Right before June 26 caliber shells covered with terrible Russian positions at a frequency of 5 to sixteen rounds a day. The shelling ended the same way at one point as it had begun, leaving the Soviet side with the unresolved question: what was it?
Of Sevastopol shot "Dora" — the largest and most powerful gun, made in the history of mankind. Back in 1936 when visiting the Krupp plant Hitler claimed to have firm control heavy-duty anti-tank weapon to combat long-term facilities and the Belgian band Maginot forts. Design team of the company Krupp, work to develop a new instrument for the proposed tactical and technical project led Dr. Erich Mueller, who graduated from the project in 1937. Krupp factory immediately started producing giants.
First instrument, the name which in honor of the wife of head designer "Dora", was completed first in 1941 and cost $ 10 million Reichsmarks. The gate was at the gun wedge and loading separate-case. Full length of the barrel was 32.5 m and weight of 400 tons. (!) In a combat situation installation length was 43 m, width of 7 m and a height of 11.6 meters Full same system weight is 1350 tons. Supergun carriage consisted of a 2-railway transporters and fired plant with a dual railway track.
In the summer of 1941 the first tool delivered from the factory Krupp in Essen on an experimental test site Hillersleben 120 km to the west of Berlin. From September 10 to October 6, 1941 at the site were carried out the shooting, the results of which are quite satisfied with the Wehrmacht control. Immediately there was also the question: where to apply it superorudie?
The fact that the Maginot Line and Belgian forts Germans managed to capture in May and June 1940 without the help of a superweapon. Hitler found the "Dore" latest goal — to strengthen Gibraltar. And the plan was not feasible for two reasons: 1-x, railway bridges were built in Spain without regard for the carriage of goods such weight in-2 — General Franco was not going to miss the German troops through the countryside of Spain.
Finally, in February 1942, the Chief of Army Staff, General Halder gave the order to send the "Dora" in the Crimea and at the disposal of the commander of the 11th Army, Colonel-General von Manstein to shell Sevastopol.
The effective firing range — 40 km. The total weight of 1,344 tons, 400 tons of weight barrel, barrel length of 32 m, the caliber of 800 mm, the length of the projectile (without propellant) 3.75 m, shell weight 7.1 tons
April 25, 1942 5 trains with the disassembled gun mounts and servicing division secretly arrived at the stop Tashly-Dair (now the village of Amber), 30 km to the south of the railway node Dzhankoi. Entry for "Dora" was selected, 25 km from the firing purposes contemplated in Sevastopol and 2 km to the south of the railway station Bakhchisarai. The position of a top-secret weapon was decided to build a clean field in the nude as a desk area where there was no rock shelters, not even a little fishing line. Low hill between the river Churuk-Su and steel road was opened to the longitudinal groove depth of 10 m and a width of about 200 m to the station Bakhchisaraj spent kilometer branch and west mound laid "whiskers" that provided the angle of the horizontal fire of 45 degrees.
Work on the construction of a firing position were conducted around the clock for 4 weeks. Was attracted 600 military construction of railway, 1,000 workers' Trudfront "organization" Todt "1,500 local residents and several hundred prisoners of war. The air defense provides reliable masking and constant patrols over the area of fighters from the 8th Air Corps, General Richthofen. Next to your battery built a 88-mm anti-aircraft guns and 20-mm anti-aircraft machine guns. In addition, the "Douro" served dymomaskirovki Division 2 of the Romanian infantry companies, a platoon of dogs and special motorized team field gendarmerie. In total, the combat activity of guns provided more than 4 thousand people.
Gestapo declared the entire area of the forbidden zone with all the ensuing consequences. The measures taken have been so successful that none of the arrival in the Crimea, or even the very existence of "Dora" Russian command had not found out until 1945!
Contrary to the official history of the Black Sea Fleet command, headed by Admiral worked the October one stupidity after another. Until 1943, it is holy to believe that back in June of 1941 in the Dark Sea entered the Italian fleet, and fought with him stubborn fighting — put minefields, fabulous bombarded enemy submarines torpedoed and existed only in the fevered imagination of the enemy ships. As a result of its own mines and torpedoes died 10's combat and transport ships of the Black Sea Fleet! Sevastopol Defense Command Region is banished to court for alarmism and junior officers of the Red Army, to report the tremendous explosions of shells, then, on the contrary, reported to Moscow on the application of the Germans 24-inch (610-mm) railway installations.
