Although the principle of imparting mobility to large calibre artilery pieces by placing them on special railway mountings dated from the mid-19th century, it was WWI that gave the impetus to making the railway gun an important part of many European armories. The use of railway guns enabled artillery tacticians to switch heavy artillery from one sector of the front to another with a facility that was denied to more conventional field pieces. Railway guns could be quickly concentrated and dispersed as necessay, and by rapid changes of position they could deliver long range harassing fire and remain undetected, by the means then in use, for long periods at a time. Another useful role for the railway gun was in coastal defense. Where a long stretch of coastline had to be defended a few railway guns could be situatued at selected central points and moved to pre-prepared sites when the need araose. Thus by 1918 the railway gun was in use by nearly all the major combatants and not the least of these was Germany. But after 1918 all the German railway artillery was scrapped by the Treaty commissions. After the NSDAP came to power in 1933 the German military began a major rearmament programme and on the list of weapons needed were modern railway guns. Before 1933 a great deal of theoretical work had been carried out on future railway guns but it was not until 1934 that the first practical work began on two new desings. In time these were to emerge as the K5(E) and K12(E). Eventually, numerous off-shoot versions of these two basic models were also produced in varying size, calibres, and complexing of design.
The 'Leopold' and ts twin the 'Robert' were of the 28cm K5(E) design. The Leopold had an unconfirmed range of 11 miles and fired a pre-engraved projectile weighing approximately 550 pounds. It is fired from a turntable affording a 360 degree traverse. Now in stock!
Length: 9 inches
Release Date: May 2005