Heavy Caliber and Superdestructive Artillery

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Heavy Caliber and Superdestructive Artillery

 

artillery designed to destroy especially strong installations and fortifications, and to neutralize and destroy the most important major objectives which are located deep behind enemy lines.

Units and subunits of heavy caliber and superdestructive artillery are included in the supreme headquarters reserve artillery and are used to reinforce troop (field) artillery. Heavy caliber artillery includes units and subunits equipped with guns whose caliber ranges from 152 mm up to 210 mm; systems with higher calibers are classified as superdestructive artillery. In World War I (1914–18) the French Army had superdestructive guns with a caliber of 520 mm; the German Army had guns with a caliber of 420 mm. During World War II (1939–1945) the fascist German Army employed a small number of guns with calibers of 170, 210, 240, 356, and 420 mm. Near Leningrad they utilized 615-mm artillery mortars and a 600-mm gun called Thor that was mounted for railroad transport. In order to destroy the underground installations of Sevastopol’, the Germans used the 860-mm gun called Dora, which had a firing range of up to 40 km. At the present time in armies equipped with rocket nuclear weapons the quantity of heavy caliber and superdestructive artillery has been reduced and the further increase in caliber is considered inexpedient.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.