchild of Professor Fritz Rausenberger and was a mobile version of the 42 cm Gamma mortar, which itself was an evolution of coastal defense artillery. When fired at high angles, shells from such guns easily pierced the weakly armored decks of approaching enemy battleships, which was proved by the Japanese shelling Russian ships in Port Arthur in 1904.


To assemble such a tool, you needed a crane

Under the conditions of trench warfare, the German army began to use large long-range guns to bombard the rear of the enemy. And since the only guns capable of such work were naval ones, several 38-centimeter barrels intended for the new superdreadnoughts were mounted on land-based carriages. The staff was staffed by sailors Fleet Open Sea. Freed from the limitations of the turret, which did not allow elevation to 20 or 30 degrees, these guns were able to throw their projectiles much further than when they were on ships.


And the barrel had to rest on special supports during assembly ...

Krupp's experiments with a 35,5 cm 52,5 caliber (L52,5) ​​gun made it possible to achieve a firing range of 49 km, which far exceeded the Navy's request for 37 km. Later, when the offensive towards the English Channel stopped, the army began to use 38-centimeter barrels in Dunkirk, Nancy and near Verdun.


Little by little the cannon is gathering...

These experiments revealed what at first glance seemed strange: maximum ranges were best achieved with a barrel elevation of 50 to 55 degrees, and not 45 degrees, as the shooting theory suggested. The reason, as Krupp's technicians quickly realized, was that as the projectile's altitude increased, the earth's atmosphere became thinner. Consequently, at high altitudes, a long-range projectile flies most of its trajectory in very rarefied air, which increases the flight range. And this discovery was of great importance.


And here it is already assembled!

Professor Rausenberger, as technical director of the Krupp firm, proposed to the German High Command an ultra-long-range system with a range of 100 km, firing 21 cm 100 kg projectiles. Hiring as an intermediary his friend Colonel Bauer, head of the High Command of the Ground Forces, he turned to Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff with a proposal to make and use such a tool. Both generals approved the idea immediately, and Rauzenberger set to work on the cannon. Since the development of the gun was given only fourteen months, while conventional artillery systems required at least five years, Rauzenberger had to look for a solution that would allow him to complete this task as quickly as possible. And then Dr. Otto von Eberhard, Rausenberger's assistant and technical project manager, proposed a solution that seemed to Rausenberger too radical, but ... after thinking, he agreed that there was simply no other way.


High-ranking gentlemen accept the "product"

The fact is that in order to achieve the required range, it was necessary to achieve an initial projectile velocity of 1500 m / s (an experimental gun that fired at 49 km had an initial velocity of 940 m / s). This, as it turned out, could only be achieved with a very long barrel. To speed things up, Rausenberger suggested using 35 cm naval guns intended for the battleship Freya (a Mackensen-class battlecruiser), whose construction was suspended in the fall of 1916 after the lessons of Jutland showed that the battlecruiser concept was not viable. There were nine of these barrels, which was enough for nine guns. Liners 21 m long and 21 cm in caliber were inserted into them, and the chamber was, accordingly, reamed under the 28 cm caliber marine case.


One of the options for the carriage of the "Paris gun". Blocks of weights-counterweights are laid on the breech breech

Later, they were all pressed into the barrels of 38 cm guns. At this point, while development was still in its early stages, the German high command in early 1917 suddenly demanded a 20 km range increase (due to the planned withdrawal of the front line). Rausenberger's team had to recalculate, increasing the muzzle velocity to 1610 m/s to achieve the now incredible range of 120 km.


Cannon "Colossal". Drawing from the book "Artillery", A. M. Volkov. Military publishing house, 1953

But here a new problem arose. To achieve the required initial speed, it was required that the upper part of the barrel be at least 24 m, but Krupp's largest rifled machine could only process 18 m. Therefore, Rauzenberger decided to lengthen the rifled barrel with a smoothbore pipe, which was supposed to be bolted to a flange attached to the muzzle . In fact, there were even three "extension pipes" that could be changed depending on the desired maximum range: a 3-meter pipe, 6-meter and 12-meter.

