Like the weapons of the Nazi army during the war years, Schwerer Gustav shook even the richest imagination
In fact, Gustav was created more for propaganda than for war. Hitler and the German generals had high hopes for this gun, but the results obtained from the use of Gustav were insignificant.
The Gustav was originally designed as a super powerful cannon, mounted on a railway platform. The main target of the 800 mm gun was the French Maginot Line, the strongest fortifications in existence at the time, as well as the fortresses on the German-Belgian border, including the famous fortified Eben-Emael fortress.
The request to develop a new weapon to destroy the fortifications of the Maginot line was made by Adolf Hitler himself during a visit to the Krupp factory in 1936. It is worth noting that the Krupp company has a lot of experience in the development of super powerful guns since World War I, such as the Big Bertha with caliber up to 419 mm, and Paris Gun with a range of up to 130km. The choice of Krupp as the developer of a “new super gun” was obvious.
The idea was quickly taken up by Krupp. A “super gun” with a caliber of up to 800 mm, firing rounds weighing about 7 tons at the target. At a time when rockets and missiles were not yet born, the ability to fire a 7-ton projectile was considered “fiction” by the whole world.
When the Nazis attacked the Soviet Union, Sevastopol became the perfect target for Schwerer Gustav. But deploying this massive gun was practically a nightmare. To transport Gustav to Crimea, the fascist army had to use up to 25 trains and about 3,800 men to set up artillery positions for 4 weeks. To operate, Gustav needed a team of 250 gunners and engineers.
Gustav fired a total of 48 shells at Sevastopol, most of which were aimed at Soviet fortresses. Can you imagine, Berlin threw away more than 1,000 tons of steel, thousands of hours of labor and millions of German Marks for just 48 shots.
In the end, Schwerer Gustav turned out to be a terrible waste of the Nazi army. Despite possessing a “monster” Gustav, Germany was unable to capture Sevastopol as quickly as planned. Sevastopol stood firm for nearly a year since the Nazi army began attacking this place.