5) 1938 Railway gun TM-3-12 –
A very interesting military specimen – the Soviet-built 1938 Railway gun TM-3-12 was actually constructed from the salvaged 1907 naval gun that was originally equipped on the sunken battleship Imperatritsa Mariya. This mammoth ordnance saw action during the concurrent Soviet-Finnish war in 1940, while also having the distinction of serving the Soviet army till 1991, during the end of Cold War.
Some of the guns were also captured by the Germans during Second World War, which were then transported all the way to the Guernsey island in the English Channel. As for the armament’s stately specifications, the TM-3-12 had a turret length of 13 m (43 ft) which could fire 314 kg shells of 305 mm caliber, up to a distance of around 43 km.
6) Schwerer Gustav –
Simply put, the Schwerer Gustav still remains largest-caliber rifled weapon ever used in combat of mankind! Designed by Krupp Industries, the gargantuan instrument of war measuring a colossal 47.3 m (155 ft) in length, 7.1 m (23 ft) in width and 11.6 m (38 ft) in height – for a total of 135,500 cubic ft volume, was used sparingly during the Siege of Sevastopol, when it’s barrel was already worn out by just firing 48 shells.
The hulking machine also holds the record for the heaviest artillery in the world with its 1,350 tons weight. Unsurprisingly, the Schwerer Gustav could fire 800-mm shells of over 7.5 tons weight, via its 32.5 m (106 ft) long barrel, with a firing range of 47 km.
7) V-3 cannon –
While not having the mammoth structural scope of the Schwerer Gustav, the V-3 (Vergeltungswaffe 3) more than made up for its with its extensive length of 130 m (430 ft). The entire armament was based upon the process of multi-charges in which a second propellant charge could significantly improve upon the velocity of the fired projectile.
The super-gun with its 165 km range was originally planned for dedicated bombarding of London from over the English Channel, and so was positioned in Pas-de-Calais in northern France. But tactful bombings raids from the Allied forces disabled the artillery’s capacity to function in a proper manner. However, a similar model was utilized for long range bombarding of Luxembourg during the later stages of the war (which was done with 150-mm caliber shells with 140 kg individual weights).
8) Haubitze M1 –
Categorized as a super-heavy howitzer, the Haubitze M1 was seen in action across many theaters of the Second World War, including France, Belgium, Poland and Russia. Flaunting its dual-recoil mechanism and a dual-component carriage, the 75 ton ordnance had a substantial barrel length of 8 m (26 ft), while having a firing range of about 21 km.
Given its howitzer-oriented characteristics, the Haubitze M1 was used for big-caliber projectiles of 356 mm that were tailored for long-drawn siege actions. To that end, it comes as no surprise that the gun adequately played its part in famous arenas like the assault on Sevastopol, the Siege of Leningrad and the Warsaw Uprising.
Many thanks to Arijit Mondal.