The result was a trunk that had a total length of up to 34 m: one meter of the shutter behind the trunk itself; charging chamber - 3 m; The 18-meter rifled part and the 12-meter smoothbore part. Another problem was the death of the barrel, from which many heavy guns with long barrels suffered to one degree or another. British heavy naval guns, which were "wire-wrapped", were especially prone to sagging, but straightened up momentarily when fired, so their accuracy was not affected. But the unusually long and thin barrels of the Parisian guns bent under their own weight so much that they deviated by as much as 9 cm near the muzzle. I had to attach a frame with extensions to the barrel to tension the barrel and straighten it before firing. Well, in order to accurately measure the tension parameters, a telescope was fixed on the breech, and several frosted glass disks with a central crosshair were sequentially mounted on the barrel itself. With the correct tension of all cables, these crosshairs should have matched!

Such a unique weapon posed completely unique problems for its creators. For example, with such a huge projectile speed, the copper leading belt simply fell off it. This problem was solved by making shells with ready-made rifling. And since each shell noticeably wore out the barrel, and the rifling itself was erased, each subsequent shell had rifling that was different from the previous one, and, accordingly, its own number! And it was impossible to confuse the shells. This could lead to a rupture of the barrel!


The work of the obturator of the "Paris cannon". A - a projectile without an obturating copper belt, B - a projectile with an obturating copper belt. 1 - rifled part of the barrel, 2 - projectile body of reduced diameter, 3 - obturating copper belt, 4 - smooth part of the barrel. Rice. A. Sheps

Another dramatic problem was this: how to seal the barrel when the projectile passes from the rifled part to the smooth one? Conventional projectiles of that period had copper leading bands that cut into the rifling. With a strong impact of the projectile, the rifling of the barrel dug into the relatively soft copper, and when fired, following the rifling, the projectile spun, but since the copper expanded under pressure, the same belt also sealed the barrel! But when moving from the rifled to the smooth part of the barrel of the "Paris gun" in a projectile with ready-made rifling, powder gases would begin to seep through the gaps between them, which would cause a pressure drop (and, consequently, a drop in initial velocity). In addition, by creating turbulence in front of the projectile, these gases also caused it to become unstable as it exited the barrel.

It took months of experimentation with dozens of projectiles with rifling of various shapes to find a simple and elegant solution - the shells received not one, but two belts of finished rifling: one in the front of the hull and the other in the back. The diameter of the projectile body between them was somewhat less than the diameter of the internal fields of the rifling. Between them was a copper ring, which gases, breaking through the rifling in the rear, pressed into the rifling of the front part when moving into a smooth barrel and thereby excluded their harmful effects.

The barrels of the "Paris guns" wore out after about 60-70 shots, after which they were returned to the factory, where they were bored to 224 and 238 mm and supplied with a new set of shells. The firing range at the same time decreased by about 25 km. With each shot, the front of the chamber was extended by about seven centimeters, which required about ten additional kilograms of gunpowder to maintain range.


Shell and powder charge of the "Paris cannon". Next to the scale is a man of average height. Rice. A. Sheps

The photographs of the "Paris guns" that have come down to us show that two types of carriage were used. The first is a box-shaped carriage with a turntable, which allowed it to be moved along an arc to a limited extent due to the rail located at the back. But another type of installation was also known: a round turntable on a concrete support, to which the upper part was attached with bolts.

All operations, such as moving the carriage, lowering and raising the barrel, were performed manually - dozens of people controlled winches and cranes. True, the relatively light weight of the projectile resulted in the fact that the recoil was actually less than that of 38 cm guns, and the sound and shock wave on the ground also decreased due to the fact that the muzzle was very high.

Professor Rausenberger argued that by refitting as many 38 cm barrels as possible, two guns could bombard Paris continuously for a year. His team also planned to install a new barrel on their gun and use reduced drag projectiles, which would increase the range to 142 km, which would be enough to bombard London across the English Channel from Calais.

