While pondering Germany’s Maus Super Heavy Tank, my thoughts shifted to other large scale weapons. The Maus reached the production stage; however production was interrupted early on and canceled, and as such only the prototypes (two) were completed. Of the two prototypes, a surviving example (a combination of the turret of one of the prototypes, and the hull of the other) exists at the Kubinka Tank Museum in Kubinka outside Moscow in Russia. In short the Maus weighed 188 tonnes, and was armed with a 128 mm main gun, and a 75 mm cannon, and two 7.92 mm MG 34 machine guns as secondary armaments.

Panzer VIII Maus

One of the German Maus prototype undergoing trials; likely at Kummersdorf South of Berlin.

Railway Guns

Railway guns, or cannons mounted on rail carriages, was not unique; numerous examples existed, however, their origins was in the First World War, and by the Second World War examples were limited (operators included Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom). Germany had two notable examples:

80cm railway gun Dora, being inspected by Adolf Hitler.

80cm railway gun Dora, being inspected by Adolf Hitler.

Schwerer Gustav (Heavy Gustaf/Great Gustaf) was the name for one of two 80 cm railway guns used by Germany; the other was Dora. The massive gun was moved on two parallel rail tracks.

V3 Cannon

V3 Super Cannon

The German V-3 (Vergeltungswaffe 3) super-gun

The V-3 (Vergeltungswaffe 3) cannon was a German super-gun using a multi-charge principle where the projectiles velocity is increased by the introduction of secondary propellants. Of two built, one was actually put into action.

The Landkreuzer P.1000 Ratte

The German Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte Super Heavy Tank.

The German Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte super heavy tank.

Beyond the Maus, another colossal tank was proposed, of even greater size than the Maus itself. The Landkreuzer P.1000 Ratte increased on the general concept of more armor, and greater fire power that was incorporated into the Maus.

Other large weapon systems existed, several planes for example, such as the Messerschmitt Me 323 transport; however the above examples, had much more questionable military value.