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Artillery of World War II

Artillery and big guns in the Second World War.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Battle Tanks, Vintage military vehicles, AFV, Third Reich Nazi Daggers, WW2, Nazi Helmets, WWII weapons.

Soviet World War II Cannon Unearthed on Hiiumaa, Estonia
An intact, 15-ton cannon barrel left over from World War II was brought up from a dig site near Hiiumaa island`s Lehtma port. A team working for the Hiiumaa Military Museum spent three hours removing the 180-millimeter cannon, part of one of several field guns the Soviet Union had installed on the island at the beginning of the war to guard its western front. Fragments of the other cannons have been found on the island.
(err.ee)

16-inch and 66 feet long gun of the battleship USS Missouri travels to Lewes
A relic of World War II - a gun that`s 66 feet long, weighs a quarter-million pounds and was powerful enough to hurl a more than 1-ton shell 23 miles - will soon make its way to Cape Henlopen State Park by train. This isn`t just any old 16-inch gun - It was part of the heavy weaponry on the battleship USS Missouri when Japanese representatives signed the surrender documents that ended World War Two.
(delmarvanow.com)

3.7inch WWII Anti Aircraft gun displayed at Fort Rinella in Kalkara, Malta
A WWII 3.7inch Heavy Anti-Aircraft Gun has been acquired by Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna. The gun will be put on display at Fort Rinella in Kalkara along with other examples of historic artillery that once formed the defensive armament of the Island. The 3.7-Inch Anti-Aircraft gun was Britain`s primary heavy anti-aircraft gun during World War Two and was the mainstay of Malta`s aerial defence system during the War. This gun, designed by Vickers is a mobile version and came into service in 1937. Records show that 10,000 of this type of gun were built, proof to its superior performance during that period.
(gozonews.com)

Schwerer Gustav - The largest gun ever built
Like an Aryan Death Star, the Nazis` Gustav was the largest gun ever built and didn`t leave much planet where it hit. In 1939, Hitler needed to figure out how to get past the French Maginot line, a 1500km defensive wall of fortifications, tank barriers, artillery and machine gun nests running along the French-German border. Named after the head of the Krupp family, Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, the Gustav Gun weighed in at 1344 tons, so heavy that even though it was attached to a rail car, it still had to be disassembled before moving so as to not destroy the tracks as it passed over.
(gizmodo.com)

Massive Nazi artillery piece, 218-ton Krupp K-5 railway gun, known as "Anzie Annie," relocated (photos)
The United States Army Ordnance Museum is being relocated to Fort Lee, Virginia. That also means somehow moving 218-ton "Anzio Annie" - the monster-sized Nazi artillery piece. The "Anzio Annie" - one of the 25 Krupp K5 railway guns build by the Nazi Germany - is actually composed of parts from two guns that shelled Anzio beachhead and were later abandoned by the Nazis. Only two of these super heavy artillery pieces survive today, and the second Krupp K5 is at the Battery Todt museum, in France.
(progress-index.com)

World War II vintage M7 howitzer moved to Fort Missoula
After 40 years serving as a sentinel at the Montana National Guard Armory in Missoula, the vintage M7 howitzer is at last able to stand down. But moving the 26-ton artillery piece was no easy task. Scott Wolff, owner of Iron Horse Towing and Repair, first attempted to move the tank with a 50-ton tow truck, but couldn`t get the needed traction. Plan B included another 30-ton tow truck, using both wreckers to lift the M7 howitzer to drive a flatbed under it. Thanks to Wolff, who donated his gear, the tank now stands in front of the Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History at Fort Missoula.
(missoulian.com)

Flying Heritage Collection adds two World War II Flak 37 guns
The Flying Heritage Collection, at Everett`s Paine Field, has added two World War II Flak 37 artillery weapons in it`s collection. The 88mm German anti-aircraft gun "was the most famous artillery weapon of World War II. The addition of the Flak 37s allows us to illustrate an important influence on the development of aircraft" said Adrian Hunt. German designers developed gun in the late 1920s, in Switzerland to avoid treaty restrictions. The Flying Heritage Collection`s new Flak 37s were built in Czechoslovakia for the Third Reich, discovered in Spain and brought back to Germany by a collector after the war.
(seattlepi.com)

