railway artillery

German soldiers preparing ammunition for 38 cm SK L/45 “Max” a.k.a. “Langer Max” (on the background). Originally built as a naval gun, it was adapted for land service on the Western Front.

Initially, these guns saw action in fixed positions at Verdun in February 1915. A railroad mount was designed later to increase its mobility, and as railroad guns, they participated in the 1918 Spring Offensives and the Second Battle of the Marne.

Seven examples of “Langer Max” survived the war but were destroyed in the early1920s.

via armorjournal.com


15 cm SK L/45 “Nathan” Railroad Gun

Desperate for long-range artillery in the early part of World War I, Germany resorted to mounting naval guns on wheeled carriages as well as rail cars. The wheeled carriages were less than successful due to their great weight, but the rail-mounted guns rather more so. All of the naval guns received nicknames and were crewed by sailors. They first saw service in 1918.

The 15 cm SK L/45 fired a 97 lb shell with 11 lbs of HE a distance of 22,675 m or 14 miles.


17 cm SK L/40 i.R.L. auf Eisenbahnwagen “Samuel” Railway Gun

Krupp naval cannons that served as secondary armament for the Braunschweig and Deutschland class pre-dreadnaughts. In World War I, several of these guns were demounted from ships and put on wheeled carriages. However, the guns were still too heavy to move around. The solution was to place the 17cm SK L/40 i.R. on railway cars (still on their carriages)

The 17cm SK L/40 were named “Samuel” by their crews. “Samuel” could fire 141 lb shells some 16,900 m (10.5 miles).


“DORA"— super heavy railway artillery gun with a caliber of 800 mm, Designed by the firm of Krupp (Germany) in late 1930-ies. Was intended to destroy the fortifications of the Maginot line and fortifications on the border of Germany and Belgium. A weapon was used during the assault of Sevastopol in 1942 and the suppression of the Warsaw uprising in September-October 1944

sansskeleton0802 submitted:

Here i am again wanting to learn even more! Please explain this beautiful thing to me mr. enrique, the knowledge god

>The knowledge god

Oh jeez, thanks for the compliment man, but I’m a jack-of-all-trades overall, good enough to talk about things superficially, but not to the point I can take you in-depth most of the time.

Now, with that said, I was able to find this particular piece, which at first I thought it was french, but in fact it belongs to Imperial Russia, the 305mm 1938 Railway Gun TM-3-12:

This model was made with cannons salvaged from the (imperial) russian dreadnought battleship Imperatritsa Mariya, lost in 1916 due to magazine explosion, and used by both the Soviets and Finns (captured) in 1940 during the winter and continuation wars; after WWII the Finns gave them back to the Soviets, whom maintained them operational until 1991, and finally retired them in 1999, the last siege weapons in service.