Britain’s biggest gun that terrified the Nazis goes on manoeuvres as it’s transferred overseas

March 27, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Britain’s biggest surviving gun – equivalent in weight to 17 double-decker buses – has gone on manoeuvres in a painstaking removal operation.

The giant railway howitzer, capable of hurling a 2,500lb shell over 12 miles, was one of four built during World War I.

It tipped the scales at a whopping 195 tonnes – the same as 30 fully-grown elephants – and had a 18-inch barrel that was 52ft long.

The 104 ton barrel is lifted off the bogies by a crane ready to be transported to Holland

The 104 ton barrel is lifted off the bogies by a crane ready to be transported to Holland

The behemoth was completed too late for the 1914-18 conflict and in World War II was deployed in Kent as a terrifying deterrent against the Nazis.

This week it left its home at the Royal Artillery Museum in Wiltshire and was taken to Holland where it is being loaned as the centrepiece of a new exhibition.

A specialist team of movers were called in to take the gun on the 360-mile journey, splitting it into two parts which were loaded onto two huge 14-axle trucks.

The superheavy load took two days to travel to Holland, crossing the North Sea from Harwich to Rotterdam.

It will spend the next five months at the Dutch Railway Museum in Utrecht as part of a War and Peace Exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Great War.

A specialist team of movers have lugged into position in Britain's biggest gun - that weighs the same as 17 double-decker buses

A specialist team of movers have lugged into position in Britain’s biggest gun – that weighs the same as 17 double-decker buses

The gun – which has never been fired in anger – is one of only 12 railway guns remaining in the world.

The monsters were designed to be moved by rail and this has been standing in the grounds of the Royal Artillery Museum at Larkhill since 2008.

Despite its size, the gun was dwarfed by one Hitler built in World War II – a 31-inch giant  of 1,300 tonnes with a range of 120 miles which was used to bomb Sevastapol.

Category: Pictures

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