Military Review

Little David Mortar - the largest caliber gun in the world

18
At different times in different countries, the designers started a fit of gigantomania. Gigantomania manifested itself in various directions, including in artillery. For example, in 1586, in Russia, the Tsar Cannon was cast in bronze. Its dimensions were impressive: barrel length - 5340 mm, weight - 39,31 tons, caliber - 890 mm. In 1857, the mortar of Robert Mallet was built in the UK. Its caliber was 914 millimeters, and weight - 42,67 tons. In the second world in Germany, built the "Douro" - 1350-ton monster caliber 807 mm. In other countries, large-caliber guns were also created, but not so large.


Little David Mortar - the largest caliber gun in the world


Already someone who, and the American designers in World War II, were not noticed in the gun gigantomania, however, they turned out to be, as they say, “not without sin”. The Americans created the giant Little David mortar, whose caliber was 914 mm. "Little David" was the prototype of a heavy siege gun, with which the US military was going to storm the Japanese islands.

In the United States during the Second World War at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds for testing by shooting armor-piercing, concrete-piercing and high-explosive aviation bombs used large-caliber cannon barrels of naval artillery, taken out of service. The test air bombs were launched using a relatively small powder charge and launched at a distance of several hundred yards. This system was used because during a normal airplane release, a lot depended on the crew's ability to accurately comply with test conditions and weather conditions. Attempts to use the bored barrels of 234-mm British and 305-mm American howitzers for such tests did not meet the growing caliber of aerial bombs. In this regard, it was decided to design and build a special device for throwing aerial bombs called Bomb Testing Device T1. After construction, this device proved itself well enough and the idea arose of using it as an artillery gun. It was expected that during the invasion of Japan, the American army would encounter well-defended fortifications - and the like weapon would be ideal for breaking down bunker fortifications. In March 1944, the modernization project was set in motion. In October of the same year, the gun received the status of a mortar and the name of Little David. After this, test artillery shelling began.



Mortar "Little David" had a rifled barrel with a length of 7,12 m (7,79 caliber) with right-side rifling (the slope of the rifling 1 / 30). The length of the barrel, taking into account the mechanism of vertical guidance, fortified on its breech part was 8530 mm, weight - 40 tons. The firing range of 1690-kg (explosive mass - 726,5 kg) projectile - 8680 m. The mass of the full charge was 160 kg (for 18 and 62 kg bags). The initial velocity of the projectile - 381 m / s. The box installation (dimensions 5500x3360x3000 mm) with turning and lifting mechanisms was recessed into the ground. Installation and removal of artillery units were carried out using six hydraulic jacks. Vertical guidance angles - + 45 .. + 65 °, horizontal - 13 ° in both directions. Hydraulic recoil brake - concentric, knurling was absent, a pump was used to return the barrel to its original position after each shot. The total weight of the complete assembly was 82,8 tons.

Charging - with a muzzle cut, split cap. The projectile at zero elevation angle was fed by a crane, after which it moved some distance, after which the trunk was raised, and further loading was performed under the action of gravity. In the nest, made in the breech, was inserted primer-igniter. The funnel from the Little David projectile was 12 meters in diameter, and its depth was 4 meters.



For movement, specially modified tank M26 tractors: one tractor having a biaxial trailer transported a mortar, the other a unit. This made the mortar much more mobile than railway guns. The composition of the artillery crew, in addition to tractors, included a bulldozer, a bucket excavator and a crane, which were used to install the mortars at a firing position. It took approximately 12 hours to put the mortar in position. For comparison: the German 810/813 mm Dora cannon was disassembled by 25 railway platforms, and it took about 3 weeks to bring it into combat readiness.




In March, 1944, the year proceeded to the alteration of the "device" in military weapons. The high-explosive shell with ready ledges was developed. Trials began at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Of course, a 1678 projectile weighing kilograms would “make a rustling sound”, however, Little David had all the “diseases” inherent in medieval mortars - she beat inaccurately and close. As a result, to frighten the Japanese, something else was found (the Little Boy is an atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima), but the superminomete never took part in the hostilities. Mortar after refusal of the operation on the landing of the Americans on the Japanese islands wanted to transfer the Coastal Artillery, but poor accuracy of shooting prevented its use there. The project was suspended, and at the end of 1946, the year was generally closed.



Currently, mortar and shell is stored in the museum of the Aberdeen Proving Ground, to which they were taken for testing.

Specifications:
Country developer - USA.
The beginning of the test - 1944 year.
Caliber - 914 mm.
Barrel length - 6700 mm.
Weight - 36,3 tons.
Range - 8687 meters (9500 yards).






Based on materials:
http://www.dogswar.ru
http://nibler.ru
http://vadimvswar.narod.ru
http://ribalych.ru
Author:
18 comments
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  1. makarov
    makarov 12 November 2013 08: 28 New
    +8
    SW readers and comments. I suppose that only koment can make the most powerful and efficient review on this material "Shovels". I will justify this by the fact that on his profile picture clearly shows a photo of the specified unit.
    1. Timeout
      Timeout 12 November 2013 10: 55 New
      +3
      "Lopatov" is an artilleryman by training and will give an answer, but only in what form is unknown. His knowledge of such units is still more than theoretical. And it’s interesting that we have anyone from Motovilikha at VO
      1. Lopatov
        Lopatov 12 November 2013 18: 46 New
        +6
        The thing is gorgeous. But she was let down: A. The time of transfer from marching to combat position at 12 o’clock. B. Lack of goals.
    2. lelikas
      lelikas 12 November 2013 10: 57 New
      15
      This is a custom article that he paid for, published in order to popularize his avatar. laughing laughing
      1. ed65b
        ed65b 12 November 2013 11: 55 New
        +5
        Quote: lelikas
        This is a custom article that he paid for, published in order to popularize his avatar. laughing laughing

        Or maybe he wrote it under a pseudonym. laughing
    3. bereg
      bereg 12 November 2013 16: 21 New
      0
      after each shot had to pour a new pillow under the gun
    4. MG42
      MG42 12 November 2013 16: 44 New
      +3
      Quote: makarov
      SW readers and komenty.

