The era of cyclopean bombards
Period in history from 1360 to 1460 year rightly got the title, though unofficial, "the era of cyclopean bombards" — in other words, guns, made of forged steel longitudinal strips held together and strengthened cross outside, also steel, hoops, because of what they were like elongated barrel. Carriage with them was a regular wood box, and even that was not there. Then the trunk laid on land mound, and behind him all the way to build a stone wall or killed in the ground sharpened logs. Gauges with them from the beginning was just Straseni. For example, in mortar "Pumhard" (Military History Museum, Vienna), made first XV century, has had a caliber 890 mm, in other words almost as much as the prince and metropolitan Tsar Cannon cast by Andrey Chokhov century and a half later. Another bombard the end of the XV century, which had a caliber of 584 mm was made already casting agent, and behold it can be at the Military Museum in Paris.
East kept up with the Europeans. Namely, the Turks during the siege of Constantinople in 1453, used a tremendous weapon formed caster Urban. Caliber gun was 610 mm. The position of this monster brought 60 bulls and 100 workers.
By the way, light guns appeared almost immediately with wrought, but long enough nor those of any other of its positions at each other did not concede. For example, back in 1394 in Frankfurt-am-Main was cast cannon caliber of exactly 500 mm, and it was worth as much as a herd of 442 cattle, and one of her shot was estimated at 9 cattle, if we continue to assume " live weight "!
In general, the biggest gun in the Middle Ages, this was not bombard or even the creation of Andrew Chokhov, no matter how impressive it may seem, as an instrument of an Indian rajah Gopola Tanzhura. Wishing to perpetuate the memory of themselves by a stately affair, he gave the order to cast a cannon that would not have been equal to itself. Made in 1670, the gun-colossus has a size of 7.3 m, which is more than two meters of the Tsar Cannon, although his caliber it is still inferior to Russian.
Plainclothes war in the United States between the northern and southern states most severely contributed to the emergence of a new weapons — armored ships and trains, and the creation of means to combat them. First it was languishing smoothbore gun-Columbiad, named in honor of the 1st of the first tools of this type. One of these tools — Rodman Columbiad, made in 1863, had a barrel of caliber 381 mm, and its weight reached 22.6 tons!
Scary gun on the water and on land
After Columbiad quite scary guns and caliber, and the size of the barrel appeared on the sea.
For example, in 1880 the British battleship "Benbow" caliber guns were mounted 412 mm and a weight of 111 tons! Even more impressive guns of this type were cast on Motovilikhinsky plant in Perm. With the caliber of 508 mm, gun was to shoot (and shoot!) cores weighing 500 kg! And in the days of the First World War, not only on the ships, but also on land theater of war appeared 400mm (France), and 420-mm (Germany) guns, while the Germans it was towed mortar such as "Big Bertha "and the French — tool on a special train carriage. Weight shells "Big Bertha" reached 810 kg, and the shells of French guns — 900! It is interesting that the Navy at the highest caliber naval guns and did not exceed 460 mm, while for ground guns turned out that this is not the limit!
More "small-caliber" in the middle of the land of monster guns were Russian installing SM-54 (2AZ) — rifled 406-mm self-propelled gun to fire nuclear warheads "capacitor" and 420-mm self-propelled "atomic" mortar 2B2 "Oka". Weight was 64 tons of guns and shell weight — 570 kg, with a maximum firing range of 25.6 miles!
In 1957, these cars were displayed in a military parade on Red Square in the literal sense of the word shocked as foreign military attaches and journalists, as well as our Russian inhabitants. Later, frustration and even wrote that shown in the parade car — it's less than a sham, designed for deterrent effect, but nevertheless it was completely real cars that were released, however, in the amount of 4 copies.
More mnogokalibernymi were of early German self-propelled mortar "Karl". Recently made the second world war, these units were first caliber 600 mm, but after the establishment of a resource on their trunks were placed on the trunks of the smallest cross section is — 510 mm. Used them at Sevastopol and at Warsaw, but without much of success. One trophy ACS 'Karl' is preserved to this day and is in the tank museum in Kubinka.
The same company "Krupp," which made the ACS 'Karl', released and absolutely fantastic supergun "doorway pages" on the train during the total weight of 1,350 tons, and its size is … 800 mm? Explosive projectile to the "doorway pages" weighed 4.8 tons and betonoboynymi — 7.1 tonnes when firing range of 38 to 47 km per se projectile could penetrate an armor iron width of 1 m, 8 m concrete plus a layer of earth up to 32 meters wide!
That's only for the transportation of "Doorway" was required as many as four railway tracks, immediately moved her two diesel locomotives, and served 1,420 people. Overall, the work on the gun position under the same Sevastopol provided 4370 people, which does not correspond to the results of more than moderate her shooting. "Doorway" has made about 50 shots, then the barrel has worn, and she was taken out of Sevastopol. The gun barrel with the new German command planned to throw at Leningrad, but the Germans did not do it in time. Later Nazis "doorway pages" undermined, that she di
d not get into the hands of enemies of the Reich.
Such a big "David Small"
Surpassed "doorway pages" 914-mm mortar South American "Little David." It was created as a device to test mnogokalibernyh bombs in order to save aviation fuel and aircraft engines Aircraft resource for test, but in 1944 it decided to rework a means to defeat the Japanese fortifications in the case of a landing on the Japanese islands. Weight of one hundred percent of the collected weapons was relatively small — only 82.8 tons, but to install it in position to expend 12 hours! Charge the "Little David" from the muzzle, as well as mortar. But as the projectile to it weighed 1690 kg, that it had to do with a special crane!
The project was closed in 1946 because it showed his complete lack of prospects, but this very one mortar shell and it survived and is now possible to see them in the open air museum in the Aberdeen Proving Ground in the United States.
And the most guns of mnogokalibernymi including installations in 1856 coastal mortars Mallett, who had the caliber of 920 mm. Weight was 50 tons of mortars, and she fired a kernel vesivshim 1250 kg. Both tools have successfully passed the tests, but did not get popular, as were so very massive.