Schwere Gustav

Shown here is the 80 cm (31.5 in) Kanone (E) 'Schwere Gustav' poking its ponderous barrel around the corner of its firng traverse at Bakhchisary, the small village from which it bombarded Sevastopol.

Schwere Gustav
Administrator, Mar 25, 2006
    • Hobilar
      The whole process of assembling Gustav's 1,329 tons took about three weeks and a force of 1,420 men commanded by a Major-General. Once ready it opened fire on Soviet fortifications with 7-ton concrete-piercing shells. One shell penetrated 100-ft of earth and detonated inside an underground ammunition store. As well as this shell (which had a maximum range of 23 miles) Gustav was used to pitch 4.7 ton high-explosive shells into the besieged city of Sevastopol; with this shell the maximum range was 29 miles.

      After this engagement Gustav trundled out of the lime-light. Its only other recorded appearance was outside Warsaw in 1944 when some 30 shells were fired into the city during the abortive rising. After that Gustav vanished and did not reappear. Numerous reports of its discovery in pieces, its scrapping, its capture or abandonmemnt have been studied but none of them stand up to close examination; spare barrels and ammunition were found, but the gun itself has never turned up. It seems likely that it was scrapped some time in late 1944.
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    Mar 25, 2006
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