Talk:Paris Gun

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The Big Bertha article uses much of the same text. It should be edited/merged with this one with the cleanup.-LtNOWIS 04:49, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Done. -- Cyrius| 04:16, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The caption labels the Paris Gun as Big Bertha, even though the article explicitly states that they are not same. 70.106.200.29 05:47, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Shells in Space[edit]

Hello. I have heard from a source (which i have since forgotten) that some shells of the Paris Gun reached orbit into Earth. I dont know if this is true or not so can somebody try and clear this up for me? cheers. Louis Do Nothing

impossible. A shell could reach any heigth, but can not orbit. See Space gun for details . Madlozoz--213.56.150.217 12:49, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

WPMILHIST Assessment[edit]

Just wanted to drop by to say that I found this really interesting. I say that a lot as I've been assessing a great variety of articles, but in this case I genuinely mean it. I don't know much about WWI, and it just never ceases to amaze me the kinds of things invented and used that obviously fall under the category of modern warfare, but a very early experimental form; this kind of giant gun, a predecessor to rockets or other types of large-distance artillery. Very interesting. And, without meaning to make light of the fact that this was a very real war with very real casualties, the aesthetics of the technology, and the types of ideas themselves - a massive railgun for attacking cities, airships, etc, feel very "19th century conception of the future" to me - not too far off from what Jules Verne or HG Wells might have imagined. I guess. LordAmeth 01:36, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually rockets have been around ever since gun powder was discovered, but you're right. Rockets and missiles have rendered huge cannons like this obsolete. It really is a one of a kind weapon. 69.69.73.94 04:07, 23 January 2007 (UTC)


angle of firing[edit]

this gun was fired at a higher angle than 45°C? I read that they used a higher angle to reach the upper atmosphere...

coriolis effect[edit]

The article states "The distance was so far that the Coriolis effect — the rotation of the earth — was substantial enough to affect trajectory calculations.". Actually, even more conventional artillery pieces were affected by that. I was in the artillery for many years and calculations adjusting for the coriolis effect was necessary even for 105mm light artillery. Coriolis is especially critical in high-angle missions where rounds are shot at an elevation angle greater than 45 degrees. While the Paris gun had particularly large coriolis effects to deal with, it should not be implied that such effects are not routine in artillery.
Doug Hubbard


I have a question regarding the Coriolis effect as it relates to the specific calculations that were carried out in the firing of the Paris Gun.

The article states that, "The Paris gun was used to shell Paris at a range of 75 miles (120 km). The distance was so far that the Coriolis effect — the rotation of the earth — was substantial enough to affect trajectory calculations. The gun was fired at an azimuth of 232 degrees (west-southwest) from Crépy-en Laon, which was at a latitude of 49.5 degrees North. The gunners had to account for the fact that the projectiles landed 393 metres (1,290 ft) short and 1,343 metres (4,406 ft) to the right of where they would have hit if there were no Coriolis effect."

However, as near as I can tell (given my understanding of it), wouldn't the Coriolis effect actually cause the projectile to hit to the right and past the intended target, given their firing west-southwest (as opposed to short and to the right of the target?) Phasedrifter101 04:13, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Why have the data been removed about how far off the rounds landed (393 metres (1,290 ft) short and 1,343 metres (4,406 ft) to the right)? This is essential to quantify the significance of the coriolis effect (it amounts to landing about a mile away from the aim point!) Without a quantity, there is no point even mentioning it.--Oscar Bravo 14:55, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I noticed that the Paris Gun entry says in the text that it was crewed with members of the German Navy, commanded by an admiral, yet the second photo shows helmeted men described as "soldiers". I suspect that the photo caption is in error and the text is correct. User Kevin Brennan, August 6, 2008```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by 63.3.22.129 (talk) 00:28, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

V2 is a projectile[edit]

The V1 was a rocket-powered winged aircraft (cf. cruise missile) - maybe that is what you were thinking of. The V2 was a ballistic missile. It is true that during the boost-phase, it flew under its own rocket-power, but once the engines cut out, it cruised in a high parabolic trajectory (cf. ICBM), falling under gravity towards its target. Thus it was a projectile. --Oscar Bravo (talk) 07:49, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Late reply, I know, but referring to a guided missile as a projectile is inappropriate. Being self-propelled, it is not projected at all from something else. Also, a V2 could change its trajectory once launched, something "true" projectiles cannot (though shells can now be guided, too). As an aside, the V1 was powered by a pulse jet, not a rocket, though I guess, because the engine cut out before impact, it too would meet your criteria for being a projectile.--172.190.185.26 (talk) 04:26, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

"Big Bertha" nickname[edit]

The article as well as Big Bertha (howitzer) take a POV that "Big Bertha" is the M-Gerät Kurze Marine Kanone , and that referring to the Paris Gun as "Big Bertha" is a post-war error. However, there are several 1918 articles in the New York Times, such as this example:

-"Big Bertha," as the Parisians have nicknamed the German long-range gun, began firing on the city again for the first time since the beginning of the enemy offensive on July 15.

that explicitly refer to "Big Bertha" for the canon(s) that shelled Paris.