What country was the best in artillery doctrine and operations in WW2?
Axis History Forum thread: What country was the best in artillery doctrine and operations in World War 2? Not necessarily which country had the best equipment, but which used its artillery force to the best tactical and strategic effect? Is there an instance where a campaign or major encounter was won by the superior use of artillery? The top field artillery country during the WW2 was Finland. In spite of its partly out-of-date artillery pieces, firing methods and artillery training in Finland were among the best in the world, and after the WW2 many countries adopted the "Finnish model". The father of the Finnish field artillery was Artillery General Viljo Nenonen.
(forum.axishistory.com)

World War II flak cannon discovered in garage
German authorities have discovered a WWII anti-aircraft cannon in a German man`s garage in part of a series of raids that brought out over 100,000 euros in illegal weapons. The flak cannon, used by the German Wehrmacht in World War II, was discovered after a search on a family home in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. The 49-year-old resident had 200 illegal firearms, 1kg of explosives, and 15,000 rounds of ammunition.
(thelocal)

The Gunners: A History Of New Zealand Artillery
The official history of the New Zealand Divisional Artillery in the Second World War concluded with the observation that peacetime seems quieter to gunners than it does to other people. It is small wonder, because of the roar of their own guns in wartime and the scream of incoming shells in counter-battery duels. But peacetime is also quieter for gunners because they are examples of the observation by the 19th century German philosopher Georg Hegel that nations have never learned anything from history. The tale of New Zealand artillery is one of repeated peacetime neglect and wartime reliance.
(nzherald)

World War II veteran supervised anti-aircraft battery   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The men of the 125th Anti-Aircraft Gun Battalion had a record to be proud: They destroyed 750 German V1 Rockets, buzz bombs. Francis Metcalf was a sergeant and ran Battery B. The 125th sported batteries of 90mm guns that could be fired at airplanes or lowered to blast away at battle tanks. His unit was so badly needed in England in 1944 that instead of being shipped by convoy, the unit and its guns were loaded on an ocean liner and sent straight across the Atlantic. "No convoy. No zig zags. They wanted us bad. When we landed, we moved fast down to a place near those White Cliffs of Dover." Once the guns were set up, the V1 rockets started coming down.
(mansfieldnewsjournal)

World War II veteran heard Japanese sub attack Washington   (Article no longer available from the original source)
June 21, 1942, a Japanese submarine surfaced off in the mouth of the Columbia River and fired 8 shells at a coastal battery. A member of a Coastal Artillery unit, Paul Johnston, counted the explosions as each shell landed. He and his fellow battery mates had that submarine in their sights. But they never fired. "We alerted headquarters at Fort Stevens across the river, but the order to fire never came. We had 108-pound, armor-piercing shells but we never got to use them. So the submarine got away." The reason, he soon discovered, was that the unit`s commanding officer, a colonel, took too long to get dressed.
(mansfieldnewsjournal)

African-American artilleryman saw Europe the hard way - under fire   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Joseph Luke Jones recalls the day in 1944 near Monte Casino, when he heard the whoosh of an 88 shell - it hit the ground only yards away. The shell dug itself deep into the ground and exploded, spewing only dirt. He was then a sergeant in a 40mm battery for the all-black 450th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, the first African-American battalion to see combat in Europe. The unit endured 3 months of constant shelling near Monte Casino. The biggest worry was the 88, a Nazi gun used against tanks, troops and planes. But there also were Luftwaffe fighters, "They`d come 3 times a day: out of the sun in the morning, out of the sun at noon and out of the sun in the evening."
(staugustine)

A huge Nazi gun filled 16 rail cars   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Ed Smith and his buddies weren’t the ones who stopped a huge Nazi railway gun that could have wiped out London, but they recognized history when they saw it. Soldiers in the Army’s "C" Battery, 182nd Field Artillery Battalion, came upon the behemoth — so large it filled 16 rail cars — in Northern France, after an Allied air attack had stopped it in its tracks. If it had been installed as planned on the French seacoast and aimed at England, its 50-mile range could have destroyed that city.
(shelbystar)


See also:
Battle Tanks, Vintage military vehicles, AFV
Third Reich Nazi Daggers
WW2, Nazi Helmets
WWII weapons.