By Marc Romanych,Martin Rupp, et al.ePub Direct|Osprey Publishing Ltd||Osprey PublishingAdult NonfictionHistoryLanguage(s): EnglishOn sale date: 20.01.2014Street date: 20.01.2014
In the early days of worldwide warfare I, Germany unveiled a brand new weapon – the cellular 42cm (16.5 inch) M-Gerät howitzer. on the time, it used to be the biggest artillery piece of its type on this planet and a heavily guarded mystery. while warfare broke out, of the howitzers have been rushed without delay from the manufacturing facility to Liege the place they quick destroyed forts and forced the fort to give up. After repeat performances at Namur, Maubeuge and Antwerp, German squaddies christened the howitzers 'Grosse' or 'Dicke Berta' (Fat or large Bertha) after Bertha von Krupp, proprietor of the Krupp armament works that outfitted the howitzers. The nickname used to be quickly picked up by way of German press which triumphed the 42cm howitzers as Wunderwaffe (wonder weapons), and the legend of massive Bertha used to be born. This booklet information the layout and improvement of German siege weapons prior to and through international conflict I. Accompanying the textual content are many infrequent, never-before-published photos of 'Big Bertha' and the opposite German siege guns....
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Extra resources for 42cm "Big Bertha" and German Siege Artillery of World War I
Wagon 4, the carriage wagon, consisted of the howitzer’s own wheeled carriage and trail coupled to a pair of front wheels. The wagon also carried the gantry platform, munitions’ hoist, and blast shield. Wagon 5, the barrel wagon, carried the howitzer’s barrel and breechblock. However, even when disassembled and loaded onto the road wagons, transport of the M-Gerät remained a problem because the howitzer could not be disassembled into loads that horses or steam-powered tractors could pull over long distances or off-road.
Gantry crane By 1916, Gamma howitzers were fitted with armored cabs to protect the crew in the event that the gun was shelled by enemy counter-battery fire. This howitzer is emplaced near Biache-Saint-Vaast in October 1917. (M. Romanych) Another 12 hours were needed to put the howitzer together. Assembly began with the crew using the gantry crane to offload the rear and front halves of the foundation from the fourth and fifth railcars, and placing them into the pit on the timber beams. Lifting loads from the railcars was time consuming, taking 16 crew members working two hand cranks, one on each side of the crane, about an hour to move a single load from a railcar.
The first tractors were modified agricultural steam-powered ploughs. They were reliable and easy to operate, but were ill suited for long distance movement because they consumed large quantities of coal and water. They also lacked the horsepower to pull the heaviest siege guns over rough terrain. Therefore, at the start of the war, the army acquired a variety of gasoline-powered tractors built by the firms of Lanz, Daimler, Podeus, Sendling, Arator, and Ilsenburg. Of these, the 80 PS (Pferdestärke or horsepower) Podeus (top) was the tractor best suited for moving the siege guns.