After the end of the fighting in the Crimea in May 1944 a special commission was seeking extra heavy guns firing position near the villages Duvankov (now Verhnesadovoe) and Zalankoy (front), but failed. Documents on the use of "Dora" is not found in the middle of the Red Army booty captured in Germany. Because Russian military historians have concluded that the "Dora" at Sevastopol were not there, and all the rumors about her — misinformation Abwehr. But the writers' drew off "to" Dora "for the full program there. In the framework of the 10-detective stories heroic spies, partisans, pilots and navigators found and destroyed, "Dora." There were people who "for destruction" Doorway "," were awarded government merits, and one of them even received the title of Hero of the Russian Union.
The emergence of legends around the "Dora" and the action helped her 7-ton shells, the effectiveness of which has been close to … zero! Of the 53 released 800-mm shells only 5 hit the target. Division 672 observation points marked
on the battery hit number 365, a reference Fri Infantry Regiment, 95th Infantry Division, and teams Fri anti-aircraft battalion of the 61st Air Defence Regiment.
However, Manstein in his book "Lost Victories" wrote: "The gun one shot killed a large ammunition depot on the North shore of the bay, nestled in the mountains at a depth of 30 m." Note that none of the beam drifts Soekarno was not blown up German artillery fire until the last days of the North side of the defense of Sevastopol, in other words until June 25-26. And the explosion, which is described by Manstein, derived from the detonation of ammunition, openly laid out on the bay and prepared for evacuation to the south side. When firing at the other objects shells lay at a distance of 100 to 740 m from the target.
The headquarters of the 11th German Army chose the target enough to no avail. First, for the purposes of armor-piercing projectiles, "Dora" had become a coastal battery tower number 30 and number 35, secured the command centers of the fleet, the Maritime Coastal Defence and the Army, Navy communications centers, galleries underground arsenals special plant number 1 and number 2, and fuel depots, the covered in the thickness of Inkerman limestone, but it almost did not shoot.
What's all the same for the eight shells fired by the coastal battery number 16, that is not nothing but a confusion of German intelligence. Established there 254-mm guns were removed in the late 1920s, and since that time no one was there. By the way, I clambered and took off all the battery number 16 up and down, but no severe injuries have been found. Later, Chief of the General Staff of the Wehrmacht Colonel-General Halder rated "Dora" as: "A real work of art, but, unfortunately, useless."
In addition to "Dora" in Germany were made two more of its 800-millimeter sisters who, but in the fighting did not participate. In 1944, the Germans were planning to use "Dora" for shooting with the French countryside around London. For this purpose, we developed three-stage rockets N.326. In addition the company Krupp designed for the "Dora" a new barrel with a smooth channel of the caliber of 52 cm and a length of 48 meters. The firing range of 100 km was assumed. But the projectile contained a total of 30 kg of explosive and explosive action was insignificant compared with the V-1 and V-2. Hitler gave the order to finish the work on the 52-cm barrel and claimed the creation of the guns firing explosive shells weighing 10 tons from 1.2 tons of explosives. It is clear that the creation of such weapons was a fantasy.
April 22, 1945, while coming in Bavaria 3rd U.S. Army, advanced patrols one of the parts when passing through the forest, 36 km north of the town of Auerbach found in a dead end lane 14 languid train platforms and the remains scattered along the tracks a large and complex iron structure very warped explosion. Later in closely spaced tunnel were found and other details — namely, the two cyclopean artillery barrel (one of which was intact), part of the carriages, bolt, etc. Poll prisoners showed that the observed structures are owned high-powered guns "Dora" and "Gustav". At the end of the survey the remains of the two pieces of artillery passed into scrap metal.
The third super-powerful weapon — one of the "Gustavian" — appeared in the Russian zone of occupation, and his impending fate unknown to Western scholars. The creator found a mention of it in the "Report of the Commissioner of the Ministry of weapons work in Germany in 1945-1947." V.2. According to the report: "… in July 1946, a special group of Russian professionals on the instructions of the Ministry of armaments undertaken a study of 800-mm setting" Gustav ". Group prepared a report with the description, drawings and photographs of 800-mm guns, and carried out the work in preparation for the removal of 800-mm railway installation "Gustav" in the USSR. "
In 1946-1947, a train with parts of the 80-cm guns "Gustav" arrived at Stalingrad to the plant "Barricades". The plant instrument has been studied for 2-years. According to information acquired from veterans KB, the plant was entrusted to make a similar system, but in the archives of the evidence that I have not found. By 1950, the remains of the "Gustav" was sent to the factory ground, where they were kept until 1960, and then was scrapped.
Coupled with the instrument to the factory "Barricades" was delivered seven shell casings. 6 of them then put into scrap metal, and one that was used as a fire barrel, survived and was later sent to the Malakhov Kurgan. This is all that remains of the greatest tools in the history of mankind.