      Dear comment, this is something new., wassat <commenters> apparently ..
      Quote: makarov
      I will justify this by the fact that on his profile picture clearly shows a photo of the specified unit.

      Yes, it can be seen without lenses ..
      At different times in different countries, designers began an attack of gigantomania
      <Little David> here's the joke in the name <small? small> david?
  2. Iraclius
    Iraclius 12 November 2013 08: 42 New
    +5
    I wonder how they were going to transport this fool around the Japanese islands after their bombing and shelling by naval artillery. There, Iwo Jima and Okinawa resembled lunar landscapes.

    PS Americans were scared to landing there, and they couldn’t make up everything with an ashtray, just not to get into the hell - and B-36, and the nuclear bomb and this wunderwaffle.
  3. PROXOR
    PROXOR 12 November 2013 09: 21 New
    +2
    This nonsense is a complete development, the same as the German Wunderwaffle called Dora. In the Soviet Union there was a TP1 railway complex, but it did not need only long preparation for a shot and was used only for the most heavily fortified areas. In the presence of good defensive structures, the Red Army quite successfully used the 203 mm mortar BR-5, nicknamed the Germans Kuvald Stalin.
    1. igor67
      igor67 12 November 2013 19: 17 New
      +2
      Quote: PROXOR
      This nonsense is a complete development, the same as the German Wunderwaffle called Dora. In the Soviet Union there was a TP1 railway complex, but it did not need only long preparation for a shot and was used only for the most heavily fortified areas. In the presence of good defensive structures, the Red Army quite successfully used the 203 mm mortar BR-5, nicknamed the Germans Kuvald Stalin.

      1943 g Hitler and Speer
  4. ded10041948
    ded10041948 12 November 2013 10: 50 New
    +1
    One of the results of weapons gigantomania. I wonder how many times this "miracle weapon" could fire? And how to mount it 9 km from the enemy? And he will try to prevent than he can!
  5. abrakadabre
    abrakadabre 12 November 2013 11: 05 New
    +4
    Freud's theory in action :)
  6. GHG
    GHG 12 November 2013 12: 24 New
    +6
    In general, it is worth mentioning the project of Gerald Bull "Babylon".

    In the period from 1962 to 1967, Dr. Bull carried out more than two hundred experimental launches using this gun, reaching a height of 180 kilometers. However, as a result of the sharp cooling in relations between the United States and Canada caused by the Vietnam War, the Canadian Department of Research closed the project. However, Gerald Bull managed to keep the work on HARP. Acting as a consultant on the artillery of the South African government, supported by the CIA, the designer leaked secret information and in 1980 ended up behind bars on charges of illegally selling military technology to third world countries.
    After his release, Dr. Bull moved to Europe, where he continued his activities as a military expert and in March 1988 entered into a contract with the Government of Iraq for the construction of three ultra-long-range guns: one 350 mm prototype gun (Small Babylon project) and two full-sized 1000 millimeter guns (project "Babylon").
    Iraq was going to use these guns to put payloads into orbit or as a means of delivering warheads. According to Dr. Bull’s calculations, the main guns could send 600-kilogram cargo over 1000 kilometers, and a rocket weighing 2 tons with a payload of 200 kilograms could go into low Earth orbit.
    Initially, Israeli intelligence working in Iraq did not pay attention to the Babylon project, considering it an adventure, but when the Iraqi government involved Dr. Bull in the development of an intercontinental multistage missile based on Soviet Scud missiles, a warning was given to the designer. However, Bull refused to terminate the contract with Iraq and in March 1990 was killed under mysterious circumstances.
    The guns of the Babylon project were never completed. According to the decision of the UN Security Council, adopted after the end of Operation Desert Storm, they were destroyed under the control of international observers.
    1. fzr1000
      fzr1000 12 November 2013 13: 30 New
      0
      The Jews removed him, as well as treated the French nuclear experts.
  7. The comment was deleted.
  8. smile
    smile 12 November 2013 19: 40 New
    +1
    By the way, I somehow ran into the assertion that, allegedly during the defense of the straits during the 1st MV, the Turks managed to put a stone core into some armored ship from the analogue of our Tsar Cannon. Allegedly the core crashed on the armor, without causing damage, but frightening the crew.
    Can you confirm or deny? I don’t remember the author, but it’s not quite a nonsense .... just, something is doubtful .... but curious. %)))
    1. Bersaglieri
      Bersaglieri 12 November 2013 20: 12 New
      +1
      Here is a similar tool:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dardanelles_Gun

      True, not in WWI, but in 1807 on wooden paintwork.
      1. smile
        smile 12 November 2013 21: 24 New
        +1
        Bersaglieri
        Thank you, the gun even looks very cool like our Tsar Cannon.
        It is a pity that such a beautiful fairy tale turned out to be just a fairy tale. Comrade obviously mixed up centuries ..... :))))
  9. Neighbor
    Neighbor 14 November 2013 16: 28 New
    0
    It is not clear why this David also has rifling in the trunk ....
  10. 9lvariag
    9lvariag 10 May 2014 00: 51 New
    0
    Yes yes
    Quote: Neighbor
    It is not clear why this David also has rifling in the trunk ....
    David stand, have you really read the book "Large-caliber artillery"? It is a stand resembling a rifled mortar mortar. And it was used not for sterling but for testing armor-piercing and concrete-piercing warheads.