By Marc Romanych, Martin Rupp, Henry Morshead
Within the early days of worldwide conflict I, Germany unveiled a brand new weapon – the cellular 42cm (16.5 inch) M-Gerät howitzer. on the time, it was once the biggest artillery piece of its sort on the earth and a heavily guarded mystery. while battle broke out, of the howitzers have been rushed without delay from the manufacturing facility to Liege the place they quick destroyed forts and forced the citadel to give up. After repeat performances at Namur, Maubeuge and Antwerp, German infantrymen christened the howitzers ‘Grosse’ or ‘Dicke Berta’ (Fat or gigantic Bertha) after Bertha von Krupp, proprietor of the Krupp armament works that outfitted the howitzers. The nickname used to be quickly picked up through German press which triumphed the 42cm howitzers as Wunderwaffe (wonder weapons), and the legend of massive Bertha used to be born. This booklet info the layout and improvement of German siege weapons sooner than and through global conflict I. Accompanying the textual content are many infrequent, never-before-published photos of ‘Big Bertha’ and the opposite German siege weapons. color illustrations depict an important points of the German siege artillery.
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Additional resources for 42cm 'Big Bertha' and German Siege Artillery of WWI
A notable exception is Herbert Jäger’s book about German artillery in World War I. A. , Zwei Kriegsjahre einer “42cm” Batterie (Chr. com 47 INDEX References to illustrations are shown in bold. R. R. R. R. com First published in Great Britain in 2013 by Osprey Publishing, ACKNOWLEDGMENTS PO Box 883, Oxford, OX1 9PL, UK The authors wish to thank the following people who were instrumental to the research and writing of this book. To Robert Lembke whose wide-ranging knowledge of the siege batteries, in part stemming from his grandfather’s service with the German siege artillery batteries in 1914 and 1915, was an invaluable source of inspiration and advice.
From September 9 to October 16, heavy and siege artillery periodically bombarded Forts Génicourt, Troyon, Camp des Romains, Les Paroches, and Liouville. The bombardment was not enough to destroy the forts. Only Camp des Romains was captured and the Sixth Army failed to pierce the fortress zone and isolate Verdun. After the fall of Namur, the French and British Armies retreated south towards Paris. To block the German Army’s advance, ten French infantry regiments with 52 batteries of artillery were left to hold the fortress at Maubeuge.
For example, in early June SKM Battery 9 shelled a railway tunnel in the Champagne region where the French Army was sheltering reserve troops. 5cm Beta-Gerät mortars fired 150 shells over several days, first shelling the entry and exit of the tunnel, and then shelling the length of the tunnel; however, no French casualties were reported. In July, during the German Army’s last offensive of the war, even more siege artillery was put into action. Fourteen batteries with 24 guns were allocated to the Seventh Army in the Marne region (KMK Batteries 5 and 6, and SKM Batteries 3 and 6), and the First Army around Reims (KMK Batteries 3, 4, 8, and 10, and SKM Batteries 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, and 9).