Friday, July 29, 2011

3 Of The Biggest Guns In History

Guns? You mean the patriotic symbol of freedom, peace, happiness, and security right? Of course. Throughout history, humans have created weapons in varying size, volume, weight, and effectiveness. Below, we'll discuss the biggest, most hardcore weapons ever constructed. What does that mean? It means that it's time to take off your bunny shoes and your pink socks, it's big-boy time.

In a disclaimer-like fashion, I'll like to point out that I'm going to list four of many un-worldly sized guns in this post, and that they are not in order depending on awesomeness. So don't start sending your hate mail if your favorite super-gun was unmentioned. (Although you should mention it below in the comments, we might just add it here.)

The Paris Gun - Germany

Named after the city it bombarded during World War 1, it's one of the largest guns you'll ever see. Although in Paris, they never saw it coming, literally.

Why would that be? How could the millions of people in Paris miss a gun that weighed 246 tons, 28 meters long, and was as tall as a skyscraper*? Maybe it's due to the fact that it was used to bombard cities at over 81 miles away? The Germans could sit around in beach houses full of women partying for hours before the people in Paris discover that the sky is not in fact falling.

The projectiles used in the gun, have been known to punch a 3.35 foot hole across into the ground, penetrating almost an entire meter into the ground. If you found yourself under one of these giant beast, you'll certainly not be enjoying bacon and eggs with your family the next morning.

The weapon was used 75 miles away from Paris and was so far away, they had to calculate the spin of the earth into the calculations when they fired the beast; we can probably assume that everyone involved was extremely hardcore.

What's missing on this picture is a manly mustache for everyone here. (A man-tache)

During World War 2, 75 miles away from Paris, 80 trained men operating one of the largest weapons in history. The weapon could be compared to a over-glorified giant musket, which in reality, was dangerously un-lethal. Despite it's hyped-up size and length, the projectiles used in the weapon had extremely limited effectiveness in terms of exploding everyone into little bits of bone and flesh.

Only 15% of the weight of the projectile was explosive material, which sadly led to fewer sharp pieces of metal puncturing enemy organs. 

Another "con" about the gun was strongly related to how powerful it was. Each time they shot a projectile, the "bullet" would travel such great velocities that large amounts of steel was worn away from the weapon each time it fired. What does that mean? It means that every time they shoot the gun, they would have to use a bigger projectile.

After purchasing such magical weapon, one would receive a set of bullets, each slight bigger than the rest. Thanks to the manufacturing-related genius of the weapon, the act of firing 65 rounds or so would force you to send the gun back to the manufactures to bring the gun back to working condition.

Why would the Germans use such in-effective weapons? Is it because of the classic "bad guys" in movies using flimsy pistols, shooting randomly everywhere scenario? No, because the gun was designed for psychological warfare. (Because actually doing something is over-rated.)

However, as a psychological weapon to psych out the opponent, it definitely worked out. If you woke up in the morning and found 9.4 inches solid hunks of metal flying across the Paris sky, crashing into houses everywhere, you'll have doubts about your country's ability to protect you too. When the guns were first used, many thought that they were getting bombed by super-advance airships by the Germans, but that was later ruled out since they discovered that the explosives were "shells" and not bombs.


They later deduced that a cannon was being used near or even inside of Paris. They searched abandoned houses and buildings for hours. Eventually, a French Scout discovered the giants cannons placed 75 miles away from the city. So we safely say, some people left work a little embarrassed that day.

The gun succeeded in killing 250 people, and injuring 620 people in its service for its country. So obviously this gun isn't like the legendary "White Death" or anything, but it probably did do its share of scaring the crap out of everyone.

Awwwwww  Yeeeaaaaah.

The Schwerer Gustav - Germany

It's like a train-tank.

This gun was one of the largest guns ever used in World War 2. The gun is known to be the largest caliber weapon ever used in real combat in history. Only to be surpassed by the other weapons I might talk about later, this gun truly takes the cake for being rudimentarily large.