However, a small caliber and a charge of only 7 kg of explosive did not allow inflicting devastating damage on cities, so in May 1918, the Krupp company was already designing a 30,5-cm system that fired 300-kilogram shells at a distance of 170 km. But ... the November truce in the same 1918 destroyed all hopes of ever building such a weapon.


Destruction on Rue Rivoli in Paris after shelling on March 23-24, 1918

Well, what did the Germans achieve with their guns? 256 Parisians were killed and about 620 wounded, and ... that's it! The destruction of the buildings was also minimal, except for the "lucky hit" in the church of Saint-Gervais, especially compared to the aerial bombardments of the next world war.

The Germans seem to have viewed these guns as psychological or terror weapons. Combined with their offensive on the Western Front, they must have hoped to undermine Parisian morale, business and government activities. But in this, too, they failed, as the Parisians quickly became accustomed to the bombardment and were truly shocked only by the incident at Saint-Gervais.


Frame from the film "The Great Dictator". In it, its director and leading actor Charlie Chaplin ridiculed the accuracy of the fire of the "Paris guns", showing how German artillerymen aimed at Notre Dame Cathedral, but only managed to hit some barn on the outskirts of Paris

Of course, in themselves, these guns were a technological breakthrough. They arose from the highly controversial belief that the shock value of such a new weapon would cause widespread fear and panic, especially when combined with an offensive on the Western Front. It turned out that this is not true! Although given that the aerial bombardment of cities behind enemy lines at that time was still in its infancy, the designers and sponsors of this project can be forgiven for their excessive optimism. Ultimately, for all their undeniable appeal, the "Paris guns" as a strategic weapon failed. Well, the military already in the next world war had to wait for the appearance of the first ballistic missile.
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  1. Sergey028
    Sergey028 28 December 2022 05: 15
    +5
    Very interesting! I enjoy reading your articles, thank you very much!
    1. Uncle lee
      Uncle lee 28 December 2022 05: 52
      +3
      Of course, in themselves, these guns were a technological breakthrough.

      "The Guns of Navarone".....
      1. Catfish
        Catfish 28 December 2022 06: 38
        +8
        Good morning, Vladimir. hi

        Where are the Navarone cannons before this monster. Compared to him, they are "ordinary" ship cannons.

        1. Korsar4
          Korsar4 28 December 2022 07: 55
          +5
          But the scale begins to appear precisely from the ship's guns. There is something to push off.
          1. Catfish
            Catfish 28 December 2022 08: 23
            +6
            Yes, in scale it is especially impressive. belay



            Good morning, Sergey! smile
            1. Korsar4
              Korsar4 28 December 2022 08: 51
              +3
              Good morning, Constantine!

              Still, it's one thing to read in Perelman's book.
              Another - once you see something with your own eyes.

              The height of a person is a good scale. Universal.

              It is good to measure the Humpbacked Horse in inches.
              1. Catfish
                Catfish 28 December 2022 10: 23
                +2
                With these cyberattacks, a complete leapfrog: for the first time you were answered in
                Today, 08: 23
                , about an hour later I went to the article and, hello, there is no my answer, I wrote a second time
                Today, 09: 31
                , now I looked - there are already two of them, the answer. request
                First time I've had this. smile
                1. Korsar4
                  Korsar4 28 December 2022 12: 40
                  +1
                  Nothing. Everything is formed. It would be health.
                  Any answer is a sign that life goes on.
          2. Catfish
            Catfish 28 December 2022 09: 31
            +2
            Yes, in scale it is especially impressive. belay



            Good morning, Sergey! smile
    2. kalibr
      28 December 2022 06: 28
      +3
      Quote: Sergey028
      I read

      And I, Sergey, read your comments with great pleasure. So we are even!
  2. Popenko
    Popenko 28 December 2022 05: 19
    +6
    The work of engineering is admirable, even if the result is not very ...
  3. Catfish
    Catfish 28 December 2022 05: 41
    +7
    Good morning friends!

