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Germany Used This Massive Rail Gun Against Soviet Forces in World War II

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The Gustav gun needed a crew of 2,000 men to operate it.

The German Schwerer Gustav rail gun was the largest artillery piece created during the Second World War and was the only Nazi wonder weapon to be used in combat against the Russians.

The concept of the super gun began when Adolf Hitler ordered that a weapon be built that could destroy the Maginot Line and allow the German army to invade France.

Whilst many of Germany’s ‘wunderwaffes’ (wonder weapons) never materialized; this super gun was actually used in battle during Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa.

The railgun was designed by Krupp Armaments in 1936, however, it was built too late for the German Army’s invasion of France in May 1940.

The cannon was capable of firing seven-ton shells at targets up to 29 miles away.

While many of the German wonder weapons never developed past the planning stages, and even fewer ever saw action, the Schwerer Gustav was used in battle against the Soviets.

The railgun is reported to have been fired 47 times against the city of Sevastopol in 1942 before the barrel of the weapon was worn out and needed to be replaced. This was the only confirmed use of the superweapon during the Second World War.

The German army had laid siege to the city and was able to defeat the Soviet forces inside after shattering their defences with heavy artillery.

While the Schwerer Gustav was a formidable weapon, its size created problems for the German army.

Due to its size and complexity, it required a crew of 2,000 men to operate it and took much longer to get into position as it required specially made railway tracks for transportation.

Furthermore, it was impossible to hide from enemy aircraft which meant it could only be deployed in areas where the Germans had air superiority.

Like many of the wonder weapons, the Schwerer Gustav was also costly and took up greater resources than more conventional weapons.

British Forces Net

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