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42cm 'Big Bertha' and German Siege Artillery of WWI by Marc Romanych, Martin Rupp, Henry Morshead

By Marc Romanych, Martin Rupp, Henry Morshead

Within the early days of worldwide battle I, Germany unveiled a brand new weapon – the cellular 42cm (16.5 inch) M-Gerät howitzer. on the time, it used to be the most important artillery piece of its type on the planet and a heavily guarded mystery. while struggle broke out, of the howitzers have been rushed at once from the manufacturing facility to Liege the place they speedy destroyed forts and forced the citadel to give up. After repeat performances at Namur, Maubeuge and Antwerp, German infantrymen christened the howitzers ‘Grosse’ or ‘Dicke Berta’ (Fat or titanic Bertha) after Bertha von Krupp, proprietor of the Krupp armament works that outfitted the howitzers. The nickname used to be quickly picked up by way of German press which triumphed the 42cm howitzers as Wunderwaffe (wonder weapons), and the legend of huge Bertha was once born. This ebook information the layout and improvement of German siege weapons sooner than and through international conflict I. Accompanying the textual content are many infrequent, never-before-published pictures of ‘Big Bertha’ and the opposite German siege weapons. color illustrations depict crucial features of the German siege artillery.

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Extra resources for 42cm 'Big Bertha' and German Siege Artillery of WWI

Example text

Artillery fire began on October 6 and the river crossing was launched on the 7th. The siege batteries shelled Serbian strong points opposite the river crossing. KMK Battery 1’s Gamma howitzers briefly shelled the 15th century medieval-style fortress of Semendria (Smederevo) fortress. Despite its age, the stout construction of the fortress held up well under the shelling and was not heavily damaged when it fell on the 11th. With the advent of trench warfare on the Western Front, there were few notable actions involving siege artillery.

Bombardment opened five days later by several batteries of heavy artillery intermittently firing on the northernmost fortifications. The shelling increased over the next few days as more artillery and the siege guns joined in, although shortages of ammunition kept the heavy and siege artillery from achieving rates of fire similar to that at Liège and Namur. At its peak, eight 21cm howitzer and five siege artillery batteries were firing. 5cm Skoda batteries fired on Fort Boussois and neighboring interval work Rocq.

Com destroying eight of the viaduct’s arches. From there, the battery was sent to shell the citadel at Arras and the city of Loos during June and July where, like other siege artillery batteries on the Western Front that year, it had no great effect on the fighting. 1916 – Verdun At the beginning of the year, KMK Battery 7 was formed with two M-Gerät howitzers, bringing the total number of 42cm guns in service to 13, and the total number of siege guns to 26. The battery, along with all other 42cm batteries, was assigned to the Fifth Army for the offensive at Verdun.

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