Superguns 1854–1991

Superguns 1854–1991

Extreme artillery from the Paris Gun and the V-3 to Iraq's Project Babylon

New Vanguard 265
  • Author: Steven J. Zaloga
  • Illustrator: Jim Laurier
  • Short code: NVG 265
  • Publication Date: 27 Dec 2018
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Ever since the mid-19th century, national militaries have sought to create monster artillery pieces, designed to shatter armies, cities and fortresses and their morale. Starting with William Armstrong's 'Monster Gun' Superguns will then take a look at the Wilhelm Gun that bombarded Paris in World War I, and World War II designs, including the Dora and Arrow guns, including the so-called V-3 London Gun.

During the Cold War both the Americans and Soviets attempted to construct nuclear artillery pieces including the Oka/Kondensator, and the Atomic Cannon. These guns then entered the Space Age, with Dr Gerard Bull's HARP gun and its descendants, including most famously Saddam Hussein's 1m-calibre 'Supergun' - Project Babylon. Modern superguns featured also include current efforts at very-long-range magnetic rail-guns, capable of firing shells at seven times the speed of sound.

Using detailed commissioned artwork and contemporary photographs, this fascinating study examines history's great behemoths that have sought to terrorise armies and civilians for one and a half centuries.

Biographical Note

Steven J. Zaloga received his BA in History from Union College and his MA from Columbia University. He has worked as an analyst in the aerospace industry for over three decades, covering missile systems and the international arms trade, and has served with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think tank. He is the author of numerous books on military technology and military history, with an accent on the US Army in World War II as well as Russia and the former Soviet Union. He lives in Maryland, USA.


The 19th Century: William Armstrong's 'Monster Guns'
World War I: The Paris Gun
World War II German Superguns: Dora and the V-3
Cold War Superguns: US Atomic Cannon and Soviet Oka and Kondensator
Gerard Bull's Superguns: HARP and Project Babylon
Current Developments