List of the largest cannons by caliber

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Early 15th century Flemish supergun Dulle Griet at Ghent (caliber of 660 mm)

The list of cannons by caliber contains all types of cannons through the ages listed in decreasing caliber size. For the purpose of this list, the development of superguns can be divided into three periods, based on the kind of projectiles used:

As artillery pieces of the different periods, due to the dissimilar characteristics of their projectiles, are practically incommensurable in terms of their bore size, the following list is split into three sections.

Contents

Cannon by caliber

Stone balls

Heyday: 14th to 15th century

Caliber (mm)NameTypeProducedPlace of originMade by
A view of the Tsar Pushka, showing its massive bore and cannonballs.890[CB 1]Tsar CannonBombard1586Herb Moskovia-1 (Alex K).svg Tsardom of RussiaAndrey Chokhov
Backside of the Pumhart von Steyr820[CB 2][3]Pumhart von SteyrBombardEarly 15th cent.House of Habsburg,  Holy Roman Empire
Engraving by Johann Georg Beck from 1714. The upper banner runs: "The largest cannon of Germany, called the Faule Metze".735[CB 3][4]Faule MetteBombard1411City of Brunswick,  Holy Roman EmpireHenning Bussenschutte
The Dulle Griet at Ghent, close to the Friday Market square in the old town660[5]Dulle GrietBombardFirst half of 15th cent.City of Ghent,  Holy Roman Empire
Dismantled Dardanelles Gun in 2007 at Fort Nelson635[6]Dardanelles Gun or Great Turkish BombardBombard1464Ottoman EmpireMunir Ali
Modern, fanciful illustration of the Faule Grete in action at the siege of Friesack in 1414. Contrary to the ordnance depicted, the Faule Grete was not assembled from wrought-iron bars, but a cast cannon.520[7]Faule GreteBombard1409Monastic state of the Teutonic KnightsHeynrich Dumechen
Mons Meg with its 50 cm caliber cannon balls520[8]Mons MegBombard1449Duchy of Burgundy,  Holy Roman EmpireJehan Cambier
Bronze bombard of the Knights Hospitaller cast in 1480.510[CB 4][9]Bombard1480Knights Hospitaller

Iron balls and shot

Heyday: 16th to 19th century

Caliber (mm)NameTypeProducedPlace of originMade by
Kanone Greif280[10]Kanone GreifScharfmetze ("medium size")1524Electorate of TrierMaster Simon
The Jaivana cannon280Jaivana1720State of Jaipur

Twenty-inch (508 mm) Rodman and Dahlgren smoothbore cannons were cast in 1864 during the American Civil War. The Rodmans were used as seacoast defense. Although not used as intended, 2-20" Dahlgrens were intended to be mounted in the turrets of USS Dictator and USS Puritan.

Explosive shells

Heyday: 19th to 20th century

Caliber (mm)NameTypeProducedPlace of originMade by
Mallet's Mortar with 36 inch shells which would have contained 480lb (217kg) of gunpowder914Mallet's mortarMortar1857United Kingdom United KingdomRobert Mallet
Little David at the Aberdeen Proving Ground914Little DavidMortar1945 United States
The Schwerer Gustav (in black) compared to a modern missile launcher800Schwerer GustavRailway gun1941 Nazi GermanyKrupp
The Schwerer Gustav (in black) compared to a modern missile launcher800DoraRailway gun1942 Nazi GermanyKrupp
The Mortier monstre600[11][12]Mortier monstreMortar1832France FranceHenri-Joseph Paixhans
60 cm Karl-Gerät "Ziu" firing in Warsaw, August 1944600Karl-GerätMortar1940 Nazi GermanyRheinmetall
French 520 mm howitzer on cradle sliding recoil railway mount.jpg520Obusier de 520 modèle 1916Railway howitzer1918France FranceSchneider et Cie
20-inch cast-iron naval gun.jpg508Perm Tsar Cannon [2]
508 mm/9.6 smooth-bore naval gun
Naval gun1868Romanov Flag.svg Russian EmpireMotovilikha Plants
The Japanese battleship Yamato under construction46040 cm/45 Type 94Naval gun1940 Empire of Japan
Boche Buster at Catterick, 12 December 1940457.2BL 18 inch railway howitzerRailway howitzer1920United Kingdom United KingdomElswick Ordnance Company
On monitor HMS General Wolfe457.2BL 18 inch Mk I naval gunNaval gun1916 United KingdomElswick Ordnance Company
Elswick 100-ton gun at Gibraltar450RML 17.72 inch gunNaval gun1877United Kingdom United KingdomElswick Ordnance Company
One of the first Big Berthas being readied for firing420Big BerthaHowitzer German EmpireKrupp
Side view of a Gamma-Gerät42042 cm Gamma MörserMortar German Empire /  Nazi GermanyKrupp
2B1 Oka4202B1 OkaMortar1957 Soviet Union
BL 16.25 inch naval gun412.8BL 16.25 inch Mk I naval gunNaval gun1888 United KingdomElswick Ordnance Company
406 mm gun from Japanese battleship Mutsu41041 cm/45 3rd Year TypeNaval gun Empire of Japan
16 inch Coastal Defense Gun at the US Army Ordnance Museum40616"/50 caliber M1919 gunGun1920 United States
Guns of HMS Rodney at maximum elevation, 1940406BL 16 inch Mk I naval gunNaval gun1927 United Kingdom
Batterie Lindemann gun, 194240640.6 cm SK C/34 gunNaval gun Nazi GermanyKrupp
4062A3 Kondensator 2PHowitzer1956 Soviet Union
A 406 mm/50 B-37 naval gun in MP-10 test mount406406 mm/50 B-37 naval gun for BB Sovetskiy SoyuzNaval gun1937 Soviet UnionBarrikady Plant, Stalingrad
A cutaway of a turret mounting 16-inch guns40616"/50 caliber Mark 7 gun for the Iowa class battleships.Naval gun1943 United StatesWashington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The bombard has a conical bore of 82.5–90 cm.
  2. ^ The bombard has a conical bore of 76–88 cm.
  3. ^ The bombard has a conical bore of 67–80 cm.
  4. ^ The bombard has a conical bore of 45–58 cm.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Schmidtchen 1977b, pp. 228–230
  2. ^ Schmidtchen 1977a, pp. 153–161
  3. ^ Schmidtchen 1977a, p. 162; ball diameter is 20 mm less (p. 171, Fn. 41).
  4. ^ Schmidtchen 1977b, p. 222; ball diameter is 20 mm less (p. 171, Fn. 41).
  5. ^ Schmidtchen 1977a, p. 164; ball diameter is 20 mm less (p. 171, Fn. 41).
  6. ^ Royal Armouries [1]
  7. ^ Schmidtchen 1977b, p. 218; ball diameter is 20 mm less (p. 171, Fn. 41).
  8. ^ Schmidtchen 1977a, p. 166; ball diameter is 20 mm less (p. 171, Fn. 41).
  9. ^ Schmidtchen 1977b, p. 236, Fn. 103
  10. ^ Archiv für die Officiere der Königlich Preußischen Artillerie- und Ingenieur-Korps, Vol. 19, Berlin, Posen, Bromberg 1846, p. 101
  11. ^ Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, Vol. 14, Leipzig 1908, p. 160: "Mörser": caliber of 60 cm
  12. ^ Journal des Sciences Militaires, 2nd series, Vol. 22, Paris 1838: caliber of 22 pouces = 59,6 cm (p. 49); outer diameter of the barrel: 1 m (p. 54)

References