The gun weighted 1,350 metric tons, and shot projectiles weighting 7 metric tons. So yeah, it's a step up from out puny "Paris Gun" back in World War 1. In fact, get this, the gun was made by the same manufactuerers that made the "Paris Gun". Their slogan was probably "We make guns really big for the sake of making them big."

The gun was massive, it took 250 men to assemble it, in three days. (Along with 2,500 good men to dig and lay tracks. Which still hasn't accounted for about 1,500 men battalions defending the weapon from air attacks with flak guns.) This gun was technically capable of shooting a school-bus-full-of-babies-sized projectiles at you. It was like the freaking Death Star-- except we can make a safe bet that they didn't include a large open vent with a explosive-triggered self-destruct mechanism on it.

"Why did we put that there?!"

When the weapon was still being tested, Adolf Hitler doubted the feasibility and the usefulness of such a giant weapon. Tests shown that the weapon using a 7 tonne shell, it was capable to penetrate 21 feet of concrete and 3 feet of solid steel. After presenting the weapon to Adolf Hitler, he was awed. He was amazed at how hardcore it was, he soiled his pants six times before requesting to leave the room*. He ordered that 11 tonne shells could only be used under his discretion after approving such weapon, because he obviously knew that such hardcoreness could not be left in the hands of his generals.

The projectiles that the weapon used were 31 inch shells (Diameter-wise). How big is that? Allow me to explain with the common expression, "It's as big as a tank."

As big as a tank? Bah, bigger then a tank.

The weapon was made to operate on railways and was intended to destroy heavy fortifications. Considering the shell size depicted above, you probably wouldn't use one of these to light your little sisters birthday candles. The best part was that the company that made the weapon, Krupp, gave away the first weapon for free; the second one ("Dora") cost Germany 7 Million Reichsmarks. (They knew how to drive a hard bargain.)

Project Babylon - Iraq
(Hover your mouse over the picture for special effects)
Project Babylon? Summer action/thriller/conspiracy movie right? Sorry, no. Project Babylon was a special little project led by a ambitious young gentlemen named Gerald Bull. Gerald, who has previously been charged of illegal arms dealing various times, decided to get funding from "new sources" after being accused of such horrible accusations. He ended up with the famed Saddam Hussein, who probably welcomed him with opened hands. Why?

The original goal of the project was to create superweapons for Iraq, although some have speculated that Gerald may have been using it as an excuse to continue his past projects and rank up as much funding mo. The first prototype was simply a test, but that didn't mean it was a couple cardboard tubes with rubber bands attached to it. It was a 151 feet cannon capable to shooting 350mm rounds.

The second was essentially useless for military purposes. It was so large, that it had to be dug into a mountainside for support. It was about five times larger then the previous prototype with a bore three times larger then the previous prototype. Some speculation has occurred that Gerald was building a Space Gun. The entire thing weighed 2,100 tons, which was basically 210 school buses with children inside of them. (You know how I love them school buses.)
<Insert evil scientist laugh here>

Instead of using millions of gallons of special space-fuel to propel rockets to space, why not use cheaper fuels to shoot the buggers straight up there? 

The reason that the second prototype couldn't be used as a weapon, was due to the fact that guns that shoot things into space are generally loud, and distinct. You wouldn't mistake one of these for a firefly. Along with the fact that it was buried into the mountainside, it was basically unmovable and thus very difficult to protect.

Before the third supergun could be completed, Gerald was assassinated on his way home to his apartment. After the lead designer was killed, the project was ditched.

(Hover your mouse over the picture for special effects)
Various countries "claimed" pieces of the cannons by seizing them under "law". On 1991, by the end of the Persian Gulf War, Iraq admitted that Project Babylon existed, and allowed United Nations inspectors to destroy all hardware and items associated with the project as part of the disarmament process after the war. What Gerald was really planning, who knows.

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