Startup: Dora the Exploder

schwerer_gustavHitler inspects the Schwerer Gustav (English: Heavy Gustav), the largest rifled artillery ever deployed in combat, that fired 7 ton, 800mm shells. The gun was named after Gustav Krupp, the senior director of the company that built it. The thing was so large that it required mounting on parallel sets of railway tracks. It only ever saw use in June, 1942 during the siege of Stevastopol, where it wore out the barrel after firing only 48 rounds, a scant number compared to the roughly 250 test rounds fired before it was deployed. The gun was destroyed on purpose to prevent capture in 1945.

As the old saying goes, the first one is free. The Krupp company gave this weapon to the German army gratis. It’s sister gun – Dora (named for the senior engineer’s wife), cost the Germans several million Reichsmark but never saw combat.


  • OA5599

    Destroyed on purpose to prevent capture? I wonder what sort of explosives were required for that task.

    • Slow_Joe_Crow

      Depends on how destroyed you want it. If you just want the gun unusable, blowing up the breech block and trunnions should only require a few rucksacks full of plastique.
      As an aside these things had several locomotive sized diesel engines in the mounting to provide power for loading and aiming.

    • Deartháir

      Since it's so difficult to move, I would have thought it would have been easier to just trap it where it is. Blow up all the tracks, wreck the engines, whatever. Because at that point, even if it can fire, the enemy can only fire at themselves.

      • CaptianNemo2001

        It is covered with its own division's of dedicated AA plus the Germans for the most part had control of the airspace around it.

  • CaptianNemo2001

    You can spread the pieces out all over the place and then it is destroyed. Also you can scrap key components and make more tanks ect. ALSO you can just take a few hollow charges and strap them all over the place and burn holes in all the right places to render it useless.

    So, I was on the Kessel Run this morning and some idiot was creating a traffic jam as he did loop da loops in some old beater Corellian freighter… The jackass had the nerve to to buzz me so I knocked off his sensor array off.