Schwerer Gustav and Dora were the names of two German 80 cm K (E) railway guns. They were developed in the late 1930s by Krupp as siege artillery for destroying the forts of the French Maginot Line
About this creation
This is my pride and joy. A minifig scale Schwerer Gustav. It's the result of over 12 hours of effort and many, many LDD crashes. LDD would not allow me to elevate the barrel despite all obstructions having been removed. Anyway, enjoy.
Main photo courtesy of Alex Sonny
In 1934 the German Army High Command (OKH) commissioned Krupp of Essen to design a gun to destroy the forts of the French Maginot Line which were nearing completion. The gun's shells had to punch through seven metres of reinforced concrete or one full metre of steel armour plate, from beyond the range of French artillery. Krupp engineer Erich Müller calculated that the task would require a weapon with a calibre of around 80 cm, firing a projectile weighing 7 tonnes from a barrel 30 metres long. The weapon would have a weight of over 1000 tonnes. The size and weight meant that to be at all movable it would need to be supported on twin sets of railway tracks
The whole thing is 6054 bricks. For comparison, the Lego ultimate Millennium Falcon pictured above, is 5000 pieces.
Two guns were ordered. The first round was test-fired from the commissioned gun barrel on 10 September 1941 from a makeshift gun carriage on the Hillersleben firing range. In November 1941 the barrel was taken to Rügenwald, where 8 further firing tests were carried out using the 7,100 kilogram armour-piercing (AP) shell out to a range of 37,210 metres.
The gun could fire a heavy concrete-piercing shell and a lighter high-explosive shell. A super-long-range rocket projectile was also planned with a range of 150 km, that would require the barrel being extended to 84 metres.
In keeping with the tradition of the Krupp company, no payment was asked for the first gun. They charged seven million Reichsmark for the second gun Dora, named after the senior engineer's wife.
On February 1942, Heavy Artillery Unit (E) 672 reorganized and went on the march, and Schwerer Gustav began its long ride to the Crimea. The train carrying the gun was of 25 cars, a total length of 1.5 kilometres. The gun reached the Perekop Isthmus in early March 1942, where it was held until early April. A special railway spur line was built to the Simferopol-Sevastopol railway 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north of the target, at the end of which four semi-circular tracks were built specially for the Gustav to traverse. Outer tracks were required for the cranes which assembled Gustav
Schwerer Gustav required a total of 5350 men to make it combat operational. 250 men were needed to assemble the gun. A further 2,500 were required to lay track and dig embankments. 2 Flak battalions comprising of 1300 men each were necessary to protect the gun from air attack.
By the end of the siege on 4 July the city of Sevastopol lay in ruins, and 30,000 tons of artillery ammunition had been fired. Gustav had fired 48 rounds and worn out its original barrel, which had already fired around 250 rounds during testing and development. The gun was fitted with the spare barrel and the original was sent back to Krupp's factory in Essen for relining.
Schwerer Gustav compared to a Krupp K5 railway gun, the most commonly used railway gun by Germany in WWII. Fired a 28.3cm shell.
Schwerer Gustav compared to Karel-Gerat heavy mortar, the largest self-propelled weapon to see service. It fired a 60cm shell.
Weight - 1,350 tons
Length - 47.3 m
Barrel length - 32.5 m
Width - 7.1 m
Height - 11.6 m
Caliber - 80 cm
Elevation - Max of 48°
Rate of fire - 1 round every 30 to 45 minutes or typically 14 rounds a day
Effective firing range - 39,000 m
Maximum firing range - 47,000 m
oufff! spectacular piece! great historical infos, I d really love to see it in bricks one day!
I like it
March 19, 2014
Wow,.... just, wow! That is really amazing. The size and scope of this build puts it into a class almost by itself. Not only is this huge, but you appear to have captured all of the details, even the small ones.
Wow! Thats classic! I also designed gun for shooting 2 stud-diameter projectiles in LDD, and know how hard it is to create reasonably rigid barrel and trunnion from TLG parts.
Remark: If LDD keeps on freezing during rotation of large parts, remove the rotating unit, rotate it separately (even in a separate file) and put it back. Sometimes it helps.