    ... immediately got up and said, they say, "Marvanna", you are wrong


    Well, Vyacheslav, you did it right according to Vysotsky. wink

    Everyone immediately jumped up from their seats,
    But then the kid climbed in with the amendment:


    And special thanks for the Big Cannon! good I had no idea what difficulties the Germans faced in the design, production and operation. Commendable tenacity, but, in my opinion, deserves better application.

    1. kalibr
      28 December 2022 06: 30
      +3
      Quote: Sea Cat
      I had no idea what difficulties the Germans faced in the design, production and operation.

      Me too, although I read Perelman ...
  4. Old electrician
    Old electrician 28 December 2022 05: 50
    +9
    Well, what did the Germans achieve with their guns? 256 Parisians were killed and about 620 wounded, and ... that's it! The destruction of the buildings was also minimal, except for the "lucky hit" in the church of Saint-Gervais, especially compared to the aerial bombardments of the next world war.
    - as the notorious daughter of an officer said, not everything is so simple. I once read that at first, after the first shelling, the French were completely at a loss. There were no air raids, but there were explosions. But when it turned out that this was an artillery shelling, a panic began in Paris, during which hundreds of thousands of residents left the city.
    One more moment. At that time, there were already systems for finding the direction of the firing point of an artillery gun by its sound. Therefore, in order to disguise the Colossal shot, it fired almost the entire front in one gulp.
    As a child, I read about this weapon in Perelman's book Entertaining Physics.
    1. kalibr
      28 December 2022 06: 27
      +3
      Quote: Old electrician
      One more moment. At that time, there were already systems for finding the direction of the firing point of an artillery gun by its sound. Therefore, in order to disguise the Colossal shot, it fired almost the entire front in one gulp.

      Yes, Victor is right. Only Perelman went too far, a little. Not the front, but one or two batteries located nearby. I didn’t even begin to write about the fugitive French and the “secret” batteries. And so the material is large and complex.
      1. Old electrician
        Old electrician 29 December 2022 03: 26
        0
        About the shooting of the front in volleys, this is of course my hyperbole to exaggerate a little. I am well aware of the impossibility of technically synchronizing such a volley. As for sound intelligence, Perelman has nothing to do with it. He still wrote children's books. It is well written about:
  5. tlauicol
    tlauicol 28 December 2022 06: 26
    +2
    And they could build hundreds of aircraft ..
    1. Senior seaman
      Senior seaman 28 December 2022 10: 45
      +2
      Quote: Tlauicol
      And they could build hundreds of aircraft ..

      Instead of what?
  6. Korsar4
    Korsar4 28 December 2022 07: 23
    +4
    Thank you, Vyacheslav Olegovich!

    First of all, I remember our artillery, taken from the battleships on the 30th and 35th batteries in Sevastopol, and the Voroshilov battery on Russky Island.
    1. kalibr
      28 December 2022 09: 42
      +3
      Quote: Korsar4
      First of all, I remember our artillery, taken from the battleships on the 30th and 35th batteries in Sevastopol, and the Voroshilov battery on Russky Island.

      This will be about. Russia's turn has not come...
  7. setter
    setter 28 December 2022 10: 41
    +1
    To speed things up, Rausenberger suggested using 35 cm naval guns designed for the battleship Freya (Mackensen-class battlecruiser)

    Let me make some clarification. The German designation SK L/45 had two guns. The first is 35 cm SK L/45, which the author mentions. The second is 38-cm-SK-L/45. For Lange 21-cm-Kanone in 38-cm-Schießgerüst "Paris-Geschütz" just the second was used, caliber 380 mm.
    Sources. Gerhard Taube: Deutsche Eisenbahn-Geschütze. Rohrartillerie auf Schienen,
    STEVEN J. ZALOGA, SUPERGUNS 1854-1991,
    Ian Hogg: Artillerie des 20. Jahrhunderts.
  8. Senior seaman
    Senior seaman 28 December 2022 11: 08
    +3
    35cm naval guns intended for the battleship Freya (a Mackensen-class battlecruiser), whose construction was halted in autumn 1916 after the lessons of Jutland showed that the battlecruiser concept was not viable.

