Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

This is coolbert: The Paris Gun, also called Wilhelmgeschutze [Wilhelm's Gun], was a wondrous weapon. Modern long range artillery of the Dr. Bull variety weapons have this weapon as a progenitor.

Here are good sites to go to for the Paris gun:

click here.

and click here.

This above site has a lot of links to other gun sites too.

and click here.

Above site is in French has translation to English. Is very good. [some parts of the translations are not soo good, but are understandable nonetheless]

The Paris gun was a wonder of war that had no real military effect, but did have a lot of psychological success. Some comments on the gun: [my comments in bold]

However, the first experimental shooting, carried out on the polygon of Altenwalde, November 20, 1917, clearly shows the potentialities of this type of revolutionary shell. Projectiles were launched to more than 100 km. In spite of these first very encouraging results, the director of artillery from Krupp maintained that the use of this type of projectile was going to raise insurmountable problems in particular because the separation of the shoe was likely to modify the trajectory of the shell.

They are talking here about a sabot round. Was not used in the final gun.

As for a suspension bridge of the stays and a central checkmate come to rigidify the long tube, preventing it from curving itself under its own weight (several guns with long tube show a hardly perceptible curve besides which righting temporarily the firing). After each shot, the tube often oscillated several minutes.

Modern cranes used in construction use a support mechanism for the long length of the boom.

But the secrecy of the guns of Paris lies in the trajectory of the shell. With a rise equal to 50 degrees, the projectile is propelled in the upper atmosphere where the rarefied air opposes less resistance to the shell and thus increases its range.

The high trajectory meant longer range as less atmospheric drag was present.

It is at the time highest altitude above surface of the Earth ever reached by a projectile launched by the man. The Gun of Paris preserved this record of 1918 to 1939, until the V-2 rocket is developed during the Second World war.

This is very impressive.

The Guns of Paris spit of the explosive projectiles of 210 Misters the wear of the tubes was such as they were to be replaced after 65 blows. In order to compensate for the extremely fast deterioration of the heart of the gun, the shells were numbered from 1 to 65 and were to be drawn in sequential order since each projectile had a gauge slightly higher than the precedent. So that the gauge of the projectile number 65 reached in fact 235 mm! The propelling load also increased with each blow, passing from 180 with 200kg for a aproximative length of 5m. The initial plan envisaged sufficient tubes of replacement to allow the continuous ramming of Paris by two guns during one year complete. The worn tubes were turned over to the Krupp factories to be recalibré with 210 Misters a total of 7 tubes were there seems it realized.

Translation is not quite right here. Misters are millimeters. Spit is the diameter, blow is a round fired, ramming is a firing upon.

The combined command, initially believing that these bombs were due to an air attack of planes or airships acting at very high altitude, mobilized the near total of air hunting with investiguer the Parisian airspace with highest altitudes, which did not give anything strictly if it is not the loss of an American pilot who lost the control of his plane and was crushed in southern suburbs after having exceeded the maximum ceiling!

This is really incredible. The French thought they were under air attack and sent out planes to find the intruders. One U.S. pilot crashed from going too high to find the intruder which did not exist.