2A3 “Capacitor-2P” — Soviet experimental self-propelled artillery special power. Not commercially produced.

Create especially powerful self-propelled 406-mm gun began in 1954 Cannon was intended to destroy large military and industrial objects of the enemy with conventional and nuclear shells. In the designing period, the system received the designation 2A3 “Capacitor-21П”. Special vosjmimetrovaya suspension the gun was created on the basis of tank T-10M. Virtually unchanged from the design of the tank was taken and powerplant

**Seized Artillery, 1941**

Pictured is Gabriel Tossu, a Finnish soldier, who is posing with captured Soviet field artillery; a Russian Maxim 1910 water cooled machine gun on a Sokolov mount, and the larger Soviet 76mm regimental gun M1927 (76-мм полковая пушка обр. 1927), known to the Finns as a 76 RK/27.

Gabriel Tossu was presumably a war correspondent and Finnish soldier. He is possibly the Finnish author Eino H Ahti whose pen name was Gabriel Tossu, making him 47 years of age in 1941, participating in the Finnish re-conquest of Ladoga Karelia.
20th of August, 1941.

Location - Kilpeenjoki, now modern day Комсомо́льскоe (Komsomolskoye), Russia, roughly 11 miles from the present day Finnish border.
(Nb.The Finnish army attacked on both sides of the lake Ladoga, On the north side, between lake Ladoga and lake Onega, and on the south side, the Karelian isthmus, between lake Ladoga and the gulf of Finland. This picture is taken on the latter front, north-east of the city of Vyborg.)

One of the less well known conflicts during World War II were numerous hostilities between Finland and the Soviet Union, beginning with the Winter War of 1939 - 1940 and beyond in the Continuation War (also known as the Great Patriotic War) between 1941 - 1944.

The Soviet Union ostensibly sought to claim parts of Finnish territory, demanding—amongst other concessions—that Finland cede substantial border territories in exchange for land elsewhere, claiming security reasons, primarily the protection of Leningrad, which was only 32 km (20 mi) from the Finnish border. Finland refused and the USSR invaded the country.

Finland eventually ceded just over 10% of its former land to the Soviet Union, now modern day Karelia in the Moscow Peace Treaty, preserving Finnish independence.

Though there was a small period of tenuous peace, hostilities resumed the following year in the tumult of both Nazi and Soviet expansion in Europe. Following its restoration of diplomatic relations with Germany who intended to use Finland as a base of operations against the Soviet Union from the west, the Finns changed their strategy from one of defence to re-conquest against the continued subjugation of the Soviet Union.

Letting the Germans begin the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, a month later the Finns initiated a major offensive on the Karelian region and northern Lake Ladoga - the area in which this photograph was taken - re-capturing their ceded territories. At the end of the war, the Finns conceded the same territories as part of the Moscow Peace Treaty, but avoiding occupation by the Soviet Union.

(Source - Courtesy of SA-kuva - Photograph by Vänrikki (2nd Lt.) P. Myllymäki of the Information Company (IC) photographers, TK-kuvaaja. Item #39081)

[More on the Finnish reconquest of Ladoga Karelia](

(Colourised by Jordan J Lloyd)


Soviet Nuclear Artillery during the Cold War,

In the 1950’s one interesting Cold War concept was the use of large caliber artillery pieces to deliver nuclear payloads to a target.  The first was an American gun, designated the M65 but nicknamed “Atomic Annie”.  Atomic Annie was designed in 1949 and first tested in 1953, delivering a shell that resulted in a nuclear blast roughly the same size as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

In response to America’s “Atomic Annie”, the Soviets decided they needed a similar type weapon in order to keep up with the Cold War arms race.  The Soviets would create a similar weapon, only bigger and better.  In 1955, the 2A3 Kondensator 2P was introduced, a self propelled nuclear artillery piece which could fire 420mm (16 inch) shell roughly 16 miles. It was a massive gun, the Atomic Annie being only 280mm, although having a range 4 miles greater. The 2A3 Kondensator first became known to the West in 1957 when it was featured in a parade in Red Square in 1957.  Four 2A3 Kondensators were produced.  In 1957, the Soviets upped the ante by building an even larger gun called the 2B1 Oka, which was a 420mm (17 inch) gun with a larger, longer barrel to increase range.

Both guns had a very short service life.  In 1960, Nikita Khrushchev instituted a series of military reforms which ended production and research into nuclear artillery.  The invention and perfection of intercontinental ballistic missiles made the nuclear artillery concept obsolete, as ICBM’s have much greater range and power.  After 1960, Soviet research into nuclear warfare focused on rocket and missile delivery systems, abandoning the use of nuclear artillery.  The United States likewise did the same.