    Well, not Freya, but Ersatz Freya. That is, the replacement of the Freya cruiser, which had served by that time. His name should have been "Prince Ethel Friedrich" in honor of the second son of Kaiser Wilhelm, but did not have time. And the concept has nothing to do with it. There were no resources. The British had a little, they completed the Hood.
    The gun is interesting. I read about many details like numbered shells at Manchester, but without illustrations.
    1. Catfish
      Catfish 28 December 2022 12: 40
      +4
      Well, not Freya, but Ersatz Freya.


      Mackensen-class battlecruisers

  9. mmaxx
    mmaxx 28 December 2022 11: 12
    0
    Article 5. Only the Germans proved their narrow-mindedness. Shirokorad wrote about the fact that in the USSR between the wars they casually made a variant of the Paris cannon with the same range. They took a 356-mm barrel and made him an eight-inch sub-caliber projectile. Received on tests the same speed and range as the Germans. Without all these technological frills and crap. The Germans have close 210 mm!
    And they spat as useless.
    1. setter
      setter 28 December 2022 12: 32
      +3
      Article 5. Only the Germans proved their narrow-mindedness. Shirokorad wrote about the fact that in the USSR between the wars they casually made a variant of the Paris cannon with the same range. They took a 356-mm barrel and made him an eight-inch sub-caliber projectile. Received on tests the same speed and range as the Germans. Without all these technological frills and crap. The Germans have close 210 mm!

      In the USSR, "similarly" they just repeated the project of the German ballistics specialist Otto von Eberhard, which. in fact, he developed the "Paris Cannon".
      By the way, they spat not as unnecessary, but for the same reason as the Germans - the scheme with a detachable pallet for ultra-long-range guns is not suitable. It is not possible to achieve an absolutely uniform pallet separation and, accordingly, to accurately calculate the trajectory.
      1. mmaxx
        mmaxx 28 December 2022 16: 54
        -2
        1. Why didn't the Germans themselves make a sub-caliber projectile for a large-caliber barrel? Stuffing another barrel into a large-caliber barrel, and then practicing with its swing and special projectiles is a manifestation of the gloomy Teutonic genius. And to try your own idea is to let the Russian fools in a ruined country do it. The most important thing is for fools.
        2. And the second claim is generally incomprehensible. Even the most stupid Russian understands that you won’t get anywhere at such a distance. And all these stories about pallets are generally useless. Now no pallets prevent tanks from firing. And also hit. Without those pallets, the Colossal was a fucking accurate gun. I could get into the whole of Paris. From the first shot. 210 mm! laughing
        1. setter
          setter 28 December 2022 17: 07
          +4
          You know, I do not respond to such spiritually strong streams of consciousness. Arguing with hamster turbopatriots is a completely stupid waste of time. so sorry, all the best.
          1. mmaxx
            mmaxx 28 December 2022 17: 31
            -3
            Ahh ..... as I understand it, the ability to provide links to German-language sources (which hardly anyone will find, let alone read), betrays a major connoisseur of German artillery science. Which undoubtedly gives the right to soar over a herd of hamsters and other cattle. Spitting down.
            Bye! I'm not sorry. I consider anonymous rudeness on the Internet to be unworthy of a man. Responsible for your words and deeds.
  10. Knell wardenheart
    Knell wardenheart 28 December 2022 15: 59
    +3
    This project didn’t really push the Germans to the right conclusions - they built the V-3 or the Centipede anyway, having ditched a lot of money, and they did it already when they had an idea about the capabilities of long-range aviation and ammunition for it. Adolf Aloizovich's obsession with the "long arm" was, on the whole, typical of the Germans, who stupidly did not understand how it was possible to stab the enemy (England) in his lair except with terror and "van der Wafers" of near-zero accuracy arriving from afar.
    1. Victor Leningradets
      Victor Leningradets 29 December 2022 07: 07
      0
      Adolf Aloizovich's obsession with the "long arm" was, on the whole, typical of the Germans, who stupidly did not understand how it was possible to stab the enemy (England) in his lair except with terror and "van der Wafers" of near-zero accuracy arriving from afar

