Thursday 8 January 2015

Biggest Shell, Best Shell

Three years before the Soviets were experimenting with a single piece 122 mm shell, the Germans were already working on arming their wonder-weapons with a 150 mm cannon. They decided to use a single piece shell.

This is a one piece shell designed for use in the 15 cm L/40 cannon in the VK 70.01. The length of the shell is a whopping 1.6 meters, and the mass is an optimistically estimated 57.4 kg. Trying to load one of these would be like grabbing a short person and trying to shove them into the breech of a gun. Compare this to the Soviet 1210 mm shell with a 40 kg mass that was deemed too big and heavy, and the common idea that the Soviets did not care about their tank crews' well being disappears.

Here is a similar shell, drawn up a month later for the 15 cm L/37 cannon.

The length is somewhat reduced to 1530 mm, but the mass calculations are more realistic, up to 69 kg. No person could sling these kinds of shells for the duration of a battle. There was an automatic loader for the 150 mm AA gun, but as a scale sketch by LiveJournal user torsus_sd illustrates, it does not exactly fit into a tank.


  1. That auto loader for 150mm AA gun looks like a WTF 100 in wot

  2. The WWI Scharnhorst and Roon class had 150mm/L40 secondary guns on them. Krupp might have re-purposed them.