The French and Germans actually used the "Grosse Bertha"/"Dicke Bertha" nicknames to refer to two separate pieces of equipment, there is no reason to call one "right" and one "wrong".

--gribeco (talk) 19:04, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Wear on the bore.[edit]

...the chamber was precisely measured to determine the difference in its length: a few inches off would cause a great variance in the velocity, and with it, the range. Inches seem like a rather large degree of uncertainty in bore diameter. Each shot would likely have worn away only a millimeter at most.

this seems to refer to a variation in barrel length, or chamber length.. did the barrel in fact stretch ? If so the internal ballistics would be affected - greater volume swept by the shell. Rcbutcher (talk) 11:45, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Also, I doubt that an admiral would have been in command of only 80 sailors.

Well, this was clearly an exceptionally important project for the Germans as they committed an enormous amount of resources to it. So perhaps putting somebody that senior in charge was seen as justified. But I agree, it needs a citation. Catsmeat (talk) 08:27, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Projectile Weight[edit]

The article lists the projectile weight as 210 pounds and the attached projectile figure description lists the weight as 330 pounds. Can anyone resolve this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.197.66.197 (talk) 20:33, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

The article the picture comes from was published during the war by the Britsh. The shell design was resonstructed from steel fragments picked up off the ground. The weight was presumably just a rough estimate.Catsmeat (talk) 13:33, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Picture Authenticity[edit]

I'm worried about the left picture, that's in the article

German gun crew preparing the Paris Gun
38er LangrohrMuni.JPG

Mainly because the Paris gun shells are described in the article as being 210mm, or 8 inches, and the shell those men are handling is an awful lot bigger than that.

It is more likely this is a picture of a 38 cm SK L/45 "Max" gun being loaded as that is a 15" gun. This was the type of gun the Paris gun was based on and which it resembled.

On the right is a picture of a man with a 38 cm SK L/45 "Max" shell and the gun in the background. This link [1] includes a picture of a man standing next to a Paris Gun shell and it is much more consistent with the stated size of 210mm. Catsmeat (talk) 12:03, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Indeed ! Shell looks at least 12-inch (305-mm). I've removed the photo from the article and updated the caption to reflect its dubious identification. I note that it was me who originally uploaded the photo and categorised it under Paris Gun, how embarrassing. I will notify the AWM about dubious caption. Rod. Rcbutcher (talk) 16:07, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
It's a 38 cm shell of the Navy gun "Langer Max" fired several shells into the the city of Verdun in 1916 -- Waterthrower (talk) 10:55, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Reference in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2[edit]

Not sure if this is worth adding, but in the real-time strategy (RTS) game Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2, one of the playable factions in the multiplayer parts of the game is France. Each faction has one unique unit or building (America can drop Paratroopers, British can train Snipers, Russians can build Tesla Tanks, etc). The French can build a type of defensive structure called a "Grand Cannon". This seems to be a clear reference to the Paris Gun, considering the premise of the Red Alert series is that time travel has altered history, potentially making the French the one's with impressive artillery, ironically. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.187.201.65 (talk) 04:40, 6 July 2011 (UTC) How is it Ironic? The french is well known for having great artillery, especially during WW1&2, the germans feared it a great deal. Don't really see any relevance, especially since the gun in Red Alert 2 is a stationary one and not a railway canon. Nizzemancer (talk) 02:25, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

File:Paris Gun.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]

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Source material[edit]

Been looking for this info for the last year off and on, on Google Books... Key wordings make it almost impossible. But ill save you guys the time. I used "The German Long-Range Guns" to keyword find these things. Good Luck.

First Pg 46 Starting with: On March 23 last... Pg 46

Second Pg 97-98 The German Long-Range Guns Pg 99-98


Ordnance Vol 1-2 By American Defense Preparedness Association, American Ordnance Association


Daily Fall of shells in Paris Pg 286

Pg 286


Ordnance Vol 3-4 By American Defense Preparedness Association, American Ordnance Association


The German Long-Range Gun Part 1 September-October Issue No 20 Volume 4 1923

Pg 98-100 Pg 98-100

Pg 122-123 Pg 122-123

Part II November-December Issue No 21 Volume 4 1923 Pg 167-176 Pg 167-176

(CaptianNemo (talk) 06:02, 1 December 2011 (UTC)) I was a dummy and wasn't logged in when i added this so i resigned it. NEMO