      In fact, the Germans began an unlimited submarine war in 1916.
  11. bionik
    bionik 28 December 2022 17: 54
    +6
    The ultra-long-range "Colossal" was achieved by a set of measures known by that time. "Colossal" was a long-barreled gun of separate-cartridge loading.
    A 38-by-45 m composite was inserted with an interference fit into the drilled barrel of a 21-cm naval gun (barrel length 12,9 calibers), which protruded beyond the muzzle of the outer 38-cm barrel, which served as a casing for it and was covered by a clutch that meshed with the front clutch of the outer barrel. A smooth choke tube 21 m long was screwed onto the muzzle of the 6-cm pipe and fastened with rings. The inner diameter of the muzzle nozzle corresponded to a caliber of 21 cm plus a pipe with a threaded channel.

    Pipe double depth grooves. The combination of a barrel of the same caliber with a chamber from a larger caliber made it possible to increase the propellant powder charge by more than one and a half times against the mass of the projectile. The smooth-walled muzzle of the barrel was designed to increase the initial velocity of the projectile - during its passage, the powder gases continued to act on the projectile, which no longer experienced rifling resistance. The guns of those years rarely had a barrel length of more than 40 calibers, but here it exceeded 150 calibers.

    Such a long barrel had to be kept from sagging under its own weight with the help of a cable system (like a suspension bridge), after a shot, wait two or three minutes until its vibrations stop. Before the next shot, the straightness of the barrel was checked with a special optical device. In the breech there was a wedge gate with an obturator. The pressure of the powder gases in the bore reached 3000-4000 atmospheres, the survivability of the barrel was no more than 50 shots (according to calculations - up to 60-65 shots), after which the barrel needed to be changed.

    The barrel was transported by a special train. The installation (carriage) in the form of a long riveted steel platform was delivered as a railway conveyor, lowered into position onto a central pin with a turntable resting on a concrete base with an area of ​​about 12 m2. The base for the first gun required about 100 tons of cement, 200 tons of graphite and 5 tons of steel reinforcement.

    The gun brought to the position was mounted on the installation using a 175-ton gantry crane moving along railway tracks. At the position at Chateau-Thierry, the carriage was installed on a specially assembled steel platform without a concrete base.

    The projectile had a steel case with thick walls and a thin-walled ballistic tip. The explosive charge was divided into two parts by a transverse diaphragm with holes. The diaphragm protected the charge from excessive compaction or accidental detonation under the action of the overloads experienced by the projectile.

    In addition, the diaphragm served to install a second shock tube (the first was placed in the bottom sleeve), which increased the reliability of the explosion - no unexploded shells were found in Paris. The projectile was supplied with two leading belts with ready-made rifling, corresponding to the rifling of the bore. Ready-made rifling made it possible to ensure the correct guidance of the projectile along the bore without stalling from the rifling with a significantly lower energy consumption of powder gases for forcing and friction than with conventional leading belts (ordinary belts could not withstand the pressure in the bore). There were also copper belts on the hull, but they served more for obturation of powder gases than for guiding along the rifling.

    The shells were made with great care. Each batch was branded specially, corrections for shooting were calculated for it. Having calculated in advance the height of the barrel, the specialists prepared shells of gradually increasing diameter - from 210 to 235 mm, weighing from 104 to 126 kg. The length of the shells also changed to preserve ballistics. The shells were numbered accordingly.
    A combat charge weighing 196,5-242 kg was composed of the main sample of coarse-grained tubular gunpowder and additional fine-grained gunpowder.

    To maintain a constant temperature, powder charges were stored in cellars with electric heating. Charge ignition - friction tube. A device for measuring the pressure of powder gases in the chamber made it possible to clarify the expected range of the shot. The shot pipe of the barrel was drilled to a caliber of 24 cm (the wall thickness of the 21 cm pipe allowed this) and again put into action. The 24-cm projectile flew at a distance of up to 114 km. In total, seven barrels were made for ultra-long-range guns.

