As the fortifications on the Belgian and French sides were increasingly reinforced by concrete with iron bars, the artillery board of examiners was looking for better weapons to effectively combat these fortifications in case of war.
The developments lasted until 1893, the further testing phases then followed until 1896, until 1897 the first heavy mortars were delivered for the fight against fortifications.
One of these models was the Krupp 30.5-cm Coastal Mortar Model. As early as 1908, the company delivered the first experimental model, whose test results convinced and ordered a second mortar.
The model of the 30.5-cm mortar was designed for transport over the road or through the field railway. However, before the gun could be brought into operational position, a ballast weighing more than 10 tons had to be produced, which usually took around 12 hours.
At the outbreak of the First World War, these two guns were combined in the Sw. Coast Bt. 5: 2nd Army.
|Designation:||30.5-cm heavy coastal mortar|
|Country of Origin:||German Empire|
|Number of pieces:||2|
|Rate of fire:||1 shot/2 min|
You can find the right literature here:
German Artillery: 1914-1918 (Fact File)
The importance of artillery in warfare grew more and more throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. New developments such as solid cannon barrels improved hit accuracy and the range of projectiles. This Fact File volume focuses on German Artillery during the Great War, when it could be argued that artillery was for the first time the dominant weapon on the battlefield. Wolfgang Fleischer discusses the diversity of artillery developed and used during the First World War by the Germans.
42cm 'Big Bertha' and German Siege Artillery of World War I (New Vanguard)
Big Bertha, Germany's World War I top secret mobile artillery piece, easily destroyed French and Belgian forts, helping set the stage for trench warfare.
In the first days of World War I, Germany unveiled a new weapon - the mobile 42cm (16.5 inch) M-Gerät howitzer. At the time, it was the largest artillery piece of its kind in the world and a closely guarded secret. When war broke out, two of the howitzers were rushed directly from the factory to Liege where they quickly destroyed two forts and compelled the fortress to surrender. After repeat performances at Namur, Maubeuge and Antwerp, German soldiers christened the howitzers 'Grosse' or 'Dicke Berta' (Fat or Big Bertha) after Bertha von Krupp, owner of the Krupp armament works that built the howitzers. The nickname was soon picked up by German press which triumphed the 42cm howitzers as Wunderwaffe (wonder weapons), and the legend of Big Bertha was born. To the Allies, the existence of the howitzers came as a complete surprise and the sudden fall of the Belgian fortresses spawned rumors and misinformation, adding to the 42cm howitzer's mythology.
In reality, 'Big Bertha" was but the last in a series of large-caliber siege guns designed by the German Army for the purpose of destroying concrete fortifications. It was also only one of two types of 42cm calibre howitzers built for the army by Krupp and only a small part of the siege artillery available to the German Army at the outset of the war. Such were the successes of the German siege guns that both the French and British Armies decided to field their own heavy siege guns and, after the German guns handily destroyed Russian forts during the German offensives in the east in 1915, the French Army abandoned their forts. However, by 1916, as the war settled into a stalemate, the effectiveness of the siege guns diminished until, by war's end, 'Big Bertha' and the other siege guns were themselves outmoded.
This book details the design and development of German siege guns before and during World War I, to include four models of 30.5cm mortars, two versions of 28cm howitzers, and two types of 42cm howitzers (including 'Big Bertha'); in total, eight different types of siege guns. Accompanying the text are many rare, never before published, photographs of 'Big Bertha' and the other German siege guns. Colour illustrations depict the most important aspects of the German siege artillery.
German Artillery of World War One
World War I introduced the use of artillery on a hitherto unprecedented scale, changing the very nature of war from a series of set-piece battles to stalemates punctuated by attacks on frontlines. Starting with development of German artillery through 1914, this illustrated history describes in detail the light and heavy howitzers used by the Germans before going on to examine heavy mortars and long-range weapons. Specialist weapons for mountain, coastal and railway use are also covered, along with specialist engineer and infantry guns.
Railway Guns: British and German Guns at War
In the nineteenth century the War Office showed little interest in developing large heavy artillery for its land forces, preferring instead to equip its warships with the biggest guns. Private initiatives to mount a gun on a railway truck pulled by a steam engine were demonstrated before military chiefs in the Southern Counties, but not taken up. However, the development of longer-range guns, weighing up to 250 tons, to smash through the massive armies and trench systems on the Western Front in 1916, led to a rethink. The only way to move these monsters about quickly in countryside thick with mud was to mount them on specially built railway trucks towed by locomotives.
The railway guns were to be put on little-used country lines where they could fire on beaches, road junctions and harbors. The locations and cooperation given by the independent railway companies is explained, as are the difficulties of using the same lines for war and civilian traffic.
The First World War also saw the emergence of large training camps for railway men. When the war ended most railway guns were dismantled and lost in ordnance depots. The Army Council was uncertain about artillery needs in a future war, so training, and development stopped.
This book largely concentrates on the realities of the time, the type of gun, the locomotives, artillery targets, locations, and what it was like when firing took place. It is fully illustrated with pictures, maps and plans covering different aspects of railway guns their locomotives and equipment.