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Dora The Destroyer: The Nazi's Most Useless Super Weapon

Published Dec. 30, 2021

In the late 1930's Adolph Hitler decided the Nazi regime needed a super weapon capable of penetrating meter-thick steel armor and crushing through seven meter-thick concrete and also have a range of 40-50 kilometers. Thus, the Heavy Gustav, commonly referred to as "Dora" was born.


This behemoth gun weighed 1,350 tons, was 42 meters long (its barrel alone was 32 meters long) and stood over five stories tall. It fired five and ten ton projectiles and at one point it destroyed a Soviet munitions depot hidden 30 meters underground. Dora was the largest-caliber rifled weapon ever used in combat and, in was the heaviest mobile artillery piece ever built.


While the hulking monstrosity of war was certainly an epic creation, it was also about as impractically useless as any weapon ever to be developed. Dora required a parallel double railway track to be moved. The barrel could only adjust for elevation, and any left-to-right aiming had to be done by moving the entire gun around a curve in the railroad track. The weapon required signifiant manpower to operate. It took around an hour to prepare and fire each projectile. Accuracy was poor, as only handful of rounds hit within 60 meters of its intended target, while most were off the mark by 500-700 meters.


In 1945, the Wehrmacht destroyed Dora to keep it from falling into the hands of the Russians.


will killmore

Published Dec. 30, 2021

In the late 1930's Adolph Hitler decided the Nazi regime needed a super weapon capable of penetrating meter-thick steel armor and crushing through seven meter-thick concrete and also have a range of 40-50 kilometers. Thus, the Heavy Gustav, commonly referred to as "Dora" was born.


This behemoth gun weighed 1,350 tons, was 42 meters long (its barrel alone was 32 meters long) and stood over five stories tall. It fired five and ten ton projectiles and at one point it destroyed a Soviet munitions depot hidden 30 meters underground. Dora was the largest-caliber rifled weapon ever used in combat and, in was the heaviest mobile artillery piece ever built.


While the hulking monstrosity of war was certainly an epic creation, it was also about as impractically useless as any weapon ever to be developed. Dora required a parallel double railway track to be moved. The barrel could only adjust for elevation, and any left-to-right aiming had to be done by moving the entire gun around a curve in the railroad track. The weapon required signifiant manpower to operate. It took around an hour to prepare and fire each projectile. Accuracy was poor, as only handful of rounds hit within 60 meters of its intended target, while most were off the mark by 500-700 meters.


In 1945, the Wehrmacht destroyed Dora to keep it from falling into the hands of the Russians.


will killmore

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