    Firing table for 21 cm projectile
  12. zenion
    zenion 28 December 2022 20: 28
    -1
    How is this gun fired? The one that was loaded with a projectile. Unloaded will not be able to shoot.
  13. Victor Leningradets
    Victor Leningradets 29 December 2022 07: 13
    -1
    Thanks for a well thought out and interesting article.
    Inspired by your story about Marvanna.
    Our Kapitalina Vasilievna was much smarter. She had all the boys preparing reports on the armament and battles of the First World War. I got dreadnoughts and superdreadnoughts, as well as Verdun. Since we were preparing in earnest, there were practically no mistakes.
    1. setter
      setter 29 December 2022 13: 09
      +3
      Our Kapitalina Vasilievna was much smarter. She had all the boys preparing reports on the armament and battles of the First World War.

      It would be nice if you could give examples of literature published in the USSR during the "Maryivanna" period, according to which it was possible to "prepare in earnest" on the topic of the First World War in general and naval weapons in particular.
      1. Victor Leningradets
        Victor Leningradets 29 December 2022 19: 47
        0
        Seriously - this is the level of ninth-graders.
        It was easier for me, my father still had pre-war publications, and there was TSB in the library. And so - Modelarz, Modeler-Designer and others. Oh yes, I forgot, there was Tirpitz with his "Memoirs". Mikhail was responsible for artillery, he had a pre-war book "Artillery". In it, "Colossal" and the problems of ultra-long-range shooting was devoted to a whole chapter. For half a century, much has been forgotten, alas.
  14. Duncan
    Duncan 29 December 2022 16: 43
    0
    I wonder why the shooting was so inaccurate? BOPS at the same speed have a significant elongation, their accuracy is high. Does plumage help?
    And why is the height of the barrel so big, the steel was still not the same, they didn’t know how to chrome?
    1. mmaxx
      mmaxx 29 December 2022 18: 02
      +1
      The distance is great. Primarily. Many factors affect the flight of a projectile. Gunpowder in shells is still different. Even the mass of shells and charges is difficult to make the same. For any scale, the error is measured in percent. Percentages are the same. The larger the measured mass, the greater the error in kilograms. In reality, the accuracy of the scales was increased only with the use of strain gauges. Technological features of barrel production. Do not think that everything is the same and corresponds to the drawings. Even now, making just a sniper barrel for a rifle cannot get two identical. And then it was completely impossible.
      And a big swing is a feature of all long barrels. The burning of the charge affects the barrel for a long time. Even now they are already complaining that 155 mm barrels have a much lower survivability compared to our usual 152 mm ones. Due to the range, they are less tenacious. Miracles don't happen. Battleship barrels often had the survivability of one ammunition load. To increase survivability, for example, the Americans reduced the charge and divided the shells easier. There was no need to shoot long range along the coast.
      On the "Colossal" the Germans went to great tricks. The shells are different. So they flew differently. Someone sat and considered where they would get. Only shooting tables can be made more or less accurate by shooting at least one barrel. In this case, it was not possible. Because the calculations were theoretical. Far from practical.
    2. Eule
      Eule 17 January 2023 09: 08
      0
      Quote from dunkan
      shooting was so inaccurate

      Non-optimal shape of the projectile - the radius came to life less than 10 calibers. A bottom gas generator that has not yet been invented, that is, air turbulence behind the projectile. Possibly not optimal for an extra long barrel, the rifling profile was probably a constant rather than a progressive type. There was really no meteorological reconnaissance, in the sense of meteorological radars. Possibly, errors in the manufacture of parts of the gun, but this can no longer be established. The quality of gunpowder, although temperature control has already been applied.
      The weapon is interesting, but there were simply few of them, and a lot of preparation time for firing. When finalized, it could be an interesting means for fire raids specifically for propaganda purposes, for example, to destroy some institutions that are unpleasant for Parisians, such as tax and pension funds, but without hitting residential buildings and shops. Could be an interesting effect.