"Anzio Annie"

Country: Germany 
Manufacturer: WW II period 
Years In Service: initial year in service 1940 
Armament: 280 mm gun 21.5 m - 550 Pound shell 
Dimensions: overall length, including projecting rear bogie: 31.1 m weight: 218 kg (in action) 

Called "Anzio Annie" by Allied forces during the Italian Campaign of WW II. This railroad gun evolved from the large siege guns of WW I. It can accurately fire about 31 miles and could go as far as 75 miles. A rail crew would curve the track to provide a wide angle of fire. Twenty five of the K5 280 mm series were made. This gun was captured in Italy after it and a second gun ("Robert") had been firing on the Anzio beach head. The guns were hidden in mountain tunnels when not firing.

The gun and its support staff made up a full train.  First, was the engine (steam) then a coal car, then electric generator, then the electric control car, then the ammo car, then the gun mounted on two separate cars.  As they say today "it was an awesome sight" to see the whole train. There was also a car for the personnel to fire it.

Anzio Annie is a two hundred and eighty millimeter railroad gun that the Germans developed between World War I and World War II. It's based on a naval weapon. It's the same weapon that was used in the German battle cruisers. It's also the same caliber weapon used in the German "Pocket Battleships," except this was mounted on a railroad carriage and initially the idea was to fire super heavy, super accurate artillery into the French rear behind the magional line.  There were 3 "Pocket Battleships" / "Panzerschiffen": Admiral Scheer, Admiral Graf Spee, and LÜTZOW/DEUTSCHLAND...also nicknamed "Tigers of the Sea."   Remember after the first world war the French had built this massive set of concrete emplacements. They were going to guard their frontier. Well the idea was to bring these guns up and shoot into their rear and to supply depots, troop concentrations and that sort of thing to help rupture the magional line.

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Theodore "Tom" Tomscak